A martyrology is a catalogue or list of martyrs and other saints and beati arranged in the calendar order of their anniversaries or feasts. Local martyrologies record exclusively the custom of a particular Church. Local lists were enriched by names borrowed from neighbouring churches. Consolidation occurred, by the combination of several local martyrologies, with or without borrowings from literary sources.
This is the now accepted meaning in the Latin Church. In the Orthodox Church, the nearest equivalent to the martyrology is the Synaxarion and the longer Menologion.[a] As regards form, one should distinguish between simple martyrologies that simply enumerate names, and historical martyrologies, which also include stories or biographical details; for the latter, the term passionary is also used.
The martyrology, or ferial, of the Roman Church in the middle of the fourth century still exists. It comprises two distinct lists, the Depositio martyrum and the Depositio episcoporum, lists most frequently found united.
Among the Roman martyrs, mention is already made in the Ferial of some African martyrs (March 7, Perpetua and Felicitas; September 14, Cyprian). The calendar of Carthage, which belongs to the sixth century, contains a larger portion of foreign martyrs and even of confessors not belonging to that Church.
The most influential of the local martyrologies is the martyrology commonly called Hieronymian, because it is (pseudepigraphically) attributed to St. Jerome. It was presumably drawn up in Italy in the second half of the fifth century, and underwent recension in Gaul, probably at Auxerre, in the late sixth. All known manuscripts of the text spring from this Gallican recension.
Setting aside the additions it later received, the chief sources of the Hieronymian are a general martyrology of the Churches of the East, the local martyrology of the Church of Rome, a general martyrology of Italy, a general martyrology of Africa, and some literary sources, among them Eusebius.
Victor De Buck ("Acta SS.", Octobris, XII, 185, and elsewhere) identified the relationship of the Hieronymian Martyrology to the Syriac Martyrology discovered by Wright. This is of assistance in recognizing the existence of a general martyrology of the East, written in Greek at Nicomedia, and which served as a source for the Hieronymian.
Unfortunately, this document is in a lamentable condition. Proper names are distorted, repeated or misplaced, and in many places the text is so corrupt that it is impossible to understand it. With the exception of a few traces of borrowings from the Passions of the martyrs, the compilation is in the form of a simple martyrology.
There were three manuscript versions: that of Bern, Wolfenbuttel. and Echternach. The latter is thought to be the earliest, based on a copy possibly brought to England by Augustine of Canterbury in 597, and written at the Abbey of Echternach, founded by the English missionary Willibrord.
The Martyrologium Hieronymianum Epternacense, now in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, is thought to have been written in the early eighth century as an Insular version of the "Hieronymianum", compiled from two separate copies. In some instances the feast is misplaced by a day. Also known as the Echternach recension, it was adapted to the English Church, incorporating memorials for Augustine of Canterbury, Paulinus of York and others.
In 1885 De Rossi and Duchesne published a memoir entitled Les sources du martyrologe hiéronymien (in Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire, V), which became the starting-point of a critical edition of the martyrology, published through their efforts in Vol. II for November of the "Acta SS." in 1894.
The medievalist Dom Henri Quentin and Bollandist Hippolyte Delehaye collaborated on an annotated edition, Commentarius Perpetuus in Martyrologium Hieronymianum, (Brussels, in 1931); Quentin supplied the textual commentary and Delehaye the historical.
There is another type of martyrology in which the name is followed by a short history of the saint. These are the historical martyrologies. There exists a large number of them, from the ninth century. It may be said that their chief sources are, besides the Hieronymian, accounts derived from the Acts of the martyrs and some ecclesiastical authors.
Of the best-known historical martyrologies, the oldest go under the names of:
The first edition of the Roman martyrology appeared at Rome in 1583. The third edition, which appeared in 1584, was approved by Gregory XIII, who imposed the Roman martyrology upon the whole Church. In 1586, Baronius published his annotated edition, which in spite of its omissions and inaccuracies is a mine of valuable information.
The historical martyrologies taken as a whole have been studied by Dom Quentin (1908). There are also numerous editions of calendars or martyrologies of less universal interest, and commentaries upon them. Mention ought to be made of the famous marble calendar of Naples.
The critical study of martyrologies is rendered difficult by the multitude and the disparate character of the elements that compose them. Early researches dealt with the historical martyrologies.
