1st through 17th centuries CE
Subscription Type
  • Boolean searching, truncation searching, and proximity searching are all possible; details are available through the "Help Contents" pick on the toolbar.
  • Searching by saint's name requires use of a Latin name form. To insure complete coverage you may need several alternate spellings as well.
Greek, Latin
Resource Types
E-Books and E-Texts
The Acta Sanctorum Database is an electronic version of the complete printed text of the Acta Sanctorum [Deeds of the Saints] taken from the edition published in many volumes by the Société des Bollandistes in Antwerp in the seventeenth century and continued in Brussels in the later nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is a collection of documents recounting the exemplary lives, deaths, miracles, and other deeds of saints of the Roman Catholic Church as well as major historical moments in their subsequent veneration. Organized according to each saint's feast day, it runs from January through November. The final volume is the Propylaeum [preliminary volume] to December published in 1940. This is an annotated edition, rich in older bibliographical references, of the Martyrologium Romanum, the church's month-by-month listing of its saints. Lives, etc. of saints with feast days in December are not included in the Acta Sanctorum. Although some early modern saints are included, the Acta Sanctorum's coverage is chiefly ancient and medieval. The editorial matter and most of the documents are in Latin; some documents are in Greek. Every "Search" page and every document page has a vertically oriented toolbar at the upper left, headed by the words "Acta Sanctorum". Some important indexes for searching are over the picture and thus easily missed by new users. One of these is the database's "BHL GoTo" feature, which guides one to matter on particular saints according to the numbers and number ranges assigned in the Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina (BHL; a standard inventory and finding guide for lives, etc. of the saints). The toolbar includes links to the Table of Contents, to the general contents of the database's Help file, to contextual Help varying on where one is in the database, and (document pages only) to a set of links, called "Context". (Not updated)