The Calendar of Willibrord, in its earliest version, records the feasts of various saints in August. Written in Latin at Echternach, Frisia (north-east Gaul), 703/710.
Liturgical texts - Calendars and martyrologies
Late antique original manuscripts - Parchment codex
The Calendar of Willibrord
The Calendar of Willibrord records in August the feasts of the following saints:
*Maccabean martyrs (pre-Christian Jewish martyrs of Antioch, S00303)
*Oswald (king of the Northumbrians, ob. 642, S02187)
*Xystus/Sixtus II (bishop and martyr of Rome, S00201)
*Laurentius (deacon and martyr of Rome, S00037)
*Gauricus (bishop of Cambrai, ob. 624/627, S02205)
*Helena (probably the mother of Constantine, ob. 328, S00185)
*Hippolytus (martyr of Rome, S00509)
*Mary (mother of Christ, S00033)
*Timotheus and Apollinaris (martyrs of Reims, Gaul, S00329)
*Bartholomew (the Apostle, S00526)
*Augustine (bishop of Hippo, ob. 430, S00077)
*Faustinus (bishop of uncertain identity, S02196)
*John the Baptist (S00020)
*Paulinus (bishop of Trier, ob. 358, S00427)
Paris, Bibliothéque nationale de France, Lat. 10837, f. 38
Kalendas Agusti machabaeorum vii fratrum cum matre
nonas osualdi regis
viii sancti syxti episcopi
iiii laurenti diaconi rome
iii DEPOSITIO SANCTI GAURICI EPISCOPI ET SANCTAE HAELINAE
idus yppoliti martiris
xviiii kalendas septembris
xvii sanctae mariae
x autumnus dies
viiii timothei et apolinaris
viii natale bartholomei apostoli
v agustini et faustini episcoporum
iiii passio iohannis babtistae
ii paulini episcopi treueris
'1 August - Seven Maccabean brothers with their mother
5 - Oswald, king
6 - Saint Xystus, bishop
10 - Laurence, deacon of Rome
11 - FEAST OF THE LAYING TO REST OF SAINT GAURICUS, BISHOP, AND SAINT HELENA
13 - Hippolytus, martyr
16 - Saint Mary
23 - autumn day(s)
24 - Timotheus and Apollinaris
25 - Feast of Bartholomew the Apostle
28 - Augustine and Faustinus, bishops
29 - Passion of John the Baptist
31 - Paulinus, bishop of Trier'
Text: Wilson 1918, 10 (adapted: Wilson's 'first hand' in roman type, 'second hand' in italics, 'Frankish uncial' in majuscule, later annotations omitted).
Translation: B. Savill.
SourceA liturgical calendar directly associated with Willibrord (archbishop of the Frisians, 695-739; abbot of Echternach, 697/8-739) survives as a contemporary manuscript in Paris, BnF, Lat. 10837, ff. 34v-40, where it immediately follows a version of the Martyrologium Hieronymianum of approximately the same date and provenance. Although it exceeds our database’s cut-off point of AD 700 by some three to ten years, the Calendar of Willibrord is included here since it almost certainly provides a key witness to cultic and liturgical practices in Britain and Ireland at the close of the 7th century – something not afforded by the relatively meagre contemporary Insular evidence.
Willibrord was born in Deira, Northumbria (northern Britain) in 657/8, and given as an oblate to the monastery of Ripon in 664. He left Britain for Ireland in 678, possibly under compulsion after the sudden fall from power that same year of his abbot and mentor, Bishop Wilfrid. He lived at the Irish monastery of Rath Melsigi until 690, before travelling to north-east Francia and embarking on his missionary career as 'apostle of the Frisians'. Pope Sergius I ordained Willibrord as archbishop in Rome in 695, and although he appears to have based his see at Utrecht, most sources suggest that his new monastic foundation at Echternach (near the modern-day Germany-Luxembourg border) served as his main ecclesiastical centre.
Echternach’s early scriptorium almost certainly produced the Calendar. A lunar cycle for the years 703-21 appended to the text indicates the widest possible time frame for its original composition, and moreover suggests a date within that cycle’s first few years. Meanwhile, the absence of any entry for Willbrord’s mentor Bishop Wilfrid (ob. 24 April, 710), whom we know was cultivated as a saint almost immediately after his death, strongly suggests against any date later than 710. The Calendar includes no identifiable saints later than Pope Sergius I (ob. 701) and Lambert, bishop of Maastricht and patron saint of Liège (ob. c. 701/5). On palaeographical grounds, we can date the so-called 'first' and 'second' Insular uncial hands of the Calendar, plus two entries in Frankish uncial, to the early 8th century, and we have treated these here as comprising the effectively 'original' form of the Calendar. The manuscript does, however, also include numerous later interpolations and annotations (including an autobiographical entry by Willibrord himself, from 728), which belong to various hands from across the 8th and 9th centuries, and cannot always be dated precisely (Hen 1995). We have, therefore, not included these later entries in our database.
