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Lucius Ferraris

Eighteenth-century canonist of the Franciscan Order

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Ferraris, Lucius, an eighteenth-century canonist of the Franciscan Order. The exact dates of his birth and death are unknown, but he was born at Solero, near Alessandria in Northern Italy. He was also professor, provincial of his order, and consultor of the Holy Office. It would seem he died before 1763. He is the author of the “Prompta Bibliotheca canonica, juridica, moralis, theologica, necnon asoetica, polemica, rubricistica, historica”, a veritable encyclopedia of religious knowledge. The first edition of this work appeared at Bologna, in 1746. A second edition, much enlarged, also a third, were published by the author himself. The fourth edition, dating from 1763, seems to have been published after his death. This, like those which followed it, contains the additions which the author had made to the second edition under the title of additions auctoris, and also other enlargements (additiones ex aleina manu) inserted in their respective places in the body of the work (and no longer in the appendix as in the former editions) and supplements. The various editions thus differ from each other. The most recent are: that of the Benedictines (Naples, 1844-55), reproduced by Migne (Paris, 1861-1863), and an edition published at Paris in 1884. A new edition was published at Rome in 1899, at the press of the Propaganda in eight volumes, with a volume of supplements, edited by the Jesuit, Bucceroni, containing several dissertations and the most recent and important documents of the Holy See. This supplement serves to keep up to date the work of Ferraris, which will ever remain a precious mine of information, although it is sometimes possible to reproach the author with laxism.


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