Key to Umbria

Early Martyrologies

The earliest martyrologies were essentially calendars in which the names of the officially recognised martyrs and the places of martyrdom were listed in order of the feast days.  The prototype was probably the Roman Calendar (354).

Hieronymian Martyrology (5th Century)

The Hieronymian Martyrology, which is so-called because it was erroneously attributed to St Jerome, is the earliest of the surviving martyrologies that transcends local boundaries.  It was probably compiled in the 430s or 440s.  It contains references to the following:


  1. St Constantius (29th January)

  2. SS Felicissimus (24th November)


  1. St Anastasius (22nd January), a bishop martyred at Aquae Salviae;

  2. St Valentine of Terni (14th February, 14th April, 1st May), martyred on Via Flaminia;

  3. SS Saturninus, Magnus, Agape and Castula of Terni (15th February) 

  4. SS Ephebus, and Apollonius of Antioch (15th February)

  5. SS Proculus, Ephebus, Apollonius and Domnina of Terni (14th April)

  6. SS Apollonius, Ephebus and Proculus of Terni (1st May)

  7. St Anthimus of Rome (11th May), who was claimed by a number of cities, including Terni

  8. St Proculus, of no specified location (1st June)


  1. St Vitalis and 84 soldiers of “ Tuscia Spoliti”, near Spoleto (14th February)


  1. St Juvenal (3rd May), on Via Nomentana, seven miles from Rome


  1. SS Felicissimus, Heraclius and Paulinus (26th May), who are absent in some codices

  2. St Terentian (1st September)


  1. SS Victor and Corona of Syria (14th May), who were later venerated at Otricoli.

Nocera Umbra

  1. SS Felix and Constantia (19th September), at Nocera (possibly Nocera Umbra).

Historical Martyrologies

These are so-called because they usually gave a short history of each saint in the compilation.  They had a liturgical function since the entries for each day were read during religious offices of the monasteries.  The most important are listed below.

Martyrology of Bede (ca. 730)

Bede (673-735), who was a monk at Jarrow, is best known as the author of "The Ecclesiastical History of the English People".  However, he also compiled a martyrology that sadly survives only in a late and much-altered form.   This was the first of so-called historical martyrologies, and it formed the basis for the genre.

Bede’s martyrology contains entries for a group of saints from the Hieronymian Martyrology, including:

  1. St Anastasius (22nd January), now described as a monk and a martyr from Persia;

  2. St Valentine of Terni, together with SS Proculus, Ephebus and Apollonis (14th February), derived from BHL 8460;

  3. SS Victor and Corona of Syria (14th May); and

  4. St Proculus (1st June), now with the location specified as “Interamne sive Narniis” (Terni or Narni).

Martyrology of Florus (825-40)

Florus was a deacon at Lyon.  His martyrology was an amplified version of the Martyrology of Bede.  It contained entries for:

  1. the saints listed above from the Martyrology of Bede, all of whom also appear in the Hieronymian Martyrology;

  2. another group of saints probably from the Hieronymian Martyrology:

  3. St Vitalis (14th February), absorbed into the martyrdom of Vitalis, Felicula and Zeno at Rome);

  4. St Juvenal (3rd May), noted as a bishop and confessor of an unspecified place;

  5. St Anthimus of Rome (11th May), who was claimed by a number of cities, including Terni;

  6. SS Felicissimus, Heraclius and Paulinus (26th May);

  7. St Proculus, who was listed in the Hieronymian Martyrology under 1st June with no specified location, is listed here under 14th April as a martyr from “Interamnae” (see St Proculus of Terni)

  8. St Martin I (11th November), who was born in Todi: he is listed in the Martyrology of Tallaght (ca. 830), an Irish edition of a Northumbrian copy of the Hieronymian martyrology, under 18th August and 18th September.

  9. St Herculanus of Perugia (7th November) mentioned (with no reference to the feast day) in the Dialogues of Pope Gregory I; and

  10. three saints who appear in the Legend of the Twelve Syrians but who are not known from earlier martyrologies:

  11. St Brictius (9th July); and

  12. SS Carpophorus and Abundius (10th December).

An entry for St John the hermit under 19th March probably refers to St John of Penariensis, who is recorded as a monk from Syria in the Martyrology of Adon (see below).

Martyrology of Rabanus (ca. 845)

Rabanus Magnentius Maurus (c. 776-856), a Benedictine scholar from the Abbey of Fulda, was one of the foremost biblical scholars of his day.  The Emperor Louis the Pious appointed him as archbishop of Mainz in 847.

This martyrology contained the earliest known record of St Sabinus of Spoleto, under 30th December.

Martyrology of Adon (ca. 855)

In ca. 853, Adon (later Archbishop of Vienne) travelled from Rome to Ravenna, where he apparently found the Martyrologium Romanum Parvum.  (He claimed that this was an ancient Roman martyrology, although some scholars suggest that he forged it himself).  He used this as the basis of his Martyrology, which he published in 858.  This was the first martyrology to arrange its entries by feast days. 

It contained entries for:

  1. all of the saints listed above for the martyrology of Florus, except that

  2. St Juvenal was now as a martyr who died on 7th May; 

  3. St Sabinus of Spoleto (30th December), who is also included in the Martyrology of Rabanus; and

  4. four saints who are not included in earlier surviving martyrologies:

  5. St Concordius of Spoleto (1st January);

  6. St Pontian of Spoleto (14th January);

  7. St John of Penariensis (Spoleto) (19th March), who came from Syria; and

  8. St Gregory of Spoleto (24th December).

An entry for St John the hermit under 19th March in the Martyrology of Florus (see above) probably refers to St John of Penariensis. 

Martyrology of Usuard (ca. 875)

Usuard (died 875) was a monk at St Germain des Près, Paris.  His martyrology drew primarily on those of  “Jerome” ; Bede, Florus and Adon and on the Dialogues of Pope Gregory I.  It was the most widely used martyrology in the Middle Ages and  formed the basis of the existing Roman Martyrology.

This martyrology contained entries for:

  1. all of the saints listed above for the martyrology of Florus, except that there were: now two entries for St Juvenal

  2. a bishop and confessor of unspecified city who died on the on the 3rd of May, again with a separate entry on that day for the martyrs from the Via Nomentana; and

  3. a martyr from an unspecified location on 7th May.

  4. all five saints from Spoleto added to the Martyrology of Adon;

  5. SS Felicissimus of Perugia (24th November) and St Agape of Terni (15th February) from the Hieronymian Martyrology (omitted by Florus and Adon);

  6. St Fortunatus of Todi (14th October), from the Dialogues of Pope Gregory I; and

  7. two saints from unknown sources:

  8. St Proculus of Narni (1st December); and

  9. St Felix of “Spellatensis” (Spello?) (18th May).

Roman Martyrology (late 16th century)

Pope Gregory XIII approved the first modern Roman martyrology, which was based largely on the Martyrology of Usuard and the Dialogues of Pope Gregory I.  Pope Benedict XII approved an augmented and corrected in 1749.  The current version contains 7,000 saints and beatified people whose cults are officially recognised.

Read more:

V. Saxer, “L’ Umbria nel Martirologio Geronimiano”, in

  1. Umbria Cristiana: Dalla Diffusione del Culto al Culto dei Santi”, Spoleto (2001) pp 713-34

J. Dubois, “Le Martyrologe d' Usuard”, Paris (1965) 

H. Quentin, “Les Martyrologes Historiques du Moyen Age”, Spoleto (reprinted 2002)

  1. for the works by Bede, Florus and Adon

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