DiscussionOswald (Aug. 5): his appearance in the Calendar of Willibrord corroborates the following note from Bede (writing in 731): 'The most reverend Bishop Acca is accustomed to tell how, when he was on his way to Rome, he and his own Bishop Wilfrid stayed with the saintly Willibrord, archbishop of the Frisians, and often heard the archbishop describe the miracles which happened in that prouincia at the relics of the most revered king. He also related how, while he was still only a priest, and living a pilgrim's life in Ireland out of love for his eternal fatherland, the fame of Oswald's sanctity had spread far and wide in that island too...' (Ecclesiastical History, 3.13).
Gauricus and Helena (Aug. 11): one of two entries in a distinctive north-Frankish (rather than Insular) uncial hand in the Calendar. McKitterick (1994, 374, 384-5) suggests that this probably reflects the input of pre-existing Frankish scribal personnel from within the Trier diocese, possibly even women religious. Gauricus/Géry was a 6th and 7th century bishop of Cambrai and perhaps earlier (before 584/90) a deacon of Trier, and so of obvious local interest. Both Wilson and McKitterick consider Helena unidentifiable, since her feast falls on a different day to those normally associated with Constantine's mother (May 21 and August 18), although such irregularities are not unknown elsewhere in the Calendar. In fact, a tradition would develop at Trier that the same Empress Helena had founded the cathedral, and the purported relic of her skull is still kept at the church today. It therefore seems likely that this entry does after all refer to Constantine's mother, and moreover represents one of the earliest pieces of evidence for her cult.
Mary (Aug. 16): preceded by an erasure in the MS, which Wilson suggests read natiuitas.
Timotheus and Apollinaris (Aug. 24): almost invisible in the MS, apparently the result of a later erasure.
Faustinus (Aug. 28): Wilson assumes, apparently based on his pairing with Augustine, that this was another North African bishop.
See Wilson, 1918, 35-8, for a full commentary.
The Calendar of St. Willibrord from Paris Lat. 10837: A Facsimile, with Transcription, Introduction and Notes, ed. H.A. Wilson (London, 1918).
Costambeys, M., "Willibrord [St Willibrord] (657/8-739)," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004), https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/29576
Hen, Y., Culture and Religion in Merovingian Gaul, AD 481-751 (Leiden, 1995), 102-6.
McKitterick, R., "Frankish Uncial: A New Context for the Work of the Echternach Scriptorium," in: A. Weiler and P. Bange (eds.), Willibrord zijn wereld en zijn werk (Nijmegen, 1990), 374-88; repr. in R. McKitterick, Books, Scribes and Learning in the Frankish Kingdoms, 6th-9th Centuries (Aldershot, 1994), part V.
Netzer, N., "The Early Scriptorium at Echternach: The State of the Question," in: G. Kiesel and J. Schroeder (eds.), Willibrord. Apostel der Niederande, Gründer der Abtei Echternach (Luxembourg, 1990), 127-34.
|ID||Name||Name in Source||Identity||S00020||John the Baptist||Iohannes Babtista||Certain||S00033||Mary, Mother of Christ||Maria||Certain||S00037||Laurence/Laurentius, deacon and martyr of Rome||Laurentus||Certain||S00077||Augustine, bishop of Hippo, ob. 430||Agustinus||Certain||S00185||Helena, empress and mother of Constantine, ob. 328||Haelina||Certain||S00201||Xystus/Sixtus II, bishop and martyr of Rome||Syxtus||Certain||S00256||Bartholomew, the Apostle||Bartholomeus||Certain||S00303||Maccabean Martyrs, pre-Christian Jewish martyrs of Antioch||Machabaei fratres cum matre||Certain||S00329||Timotheus and Apollinaris, martyrs of Reims||Timotheus et Apolinaris||Certain||S00427||Paulinus, bishop of Trier, ob. 358||Paulinus||Certain||S00509||Hippolytus, martyr of Rome||Yppolitus||Certain||S02187||Oswald, king of the Northumbrians, ob. 642||Osualdus||Certain||S02196||Faustinus, bishop commemorated in the Calendar of Willibrord||Faustinus||Certain||S02205||Gauricus/Gaugericus, bishop of Cambrai, ob. 624/627||Gauricus||Certain|
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Benjamin Savill, Cult of Saints, E05858 - http://csla.history.ox.ac.uk/record.php?recid=E05858