Calendar of saints

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A medieval manuscript fragment of Finnish origin, about 1340–1360, utilized by the Dominican convent at Turku Calendar of saints.jpg
A medieval manuscript fragment of Finnish origin, about 1340–1360, utilized by the Dominican convent at Turku

The calendar of saints is a traditional Christian method of organizing a liturgical year by associating each day with one or more saints and referring to the day as the feast day or feast of said saint. The word "feast" in this context does not mean "a large meal, typically a celebratory one", but instead "an annual religious celebration, a day dedicated to a particular saint". [1]

Christianity is a monotheistic Abrahamic religion faith based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Most, but not all Christians get baptized, celebrate the Lord's Supper, pray the Lord's Prayer and other prayers, read or listen to the Bible, have clergy, and attend group worship services.

Liturgical year annually recurring fixed sequence of Christian parties and festive seasons

The liturgical year, also known as the church year or Christian year, as well as the kalendar, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches that determines when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read either in an annual cycle or in a cycle of several years.

Saint one who has been recognized for having an exceptional degree of holiness, sanctity, and virtue

A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. Depending on the context and denomination, the term also retains its original Christian meaning, as any believer who is "in Christ" and in whom Christ dwells, whether in Heaven or on Earth. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation; official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

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The system arose from the early Christian custom of commemorating each martyr annually on the date of his or her death, or birth into heaven, a date therefore referred to in Latin as the martyr's dies natalis ("day of birth"). In the Eastern Orthodox Church, a calendar of saints is called a Menologion . [2] "Menologion" may also mean a set of icons on which saints are depicted in the order of the dates of their feasts, often made in two panels.

Martyr person who suffers persecution and death for advocating, refusing to renounce, and/or refusing to advocate a belief or cause, usually a religious one

A martyr is someone who suffers persecution and death for advocating, renouncing, refusing to renounce, or refusing to advocate a belief or cause as demanded by an external party. This refusal to comply with the presented demands results in the punishment or execution of the martyr by the oppressor. Originally applied only to those who suffered for their religious beliefs, the term has come to be used in connection with people killed for a political cause.

Latin Indo-European language of the Italic family

Latin is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. The Latin alphabet is derived from the Etruscan and Greek alphabets, and ultimately from the Phoenician alphabet.

Eastern Orthodox Church Christian Church

The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 200–260 million members. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Pope of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops.

History

A Welsh calendar of saint days c. 1488–1498 P. 13 a calendar of saint days.jpg
A Welsh calendar of saint days c. 1488–1498
Excerpt from the Irish Feastology of Oengus, presenting the entries for 1 and 2 January in the form of quatrains of four six-syllabic lines for each day. In this 16th-century copy (MS G10 at the National Library of Ireland) we find pairs of two six-syllabic lines combined into bold lines, amended by glosses and notes that were added by later authors. National Library of Ireland MS G10 p24.jpg
Excerpt from the Irish Feastology of Oengus, presenting the entries for 1 and 2 January in the form of quatrains of four six-syllabic lines for each day. In this 16th-century copy (MS G10 at the National Library of Ireland) we find pairs of two six-syllabic lines combined into bold lines, amended by glosses and notes that were added by later authors.

As the number of recognized saints increased during Late Antiquity and the first half of the Middle Ages, eventually every day of the year had at least one saint who was commemorated on that date. To deal with this increase, some saints were moved to alternate days in some traditions or completely removed, with the result that some saints have different feast days in different calendars. For example, St. Perpetua and Felicity died on 7 March, but this date was later assigned to St. Thomas Aquinas, allowing them only a commemoration (see Tridentine Calendar), so in 1908 they were moved one day earlier. [3] When the 1969 reform of the Catholic calendar moved him to 28 January, they were moved back to 7 March (see General Roman Calendar). Both days can thus be said to be their feast day, in different traditions. The Roman Catholic calendars of saints in their various forms, which list those saints celebrated in the entire church, contains only a selection of the saints for each of its days. A fuller list is found in the Roman Martyrology, and some of the saints there may be celebrated locally.

Middle Ages Period of European history from the 5th through the 15th centuries

In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery. The Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, and the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early, High, and Late Middle Ages.

Thomas Aquinas Dominican scholastic philosopher of the Roman Catholic Church

Saint Thomas Aquinas was an Italian Dominican friar, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church. He was an immensely influential philosopher, theologian, and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism, within which he is also known as the Doctor Angelicus and the Doctor Communis. The name Aquinas identifies his ancestral origins in the county of Aquino in present-day Lazio, Italy.

