(Latin: limbus, border, edge)

The abode of those souls excluded from heaven through no fault of theirs; so called because of the ancient belief that it was situated near the confines of hell. Theologians distinguish a two-fold limbo: the limbo of the Fathers (limbus patrum), where the just that died before Christ, were detained until heaven, which had been closed in punishment for the sin of Adam, was reopened by the Saviour; and the limbo of infants (limbus infantium), where those who die in original sin, but without personal mortal sin, are deprived of the happiness which would come to them in the supernatural order, but not of happiness in the natural order.

New Catholic Dictionary

NCD Index SQPN Contact Author