281J           Early 15th century  Homiliary  

{Homiliarius doctorum qui omiliarius dici solet … Hieronymi Augustini, Ambrosii, Jo. Chrysostomi, Gregorii, Origenis, Bede et complures ..}?

IMG_0848 St Augustine (354- 430),  John Christomos  (349-407) St Benedict , Pope Leo  I(440-61) ( and others)

Spain,  15th century.                           $37,000

Large Folio.  12 ½ x 9 1/4  inches Leaf size, text block is 9 3/4 x 6 inches.

196 Leaves This manuscript begins at Leaf 141 and continues to CCCXXVIII, (141- 337 leaves). For a total of 196 manuscript leaves on vellum. There are catch words and original it had signatures in the beginning of each quire, but they are now unintelligible. There are IMG_0878thirty five  large decorated initials with nice neat pen work. This book has seen a lot of use. Some pages have been trimmed, sections have been scratched out and others corrected. many leaves have cuts and cracks some repaired earlier than later, by stitching .

This is a collection of Homilies. Who was the editor is  not certain, and while traditionally it is attributed to Paul  the Deacon  approximately 720-799 There is also supposition that it was collected by Alcuin or even Bede.                                      What we do know is that the production of IMG_0819Homiliary began in the 780s when Charlemagne (742/743–814) appointed  Paul the Deacon to compose a Homiliary. Charlemagne,” has been represented as the sponsor or even creator of medieval education, and the Carolingian renaissance has been represented as the renewal of Western culture. This renaissance, however, built on earlier episcopal and monastic developments, and, although Charlemagne did help to ensure the survival of scholarly traditions in a relatively bleak and rude age, there was nothing like the general advance in education that occurred later IMG_0833with the cultural awakening of the 11th and 12th centuries. Learning, IMG_0880nonetheless, had no more ardent friend than Charlemagne, who came to the Frankish throne in 768 distressed to find extremely poor education systems” [EB] “Charlemagne stands out as the personification of everything that is unselfish and noble, a conqueror who visualized himself as the champion of European unity with the purpose of saving Europe through imperial conquest—an evangelist with a sword. As it turns out, Charlemagne did see himself as the Conqueror of everything pagan and heterodox and the divinely destined builder of Augustine’s City of God—of “one God, one emperor, one pope, one city of God.”[2]  It was as if Charlemagne consciously sought to fulfill Plato’s vision of the ideal philosopher king. After all, Europe badly needed a conquering strong man like David of old, who could exercise wisdom and discernment in the sustainment of God’s new Jerusalem on earth.” [Gregory W. Hamilton ;http://nrla.com/charlemagne-and-the-vision-of-a-christian-empire/%5DIMG_0802

So, We do know that ” From a very early time the Homilies of the Fathers were in high esteem, and were read in connection with the recitation of the Divine Office. That the custom was as old as the sixth century we know since St. Gregory the Great refers to it, and St. Benedict mentions it in his rule (Pierre Batiffol, History of the Roman Breviary, 107). This was particularly true of the homilies of Pope St. Leo I, very terse and peculiarly suited to liturgical purposesDSC_0053This particular Homilarium Begins [folio cxli] with Ambrose (340-397) Homilies for the  Quadragesima  (forty days of Lent -Yes lent is longer than 40 days even though there are more 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter. ( counting the days of Lent excluding its Sundays and the Sacred Triduum, which technically is a separate sacred time.) This takes up to folio cclxxiiii. Following St Ambrose who has iv sermons in this section  are sermons by Origen(IV) Bede( ) John Chrystosom ( ) Cyrill ( v), Augustine (  ) Peter Chrysologus  Archbishop of Ravenna, approximately 400-450 (1) Alcuin of York (  ). Folios 141-275


After the Quadragesima series begins the Homilies for The Passion of Christ (Holy Week) On Palm Sunday, Jesus and his disciples spent the night in Bethany, a town about two miles east of Jerusalem. This is where Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead, and his two sisters, Mary and Martha lived. They were close friends of Jesus, and probably hosted Him and His disciples during their final days in Jerusalem.


Holy Week/Passione homilies occupy folios 246-312.

Augustine,Gregory, Pope Leo, Chrystomos,

Palm Sunday Dominica in ramis palmarum  folios 313-337

Bernard,Pope Leo, Cyprian, Chrystomos,


 Ambrose: (c339-397)


Homiletic commentaries on the Old Testament: the Hexaemeron (Six Days of Creation); De Helia et ieiunio (On Elijah and Fasting); De Iacob et vita beata (On Jacob and the Happy Life); De Abraham; De Cain et Abel; De Ioseph (Joseph); De Isaac vel anima (On Isaac, or The Soul); De Noe (Noah); De interpellatione Iob et David (On the Prayer of Job and David); De patriarchis (On the Patriarchs); De Tobia (Tobit); Explanatio psalmorum (Explanation of the Psalms); Explanatio symboli (Commentary on the Symbol).