The Tridentine Calendar is the calendar of saints to be honoured in the course of the liturgical year in the official liturgy of the Roman Rite as reformed by Pope Pius V, implementing a decision of the Council of Trent, which entrusted the task to the Pope.

The earliest feast days of saints were those of martyrs, venerated as having shown for Christ the greatest form of love, in accordance with the teaching: "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." [4] Saint Martin of Tours is said to be the first [5] [6] or at least one of the first non-martyrs to be venerated as a saint. The title "confessor" was used for such saints, who had confessed their faith in Christ by their lives rather than by their deaths. Martyrs are regarded as dying in the service of the Lord, and confessors are people who died natural deaths. A broader range of titles was used later, such as: Virgin, Pastor, Bishop, Monk, Priest, Founder, Abbot, Apostle, Doctor of the Church.

Martin of Tours Christian saint

Saint Martin of Tours was the third bishop of Tours. He has become one of the most familiar and recognizable Christian saints in Western tradition.

Confessor is a title used within Christianity in several ways.

Virgin (title)

The title Virgin is an honorific bestowed on female saints and blesseds in both the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

The Tridentine Missal has common formulæ for Masses of Martyrs, Confessors who were bishops, Doctors of the Church, Confessors who were not Bishops, Abbots, Virgins, Non-Virgins, Dedication of Churches, and Feast Days of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pope Pius XII added a common formula for Popes. The 1962 Roman Missal of Pope John XXIII omitted the common of Apostles, assigning a proper Mass to every feast day of an Apostle. The present Roman Missal has common formulas for the Dedication of Churches, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Martyrs (with special formulas for missionary martyrs and virgin martyrs), Pastors (subdivided into bishops, generic pastors, founders of churches, and missionaries), Doctors of the Church, Virgins, and (generic) Saints (with special formulas for abbots, monks, nuns, religious, those noted for works of mercy, educators, and [generically] women saints).

Tridentine Mass type of mass in the Roman Catholic Church

The Tridentine Mass, also known as the Traditional Latin Mass, Usus Antiquior or Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, is the Roman Rite Mass which appears in typical editions of the Roman Missal published from 1570 to 1962. The most widely used Mass liturgy in the world until the introduction of the Mass of Paul VI in 1969, it is celebrated in ecclesiastical Latin. The 1962 edition is the most recent authorized text, also known as the Missal of Saint John XXIII after the now canonized Pope who promulgated it.

The common or common of saints is a part of the Christian liturgy that consists of texts common to an entire category of saints, such as apostles or martyrs. The term is used in contrast to the ordinary, which is that part of the liturgy that is reasonably constant, or at least selected without regard to date, and to the proper, which is the part of the liturgy that varies according to the date, either representing an observance within the liturgical year, or of a particular saint or significant event.

Pope Pius XII 260th Pope of the Catholic Church

Pope Pius XII, born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli, was head of the Catholic Church from 2 March 1939 to his death. Before his election to the papacy, he served as secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, papal nuncio to Germany, and Cardinal Secretary of State, in which capacity he worked to conclude treaties with European and Latin American nations, most notably the Reichskonkordat with Nazi Germany.

This calendar system, when combined with major church festivals and movable and immovable feasts, constructs a very human and personalised yet often localized way of organizing the year and identifying dates. Some Christians continue the tradition of dating by saints' days: their works may appear "dated" as "The Feast of Saint Martin". Poets such as John Keats commemorate the importance of The Eve of Saint Agnes .

A calendar is a system of organizing days for social, religious, commercial or administrative purposes. This is done by giving names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months and years. A date is the designation of a single, specific day within such a system. A calendar is also a physical record of such a system. A calendar can also mean a list of planned events, such as a court calendar or a partly or fully chronological list of documents, such as a calendar of wills.

Church (building) building constructed for Christian worship

A church building or church house, often simply called a church, is a building used for Christian religious activities, particularly for worship services. The term is often used by Christians to refer to the physical buildings where they worship, but it is sometimes used to refer to buildings of other religions. In traditional Christian architecture, the church is often arranged in the shape of a Christian cross. When viewed from plan view the longest part of a cross is represented by the aisle and the junction of the cross is located at the altar area.

