This is probably a question for all you historians out there. Can anyone provide me with a list of the 36 non-Sunday holy days of obligation in force before Pope St Pius X’s motu proprio: Supremi disciplinæ?

I’m guessing that the Wikipedia number was taken from the list established by Pope Urban VIII and modified by Pope Clement XI. However, in many places the bishops liberally changed the obligations especially for the feasts of the Saints and often kept other days that had been supressed in the list. Plus there were several later modifications of the obligations by Rome. Certainly with all the indults and whatnot, not even Rome kept all the 36 by the middle of the 19th century. So these 36 were not “in force” to be exact, at least, not with the same level of obligation. Are you looking for a list in a particular country? It’s usually easier to go that route.

In any case, here are the days

The Holy Trinity:

  1. Nativity
  2. Circumcision
  3. Epiphany
  4. Monday within the Octave of the Resurrection
  5. Tuesday within the Octave of the Resurrection
  6. Ascension
  7. Monday within the Octave of Pentecost
  8. Tuesday within the Octave of Pentecost
  9. Most Holy Trinity
  10. Most Holy Body of Christ
  11. Finding of the Holy Cross

The Blessed Virgin:

  1. Purification BVM
  2. Annunciation BVM
  3. Assumption BVM
  4. Nativity BVM
  5. Immaculate Conception BVM (by Clement XI)

The Saints:

  1. Dedication of St. Michael
  2. Nativity of St. John Baptist
  3. Ss. Peter and Paul
  4. St. Andrew
  5. St. James
  6. St. John (the December feast)
  7. St. Thomas
  8. Ss. Philip and James
  9. St. Bartholmew
  10. St. Matthew
  11. Ss. Simon and Jude
  12. St. Matthias
  13. St. Stephen (the December feast)
  14. The Holy Innocents
  15. St. Lawrence
  16. St. Sylvester
  17. St. Joseph
  18. St. Anne
  19. All Saints
  20. Principle Patrons of Country, City, etc.

Thanks for that list AJV! I wasn’t looking for any country in particular. I just wondered what had been the holy days around that time. I think I was surprised by the number 36 since we now have a maximum of 10 and other than the Vatican I don’t think anywhere else observes all 10 as days of precept.

Well, as I said, no one really observed all 36. Before Pius X, in the UK and Ireland, the number hovered between 8 and 13. In the USA, once the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore sorted out most of the mess of the holy days in various parts of the country, there were 6. Canada too had already reduced and fixed the number at 6.

Granted that Christmas and January 1 doesn’t fall on a Sunday, Canada has only 2 non-Sunday Holidays of Obligation today. So for 2011 and 2012, there is only 1 non-Sunday Holiday of Obligation in Canada as in 2011 Christmas is on a Sunday, and in 2012 January 1 is a Sunday.

All the other Holidays are moved to the following Sunday.

Iwas speaking of the time before Pius X. Apologies for the confusion.

Oh, I kinda missed that :smiley:

Thanks for asking the question, and also for posting the list. I think that perhaps many people don’t realise how much stricter Church discipline was in times past. I wonder how people who complain about Holydays now would react to seeing this list>:D

They would probably apoplectic. I find it irksome that our bishops think it too great a burden for us to have two holy days of obligation together. It would have been no burden to me to have gone to church last Sunday for 31st Sunday in Ordinary Time and then on Monday for All Saints.

“Apoplectic” is probably an understatement, I think you’re being charitable! :smiley:

To be fair, I wasn’t just thinking about the people you describe, I was also thinking about some of the people I know who want to keep the Holydays as they were. I agree with you that it wouldn’t be too difficult to go two days together (we’ll be doing it in under two months time - Christmas Day is on Saturday). I do wonder, however, how many people would insist that we still observe the 36 ex-Holydays of obligation mentioned on the list?:hmmm:

wow! and my Catholic knowledge gets even deeper. Had no idea about this til today. thanks!

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