Roman Martyrology: A Classic Book of Saints


Roman Martyrology
(Martyrologium Romanum)
Roman Marty-What?
Whenever people ask me about Saints from Scripture, I often find that the conversation leads to the Roman Martyrology (in Latin, Martyrologium Romanum).  And then the conversation goes real quiet.  Real fast.  No matter how hard I try to keep it simple and basic, 9 times out of 10, I get silence and a blank stare.

A Great Resource on Saints
Although it does not claim to cover ALL saints in heaven, the Roman Martyrology is often considered to be THE book of Saints.  It is compiled in Rome, in Latin, by the Catholic Church, and is updated now and then.  It offers very brief accounts on each saint listed.  The Roman Martyrology is a primary resource that Butler's Lives of the Saints uses to develop their books of saints.     

Old Testament Saints?
Before Vatican II, many holy Old Testament people were listed in the Roman Martyrology (For example: Elijah, Moses, Hosea, Melchizedek ...).  At some point, they were dropped/shelved/suppressed (except for the archangels Gabriel, Raphael, and Michael), possibly during some revisions in 1969. 

However, these Old Testament individuals (along with some New Testament holy ones who had also been set to the side at some point, such as Dionysius, Prochorus, Aristarchus, Salome, and more) are in the 2004 edition of the Roman Martyrology.   



A Sample Page
Here's one page from the latest Roman Martyrology.  On this page are the first 6 (out of 15 total)  saints for September 21.  Maybe you can see from the highlights that September 21 honors two saints of the Bible:  Saint Matthew the Apostle and Saint Jonah the Prophet.



A Saintly Translator
A generous friend of mine, Msgr. Vincent Fecher, who can read Latin helped me identify each Bible Saint in the latest (2004) edition of the Roman Martyrology.  

Summary
Sooooo .... in short, the Roman Martyrology is a very extensive and rather classic book of saints for the Catholic Church. 



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