Among Such, Under The Date Of The 27th Of November, Are Included
"The Holy Saints Barlaam And Josaphat, Of India, On The Borders Of Persia,
Whose Wonderful Acts Saint John Of Damascus Has Described.
Where and when
they were first canonised, I have been unable, in spite of much
investigation, to ascertain.
Petrus de Natalibus, who was Bishop of
Equilium, the modern Jesolo, near Venice, from 1370 to 1400, wrote a
Martyrology called Catalogus Sanctorum; and in it, among the 'Saints,'
he inserts both Barlaam and Josaphat, giving also a short account of them
derived from the old Latin translation of St. John of Damascus. It is from
this work that Baronius, the compiler of the authorised Martyrology now in
use, took over the names of these two saints, Barlaam and Josaphat. But,
so far as I have been able to ascertain, they do not occur in any
martyrologies or lists of saints of the Western Church older than that of
Petrus de Natalibus. In the corresponding manual of worship still used in
the Greek Church, however, we find, under 26th August, the name 'of the
holy Iosaph, son of Abener, King of India.' Barlaam is not mentioned, and
is not therefore recognised as a saint in the Greek Church. No history is
added to the simple statement I have quoted; and I do not know on what
authority it rests. But there is no doubt that it is in the East, and
probably among the records of the ancient church of Syria, that a final
solution of this question should be sought.
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