The chief works on the martyrologies are those of Heribert Rosweyde, who in 1613 published at Antwerp the martyrology of Ado; of Sollerius, to whom we owe a learned edition of Usuard; and of Fiorentini, who published in 1688 an annotated edition of the Martyrology of St Jerome. The critical edition of the latter by J. B. de Rossi and Louis Duchesne, was published in 1894.
The notes of Baronius on the Roman Martyrology cannot be passed over in silence, the work having done much towards making known the historical sources of the compilations of the Middle Ages. In Vol. II for March of the "Acta Sanctorum" (1668) the Bollandists furnished new materials for martyrological criticism by their publication entitled Martyrologium venerabilis Bedæ presbyteri ex octo antiquis manuscriptis acceptum cum auctario Flori …. The results then achieved were in part corrected, in part rendered more specific, by the great work of Père Du Sollier, Martyrologium Usuardi monachi (Antwerp, 1714), published in parts in Vols. VI and VII for June of the "Acta Sanctorum."
Although Du Sollier's text of Usuard is not beyond criticism, the edition surpasses anything of the kind previously attempted. Henri Quentin (Les Martyrologes historiques du moyen âge, Paris, 1908) took up the general question and succeeded in giving a reasonable solution, thanks to careful study of the manuscripts.
As regards documents, the most important distinction is between local and general martyrologies. The former give a list of the festivals of some particular Church; the latter are the result of a combination of several local martyrologies. We may add certain compilations of a factitious character, to which the name of martyrology is given by analogy, e.g. the Martyrologe universel of Chatelain (1709). As types of local martyrologies we may quote that of Rome, formed from the Depositio martyrum and the Depositio episcoporum of the chronograph of 354; the Gothic calendar of Ulfila`s Bible, the calendar of Carthage published by Mabillon, the calendar of fasts and vigils of the Church of Tours, going back as far as Bishop Perpetuus (d. 490), and preserved in the Historia Francorum (xi. 31) of Gregory of Tours. The Syriac martyrology discovered by Wright (Journal of Sacred Literature, 1866) gives the idea of a general martyrology.
Prior to Vatican II, the Martyrology was read publicly as part of the Roman Catholic Divine Office at Prime. It was always anticipated, that is, the reading for the following day was read. After Vatican II, the office of Prime was suppressed. A fully revised edition was issued in 2001, with rubrics suggesting that the Martyrology might be proclaimed at the end of the celebration of Lauds or of one of the Little Hours, or apart from liturgical celebrations in community gatherings for meetings or meals.
The model of the Roman Martyrology is directly derived from the historical martyrologies. It is in sum the Martyrology of Usuard, completed by the "Dialogues" of Pope Gregory I and the works of some of the Fathers, and for the Greek saints by the catalogue known as the Menologion of Sirlet. The editio princeps appeared at Rome in 1583, under the title: Martyrologium romanum ad novam kalendarii rationem et ecclesiasticæ historiæ veritatem restitutum, Gregorii XIII pont. max. iussu editum. It bears no approbation. A second edition also appeared at Rome in the same year. This was soon replaced by the edition of 1584, which was approved and imposed on the entire Roman rite of the Church by Pope Gregory XIII. Baronius revised and corrected this work and republished it in 1586, with the Notationes and the Tractatio de Martyrologio Romano. The Antwerp edition of 1589 was corrected in some places by Baronius himself. A new edition of the text and the notes took place under Pope Urban VIII and was published in 1630. Pope Benedict XIV was also interested in the Roman Martyrology: his Bull of 1748 addressed to John V, King of Portugal, was often included as a preface in printed copies of the Roman Martyrology.
After the Second Vatican Council, a fully revised edition was promulgated in 2001, followed in 2005 by a version (bearing the publication date of 2004) that adjusted a number of typographical errors that appeared in the 2001 edition and added 117 people canonized or beatified between 2001 and 2004, as well as a number of more ancient saints not included in the previous edition. "The updated Martyrology contains 7,000 saints and blesseds currently venerated by the Church, and whose cult is officially recognized and proposed to the faithful as models worthy of imitation."
