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E05651: Latin Orationale of the Old Hispanic Liturgy of the 7th c. (Orationale Visigothicum), with prayers used on the feasts of saints in June and July: *Adrianos and Natalia (martyr of Nicomedia and his pious wife, S01342), *John the Baptist (S00020), *Peter the Apostle (S00036), *Paul the Apostle (S00008), *Iusta and Rufina (martyrs of Seville, S02099), and *Cucuphas (martyr of Barcelona, S00502).

online resource
posted on 2018-06-05, 00:00 authored by mszada
Orationale Visigothicum


The Orationale Visigothicum contains prayers for use in the divine office on every day of year. The prayers are ordered according to the liturgical seasons. Generally the prayers are divided into benedictiones (blessings) and completuriae (closing prayers), and aliae (other), and sometimes it is specified whether they should be applied during the matutinal or vespertine office. The number of prayers given for a day varies. In our database we are providing summaries only of the entries that relate to the feasts of saints.

16 June: Adrianus and Natalia. Twelve prayers for the Vespers and Matins (nos. 1051–1062); prayers 1054, 1056, 1058 and 1060 are devoted specifically to Adrianus, while nos. 1055, 1057, and 1059 to Natalia. The prayers mention that Adrianus and Natalia lived in a chaste marriage (especially no. 1062: Rex Deus inmensus, cui Adrianus atque Natalia coniugalis munditiae thalamum in suis cordibus paraverunt, dignentur creare in vobis cor mundum et spiritum rectum, 'Let God, great King whom Adrianus and Natalia prepared in their hearts the inner chamber of marital chastity, create in you pure heart and righteous spirit'). The role of Natalia as the one who bravely encouraged her husband to martyrdom is noted (no. 1056, Martyrdom of Adrianos and Natalia 14).

24 June: John the Baptist. 29 prayers for Vespers and Matins (nos. 1063–1091) which explicitly mention that the feast commemorates the nativity in flesh of John the Baptist. They focus on his role as the predecessor of the Lord, the Baptist who brings promise of redemption of sins and who preaches conversion in the desert. The prayers make frequent allusion to the episode about Mary visiting Elisabeth.

[29 June]: Peter and Paul. 16 prayers for Vespers and Matins (nos. 1092–1107) preceded by the unusual rubric: Ordo psallendi in diem sanctorum Petri et Pauli ('The order of psalm chant on the day of Peter and Paul'). The date is not given but from the later Mozarabic calendars we know that the feast was celebrated in Spain on 29 June.

17 July: Iusta and Rufina. 15 prayers for Vespers and Matins (nos. 1108–1122) which praise them mostly as virgins, and the antiphons accompanying the prayers are taken from Psalm 45 (Ode for the Royal Wedding) and the Song of Songs. Prayers frequently use a metaphor of a vessel (vas misericordiae, vas virtutum, vasa mundissima, vasa irae, vasa fictilia from 2 Cor., etc.), alluding to the tradition that Iusta and Rufina were producing earthenware pottery for a living (cf. Matyrdom of Iusta and Rufina 2). The martyrdom is explicitly mentioned only in no. 1121. No. 1122 uses explicitly the wording from the Martyrdom (Sanctae Dei virgines, lusta et Rufina, quae questu vasculorum fictilium inopum indigentiam satiaverunt) in the prayer; cf. Martyrdom of Iusta and Rufina 2: Erat autem illis usus mercandi fictilium vasculorum, de quo questu indigentiam inopum satiabant ...).

[25 July]: Cucuphas. Two prayers for Vespers and Matins (nos. 1123–1124) which mention incarceration, chains and tortures suffered by Cucuphas, in particular by fire (cf. Martyrdom of Cucuphas 7–8); the death of Cucuphas by sword (c. 12) is not mentioned in the prayers).

Summary: M. Szada.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Adrianos and Natalia, martyrs of Nicomedia : S01342 John the Baptist : S00020 Paul, the Apostle : S00008 Peter the Apostle : S00036 Cucuphas, martyr of Barcelona, Spain : S00502

Saint Name in Source

Adrianus, Natalia Iohannes Baptista Paulus Petrus Cucuphas

Type of Evidence

Liturgical texts - Other Late antique original manuscripts


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Iberian Peninsula

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

Osset Osset Osen (castrum) Osser castrum

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Service for the Saint

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics – unspecified


The Orationale Visigothicum (Visigothic book of prayers), otherwise known as the Verona Orational or Libellus Orationum, is a late 7th or early 8th century liturgical book of Old Hispanic Rite, the oldest manuscript representing this variant of Latin liturgy. A firm terminus ante quem for the creation of the manuscript is a marginal note on fol. 3v mentioning the twentieth year of the reign of the Lombard king Liutprand (i.e. 732), by which time the book had already travelled to Italy. The manuscript is written in Visigothic minuscule of a very good quality; it is not certain in which Spanish scriptorium it was produced, though sometimes Tarragona is proposed because of the mention of the procession to the church of Jerusalem on the day of saint Fructuosus (the rubric of prayer no. 523, E05253, see Vives 1946, xxxiv; Diaz y Diaz 1997; Vivancos 2006, 133-134). For the churches known as 'Jerusalem' in Spain, see discussion in E03511. The manuscript was transported from Spain, first to Sardinia (there is a cursive note on fol. 1, made by a certain Sergius Bicidominus of Cagliari), then to Pisa (as the note about King Liutprand records), and then to Verona (as evidenced by the notes added by 8th century Veronese scribes). Today the manuscript is kept in Biblioteca Capitolare in Verona as ms. LXXXIX (84). For a more detailed discussion of the manuscript, its dating, and palaeographical analysis, see the introduction by José Vives and Jeronimo Claveras to the critical edition, and Vivencos 2006. See also and The codex has been digitised and can be consulted here: The Orationale is also preserved in another manuscript: British Library Add. 30852, most probably from the 9th c. Its text, however, is much less correct than that of Verona LXXXIX (84).


Edition: Vives, J., Oracional visigotico (Monumenta Hispaniae Sacra. Serie liturgica 1; Barcelona: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, 1946). Further reading: Lowe, E.A., Codices Latini Antiquiores: A Palaeographical Guide to Latin Manuscripts prior to the Ninth Century. Part 4: Italy. Perugia – Verona, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1947), no. 515. See on Earlier Latin Manuscripts: Vivancos, M.C., "El oracional visigótico de Verona: notas codicológicas y paleográficas," Cuadernos de Filologia Clásica. Estudios Latinos 26 (2006), 121-144.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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