Vicarius Filii Dei
(Latin: Vicar or Representative of the Son of God
) is a phrase used in the forged Donation of Constantine
to refer to Saint Peter
. It also features in the argument put forth by some Protestant
groups who identify the phrase with the "number of the beast"
) from Book of Revelation
and subsequently the Pope with Antichrist
There is a papal
title in existence that means the same: "Vicarius Iesu Christi" or Vicar of Christ
This title as it is used does not fit the system that calculates 666 out of the Latin words.
Origins of the controversy
The earliest extant record of a Protestant
writer on this subject is that of Professor Andreas Helwig
in 1612. In his work Antichristus Romanus
he took fifteen titles in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin and computed their numerical equivalents in those languages, arriving at the number 666
mentioned in the Book of Revelation
. Out of all these titles, he preferred to single out Vicarius Filii Dei
, used in the Donation of Constantine
, for the reason that it met "all the conditions which [Cardinal] Bellarmine
had thus far demanded." Besides being in Latin, the title was "not offensive or vile," but rather was "honorable to this very one."
Helwig suggested that the supposed title was an expansion of the historical title Vicarius Christi, rather than an official title used by the Popes themselves. Additionally, he said nothing about the title appearing on tiaras or mitres. Helwig's interpretation did not become a common one until about the time of the French Revolution. Some later Protestant figures directly claimed that Vicarius Filii Dei was an official title of the Pope, some claimed that this title appeared on the papal tiara and/or a mitre.
Seventh-day Adventist claims
In 1866, Uriah Smith was the first to propose the interpretation to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. See Review and Herald 28:196, November 20, 1866 In The United States in the Light of Prophecy he wrote
- The pope wears upon his pontifical crown in jeweled letters, this title: "Vicarius Filii Dei," "Viceregent of the Son of God;" the numerical value of which title is just six hundred and sixty-six The most plausible supposition we have ever seen on this point is that here we find the number in question. It is the number of the beast, the papacy; it is the number of his name, for he adopts it as his distinctive title; it is the number of a man, for he who bears it is the "man of sin."
Prominent Adventist scholar J. N. Andrews also adopted this view. Uriah Smith maintained his interpretation in the various editions of Thoughts on Daniel and the Revelation, which was highly influential in the church. However other Adventists at the time disagreed. Ellen G. White did not comment on the discussion in any of her published writings. No proof for the assertion has been discovered, and while most Adventist leaders today reject the claim (see below), there may still be individuals and groups of Adventists who believe the claims; but the position is no longer denominationally held or supported.
To promote the claim in the mid 20th century, some Seventh-day Adventists doctored pictures of papal tiaras to make it look as though the words did exist on them. According to Le Roy Froom, a Seventh-day Adventist Church historian,
- . . . in attempting to re-illustrate one of the standard books on the prophecies, took this genuine photograph of a plain tiara and lettered upon it the three words Vicarius, Filii, and Dei-one on each of the three crowns-on the premise that such was the name the Pope bore, and if were not actually on the tiara, it might well be by way of illustration. One of our leading publishing houses, and the General Conference, to whom the altered photograph was submitted, emphatically rejected it as misleading and deceptive, and refused to allow its use. Regrettably, some of our evangelists who do not have all the facts, and to whom the appeal of the moment has sometimes outweighed the ethics of the case, and who perhaps have not thought through the fraudulent character of such plausible but specious evidence, have occasionally continued to use this or similar fabrication.
The Catholic Encyclopedia New Advent
, states that "many of the recent critical students of the document, (Donation of Constantine
), locate its composition at Rome and attribute the forgery to an ecclesiastic, their chief argument being an intrinsic one: this false document was composed in favour of the popes and of the Roman Church, therefore Rome itself must have had the chief interest in a forgery executed for a purpose so clearly expressed" .
During the Middle Ages, the Donation of Constantine was widely accepted as genuine for about 800 years and was used by medieval Popes to bolster territorial and secular claims to power. The document was acknowledged by the church as fraudulent about the time Andreas Helwig published Antichristus Romanus (1612) which identifies Vicarius Dei Filli with the number of the beast. However, some Catholic publications continued to refer to the title until well into the 19th century .
