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Martyrology, Roman


Roman martyrology is the record of the saints and martyrs recognized by the Roman Church and used in the liturgy. It was officially published by Pope Gregory XIII in 1584. Having reformed the calendar of the Church with the bull Inter gravissimas (Feb. 14, 1582), Gregory formed a commission (710 members) under Cardinal Sirleto (d. 1585) with the future cardinal baronius as leading light, to bring out a thoroughly revised edition of the Martyrology of Usuard then in use in Rome. A provisionary edition was printed in 1582 covering the period from October 15 to December 31. One dealing with the annual cycle of saints and martyrs was published (1583) without a letter of papal approbation. This editon had as its base the Martyrology of Usuard, with additions from those of St. Cyriacus (MS F 85 bibl. Vallicelliana), Bede, Florus, and Ado, and from the Greek menologies translated into Latin by Cardinal Sirleto, the Dialogues of St. gregory i, and calendars of individual churches, particularly those in Italy. After emendations this text was published as official for the universal Church by Pope Gregory XIII on Jan. 14, 1584, with the bull Emendatio. In 1586 it was republished under Sixtus V with the notes and treatise on the Roman Martyrology by Baronius, who had been encouraged by Sirleto to publish the fontes and documentation in anticipation of critical reaction. Though far from the standards required by modern hagiography, this edition was a first attempt at achieving historical accuracy. It was frequently revised, particularly in 1630 under urban viii, who reorganized also under clement x in 1681 and benedict xiv in 1748. Benedict studied many of the problems personally in view of his precisions on the beatification and canonization of saints. The so-called Editio Typica of 1913 is a revision of that of Benedict XIV. Between 1913 and 1956 several further editions were published, and that published in 1924 contained many changes based on attempts at complete reform. It was, however, strongly criticized by Dom H. Quentin [Analecta Bollandiana, 42 (1924) 387406] and more recent editions have merely added new feasts and newly canonized saints. A thoroughly reworked edition was published by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in October 2001.

Bibliography: h. lÄmmer, De Martyrologio Romano (Ratisbon 1878). r. aigrain, L'Hagiographie (Paris 1953) 9199.

[j. le brun/eds.]

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