WEMSK28 -- Saints
1. A nice, general, but authoritative, book by an outstanding
authority: Hippolyte Delehaye, The Legends of the Saints. Trsl. V.
M. Crawford. NDP 7 (University of Notre Dame Press, 1961; with
additions, a reprint from 1907). New introduction by Richard J.
Schoeck. A must read-through. There is another translation by
Donald Attwater (NY: Fordham UP, 1962).
2. One-volume handies:
a. Donald Attwater, The Penguin Dictionary of Saints. Penguin
Reference Books (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1965). By another
outstanding authority. A list of the saints with short biographies
and some bibliography. Your first port of call when looking for a
b. David Hugh Farmer, The Oxford Dictionary of Saints, 3d ed.
(Oxford: OUP, 1992). Excellent; some bibliography; reference to
c. The Book of Saints, compiled by the Benedictine Monks of St.
Augustine's Abbey, Ramsgate, 6th ed. (NY: Macmillan, 1988). Brief
bibliography, most often to Baudot (though they remark that it is
"too conservative") and Holweck ("not very accurate or reliable").
3. Guides and bibliographies:
a. Rene Aigrain, L'hagiographie; ses sources, ses methodes, son
histoire (Paris: Bloud & Gay, 1953. Still the best scholarly
b. Sources et methodes de l'hagiographie medievale, by Jacques and
Jean-Loup Lemaitre (Paris: Editions du Cerf, 1993). Intended as a
guide, but quite full as to bibliography and a little hard to use.
4. Periodical: Analecta bollandiana (Brussels: Societe des
Bollandistes, 1882-). A must for scholarly work. See the separate
volume: Table generale des articles publies en 80 ans de 1882 a
1982 (Brussels: Societe des Bollandistes, 1983). Also visit their
a. Hagiographies. International History of the Latin and Vernacular
Hagiographical Literature in the West from its Origins to 1550, ed.
Guy Philipparts, 2 vols. Corpus Christianorum (Turnhout: Brepols,
1994). Signed articles with extensive bibliographies. Incomplete.
Since Medtextl seems to lean to the English, let me mention: 800-
1000 (Cross), 950-1150 (Whatley), 1066-1400 (Anglo-Norman, Thiry-
Stassin), 1220-1530 (Goerlach).
b. Bibliotheca hagiographica latina antiquae et mediae aetatis ...
Subsidia hagiographica, no. 6, 12 (Brussels: Societe des
Bollandistes, 1979; one vol. reprint, 1992). Novum Supplementum,
ed. Henricus Fros. Subsidia hagiographica 70 (1986). These two
contain over 13,500 entries under over 3,300 names of saints or
groups of saints. Both usually referred to as simply BHL. Add also:
Analecta Bollandiana. Inventaire hagiographique des tomes 1 a 100
(1892-1982), by Francois Halkin (Brussels, 1983) (in alphabetic
order all the saints which have been treated in the Analecta).
These will offer you a guide to the AASS. Note also: Bibliotheca
Hagiographica Graeca, 3d ed., 3 vols. Subsidia 8a (1957; with two
supplements, Subsidia 47  and 65 ). Bibliotheca
Hagiographica Orientalis (1910; repr. 1954). BTW, in my library you
have to know to look up the BHL under Subsidia, since it is not
6. AASS. This contains texts on each of the saints, month by
month. For a sort of survey of the three editions, see Dubois-
Lemaitre, 49-52, or, better, The Catholic Encyclopedia (available
online) 2.630-39 (de Smedt). There is a nice treatment in David
Knowles, Great Historical Enterprises (London: Nelson, 1962), 1-32.
a. Acta Sanctorum quotquot toto orbe coluntur, editio novissima
(Paris: Palme, 1863-1940). Reprint Brussels: Societe des
Bollandistes, 1966-71. THE source. Often will have a number of
texts dealing with your saint. Do not forget to look also at the
b. Butler's Lives of the Saints, ed. Herbert Thurston and Donald
Attwater, 3d rev., 4 vols. (Westminster, MD: Christian Classics,
1966). The best in English, with index and bibliography. Butler
has appeared in a number of different guises and with as many as 14
a. C. Grant Loomis, White Magic. An Introduction to the Folklore of
Christian Legend (Cambridge: Medieval Academy, 1948), and, of
course, Stith Thompson (now available on CD-ROM).
b. E. Cobham Brewer, A Dictionary of Miracles (Philadelphia:
Lippincott, 1894). By the author of Dictionary of Phrase and Fable;
8. Attributes. Sometimes one needs to know the attributes of the
a. Karl Kuenstle, Ikonographie der Heiligen (Freiburg: Herder,
b. F. Von S. Doye, Heilige und Selige der r”m.-kath. Kirche, deren
Erkennungszeichen, Patronate u. lebensgeschichtliche Bemerkungen,
2 vols. (Leipzig, 1930).
9. For those interested in English Saints (since I did not mention
Baring-Gould): Theodor Wolpers, Die englische Heiligenlegende des
Mittelalters. Buchreihe der Anglia, 10. Band (Tuebingen: Niemeyer,
1964). Good survey. Leans unfortunately towards Formgeschichte.
10. I should also point to the Roman Martyrology in its various