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Limbus Patrum

The half-way house between earth and heaven, where the patriarchs and prophets, after death, await the coming of Messiah. According to the Roman Catholic notion, this is the “hell,” or hades, into which Jesus Christ descended after He gave up the ghost on the cross. Limbo, and sometimes Limbo patrum, is used for “quod,” jail, confinement.

“I have some of them in limbo patrum, and there they are like to dance these three days.” —Shakespeare: Henry VIII., v. 4.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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