A small number of Catholic figures referred to the supposed existence of the title in books. In The Temporal Power of the Vicar of Jesus Christ, a book by British Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Henry Edward Cardinal Manning three references were made in English to the Pope as the "Vicar of the Son of God.. Writing on behalf of James Cardinal Gibbons in 1904, William F. Russell said that the title was "used by the Cardinal who imposes the tiara at the coronation of a Pope," though he couldn't say with certainty whether it appeared on the Pope's tiara. In a signed statement from the early 1940s, Dr. J. Quasten of Catholic University wrote, "The title Vicarius Filii Dei as well as the title Vicarius Christi is very common as the title for the Pope.
The statements are however rare and regarded by scholars as based on factual errors. Russell's claim, for example, that the term was used in the papal coronation is demonstrably false. The actual wording at the moment never contained the words Vicarius Filii Dei. The Cardinal deacon who crowned the Pope actually said:
- Accipe thiaram tribus coronis ornatam, et scias te esse Patrem Principum et Regum, Rectorem Orbis, in terra Vicarium Salvatoris Nostri Jesu Christi, cui est honor et gloria in sæcula sæculorum.
- (Receive the tiara adorned with three crowns and know that thou art father of princes and kings, director of the World, vicar on earth of Our Savior Jesus Christ, to whom is honor and glory forever and ever.)
Other than the forged Donation of Constantine no primary source evidence exists to suggest the existence of such a title for the Pope. When no such evidence could be proved in primary documentation as opposed to isolated references in rare secondary sources, the Catholic Church was accused by promoters of the claim that such evidence exists of suppressing or destroying the evidence, specifically tiaras or mitres that supposedly contained the words on them. Critics accuse promoters of the claim of resorting to conspiracy theories without evidence to explain their own failure after centuries of searching to stand up their claims to independent verification of its existence. Though there are thousands of images dating back a millennium of papal tiaras (busts, paintings, drawings, photographs, design plans, etc) none shows any tiara with any writing spelling out words in diamonds, much less Vicarius Filii Dei. Only handful possessed any writing at all, and in those cases it was different words spelt out on the individual tiaras, not on the body of the Papal Tiara, which is the claim regularly made by proposers of the claim.
The Papal Tiara claim
Promoters of the claim that Popes hold the title Vicarius Filii Dei
in past alleged that the proof could be found on the Papal Tiara
, the papal crown, on which they claimed the words could clearly be seen spelt out in jewels
. Some Protestant
groups in the past claimed that it is a title possessed by the Pope
. The claim was particularly strongly made by the Seventh-day Adventist Church
. Central to the claim that Vicarius Filii Dei
is a papal title is the statement that when numerised in a certain way (see below), the words Vicarius Filii Dei
produce the total of 666, the number described as the 'number of the beast' (i.e., the Antichrist
in the Book of Revelation
). This was used, among other things, to identify the Pope is the Antichrist
. The conviction that the Pope is the Antichrist was once a common belief among Protestants. Most mainstream Protestant denominations have since rejected this teaching, but it is still part of the confession of faith of some Protestant churches, such as those within Confessional Lutheranism
Many famous names, film titles and even political offices when numerised total 666. Even the name of the prophetess of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Ellen Gould White, when numerised amounts to 666, though it has been pointed out that it may be artificial to use Roman numerals on a non-Roman name. Such coincidences are seen as numerical quirks and are seen as carrying no theological, much less demonic, meaning. Among other items accused of being demonic because of their numerical value are some offices of the United Nations (when translated into other languages) and some Liberal politicians.
The Roman Catholic Church has consistently denied the existence of such a title for Popes and labeled it an "anti-Catholic myth". Critics of the claim argue that whether or not the numerised total of the letters in Vicarius Filii Dei produce the total '666' is irrelevant because the existence of such a title has never been independently verified. Protestant and Catholic academics have failed to find evidence of the existence of the title other than its mention for Saint Peter in the Donation of Constantine, a forged eighth century document that claims Constantine gave the Pope the entire Western Roman Empire to rule. The only remotely similar titles independently verified as existing are Vicarius Christi — representative (vicar) of Christ and until medieval times Vicarius Petri — representative (vicar) of Peter. (Vicarius Christi numerates to 214.)
Sources for the claims
Proponents of the claim usually base themselves on the following sources:
- In an 1832 book, a Miss Emmons reported that a gentleman had seen the Pope wearing a mitre with "VICARIUS FILII DEI" upon it in "full, blazing letters". Though this book refers to a mitre, the reference is often given as evidence for such a writing on a tiara.
