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E05852: The Calendar of Willibrord, in its earliest version, records the feasts of various saints in February. Written in Latin at Echternach, Frisia (north-east Gaul), 703/710.

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posted on 2018-06-22, 00:00 authored by Bryan
The Calendar of Willibrord records in February the feasts of the following saints:

*Dionysius (probably the bishop and martyr of Paris, S00349)
*Polycarp (bishop and martyr of Smyrna, S00004)
*Brigit (abbess of Kildare, 6th c., S01885)
*Symeon (elder of the temple of Jerusalem, S00285)
*Agatha (virgin and martyr of Catania, S00794)
*Amandus (bishop and martyr of Maastricht, ob. c. 675, S00735)
*Eoda (priest, perhaps of Northumbria, 7th c., S02170)
*Castrensis (martyr of Castel Volturno near Capua, 5th c., S01911)
*Valentinus (martyr of Rome, S00433)
*Juliana (martyr of Nicomedia, buried at Pozzuoli/Cumae, S01162)
*Wilfrid (priest, perhaps of Northumbria, 7th c., S02170)
*Swithred (priest, perhaps of Northumbria, 7th c., S02170)
*Peter (the Apostle, S00036)

Paris, Bibliothéque nationale de France, Lat. 10837, f. 35

Kalendas februari dionisi policarpi et brigidę uirginis
iiii nonas sancti symeonis patriarchae
i nonas sanctae agathe
viii idus sancti amandi
v ęuda presbyter
iii castrensi martyris
xvi kalendas marti romae ualentini martyris
xiiii natale sanctae iulianae
xiii uilfridi presbyteri
xi suidredi presbyteri
viii cathedra petri in antiocha uernus dies xci
vi hic bisextus ponitur

'1 February - Dionysius, Polycarp, and Brigit, virgin.
2 - Saint Symeon, patriarch
5 - Saint Agatha
6 - Saint Amandus
9 - Eoda, priest
11 - Castrensis, martyr
14 - At Rome, Valentinus, martyr
16 - Feast of Saint Juliana
17 - Wilfrid, priest
19 - Swithred, priest
22 - Chair of Peter in Antioch 91 days of spring
24 - The bisextile is placed here

Text: Wilson 1918, 4 (adapted: Wilson's 'first hand' in roman type, 'second hand' in italics, later annotations omitted).
Translation: B. Savill.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Dionysius/Denis, bishop and martyr of Paris : S00349 Polycarp/Polykarpos, bishop and martyr of Smyrna, and his companion martyrs : S00004 Brigit, abbess of Kildare (Ireland), sixth century : S01885 Symeon (the God-receiver), elder of the temple of

Saint Name in Source

Dionisus Policarpus Brigida Symeon Agatha Amandus Castrensis Ualentinus Ęuda, Uilfridus, Suidredus Petrus

Image Caption 1

Paris, BnF, Lat. 10837, f. 35 (source:

Type of Evidence

Liturgical texts - Calendars and martyrologies Late antique original manuscripts - Parchment codex


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Gaul and Frankish kingdoms

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Echternach Tours Tours Toronica urbs Prisciniacensim vicus Pressigny Turonorum civitas Ceratensis vicus Céré

Major author/Major anonymous work

The Calendar of Willibrord

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast


A liturgical calendar directly associated with Willibrord (archbishop of the Frisians, 695-739; abbot of Echternach, 697/8-739) survives as a contemporary manuscript in Paris, BnF, Lat. 10837, ff. 34v-40, where it immediately follows a version of the Martyrologium Hieronymianum of approximately the same date and provenance. Although it exceeds our database’s cut-off point of AD 700 by some three to ten years, the Calendar of Willibrord is included here since it almost certainly provides a key witness to cultic and liturgical practices in Britain and Ireland at the close of the 7th century – something not afforded by the relatively meagre contemporary Insular evidence. Willibrord was born in Deira, Northumbria (northern Britain) in 657/8, and given as an oblate to the monastery of Ripon in 664. He left Britain for Ireland in 678, possibly under compulsion after the sudden fall from power that same year of his abbot and mentor, Bishop Wilfrid. He lived at the Irish monastery of Rath Melsigi until 690, before travelling to north-east Francia and embarking on his missionary career as 'apostle of the Frisians'. Pope Sergius I ordained Willibrord as archbishop in Rome in 695, and although he appears to have based his see at Utrecht, most sources suggest that his new monastic foundation at Echternach (near the modern-day Germany-Luxembourg border) served as his main ecclesiastical centre. Echternach’s early scriptorium almost certainly produced the Calendar. A lunar cycle for the years 703-21 appended to the text indicates the widest possible time frame for its original composition, and moreover suggests a date within that cycle’s first few years. Meanwhile, the absence of any entry for Willbrord’s mentor Bishop Wilfrid (ob. 24 April, 710), whom we know was cultivated as a saint almost immediately after his death, strongly suggests against any date later than 710. The Calendar includes no identifiable saints later than Pope Sergius I (ob. 701) and Lambert, bishop of Maastricht and patron saint of Liège (ob. c. 701/5). On palaeographical grounds, we can date the so-called 'first' and 'second' Insular uncial hands of the Calendar, plus two entries in Frankish uncial, to the early 8th century, and we have treated these here as comprising the effectively 'original' form of the Calendar. The manuscript does, however, also include numerous later interpolations and annotations (including an autobiographical entry by Willibrord himself, from 728), which belong to various hands from across the 8th and 9th centuries, and cannot always be dated precisely (Hen 1995). We have, therefore, not included these later entries in our database.


Amandus (Feb. 6): Willibrord's predecessor as missionary bishop to the Frisians. His feast would have been of obvious significance to the Echternach community. Eoda (Feb. 9), Wilfrid (Feb. 17), Swithred (Feb. 19): Wilson's commentary suggests these are 'probably notes of obits' rather than saints' feasts, presumably since those named are otherwise unidentifiable. But we simply know too little about pre-700 Insular and missionary cult to distinguish confidently between those the Calendar's compilers considered 'saints' and other notable dead. See Wilson, 1918, 21-22, for a full commentary.


Edition: The Calendar of St. Willibrord from Paris Lat. 10837: A Facsimile, with Transcription, Introduction and Notes, ed. H.A. Wilson (London, 1918). Further reading: Costambeys, M., "Willibrord [St Willibrord] (657/8-739)," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004), Hen, Y., Culture and Religion in Merovingian Gaul, AD 481-751 (Leiden, 1995), 102-6. McKitterick, R., "Frankish Uncial: A New Context for the Work of the Echternach Scriptorium," in: A. Weiler and P. Bange (eds.), Willibrord zijn wereld en zijn werk (Nijmegen, 1990), 374-88; repr. in R. McKitterick, Books, Scribes and Learning in the Frankish Kingdoms, 6th-9th Centuries (Aldershot, 1994), part V. Netzer, N., "The Early Scriptorium at Echternach: The State of the Question," in: G. Kiesel and J. Schroeder (eds.), Willibrord. Apostel der Niederande, Gründer der Abtei Echternach (Luxembourg, 1990), 127-34.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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