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E01385: Canon 9 of the Second Council of Braga (north-west Spain), issued in Latin in 572, mentions processions to the basilicas of saints that should mark the beginning of the Lent.

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posted on 2016-05-19, 00:00 authored by CSLA Admin
Second Council of Braga, AD 572, Canon 9

Ut per singulos annos a metropolitano episcopo Pascha pronuntietur.
Placuit ut postquam omnia in concilio sacerdotum fuerint ordinata illud omnimodis observetur, ut superventurum ipsius anni Pascha, quoto Kalendarum die vel quota luna debet suscipi, a metropolitano episcopo nuntietur; quod ceteri episcopi vel reliquus clerus breviculo subnotantes unusquisque in sua ecclesia, adveniente Natalis Domini die, adstanti populo post lectionem evangelicam nuntiet, ut introitum Quadragesimae nullus ignoret, in cuius principium convenientes in unum vicinae ecclesiae per triduum cum psalmis per sanctorum basilicas ambulantes celebrent letanias. Tertio autem die, celebratis hora nona sive decima missis, dimisso populo praecipiant Quadragesimae servare ieiunia, et mediante Quadragesima a diebus viginti baptizandos infantes ad exorcismi purgationem offerre.
'That the date of Easter shall be announced every year by the metropolitan bishop.

It pleased us that after all that has been decreed at the council of bishops, this also should be observed: that the metropolitan bishop shall announce the day of the month on which Easter will be celebrated in the forthcoming year. Bishops or other clerics should note this and announce it before Christmas in church in the presence of the people after the reading of the Gospel, in order to let everybody know the beginning of Lent when the neighbouring churches, gathering together, celebrate for three days the litanies, going with psalms in procession to the basilicas of the saints. On the third day, the mass is celebrated on the ninth hour and after dismissing the people, everybody shall observe the fasting of Lent, and in the middle of Lent, on the twentieth day, they shall offer to the purgation of exorcism the children who are to be baptised .'
Text: Barlow 1950, 121-122. Translation: M. Szada.


Evidence ID



  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Iberian Peninsula

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Braga Osset Osset Osen (castrum) Osser castrum

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Procession

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs



The Second Council of Braga was held in 572. The metropolitan bishop of Braga, Martin, presided, but another metropolitan bishop, Nitigisius of Lugo, was also present. The province of Galicia had been divided in two regions (six dioceses in the each new province) some time before the second council. The council was held under the auspices of the Suevic king Miro (Barlow 1950, 82-83). It has been suggested that Martin of Braga wrote the minutes of both councils of Braga (the first took place in 564). There are no conclusive arguments, but some linguistic evidence in favour of Martin's authorship was presented by Barlow 1950, 83.


Edition: Barlow, C.W., Martini episcopi Bracarensis opera omnia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1950).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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