Ado of Vienne (Latin: Ado Viennensis, French: Adon de Vienne; died 16 December 874) was archbishop of Vienne in Lotharingia from 850 until his death and is venerated as a saint. He belonged to a prominent Frankish family and spent much his early adulthood in Italy. Several of his letters are extant and reveal their writer as an energetic man of wide sympathies and considerable influence. Ado's principal works are a martyrology, and a chronicle, Chronicon sive Breviarium chronicorum de sex mundi aetatibus de Adamo usque ad annum 869.Ananias of Damascus
Ananias ( AN-ə-NY-əs; Ancient Greek: Ἀνανίας, same as Hebrew חנניה, Hananiah, "favoured of the LORD") was a disciple of Jesus at Damascus mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible, which describes how he was sent by Jesus to restore the sight of "Saul, of Tarsus" (known later as Paul the Apostle) and provide him with additional instruction in the way of the Lord.Dalua of Tibradden
Saint Dalua of Tibradden (Irish: Do-Lúe, Latin: Daluanus), also called Dalua of Craoibheach, was an early Irish saint who is said to have been a disciple of St. Patrick. He founded a church that became known as Dun Tighe Bretan (Tibradden) which is located today in the townland of Cruagh, Co. Dublin.Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar
The Eastern Orthodox Liturgical Calendar describes and dictates the rhythm of the life of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Passages of Holy Scripture, saints and events for commemoration are associated with each date, as are many times special rules for fasting or feasting that correspond to the day of the week or time of year in relationship to the major feast days.
There are two types of feasts in the Orthodox Church calendar: fixed and movable. Fixed feasts occur on the same calendar day every year, whereas movable feasts change each year. The moveable feasts are generally relative to Pascha (Easter), and so the cycle of moveable feasts is referred to as the Paschal cycle.Martyrologium Hieronymianum
The Martyrologium Hieronymianum or Martyrologium sancti Hieronymi (both meaning "martyrology of Jerome") is an ancient martyrology or list of Christian martyrs in calendar order, one of the most used and influential of the Middle Ages. It is the oldest surviving general or "universal" martyrology, and the precursor of all later Western martyrologies.
Pseudepigraphically attributed to Saint Jerome, the Martyrologium Hieronymianum contains a reference to him derived from the opening chapter of his Life of Malchus (392 AD) where Jerome states his intention to write a history of the saints and martyrs from the apostolic times: "I decided to write [a history, mentioned earlier] from the coming of the savior up to our age, that is, from the apostles, up to the dregs of our time".Martyrology of Tallaght
The Martyrology of Tallaght, which is closely related to the Félire Óengusso or Martyrology of Óengus the Culdee, is an eighth- or ninth-century martyrology, a list of saints and their feast days assembled by Máel Ruain and/or Óengus the Culdee at Tallaght Monastery, near Dublin. The Martyrology of Tallaght is in prose and contains two sections for each day of the year, one general and one for Irish saints. It also has a prologue and an epilogue.Martyrology of Usuard
The Martyrology of Usuard is a work by Usuard, a monk of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. The prologue is dedicated to Charles the Bald indicating that it was undertaken at that monarch's instigation. It was apparently written shortly before the author's death.
Usuard was a prominent member of his order and he had been sent on a mission to Spain in 858 to procure certain important relics, of which journey an account is still preserved. The Martyrologium which bears his name, a compilation upon which the Roman Martyrology depends very closely, remained throughout the Middle Ages the most famous document of its kind. It is preserved to us in innumerable manuscripts, of which Henri Quentin gives a partial list (Martyrologes historiques, 1908, pp. 675–7).
The full story of the relation of the texts was unravelled for the first time by Quentin, and the evolution of the early medieval martyrologia culminating in Usuard's work was told by Quentin in the book just cited. Usuard provided what was substantially an abridgement of Ado's Martyrology in a form better adapted for practical liturgical use. In certain points, however, Usuard reverted to a Lyonese recension of Bede's augmented Martyrology, which was attributed to the archdeacon Florus of Lyon.
The text of Usuard's Martyrologium was edited by Jacques Bouillart (Paris, 1718) from manuscript Latini 13745 at Paris, which, if not the autograph of the author, dates at any rate from his time. A still more elaborate edition was brought out by the Bollandist Father Jean-Baptiste Du Sollier.Menologium
Menologium (English: ), also written menology, and menologe, is a service-book used in the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Rite of Constantinople.