John Keats English Romantic poet

John Keats was an English Romantic poet. He was one of the main figures of the second generation of Romantic poets, along with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley, despite his works having been in publication for only four years before his death from tuberculosis at the age of 25.

As different Christian jurisdictions parted ways theologically, differing lists of saints began to develop. This happened because the same individual may be considered differently by one church; in extreme examples, one church's saint may be another church's heretic, as in the cases of Nestorius, Pope Dioscorus I of Alexandria, or Archbishop Flavian of Constantinople.

Ranking of feast days

Feast days are ranked in accordance with their importance. In the current ordinary form of the Roman Rite, feast days are ranked (in descending order of importance) as solemnities, feasts or memorials (obligatory or optional). [7] The 1962 version, whose use is authorized by the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, divides liturgical days into I, II, III, and IV class days, as decreed by Pope John XXIII in 1960. Those who use even earlier forms of the Roman Rite rank feast days as Doubles (of three or four kinds), Semidoubles, and Simples. See Ranking of liturgical days in the Roman Rite.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church the ranking of feasts varies from church to church. In the Russian Orthodox Church they are: Great Feasts, middle, and minor feasts. Each portion of such feasts may also be called feasts as follows: All-Night Vigils, Polyeleos, Great Doxology, Sextuple ("sixfold", having six stichera at Vespers and six troparia at the Canon of Matins). There are also distinctions between Simple feasts and Double (i.e., two simple feasts celebrated together). In Double Feasts the order of hymns and readings for each feast are rigidly instructed in Typikon, the liturgy book.

In the Church of England, there are Principal Feasts and Principal Holy Days, Festivals, Lesser Festivals, and Commemorations.

Connection to tropical cyclones

Before the advent of standardized naming of tropical storms and hurricanes in the North Atlantic basin, tropical storms and hurricanes that affected the island of Puerto Rico were informally named after the Catholic saints corresponding to the feast days when the cyclones either made landfall or started to seriously affect the island. Examples are: the 1780 San Calixto hurricane a.k.a. the Great Hurricane of 1780 (the deadliest in the North Atlantic basin's recorded history; named after Pope Callixtus I a.k.a. Saint Callixtus, whose feast day is October 14), [8] the 1867 San Narciso hurricane (named after Saint Narcissus of Jerusalem, feast day October 29), [8] the 1899 San Ciriaco hurricane (the deadliest in the island's recorded history; Saint Cyriacus, August 8), [8] [9] the 1928 San Felipe hurricane (the strongest in terms of measured wind speed; Saint Philip, father of Saint Eugenia of Rome, September 13), [8] and the 1932 San Ciprian hurricane (Saint Cyprian, September 26). [8]

This practice continued until quite some time after the United States Weather Bureau (now called the National Weather Service) started publishing and using official female human names (initially; male names were added starting in 1979 after the NWS relinquished control over naming to the World Meteorological Organization). The last two usages of this informal naming scheme in P.R. were in 1956 (Hurricane Betsy, locally nicknamed Santa Clara after Saint Clare of Assisi, feast day August 12 back then; her feast day was advanced one day in 1970) and 1960 (Hurricane Donna, nicknamed San Lorenzo after Saint Lawrence Justinian, September 5 back then; feast day now observed January 8 by Canons regular of St. Augustine). [8]

See also

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December 26 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - December 28

December 29 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

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December 30 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

December 29 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - December 31

December 31 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) day in the Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar

December 30 - Eastern Orthodox liturgical calendar - January 1

References

  1. "feast – definition of feast in English from the Oxford dictionary". oxforddictionaries.com.
  2. "Relics and Reliquaries – Treasures of Heaven". columbia.edu.
  3. Calendarium Romanum (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 1969), p. 89
  4. John 15:13
  5. "Commemoration of St. Martin of Tours". All Saints Parish. Archived from the original on 2008-12-02.
  6. "Saint Martin of Tours". Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. 2007. Archived from the original on 2008-12-02.
  7. "Saint Charles Borromeo Catholic Church of Picayune, MS – General Norms for the Liturgical Year and the Calendar". scborromeo.org.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Mújica-Baker, Frank. Huracanes y tormentas que han afectado a Puerto Rico (PDF) (Report) (in Spanish). Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico, Agencia Estatal para el Manejo de Emergencias y Administración de Desastres. pp. 4, 7–10, 12–14. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  9. "San Ciriaco Hurricane". East Carolina University, RENCI Engagement Center.