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Vatican publishes expanded calendar of saints

Three years after finishing the massive project of updating and correcting the book-length calendar of Catholic saints, the Vatican has published an even bigger, more accurate version.

The "Martyrologium Romanum" ("Roman Martyrology") was presented to the public at the weekend, during a conference on holiness and the complex task of separating fact from legend when dealing with martyrs and saints who lived and died thousands of years ago and whose lives gave rise to fervent devotion and, perhaps, fanciful stories.

Like the 2001 edition, the newest volume is available only in Latin. However officials of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments said Italian, French and German translations are underway.

The martyrology - with its 6,658 individual names and an additional 6881 unnamed martyred "companions" - is organised as a calendar; it lists the saints and blesseds whose feast is celebrated each day and provides a small biography of each.

The 844-page martyrology is considered a liturgical book, not a catalogue or history, because it forms the basis for determining which saint is remembered at Mass each day

Vatican publishes bigger, more accurate calendar of Catholic saints (Catholic News Service 6/12/04)

Martyrologium Romanum (purchase -
Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments
Martyrology (Catholic Encyclopedia)
The martyrology of the Church - 2003 (Fides)
The Roman Martyrology (
Martyrologium Romanum (Latin)

Shrine to English martyrs faces financial challenge (CathNews 29/6/04)

Fifth centenary celebrations planned for St. Francis Xavier ( 7/12/04)
New Roman Martyrology released (Catholic World News 7/12/04)
Scholars Turn Their Gaze on Holiness (Zenit 6/12/04)
Christian Martyrs of the 21st Century: The Reckoning Continues (l'Espresso)

8 Dec 2004