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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

from its origins to circa AD 700, across the entire Christian world

The Latin Gelasian Sacramentary (or Liber Sacramentorum Romanae Ecclesiae), probably compiled around 750 near Paris using earlier material from Rome, records prayers to saints on their feast days in February.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Liturgical texts - Sacramentaries

Major author/Major anonymous work

Sacramentarium Gelasianum

Gelasian Sacramentary 2.8-12

Below are the entries from the Sacramentary that relate to the feasts of saints; other entries, to feasts of the Christian year that were not for saints, are not included in our database.

IV Non. Febr. orat. in purificatione sanctae Mariae.
'2 February Prayers on the feast of the purification of Mary.'
[*Mary, Mother of Christ, S00033]
Three prayers listed

Nonas Febr. in natali sanctae Agathae.
'5 February on the feast of Saint Agatha.'
[*Agatha, virgin and martyr of Catania, S00794]
Three prayers listed

IV Febr. in natali sanctae Soteris.
'10 February on the feast of Saint Soteris.'
[*Soteris, virgin and martyr of Rome, buried on the via Appia, S00548]
Three prayers listed

XVI Kal. Mart. in natali Valentini, Vitalis, et Feliculae.
'14 February on the feast of Valentinus, Vitalis, and Felicula.'
[*Valentinus, bishop of Terni (Interamna) and martyr of Rome, S00434; *Vitalis and Felicula, martyrs of Spoleto, *S01917]

Three Prayers listed

XIII Kal. Mart. in natali sanctae Iulianae.
17 February on the feast of Saint Juliana.
[*Iuliana, martyr of Nicomedia, buried at Pozzuoli/Cumae, S01162]
Three Prayers listed

Edition: Wilson 1894. Translation: P. Polcar.

Liturgical Activities

Service for the saint
Eucharist associated with cult
Liturgical invocation


Saint’s feast


The 'Gelasian Sacramentary' (Sacramentarium Gelasianum) is a compilation of liturgical texts, mostly prayers, for use in church celebrations such as the Eucharist, the administration of sacraments, or other liturgical events. It is the second oldest extant liturgical book in the West, the oldest being the 'Verona Sacramentary' (Sacramentarium Veronense). It has been preserved in one manuscript, now divided into two parts: the Codex Vaticanus Reginensis Latinus 316, and the Codex Latinus 7193 of the Bibliotèque Nationale in Paris.

The Gelasian Sacramentary is preserved in a Frankish version, copied in c. 750; it must have been used in contemporary Francia (for nobody would copy liturgy if they did not intend to put it to use). The core of the Sacramentary is, however, undoubtedly of Roman origin for use in the area of Rome, as is evident from the inclusion of so many saints from the city and from the regions around it (some of them not particularly well known). The composition of these core texts can be dated between 628 and 715 (Vogel 1986, 69). This substratum is also a mixture of various sources. At some point before the pontificate of Gregory II (715-731), this early version of the sacramentary was brought to Gaul, where prayers were added for certain celebrations, such as for the consecration of virgins, the dedication of churches, and the blessing of holy water.


Wilson, H.A., Liber Sacramentorum Romanae Ecclesiae, (Oxford, 1894).

Further Reading:
Vogel, C., Medieval Liturgy: An Introduction to the Sources, (Washington, 1986), 61-76.

Record Created By

Philip Polcar

Date Last Modified


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of ChristMariaCertain
S00434Valentinus, bishop and martyr of Terni (Interamna)ValentinusCertain
S00548Soteris, virgin and martyr of Rome, buried on the via AppiaSoterisCertain
S00794Agatha, virgin and martyr of CataniaAgathaCertain
S01162Iuliana/Juliana, martyr of Nicomedia, buried at Pozzuoli/CumaeIulianaCertain
S01917Vitalis and companions, martyrs of SpoletoVitalis, FeliculaCertain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Philip Polcar, Cult of Saints, E06541 -