To navigate in the calendar, you can click on the buttons beneath the grid display, which will scroll one unit at a time. Alternately, you can select the month by pulling down the choice box, or the year by clicking on the year box and editing it to the desired year (you need to hit the "enter" key for the year to change in the calendar grid). The calendar will correctly display BCE dates, but because of the year filtering, no holidays will appear in the list box.
In general, saints who died before there was a formal process of canonization appear on the calendar sometime shortly after their deaths. For the earliest saints these dates are arbitrary and should not be regarded as indicating the historically attested appearance of a cult at this point in time. Later saints are added to the calendar at their date of canonization.
The default locale when the applet starts is "Western." This locale gives the traditional dates for many saints whose celebrations were moved or suppressed by the Roman Catholic church in the revisions of 1969. It is, in other words, a kind of convenient fiction that lets you see the old style of observance in a modern calendar.
- Roman Catholic
- Sarum (medieval)
- Church of England
- Episcopal (U.S.)
- Eastern Orthodox
Locales are organized in a hierarchy. As of the latest revision, the hierarchy was organized as shown in the list above. The feast filter enforces an inheritance rule: feasts defined in a parent locale are inherited by the child locale unless the child overrides that feast with different behavior. The "English" locale, for example, will show feasts common to the Anglican Rite churches (at the moment, I've only entered data for the Church of England and the Episcopal Church), or if you set the date before 1549, the date of Cranmer's prayer book, the medieval English church.
If you are in the "Roman Catholic" locale and set the date before 1970, you will notice that the saints move to their traditional days. The Anglican churches make comparable revisions beginning with the year 1980.
In the "Options" panel you can set how the calendar and feast days are to be displayed. If you want, you can select a different Gregorian conversion date from the standard one (October 15, 1582). I've pre-set a few conversion dates that I consider interesting or important, but you can also pick your own conversion date. If you want to see more detail about the conversion, I've prepared a fairly detailed table.
The "Filters" panel allows you to display only those categories of feasts you want to see. A feast can have multiple categories (e.g., virgin, martyr). Most types should be self-explanatory. The less obvious types are explained in the list below.
- Deacon: Includes archdeacons and deaconesses.
- Abbot: Includes abbesses.
- Bishop: Includes archbishops.
- Religious: Anyone vowed to a religious order. Includes monks, nuns, friars, and
(for lack of a better place to put them) hermits.
- Doctor: Doctor of the Church. Really only applies for the Roman Catholic church, but shown in all locales.
- Christ-Centered: Commemorations of Jesus or events relating to him, e.g., Christmas, Easter, etc.
- Object: Commemoration of a thing, e.g., the cross.
- Other: People in not covered by other categories.
All I'm seeing is a gray box. What gives?
If you're seeing only a gray box instead of the applet, it's still loading. The program code is about 62k, and the database is another 20k. Thus depending on the state of the connection between your server and mine, it can take some time to download everything, or the load might be interrupted. If the load seems to be stalled, you might try reloading the page.
The applet runs but I don't see any holidays in the list box.
The feast-day data is downloaded after the applet starts. This can take some time, so the process runs in a separate thread while the graphics are initialized. If the internet connection is very slow, the applet will give up on trying to read the feast data after a certain amount of time (about a minute) and just run the basic application.