POSTULATION: In canon law a legalized procedure of choosing a higher ecclesiastical official where the candidate may be debarred by lacking some of the canonical qualifications or by holding another office which would hinder the legal acceptance of the one to be filled. Through postulation (postulo), petition is made for the availability of the person in question for election. Postulation may be simple where it refers to dismission on account of some official impediment; or it may be ceremonial and more real where it refers to canonical defects (of which only minor ones are admissible) or when, for instance, the candidate is the confirmed bishop of a diocese. The proceeding in the case of the simple postulation is like that of election. In the case of the ceremonial an absolute majority is necessary, unless there is competition with a wholly qualified candidate, in which case there is required a majority of two-thirds. After the ceremonial postulation, the candidate made eligible must seek admissio just as confirmatio after an election. In the case of the rejection of the postulation the power of appointment reverts to the pope. With reference to the P^assian bishoprics as circumscribed in 1821 the distinction between postulation and election was removed.

POTAMIĆNA: Christian slave and martyr at Alexandria. The only two sources of value concerning her, Eusebius (Hist. eccl., VI,, v.; Eng. transl., NPNF, 2 ser., i. 253) and Palladius (Historia Lausiaca, iii.; MPG; xxxiv. 1009, 1014), report that Potamisena belonged to the metropolitan district of Egypt and was a martyr to modesty and chastity rather than to religion. According to Eusebius, she was plunged into a kettle filled with boiling pitch during the reign of Septimius Severus (202-211), a certain Aquila then being president of Alexandria, or according to Palladius in the reign


of Maximinus II. (about 306-310). The account of Eusebius has been subjected to sharp criticism, partly on account of a general resemblance of his description to many forged acts of martyrs. It should be noted, moreover, that, according to Eusebius himself, legend early clustered round Potarmićna's name. It seems probable that Potamićna was really martyred, as Palladius states, during the persecution of Maximinus, especially as particularly barbarous modes of execution were employed by him; Palladius adds that he heard of her martyrdom, at least indirectly, from St. Anthony, the father of hermits.


BIBLIOGRAPHY: The sources are indicated in the text; discussions of these are: B. Aubé, Les Chrtiens dans l'empire romain pp, 132-137, Paris 1881; P. Allard, Hist. des persécutions ii. 75, 78 ib. 1886; Tillemont, Mémoires, iii. 287-273, 511-512; DCB, iv. 447.


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