From its derivation from Greek μηνολόγιον, menológion, from μήν mén "a month", via Latin menologium, the literal meaning is "month-set"—in other words, a book arranged according to the months. Like a good many other liturgical terms (e.g., lectionary), the word has been used in several quite distinct senses.Mícheál Ó Cléirigh
Mícheál Ó Cléirigh (c. 1590 – 1643), sometimes known as Michael O'Clery, was an Irish chronicler, scribe and antiquary and chief author of the Annals of the Four Masters, assisted by Cú Choigcríche Ó Cléirigh, Fearfeasa Ó Maol Chonaire, and Peregrinus Ó Duibhgeannain. He was a member of the O'Cleric Bardic family and compiled with others the Annála Ríoghachta Éireann (Annals of the kingdom of Ireland) at Bundrowse in County Leitrim on 10 August 1636. He also wrote the Martyrology of Donegal in the 17th Century.Philomena
Saint Philomena was a young consecrated virgin whose remains were discovered on May 24/25 1802 in the Catacomb of Priscilla. Three tiles enclosing the tomb bore an inscription, Pax Tecum Filumena (i.e. "Peace be unto you, Philomena"), that was taken to indicate that her name (in the Latin of the inscription) was Filumena, the English form of which is Philomena. Philomena is the patron saint of infants, babies, and youth.
The remains were translated (moved) to Mugnano del Cardinale in 1805. There, they became the focus of widespread devotion; several miracles were credited to the saint's intercession, including the healing of Venerable Pauline Jaricot in 1835, which received wide publicity. Saint John Vianney attributed to her intercession the extraordinary cures that others attributed to himself.
In 1833, a Neapolitan nun reported that Philomena had appeared in a vision to her, and the Saint had revealed that she was a Greek princess, martyred at 13 years of age by Diocletian, who was Roman Emperor from 284 to 305.
From 1837 to 1961, celebration of her liturgical feast was approved for some places, but was never included in the General Roman Calendar for universal use. The 1920 typical edition of the Roman Missal included a mention of her, under August 11, in the section headed Missae pro aliquibus locis ("Masses for some places"), with an indication that the Mass to be used in those places was one from the common of a virgin martyr, without any collect proper to the saint.Pope Soter
Pope Soter (Latin: Soterius; died c. 174) was the Bishop of Rome from c. 167 to his death c. 174. According to the Annuario Pontificio, the dates may have ranged from 162–168 to 170–177. He was born in Fondi, Campania, today Lazio region, Italy. Soter is known for declaring that marriage was valid only as a sacrament blessed by a priest and also for formally inaugurating Easter as an annual festival in Rome.
His name, from Greek Σωτήριος from σωτήρ "saviour", would be his baptismal name, as his lifetime predates the tradition of adopting papal names.Roman Martyrology
The Roman Martyrology (Latin: Martyrologium Romanum) is the official martyrology of the Catholic Church. Its use is obligatory in matters regarding the Roman Rite liturgy, but dioceses, countries and religious institutes may add to it duly approved appendices. It provides an extensive but not exhaustive list of the saints recognized by the Church.Saint Pudens
Saint Pudens was an early Christian saint and martyr.
He is mentioned as a layman of the Roman Church in 2 Timothy 4:21. According to tradition, he lodged Saint Peter and was baptised by him, and was martyred under Nero (reigned 54–68). He is commemorated on April 14 in the Eastern Orthodox Church calendar and May 19 according to the Dominican Martyrology.
He is said to have been the son of Quintus Cornelius Pudens, a Roman Senator. He is said to have had two sons, Novatus and Timotheus, and two daughters, Praxedes and Pudentiana, all saints, but if Pudens' life is documented, those of his daughters is derived only by the existence of two ancient churches, Santa Prassede and Santa Pudenziana in Rome.
The acts of the synod of Pope Symmachus (499) show the existence of a titulus Pudentis, a church with the authority to administer sacraments, which was also known as ecclesia Pudentiana.Saint Ursula
Saint Ursula (Latin for 'little female bear') is a Romano-British Christian saint, died on October 21, 383. Her feast day in the pre-1970 General Roman Calendar is October 21. There is little definite information about her and the anonymous group of holy virgins who accompanied her and on some uncertain date were killed at Cologne. They remain in the Roman Martyrology, although their commemoration does not appear in the simplified Calendarium Romanum Generale (General Roman Calendar) of the 1970 Missale Romanum.The earliest evidence of her is a 4th- or 5th-century inscription from the Church of St. Ursula, located on Ursulaplatz in Cologne which states that the ancient basilica had been restored on the site where some holy virgins were killed.
There is only one church dedicated to Saint Ursula in the UK, it is located in Wales at Llangwryfon, Ceredigion.
