Sources for Saints

kwan yinTrying to find sources for saints, especially female saints, can be problematic.  If you go through google, the choices displayed will be mostly Roman Catholic, and heavily weighted towards pages that sell beads and prayer items.  The Orthodox tradition does not have good representation, even though its history is steeped in sainthood.  And you can forget Buddhism or any other non-Christian list of saints.  Likewise with local saints, for example of Norway or Cornwall, not to mention historical or archaic lists of saints.

To offset that, I am starting this running list, a sort of annotated bibliography, so if I am in the mood for a saint on a particular day, I can find one easily, along with a description of the traditional observances.


“List of women’s saint’s names” from Saints Mary & Martha Orthodox Monastery, by date.

Orthodox women saints calendar

Description of a Norwegian Clog-calendar: Communicated to the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, by Eiríkr Magnússon,  1879. Internet archive. Google Books. Also “Description of a Norwegian Calendar

The Roman and British Martyrology: Now First Translated, Literally, from the Latin Ed, O’neill and Duggan, 1846.  by date.

“Celtic and Old English Saints” Calendar.

Lives of the Lady Saints, by date or location

Corpus Kalendarium, list by date, also database of 477 manuscripts


cili1Women Buddhas: A Short List of Female Saints, Teachers and Practitioners in Tibetan Buddhism” Dharma Fellowship Library

A Dictionary of Saintly Women, Agnes Baillie Cunninghame, c 1901-1905.  Volume 1 free ebook on Google Books. Internet archive. Volume II, internet archive, also A Dictionary of Saintly Women, Volume 2, By Agnes Baillie Cunninghame Dunbar seachable on gbooks

Gulaþings lög/Gulathing’s Law 11th c. contains Catalogue of Saintsdays established by church law (Norway), Archbishop John’s Law 1284,

The Saints in Iceland: Their Veneration from the Conversion to 1400, Margaret Cormack, Société des Bollandistes, 1994. No Ebook, but searchable.

Catholic online: alphabetical list of women saints.

Orthodox lives of the saints, search by date

The Book of Saints, by Saint Augustine’s Abbey, 2015, Roman Catholic searchable.

The Book of Saints: A Comprehensive Biographical Dictionary, By Basil Watkins, 2015, over 10,000 Roman Catholic saints – searchable.

A Handbook of Legendary and Mythological Art,  by Clara Erskine Clement Waters, 1881. Free ebook. Internet Archive (illustrations removed). Hathi Trust (full view with illustrations, Harvard University copy digitized by Google)

Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index. Search (“hagiography”?)

The lives of the Fathers, martyrs, and other principal saints, 1903, by Butler, Alban, 1711-1773; Buttler, Charles, 1750-1832, Internet Archive.

Archived index from (now redirects to ): “3,158 topics / 6,668 saints, beati and venerables”

Cornish Saints

saint senaraFrom blog of Celtic saints:

From Cornish language resources

4 thoughts on “Sources for Saints

  1. User:St. Jake is just after St. Auggie of Hippo. ^^ So what is Apparently, it’s out of Kentucky. I wonder if they are right that St. Adrian of Nicomedia is considered to be the patron saint of arms dealers. I should probably search to see if you’ve treated St. Jake or St. Adrian here before. 🙂

  2. Since the topic here is gender, I tend to focus on female spirituality. But if you want to research a particular saint I would recommend starting with some of the dictionaries and encyclopedias listed under ‘background”. Many will let you do a limited search. For something longer, click on one of the resources on Internet Archive then see how much farther you can get by following their suggested books at the bottom. There are quite a few resources that are out of copyright and have been scanned and uploaded. Saints don’t change that much over the centuries, a book published a century ago is still likely to be useful.

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