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Joyful and rewarding work

Saints are inspirational, even when they seem to belong more to the realm of folklore or imagination. For two thousand years, aside from being the leading force of renewal in Christianity, they have been influencing our world, our culture and our thinking in ways few people realise. From the early martyrs whose exploits sustained generations of readers, to the great mystical authors, from pilgrimages and the trade in relics, to accounts of prodigious healings and other miracles: the saints have inspired innumerable writers and artists, their very names identify towns and villages all over Europe and America, their patronage still animates countless feasts and processions.

This precious field of study, part of mankind’s cultural heritage, has been developed by the Bollandists over more than four centuries. Our team of scholars, now both Jesuit and lay, is dedicated exclusively to the critical study of the saints, their lives and their cults. Our laboratory is the Bibliotheca Bollandiana, a 500,000 volume library with a unique collection.

During 240 years the only vehicle of the bollandist research were the imponent volumes of Acta Sanctorum (1643-1940). Many Greek and Latin text editions can still be found only there! The November volumes, published at the turn of the 20th century, contain the monumental editions of the Synaxarion of Constantinople, the Hieronymian Martyrology and the Roman Martyrology (with historical commentary).