The codex, found by Muratori in the Ambrosian Library at Milan, and named by him the "Antiphonary of Bangor" ("Antiphonarium Benchorense"), was brought to Milan from Bobbio with many other books by Cardinal Federigo Borromeo when he founded the Ambrosian Library in 1609. Bobbio, which is situated in a gorge of the Apennines thirty-seven miles north-east of Genoa, was founded by St. Columbanus, a disciple of St. Comgal, founder of the great monastery at Bangor on the south side of Belfast Lough in the county of Down. St. Columbanus died at Bobbio and was buried there in 615. This establishes at once a connection between Bobbio and Bangor, and an examination of the contents of the codex placed it beyond all doubt that it was originally compiled in Bangor and brought thence to Bobbio, not, however, in the time of St. Columbanus. There is in the codex a hymn entitled " ymnum sancti Congilli abbatis nostri ", and he is referred to in it as " nostri patroni Comgilli sancti ". Again there is a list of fifteen abbots, beginning with Comgal and ending with Cronanus who died in 691; the date of the compilation, therefore, may be referred to 680-691. Muratori, however, is careful to state in his preface that the codex, though very old, and in part mutilated, may have been a copy made at Bobbio, by some of the local monks there, from the original service book. It is written, as regards the orthography, the form of the letters, and the dotted ornamentation of the capital letters, in "the Scottic style", but this, of course, may have been done by Gaelic monks at Bobbio. The actual bearer of the codex from Bangor is generally supposed and stated to have been St. Dungal, who left Ireland early in the ninth century, acquired great celebrity on the Continent, and probably retired to Bobbio towards the close of his life. He bequeathed his books to "the blessed Columbanus", i.e., to his monastery at Bobbio. The antiphonary, however, cannot be identified with any of the books named in the catalogue of the books bequeathed by Dungal, as given by Muratori (Antiquitatis Italicae Medii Aevi, Milan, 1740, III, 817-824). Here only a summary can be given of the contents of the codex to which the name of "Antiphonary" will be found to be not very applicable: (1) six canticles ; (2) twelve metrical hymns ; (3) sixty-nine collects for use at the canonical hours ; (4) special collects; (5) seventy anthems, or versicles; (6) the Creed ; (7) the Pater Noster. The most famous item in the contents is the venerable Eucharistic hymn "Sancti venite Christi corpus sumite", which is not found in any other ancient text. It was sung at the Communion of the clergy and is headed, "Ymnum quando comonicarent sacerdotes". A text of the hymn from the old manuscript Of Bobbio, with a literal translation, is given in "Essays on the Discipline and Constitution of the Early Irish Church," (p. 166) by Cardinal Moran, who refers to it as that "golden fragment of our ancient Irish Liturgy ". The Creed in this codex differs in its wording from all other forms known to exist. It is in substance the original Creed of Nicaea. It does not contain the ex Patre Filioque procedit , but merely states the homoousia of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity.
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online