- Pope Gregory XVI had supposedly worn a papal tiara with these words clearly visible on it at a Pontifical High Mass during the Easter rite in 1845, according to Presbyterian minister and former Catholic.
- The rumoured existence of a photograph of a papal funeral at the start of the twentieth century (which probably means the funeral of Pope Leo XIII in 1903 but could possibly be Pope Pius X's in 1914) showing the words on a papal tiara.
- A belief that the tiara (with the words mentioned) is always used to crown Popes, but specifically was used in 1939 to crown Eugenio Pacelli as Pope Pius XII.
None of these claims have been substantiated.
Multiple tiaras, not one
While the claims speak of the
papal tiara, in reality there is not one tiara but many. All but one of the ancient papal tiaras were destroyed by invading French troops in 1798. The sole surviving pre-19th century tiara (image 1)
has no writing. Starting in 1800, new tiaras were periodically created. A number of 19th century Popes, notably Popes Gregory XVI
, Pius IX
and Leo XIII
received a number of tiaras during their reign, from among other sources their previous cardinalate sees, religious orders, the Palatine Guard
, the women of the Belgian Court
and heads of state such as the Catholic Queen Isabella of Spain
and the Protestant Kaiser Wilhelm I of Germany
. Gregory XVI received three tiaras, Pius IX six and Leo XIII four. Many were either never worn or worn rarely. In the twentieth century a number of tiaras were given to various Popes up to and including Pope Paul VI
in 1963. Though the number of tiaras grew, only a small number were normally worn, principally the Palatine Tiara given to Pius IX in 1877, which was used by among others Popes Pius XII
and John XXIII
for their coronations. Pope Pius XI
's tiara was also worn by Pope John, while his own tiara, given by the people of Venice
in 1959, was worn also. The decision on which tiara to wear was usually decided by issues such as papal headsize, age of the tiara (older ones tended to be treated as museum pieces), sturdiness of construction (wear and tear can lead to damage and constant repair), comfort of individual Popes and papal age (older Popes due to their age and infirmity wore lighter tiaras towards the end of their reigns). The claim by proponents of the Vicarius Filii Dei
story frequently stated that there was just one tiara and that it was always used in coronations. That is demonstrably false.
No evidence of writing on tiaras existing in 1832
when it was claimed Gregory XVI was seen wearing a tiara with Vicarius Filii Dei
on it, only four tiaras existed; one from the eighteenth century (image 1)
, an 1800 papier-mâché
tiara manufactured during the papal exile that resulted from the occupation of Rome by French troops (image 2)
the one given by Emperor Napoleon I
to Pope Pius VII
in 1804 and the 1820 tiara of Pope Pius VIII
. No Pope has ever worn the 1804 tiara. It was deliberately designed on Napoleon's orders to be too small to fit on a head and far too heavy to wear. Popes also refused to wear it on principle because it was made up from parts of older tiaras broken up and stolen from the Vatican in 1798. So Gregory XVI could only have been wearing one of three tiaras; the 18th century tiara or the tiaras from 1800 or 1820. All three exist, are on public display and none contain writing. Nor do the records of their manufacture and maintenance contain any evidence that it might at any stage have writing.
Tiaras never worn during Mass
Popes never wore papal tiaras while celebrating Mass, as tiaras were never seen as ecclesiastical vestments
. They were worn only for specific ceremonies: state ceremonies where the Pope was acting as head of the Patrimony of St. Peter
(Papal States), when being carried in state on the sedia gestatoria
(portable throne) (see image below)
or when giving the urbi et orbi
. None of these ceremonies took place at the altar
and so could not potentially be confused with a celebration of Mass at the High Altar in St. Peter's. The only time tiaras had any association with an altar was when, prior to the start of a Pontifical High Mass, the Pope might place the tiara to one side on the special platform on the altar to symbolise Christ's reign over the Church. (To wear a secular symbol such as a crown while celebrating Mass was seen as disrespectful to Christ and the Eucharist
Hoffman's claims about 1845
By 1845 the Pope had received up to three new tiaras (image 3)
. That one tiara which it is definitely known had been given to him by Easter 1845, had been donated in 1834. It does not contain any writing. Nor, given the large size of the three crowns on it, is there space between them to place letters in jewels in a way they could be seen. Only two tiaras have any major writing at all. The Belgian tiara of 1871 (Image 4)
does not feature Vicarius Filii Dei
or words even remotely similar. It reads CHRISTI VICARIO – IN TERRA – REGUM
, with the words spread out in the three crowns. Only one word of the alleged writing appears in the actual words on the 1871 tiara, and even there the word is in a different grammatical case. (For pictures of Popes wearing these tiaras, see Papal Tiara.
