On-line Calendar of Saints Days

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Welcome to the "On-line Calendar of Saints Days"

Note: This document was produced as a research tool for Medieval and Renaissance studies, so it focuses on people recognized as saints in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The saints indexed here are those you might find listed in the calendars of Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. Occasionally, a later saint may appear, but no effort has been made to include them. For information on saints from later periods (by which I mean c. 1500 to the present) you will have to look elsewhere (try the Catholic Online Saints Pages). For Greek Saints Days, see the Orthodox Ministry Access Calendar.

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The "On-line Calendar of Saints Days" is a hypertext guide to the feast days of Christian saints. It is based on several different dictionaries of saints (but primarily on Hermann Grotefend's Taschenbuch der Zeitrechnung). Unlike many of those other dictionaries, however, this one is organized by date, rather than by the name of the saint. When you look up a day, you will find the names of the saints celebrated on that day, together with the names of some of the places in which the feast is (or was) especially important.

If you were to select "January 12" for example, you would find the following entry:

  • Aelred, abbot [BLS]
  • Arcadius, martyr [BLS]
  • Benedict (Biscop), abbot (of Wearmouth), confessor [GTZ: Durham]
  • Caesaria, virgin [BLS]
  • John, pope [HCC]
  • Satyrus, martyr [GTZ: Lebus]
  • Tatiana, virgin, martyr [BLS]
  • Tigrius and Eutropius, martyrs [BLS]
  • Victorianus, abbot [BLS]

This tells you that January 12th is the feast day of Aelred, Arcadius, Benedict Biscop, and various other saints. In the entry for Benedict Biscop, you can see that this saint was an abbot (at Wearmouth, in northern England), and a confessor, and that, according to Grotefend's Taschenbuch (GTZ), his cult was especially important at Durham.

The various abbreviations that appear in the entry above indicate the sources from which the information was drawn. The sources consulted for this project were:

  • HBD: F.G. Holweck, A Biographical Dictionary of the Saints (St. Louis: B. Herder, 1924. Reprint. Detroit: Gale Research, 1969).
  • BLS: Alban Butler, The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and other Principal Saints (London: Virtue, [1936?]).
  • GTZ: Hermann Grotefend, Taschenbuch der Zeitrechnung des Deutschen Mittelalters und der Neuzeit, 10th edition (Hannover: Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 1960). See online version.
  • MR: Missale Romanum (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1975).
  • PCP: Paul Perdrizet, Le Calendrier Parisien à la fin du moyen âge, d'après le bréviaire et les livres d'heures (Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1933).
  • WTS: Roger Wieck, Time Sanctified: The Book of Hours in Medieval Art and Life (New York: George Braziller, in association with the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, 1988).

Some entries still contain references to sources used in an experimental phase of this project. These are:

  • HCC: The Hours of Catherine of Cleves, introduction and commentaries by John Plummer (New York: George Braziller, n.d.).
  • PRI: The Primer, or Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in Latin and English (Antwerp: Arnold Conings, 1599).
  • 6082: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Vat. lat. 6082, a twelfth-century Benedictine manuscript from southern Italy.

If a feast is listed as "common," that means that it appears on that date in most of the sources consulted. If no source is given for a particular listing, that means the feast is pretty much universal.

The various sources consulted use different spellings for the various saints names. When a choice of spellings exists, I have generally used the Anglicized spelling employed by Holweck. If you wish to check on variant spelling, you will have to look in Holweck, or some other source.

This document was created as a research tool for Medieval and Renaissance studies. It can be used, for example, as an aid to localizing manuscripts containing calendars (Books of Hours, breviaries, etc.). To do this, you would have to go through the entire calendar of the manuscript you wish to localize, checking each saint against the names listed under the corresponding date in the on-line calendar. Many of these saints will be listed as "common" and will not aid in localizing your manuscript. Others will be identified as particular to certain regions, or cities, or even churches. Note the localities attached to the names of such saints. When you are finished, you will have a list of localities in which certain place names occur more frequently that others (for example, "Paris" might appear more often than any other place name). This list will give you a good idea of where your calendar was intended to be used.

The On-line Calendar of Saints Days is maintained by Glenn Gunhouse. Comments, criticisms, and corrections should be sent to him at (ggunhouse@gmail.com).

If you find this site useful, you might also be interested in the Hypertext Book of Hours and the Parallel Latin/English Psalter.


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