Vita quarta sanctae Brigitae

  • Latin
  • prose
A recension of a Latin life of St Brigit of Kildare which survives only in two Franciscan editions of the 17th century. The editors are John Colgan, who attributed the work to one Animosus (whose name he thought to be a Latin counterpart to the Irish name Anmchad), and Hugh Ward, who attributed it to Ultán of Ardbraccan. Richard Sharpe has argued that it was part of the so-called Dublin collection of Irish saints’ lives. BHL 1460.
First words (prose)
  • Tribus iam, fratres mei, mens mea [Prol.] ... Fuit gloriosus rex in Hibernia nomine Feidlimidh [Vita]
Ascribed to: Animosus [al. Anmchad]Animosus ... al. Anmchad
Entry reserved for but not yet available from the subject index.

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John Colgan (Triadis Thaumaturgae) attributed the work to an unknown author named Animosus and gave the Irish name as Anmchad. The latter name has encouraged later scholars to identify him with the Anmchad who was bishop of Kildare (ob. 980/981). Hugh Ward attributed the life to Ultán of Ardbraccan instead.
No manuscript copy survives.
  • Latin
12th century?
prose (primary)



Brigit of Kildare
Brigit of Kildare
(c. 439/452–c. 524/526)
patron saint of Kildare, whose cult spread both within and outside of Ireland.

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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.

[ed.] Bollandus, Ioannes, and Godefridus Henschenius, Acta sanctorum quotquot toto orbe coluntur, vel a catholicis scriptoribus celebrantur, 68 vols, vol. 3: Februarius I, Antwerp: Ioannes Meursius, 1658.
Google Books: <link>
[ed.] Colgan, John, Triadis Thaumaturgæ seu divorum Patricii, Columbæ et Brigidæ, trium veteris et maioris Scotiæ, seu Hiberniæ sanctorum insulae communium patronorum acta, Louvain: apud Cornelium Coenestenium, 1647.  
comments: The title page reads in full (normalised spellng): Triadis Thaumaturgæ, seu divorum Patricii, Columbæ, et Brigidæ, trium veteris et majoris Scotiæ, seu Hiberniæ, Sanctorum insulæ, communium patronorum acta, a variis, iisque pervetustis ac Sanctis, authoribus Scripta, ac studio R.P.F. Joannis Colgani, in conventu F.F. Minor. Hibernor, Stritior, Observ., Lovanii, S. Theologiæ Lectoris Jubilati, ex variis bibliothecis collecta, scholiis et commentariis illustrata, et pluribus appendicibus aucta; complectitur tomus secundus sacrarum ejusdem insulæ antiquitatum, nunc primum in lucem prodiens.
Digital.onb.ac.at: <link> Google Books: <link>, <link>
546–567 [‘Quarta vita S. Brigidae: authore (vt videtur) Animoso seu Anmchado’]

Secondary sources (select)

Sharpe, Richard, Medieval Irish saints’ lives: an introduction to Vitae sanctorum Hiberniae, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991.
[‘A paradigm of the Dublin collection Vita IV S. Brigitae’]
Dennis Groenewegen
Page created
April 2023, last updated: February 2024