Catechesis Celtica

  • Latin
  • prose
  • Hiberno-Latin texts, Collectanea
A collection of around 50 religious items in Latin, notably homilies, Sunday Gospel readings, exegetical tracts and commentaries. The text is attested in a single manuscript (Vatican, MS Vat. Reg. lat. 49) thought to have been produced in Brittany in the late 10th century.
Catechesis Celtica
The title Catechesis Celtica is a modern one, which derives from André Wilmart’s edition of the material under the title ‘Catéchèses celtiques’.
  • Latin
prose (primary)
Textual relationships
Related: In nomine Dei summi (sermons)In nomine Dei summi (sermons)

A collection of seven Hiberno-Latin sermons, which share the same dedicatory opening formula In nomine Dei summi

Associated items
Apocalypse of ThomasApocalypse of Thomas

Apocryphal Latin text which gives an account of the signs that will supposedly appear in the final week before the Last Judgment. The vision is said to have been revealed by Christ to a certain Thomas, presumably the doubting apostle of that name. Different versions of the text have been transmitted, but a broad distinction is commonly made between (1) a short recension, which is possibly closest to the original, (2) an interpolated one, which contains a preface, and (3) various abbreviated texts.


Hiberno-Latin textsHiberno-Latin texts



Primary sources Text editions and/or modern translations – in whole or in part – along with publications containing additions and corrections, if known. Diplomatic editions, facsimiles and digital image reproductions of the manuscripts are not always listed here but may be found in entries for the relevant manuscripts. For historical purposes, early editions, transcriptions and translations are not excluded, even if their reliability does not meet modern standards.

A transcription by R. E. McNally remains unpublished.
[ed.] Wilmart, André, Analecta reginensia: extraits des manuscrits latins de la Reine Christine conservés au Vatican, Studi e testi, 59, Vatican City: Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, 1933.
Celtic Digital Initiative – 29-112 (‘Catéchèses celtiques’): <link>
29–112 (‘Catéchèses celtiques’)
[tr.] Carella, Bryan, “A homily on ‘The blessedness of Jesus’ mother’ in the Catechesis Celtica (Vat. Reg. lat. 49): translation and notes”, Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 33 (2013, 2014): 83–106.
Translation, with introduction and notes, of a homily on the Virgin Mary.

Secondary sources (select)

Carella, Bryan, “A homily on ‘The blessedness of Jesus’ mother’ in the Catechesis Celtica (Vat. Reg. lat. 49): translation and notes”, Proceedings of the Harvard Celtic Colloquium 33 (2013, 2014): 83–106.
Rittmueller, Jean, Liber questionum in Evangeliis, Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina, 108F, Turnhout: Brepols, 2003.  
Composed in about the year 725, the Liber Questionum in Euangeliis (LQE) is a comprehensive reference commentary on Matthew intended for ecclesiastics in the writing, teaching, and preaching professions. Its anonymous Irish redactor gathered together all the relevant patristic and native material available, adding to and adapting much of a still largely unpublished commentary on Matthew by the Hiberno-Latin writer Frigulus (fl. ca. 700). LQE's well-attested manuscript tradition and its far-flung exegetical influence make it one of the more intriguing texts to appear in the Scriptores Celtigenae series. Although LQE's origins are in Ireland (and one Irish fragment still survives), its manuscript families also include witnesses from England and the Continent. Not only is LQE a typical product of the early Irish church, but its considerable length, the variety of its sources, and its influence on later writers further reveal the work to be central to the entire early medieval Gospel commentary tradition. In addition to exegetes in England, the Carolingian writers Haimo of Auxerre (ob. 853), Rhabanus Maurus of Fulda (780-865), and especially Paschasius Radbertus of Corbie (ob. ca. 865) adapted it for their own works on Matthew.
(source: Brepols)
McNamara, Martin, “The affiliations and origins of the Catechesis Celtica: an ongoing quest”, in: Thomas OʼLoughlin (ed.), The Scriptures and early medieval Ireland: proceedings of the 1993 Conference of the Society for Hiberno-Latin Studies on Early Irish Exegesis and Homilectics, 31, Steenbrugge, Turnhout: In Abbatia S. Petri, Brepols, 1999. 179–203.
McNamara, Martin, “Sources and affiliations of the Catechesis Celtica (MS Vat. Reg. lat. 49)”, Sacris Erudiri 34 (1994): 185–237.
Rittmueller, Jean, “MS Vat. Reg. lat. 49 reviewed: a new description and a table of textual parallels with the Liber questionum in euangeliis”, Sacris Erudiri 33 (1992–1993): 259–305.
McNamara, Martin, “The Irish affiliations of the Catechesis Celtica”, Celtica 21 (1990): 291–334.
Ó Laoghaire, Diarmuid, “Irish elements in the Catechesis Celtica”, in: Próinséas Ní Chatháin, and Michael Richter (eds), Irland und die Christenheit: Bibelstudien und Mission. Ireland and Christendom: the Bible and the missions, Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 1987. 146–164.
Grosjean, Paul, “A propos du manuscrit 49 de la Reine Christine”, Analecta Bollandiana 54 (1936): 113–136.
Wilmart, André, “Une source carolingienne des catéchèses celtiques”, Revue Bénédictine 45 (1933): 350–351.
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
January 2016, last updated: January 2024