) Writing also appears on the 1903 Gold Tiara given to Pope Leo XIII
but which due to its considerable weight has rarely been worn. Leo, who was in his nineties when he received it, was too ill to wear a heavy tiara (he opted for lightweight tiaras given to Gregory XVI and Pius IX) while later Popes, having considered wearing it also declined to do so due to its weight. (Pius X's tiara and that of John XXIII were both made lightweight at the request of both Popes because they found the main tiaras too uncomfortable and heavy.)
The source of the claim about 1845 was B. Hoffman, a retired Presbyterian pastor, who claimed to be a former student Catholic priest who had witnessed Pope Gregory XVI celebrating the "Easter service" wearing a tiara contained the words Vicarius Filii Dei written in three rows. Critics have noted inconsistencies in his claims:
- Though supposedly a former student Catholic priest he used the wrong terminology to describe the Catholic Easter rite, using the Protestant term "Service" rather than the Catholic "Mass". (Using the correct terminology would have had the additional benefit for some Protestants of linking the tiara with the "blasphemous" words to a rite they also regarded as blasphemous. No explanation was given as to how a supposed ex-Catholic who supposedly once studied for the priesthood could fail to know the correct Catholic terminology for the ceremony he claimed to have witnessed.
- If he was a student priest in the 1840s, Hoffman would have fallen afoul of the rigid court and ecclesiastical rituals of St. Peter's Basilica and found himself placed far from the Pope behind rows of ordained priests, bishops, archbishops, cardinals, ambassadors, courtiers, papal nobility and royalty. From such a vantage point he would have been hard-pressed to see a papal tiara closely enough to have read writing on it.
- Popes entered St. Peters "in state" carried aloft on the sede gestatoria. As a result the Pope would have been nearly ten feet in the air, with his tiara a further couple of feet higher. In the circumstances, to have been able to see, much less read, any words on a tiara, would have been extremely difficult, particularly for someone seated far away behind dignitaries.
- Hoffman described the words as having been spelt out clearly in jewels. Given that the delicate papier-mâché tiara was no longer worn (it had only been created as a temporary crown in 1800 because no tiara was available in exile), of the other potential tiaras available only the 1820 tiara had sufficient space between the three crowns to place lettering big enough to be read. No evidence exists that that tiara ever contained jewels outside the three crowns. Gregory's own 1834 tiara (image 3) had no room between the lower two crowns for any large lettering, nor was there any room at the top between the top crown and the monde to place readable lettering.
- Hoffman claimed that the word Dei was spelt in diamonds. Papal tiaras traditionally were made from silver (either solid silver or a tight mesh), laid on top of a felt inlay. No explanation was given as to how colourless diamonds could have been seen against a silver backdrop.
- Hoffman maintained that the lettering was on the silver, not attached to the crowns. Neither method of making tiaras would have made this possible. Meshed tiaras consisted of such a tight mesh that it was not possible to thread diamonds into the mesh without risking serious damage either to the tiara or the diamonds. (see an example of the meshing on the 1877 Palatine tiara). It would not be possible to attach diamonds, freestanding, to solid silver other than by a form of glue that would damage both the silver and the diamonds. Yet Hoffman's description claims that the three layers of jewels were somehow freestanding and not part of any of the three crowns.
No images from any sources of supposed Vicarius Filii Dei tiara
All of the tiaras in existence at the time of the creation of photography and hence in the timeframe for the mysterious 'photographic evidence' still exist and seem to have been accounted for, through receipts, repair records, valuations, etc. Given the bureaucracy associated with the use of state items such as crowns in all states and the value of each tiara (some have a modern value of millions of euros), each occasion where such items are worn are formally recorded in files (listing what crown was worn where and for how long, with its removal and return to the location where it was stored formally recorded), and their wearing witnessed by staff, diplomats, the media and the public if the ceremony if occurring in public in St. Peter's Basilica, St. Peter's Square
, the Basilica of St. John Lateran
or elsewhere. No records exist either in newspapers, media coverage, paintings, photographs, state records or in the Vatican suggesting the existence of any tiaras since 1800 other than those existing at present.