Saint Augustine:


Peter Chrysologus:


(c. 380 – c. 450) Archbishop of Ravenna, approximately 400-450 , The earliest printed work by Chrysologus is 1575 Insigne et pervetvstvm opvs homiliarum.He is known as the “Doctor of Homilies” for the concise but theologically rich reflections he delivered during his time as the Bishop of Ravenna. His surviving works offer eloquent testimony to the Church’s traditional beliefs about Mary’s perpetual virginity, the penitential value of Lent, Christ’s Eucharistic presence, and the primacy of St. Peter and his successors in the Church. Few details of St. Peter Chrysologus’ biography are known. He was born in the Italian town of Imola in either the late fourth or early fifth century, but sources differ as to whether this occurred around 380 or as late as 406.

John Chrystosom


Beyond Chrstostoms preaching, the other lasting legacy of John is his influence on Christian liturgy. Two of his writings are particularly notable. He harmonized the liturgical life of the Church by revising the prayers and rubrics of the Divine Liturgy, or celebration of the Holy Eucharist. To this day, Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches of the Byzantine Rite typically celebrate the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom as the normal Eucharistic liturgy, although his exact connection with it remains a matter of debate among experts.

Saint Cyrill. IMG_0857  Cyril’s jurisdiction over Jerusalem was expressly confirmed by the First Council of Constantinople (381), at which he was present. At that council he voted for acceptance of the term homoousios,(“consubstantial” this term was later also applied to the Holy Spirit in order to designate it as being “same in essence” with the Father and the Son. Those notions became cornerstones of theology in Nicene Christianity, and also represent one of the most important theological concepts within the Trinitarian doctrinal understanding of God) having been finally convinced that there was no better alternative. Cyril’s writings are filled with the loving and forgiving nature of God which was somewhat uncommon during his time period. Cyril fills his writings with great lines of the healing power of forgiveness and the Holy Spirit, like “The Spirit comes gently and makes himself known by his fragrance. He is not felt as a burden for God is light, very light. Rays of light and knowledge stream before him as the Spirit approaches. The Spirit comes with the tenderness of a true friend to save, to heal, to teach, to counsel, to strengthen and to console”. Cyril himself followed God’s message of forgiveness many times throughout his life. This is most clearly seen in his two major exiles where Cyril was disgraced and forced to leave his position and his people behind. He never wrote or showed any ill will towards those who wronged him. Cyril stressed the themes of healing and regeneration in his catechesis. the well-known Catechetical Lectures of St. Cyril of Jerusalem, to explain them to the catechumens during the latter part of Lent

Holy God, you gather the whole universe
into your radiant presence and continually reveal your Son as our Savior.
Bring healing to all wounds,
make whole all that is broken,
speak truth to all illusion,
and shed light in every darkness,
that all creation will see your glory and know your Christ. Amen.

St. Gregory the Great (ca. 540-604).


Alcuin of York : Flaccus Albinus Alcuinus; c. 735 – 19 May 804 AD)—also called Ealhwine, Alhwin or Alchoinwas an English scholar, clergyman, poet and teacher from York, Northumbria. He was born around 735 and became the student of Archbishop Ecgbert at York. At the invitation of Charlemagne, he was a leading scholar and teacher at the Carolingian court, where he remained a figure in the 780s and ’90s.

IMG_0881Alcuin wrote many theological and dogmatic treatises, as well as a few grammatical works and a number of poems. He was made Abbot of Tours in 796, where he remained until his death. “The most learned man anywhere to be found”, according to Einhard‘s Life of Charlemagne (ca. 817-833), he is considered among the most important architects of the Carolingian Renaissance. Among his pupils were many of the dominant intellectuals of the Carolingian era


Origen :IMG_0860

The homilies (homiliai, homiliae, tractatus) were familiar discourses on texts of Scripture, often extemporary and recorded as well as possible by stenographers. The list is long and undoubtedly must have been longer if it be true that Origen, as St. Pamphilus declares in his “Apology” preached almost every day. There remain in Greek twenty-one (twenty on Jeremias and the celebrated homily on the witch of Endor); in Latin, one hundred and eighteen translated by Rufinus, seventy-eight translated by St. Jerome and some others of more of less doubtful authenticity, preserved in this collection of homilies