Her legendary status comes from a medieval story that she was a princess who, at the request of her father King Dionotus of Dumnonia in south-west Britain, set sail along with 11,000 virginal handmaidens to join her future husband, the pagan governor Conan Meriadoc of Armorica. After a miraculous storm brought them over the sea in a single day to a Gaulish port, Ursula declared that before her marriage she would undertake a pan-European pilgrimage. She headed for Rome with her followers and persuaded the Pope, Cyriacus (unknown in the pontifical records, though from late 384 AD there was a Pope Siricius), and Sulpicius, bishop of Ravenna, to join them. After setting out for Cologne, which was being besieged by Huns, all the virgins were beheaded in a massacre. The Huns' leader fatally shot Ursula with a bow and arrow in about 383 AD (the date varies).Saint Valentine
Saint Valentine (Italian: San Valentino, Latin: Valentinus), officially Saint Valentine of Rome, was a widely recognized 3rd-century Roman saint, commemorated in Christianity on February 14 and since the High Middle Ages is associated with a tradition of courtly love.
Saint Valentine of Rome was a priest and bishop in the Roman Empire who ministered to persecuted Christians. He was martyred and his body buried at a Christian cemetery on the Via Flaminia close to the Ponte Milvio to the north of Rome, on February 14, which has been observed as the Feast of Saint Valentine (Saint Valentine's Day) since 496 AD. Relics of him were kept in the Church and Catacombs of San Valentino in Rome, which "remained an important pilgrim site throughout the Middle Ages until the relics of St. Valentine were transferred to the church of Santa Prassede during the pontificate of Nicholas IV". His skull, crowned with flowers, is exhibited in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome; other relics of him were taken to Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland, where they remain; this house of worship continues to be a popular place of pilgrimage, especially on Saint Valentine's Day, for those seeking love. For Saint Valentine of Rome, along with Saint Valentine of Terni, "abstracts of the acts of the two saints were in nearly every church and monastery of Europe", according to Professor Jack B. Oruch of the University of Kansas.Saint Valentine is commemorated in the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Churches on February 14. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, he is recognized on July 6; in addition, the Eastern Orthodox Church observes the feast of Hieromartyr Valentine, Bishop of Interamna, on July 30. In 1969, the Roman Catholic Church removed his name from the General Roman Calendar, leaving his liturgical celebration to local calendars, though use of the pre-1970 liturgical calendar is also authorized under the conditions indicated in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of 2007. The Roman Catholic Church continues to recognize him as a saint, listing him as such in the February 14 entry in the Roman Martyrology, and authorizing liturgical veneration of him on February 14 in any place where that day is not devoted to some other obligatory celebration, in accordance with the rule that on such a day the Mass may be that of any saint listed in the Martyrology for that day.Samson of Dol
Saint Samson of Dol (also Samsun; born c. late 5th century) was a Christian religious figure, who is counted among the seven founder saints of Brittany with Pol Aurelian, Tugdual or Tudwal, Brieuc, Malo, Patern (Paternus) and Corentin. Born in southern Wales, he died in Dol-de-Bretagne, a small town in north Brittany.Syrian Martyrology of Rabban Silba
The Syrian Martyrology of Rabban Silba is a book containing the names and feast days of a number of martyrs of the Syriac Orthodox Church. It was edited by P. Paul Peeters, S.J., and published in Analecta Bollandiana #27 in 1908.Ten Martyrs
The Ten Martyrs (Hebrew: עשרת הרוגי מלכות Aseret Harugei Malchut) were ten rabbis living during the era of the Mishnah who were martyred by the Roman Empire in the period after the destruction of the Second Temple. Their story is detailed in Midrash Eleh Ezkerah.
Although not killed at the same time (since two of the rabbis listed lived well before the other eight), a dramatic poem (known as Eleh Ezkera) tells their story as if they were killed together. This poem is recited on Yom Kippur, and a variation of it on Tisha BeAv.Óengus of Tallaght
Óengus mac Óengobann, better known as Saint Óengus of Tallaght or Óengus the Culdee, was an Irish bishop, reformer and writer, who flourished in the first quarter of the 9th century and is held to be the author of the Félire Óengusso ("Martyrology of Óengus") and possibly the Martyrology of Tallaght.
Little of Óengus's life and career is reliably attested. The most important sources include internal evidence from the Félire, a later Middle Irish preface to that work, a biographic poem beginning Aíbind suide sund amne ("Delightful to sit here thus") and the entry for his feast-day inserted into the Martyrology of Tallaght.
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