daily bread

(Greek: artos epiousious, translated in the Vulgate as panem nostrum supersubstantialem in Matthew 6, and panem nostrum quotidianum, in Luke, 11)

Term used in the fourth petition uf the Our Father. Among the Hebrews bread was the principal article of food, thus signifying all the physical necessities of life. Therefore it is for these above all we ask God in this petition. Many of the Fathers of the Church (Saints Cyprian, Hilary, Ambrose, Jerome, Peter Chrysologus, and Augustine) and some later exegetes think the word "bread" refers to the necessities of our spiritual life, e.g., the word of God, all the aids to salvation, and, especially, the Holy Eucharist. The textual rendition may admit two interpretations of "daily": Both renditions mean "bread needed daily," and "bread necessary for life."

New Catholic Dictionary

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