felix culpa

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From Latin fēlīx culpa (happy fault), in Roman Catholic theology.


felix culpa (plural felix culpas)

  1. (literally) A "happy fault" or "fortunate fall".
  2. (literary) A series of miserable events will eventually lead to a happier outcome.
  3. (religion) The Biblical story of the fall of Adam and Eve and the loss of the Garden of Eden, known theologically as the source of original sin - meaning that this loss of innocence was a fortunate fall because of the good that would come from it, that is, Christian redemption and the eventual hope of Heaven.



From fēlīx (happy) + culpa (fault, blame).


fēlīx culpa

  1. (religion) blessed fault, fortunate fall, used in reference to the Fall of Man.
    • 1265-1274. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, III, 1, 3, ad 3,
      O felix culpa!
    • Traditional Latin Mass, and Exsultet of the Easter Vigil masses:
      O felix culpa quae talem et tantum meruit habere redemptorem. ("O happy fault that earned us so good and great a Redeemer.")