Memorie Sanctorum Index
Commemoration of Saints in Books of Hours in The Royal Library

The commemorations are short texts, composed of an introductory antiphon (sometimes called "Prosa" in the rubric) with a versicle, - and a concluding prayer (Oratio, Collecta), where the majority are based on the same few models, just with a change of the saints name. The prayers were taken from the local missal, where they were said during mass by the celebrating priest on the saints day. Some are still in use today, indicated below as MR=Missale Romanum. The commemorations are found in books of hours after the Lauds of the hours of the Virgin, or in a special section, the so-called Suffragia Sanctorum. A large collection is available for the tutorial under the manuscript Suffragia Sanctorum GkS 1612.
This summary list of occurrences in the manuscripts in the Royal Library in Copenhagen was originally composed in 1993, and is far from complete, - but it gives a good and fair impression of the popularity of the saints, and indicate the most frequent commemorations by the larger number of occurrences. To add more saints would be easy, but the intention is to preserve the sense of proportionality for didactical purposes. It is, however, not possible to compile a list of all extant recorded commemorations in missals and breviaries, and their variants, which would amount to more than 10.000 entries. This list has more than 80 saints (which corresponds approximately to an average litany), and the message is simple: if a commemoration you have found in a book of hours not is on the list, or only represented with one entry, is it worth paying special attention to. It can then be classified as one of the proper characteristics of the book. [The Table générale in Victor Leroquais: Les Livres d'Heures manuscrits (1927) II, 373-463, is one of the most valuable sources for further studies. The index to his Les Breviaires manuscrits (Tom.V.) is a treasure for advanced research.]

|Tutorial| |CHD Home|

© Erik Drigsdahl 1993-2000 [Last update 31/12/2000]