The liturgical commemorations that distinguish the feast days of All Saints (November 1st) and All Souls (November 2nd) that are both important times of reflection and veneration by many adherents who believe in the spirit of Christianity. Along with iconography and dedicated prayers, the most evident means of honoring the memories of those who came before us can be found in the bibliographic record created over time. This encompasses various accounts, sermons, pronouncements, and legacies of innumerable individuals have recorded relevant declarations throughout the past several centuries and preserved for the ages.
Within the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, a number of theological-based volumes have been collected by our past and present clergy that honor the prayers of the faithful along with titles on individual saints who have been memorialized over time. All Saints Day (or All Hallow’s Day) is a time of dedicated solemnity to honor all blessed individuals who have attained canonization especially blessed individuals who do not have their own respective feast day within the calendar. The start of formal celebrations in regard to sainthood possibly began in Antioch and the inspiration for present day commemoration of November 1st as the Feast of All Saints was first documented by 800 AD within such manuscripts as the Martyrology of Tallaght and Martyrology of Óengus from Éire and spread forward to Bavaria, Nothumbria (England), the Frankish Kingdom (a day of total obligation even prior to its emergence as part of the Holy Roman Empire) along its present-day presence.
When it comes to individual titles on those canonized located in our stacks, the oldest text devoted to a saint is a compilation of sermons and devotions created by Bernard of Clarivoux. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153 AD) was a native of Burgundy and spent his life as a monastic abbot within the Order of Cistercians (Trappists). He later became the first Cistercian placed on the Christian Calendar of Saints and was canonized on January 18, 1174 and over half a century later was bestowed with the title: “Doctor of the Church” in honor of his contributions to the faith. The volume that celebrates his legacy found within our collection is entitled (in the Latin): Sermones de t(em)p(or)e et de sanctis: cu(m) omelijs Beati Bernardi Abbatis Clareualle(n)s(is) ordinis Cisterciensis; cu(m) no(n)nullis ep(isto)lis eiusde(m) (English: Conversations about t [em] p [or] of the holy places [m] omelijs St. Bernard Abbot Clareualle [n] [is] a Cistercian [m] no [n] with no ep [this] issue eiusdë [m]) (Impressi Venetijs : Per Iohannem Emericu[m] de Spira Alemanu[m], sub anno I[n]carnatio[n]is D[omi]nice, 1495). [Call Number is: BXZ890.B5377 1495]
When it comes to the commemoration of All Souls Day (Latin: Commemoratio Omnium Fidelium Defunctorum also known as the: “Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed” or the “Day of the Dead”) in celebration of the faithful who are counted among the deceased. In terms of textual origins, the practice of praying for the corpus dates can be traced back as far as the Book of Maccabees 12:42–46.
Within our own library there are a number of works that relate to meditation and devotionals can be found within the book (in Latin) entitled: Coeleste palmetum variis officiis, litaniis, precibus, & psalmis poenitentialibus, &c. : nec non vitis sanctorum per annum, cum orationibus adjunctis : ad ubertatem & sacras delicias excultum, ornatum, munitum : opera (Coloniae Agrippinae : Sumptibus Petri Putz, 1723) (English: Sixto offices litanies, prayers, instructions, explanations of Psalms, meditation controversy, Sec. Nor does the holy lives a year with prayers in the circumstances, choice of Scripture and the Fathers admitting the evidence and opinion to the richness and holy . . . developed, given assumed.) [Call Number: BXZ2184.N34162 1723] written by Wilhelm Nakatenus, S.J. Reverend Nakatenus (1617-1582) was a Jesuit priest, author and preacher who is considered “one of the important prayer book authors of modern times” by several theologians throughout the years. This particular edition is one of only six found within different libraries globally which adds to its uniqueness for those read this valuable work.
For more information on titles by and about various Saints (1300-1800 AD) found within Archives & Special Collections Center Catalog please consult the following link . . . https://setonhall.on.worldcat.org/search?sortKey=RECENCY&databaseList=&queryString=Saint*&changedFacet=year&overrideStickyFacetDefault=&selectSortKey=RECENCY&expandSearch=on&overrideGroupVariant=&overrideGroupVariantValue=&scope=wz%3A3042&subformat=Book%3A%3Abook_printbook&year=custom&yearFrom=1300&yearTo=1800&author=all&topic=all&database=all&language=all&materialtype=all
Additionally, a number of works about All Souls Day and its symbolism can be located within the University Libraries Catalog . . . https://setonhall.on.worldcat.org/search?databaseList=283&queryString=all+souls+day&clusterResults=false
For more information on Church Feasts, Saints, Rare Books, and other related topics please feel free to contact our Center by e-mail: Archives@shu.edu or via phone at: (973) 275-2378.