Saturday 6 August 2022

The Feast of the Transfiguration in the Martyrology of Oengus

August 6 is the day on which the Feast of the Transfiguration is celebrated throughout the Universal Church. However, it was not always so, as a German ecclesiastical historian explains: 

From quite an early date, this festival had been celebrated in divers churches, both East and West, on different days. The date now observed, the 6th August, was appointed for the festival by Calixtus III. in 1457, in memory of the victory over the Turks, gained by John Capistran and George Hunyadi, at Belgrade. In the choice of a day, he seems to have been influenced by the Greek calendar, where the festival had already been kept on this day.
K.A. Heinrich Kellner, Heortology: A History Of The Christian Festivals From Their Origin To The Present Day (London, 1908), 105.
One of those different days is found on the early ninth-century Irish calendar, The Martyrology of Oengus. Here the Feast of the Transfiguration is commemorated on July 26, as Canon O'Hanlon noted in his entries for this day in Volume VII of the Lives of the Irish Saints:

Article IV. Festival of Christ's Transfiguration on Mount Tabor. 

According to the "Feilire" of St. Aengus, at the 26th of July, the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Divine Lord on Mount Tabor was commemorated in the ancient Irish Church. To this a comment is found affixed. In the Bruxelles copy of Usuard this Feast is also set down, and while the Bollandists give the text, they express ignorance of the source whence it had been drawn, but they refer to the 6th of August as the chief Festival held in the Universal Church.

26. At the passion of Jovianus 
with his fair train of pure gold
was the Transfiguration, at daybreak, 
of  Jesus on Mount Tabor.

 The accompanying note reads:

26. on Mount Tabor, i.e. in the tribe of Nephthalim, on a mountain of Galilee. Transfiguration of Christ etc.

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