Panis Benedictus

Panis Benedictus (blessed bread), a portion of bread in the ancient African Church, which, being seasoned with salt, was given with milk and honey at baptism. SEE HONEY; SEE MILK. The expression in the patristic writings first occurs in Augustine's work on Baptism. It has given rise to a perplexing controversy respecting the sacrament of the catechumens (q.v.). Bonar, Basnage, and Bingham contend that the panits benedictus of Augustine was not the sacramental bread at all, but bread seasoned with salt; and that the baptism so administered was regarded by the early Christians as the emblem of purity and incorruption. The blessed bread of the Greek Church is the Antidoron (q.v.).

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