Definition of viaticum in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /vʌɪˈatɪkəm/

noun (plural viatica /vʌɪˈatɪkə/)

1The Eucharist as given to a person near or in danger of death.
Example sentences
  • This was the devastating viaticum of Pomponne de Bellievre for the dying Henry III, king of France.
  • In February 1878 Pius IX died but one month after allowing Victor Emanuel II to receive the viaticum during the king's final bout with malaria.
  • Liturgically, the scene embodies the mass as viaticum, the last mass for the departing soul and a crucial aid for the dying, which Fernando I used as a means of ensuring entrance to Heaven.
2 archaic A supply of provisions or an official allowance of money for a journey.


Mid 16th century: from Latin, neuter of viaticus, from via 'road'.

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.