Though the evidence supposedly 'exists' in the form of a photograph, in nearly one hundred years no-one has been able to produce the photograph, or even give definitive evidence of its existence, such as stating where exactly it was published.
Technical limitations to photography in 1903 and 1914
Even if, contrary to all the known evidence a triple tiara with those words on it did exist and had been photographed (presumably placed on the coffin of the late Pope), in the absence of modern photographic technology or even telephoto lenses, with constant movement during the funeral ceremony and slow shutter speeds, the chances a camera being able from a distance (and given the restrictions imposed on photographers during a papal funeral, it would have to have been at a distance) to capture lettering on a tiara are remote in the extreme. (One of the websites 'claiming' such a photograph exists shows a photograph of a papal tiara placed on top of the glass-sided coffin of Pius X at his canonisation. Even in the 1950s when that picture was taken, the photographic technology was such that neither the Pope's remains nor the tiara could be clearly seen.)
Tiaras on public display
While 'promoters' of the story constantly demand that the tiaras be 'released so that they can be inspected', the tiaras are all on open display. Many of the most prominent papal tiaras are displayed as part of the Saint Peter and the Vatican: The Legacy of the Popes
exhibition which travels the world; it visited the United States
in 2005. Among the tiaras in this exhibition is the 1877 Palatine Tiara which some claim possesses Vicarius Filii Dei
on it. The eighteenth century tiara is on public display in St. Peter's basilica itself on 29 June
every year, where it is placed on the head of a statue of St. Peter. All the tiaras owned by the Vatican displayed either separately or in groups, not just within the Vatican but even in the United States, where the 'story' first originated. They have also been displayed around Europe. A minority of tiaras are no longer owned by the Vatican, but were given to churches or cathedrals, where they are on display. One of Pius IX's tiaras is on display in a church in Rome while Paul VI's tiara is on permanent display in Washington DC
. Having been seen by large numbers, no-one, whether member of the public, critic or journalist has reported seeing the words Vicarius Filii Dei
on the side of a papal tiara, as is the claim.
Tiara used in 1939 coronation only manufactured in 1877
The papal tiara used in the coronation of Pope Pius XII, which was explicitly stated in one website as being the
tiara with the Vicarius Filii Dei
words spelt out in jewels and diamonds was in fact manufactured in 1877 and so could not have been the tiara with those words supposedly seen in 1832 or 1845. As Pope Pius XII's coronation was filmed and shown in cinemas around the world, had his papal tiara contained such words, they would have been captured by the camera and seen by millions worldwide in cinemas. Even if the actual placing of the crown on Pius's head was not seen clearly from a distance by film cameras, photographers were allowed access, being able to photograph the coronation from within a few feet of the Supreme Pontiff. Pius as a result was pictured from different angles up close. If lettering existed on Pius's exterior crown, it could not but have been seen and pictured. Pius also posed for a series of photographs wearing the tiara. None show lettering on it. During his reign, Pius was photographed wearing the tiara from all angles. No writing was seen either on the front, back or sides of the tiara.
No evidence on mitres
In the absence of any hard evidence of Vicarius Filii Dei
on any papal crown, it has been suggested that it exists on a papal mitre
. The Vatican has an extensive collection of papal mitres covering three categories: the Golden Mitre
), the Precious Mitre
) and the Simplex Mitre
). Only one, the mitra pretiosa
was jewelled and so had the potential for lettering. The other two were plain in colour: one gold, one plain white silk. Images of Popes wearing mitres have existed for centuries, whether as paintings, drawings or in more modern times, photographs.
No independent source unconnected with the religions promoting the Vicarius Filii Dei claims have reported seeing those words on a mitre. Whereas tiaras as secular symbols of papal power may occasionally have been worn where only small groups were present (e.g., meetings with members of the Diplomatic Corp) as well as large gatherings, mitres were unambiguously liturgical in nature and so were worn at religious ceremonies with groups or large congregations in attendance. No independently verified reports exist, however, of a Pope wearing a mitre with the words Vicarius Filii Dei on them.
Many of the Vatican's mitres, but most especially the mitra pretiosa, given their jewelled decoration, are displayed as part of the Saint Peter and the Vatican: The Legacy of the Popes exhibition, in particular the mitra pretiosa of Popes Leo XIII and Paul VI. Other papal mitres, like papal tiaras, are permanently displayed in the Vatican.
