The Life of St Piran – now online in English

A couple of days ago I mentioned that Google Translate was doing an unusually good job on the Latin of the Life of St Piran (BHL 4659).  I’m afraid that I am easily distracted.  I had not planned to do so, but I seem to have produced a translation of the whole text.  So here it is:

The files can also be found on here.  I’ve included the Latin text as well, and a brief introduction.  Unfortunately the work tells us nothing about St Piran, nor even what tales were circulating about him.  It’s a copy of the Life of St Ciaran of Saighir with the names changed (!)  Oh well.  It’s here, anyway.

As ever, this material is placed in the public domain.  Do whatever you like with it, personal, educational or commercial.  Have fun!


An early printed hagiography – the volumes of Aloysius Lippomanus

First came Mombritius, probably in 1480, who printed his Sanctuarium in the incunable era.  This was essentially a two volume version of a late medieval collection of Saint’s lives.

But next came Luigi Lippomano, or Aloysius Lippomanus, (Wikipedia article) with his vitarum Sanctorum priscorum Patrum, 1551-1560, in 8 volumes in Venice.  The links to the volumes are as follows:

I spent some time locating these volumes, which was less easy than you might think, so it’s worth giving the links.

After Lippomanus came Surius, with his De probatis Sanctorum histories (Cologne, 1570-1577); an expanded edition by his colleague Mosander, published as De vitis sanctorum omnium nationum, ordinum et temporum, (Venice, 1581); and a still more expanded version in twelve volumes was printed in Cologne in 1617-18.  These I leave for another time.

After that, the Bollandists started up the Acta Sanctorum.

The trouble is that we don’t have a complete set of critically edited Saint’s lives.  So these early collections still have value.  Which is bizarre!