Modern origins of the claims
The story seems to owe its modern origins to a written answer to a question published in an American Roman Catholic magazine, Our Sunday Visitor of 15 November 1914, in which a contributor, a priest, referred to the supposed title. The author who repeated the claim later in April 1915 then withdrew it. Among the errors he said he made was to mix up tiaras (about which the question was concerned) and mitres (the word he used in the answer). Though the magazine itself discussed the topic again in September 1917 and August 1941, it never denied the claim of the 1915 article that the title had appeared on the mitre. Critics of the Seventh-day Adventist interpretation of the comment have argued that, firstly, if there were some secret Catholic title that the Church was denying, it would have been unlikely to publish the "secret" in a widely available magazine read by people from all faiths. Secondly, they argue that if it were such a secret, and the questioner was asking about papal tiaras, why then would the priest-author have proceeded to answer a question he wasn't asked, about supposedly secret mitres. When questioned, the magazine wrote to the Seventh-day Adventist Church to inform them that the contributing priest had gotten his facts wrong. The Seventh-day Adventist Church no longer regards the magazine article as anything other than an error and no longer promotes belief in the claim that Vicarius Filii Dei is a papal title.
Seventh-day Adventist Church abandons claim
Today Seventh-day Adventist scholars reject the interpretation. The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary
states, "...no proof for [Uriah Smith's] assertion that these words appear on the papal crown has been discovered". Even conservative scholars such as Samuele Bacchiocchi
and Ángel Manuel Rodríguez
have rejected the interpretation. However, some minority groups within the church still hold on to the belief that such a tiara with such a title existed. The search was resurrected by a minority of individual members when a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church reproduced the original Our Sunday Visitor
article, the article itself being treated as evidence that efforts of the Roman Catholic Church to 'suppress' the truth had failed. (Because the magazine's claim was being used by anti-Catholic campaigners in the United States as proof that the Pope was the Antichrist, the magazine removed that particular issue from its archives, leading to further accusations of a Catholic conspiracy to suppress the 'truth'.)
Though no other evidence apart from one article in one magazine in 1914, repeated in 1915, which subsequently stated twice that it had got its facts wrong, has ever been produced, and photographic evidence disproves claims about the 1939 papal coronation using a tiara with the words emblazoned on it, some groups, both within and outside of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, continue trying to prove both existence of such a papal title and of a tiara bearing the title.
Claim about Pope John Paul's book and the title debunked
Additional claims have been made that the words Vicarius Filii Dei exist in Church documents, including supposedly in a book by Pope John Paul II. However every "quote" produced from the book has been shown to be a mistranslation of the original text. The phrase "who represents the Son of God" from John Paul's book Crossing the Threshold of Hope was described by some promoters of the claim as translating into Latin as "Vicarius filii Dei". Its actual translation is " Filium Dei Repraesentat" (the error was caused when the verb represents was mistranslated as the noun representative.)
Internet revival of the claim
Few mainstream religious faiths subscribe to the Vicarius Filii Dei claims, with many disowning them completely. The claim did however undergo a revival with the appearance of the Internet, with a number of fundamentalist websites promoting the claim, albeit while asking visitors to the site to supply them with physical evidence that proves the website's claim.
Due to the failure to provide any evidence for the existence of the title over the two-thousand year history of the Roman Catholic Church, other than a medieval forgery (the Donation of Constantine) and an article in a minor magazine, subsequently disowned, and the failure of any of those promoting the claim to provide photographic evidence (while claiming a photograph exists) historians, academics and religious leaders view the story as a classic anti-Catholic urban legend, for which not the slightest shred of evidence has been found.
- Bruinsma, Reinder. (1994). Seventh-day Adventist Attitudes Toward Roman Catholicism 1844–1965, Berrien Springs, Michigan. ISBN 1-883925-04-5.
- Heim, Bruno (1978). Heraldry in the Catholic Church: Its Origins, Customs and Laws, Gerrards Cross, Eng.: Van Duren. ISBN 0-905715-05-5.
- Noonan, James-Charles. (1996). The Church Visible: The Ceremonial Life and Protocol of the Roman Catholic Church, New York: Viking. ISBN 0-670-86745-4.
- Smith, Uriah (1881). Thoughts, Critical and Practical on the Book of Revelation, Battle Creek, Mich.: Seventh-day Adventist.
- Smithe, Jefferson (1902). Roman Catholic Ritual, London.