The writing of the lives of the saints. It involves studying and comparing the sources, assessing their historical validity and importance, and relating them to their context in contemporary secular history. The primary sources for hagiography include martyrologies, calendars, biographies, prose and verse literary compositions, and liturgical texts. Eusebius (260-340) compiled the first hagiography. The term often means an uncritical appreciation of the life of a saint and is used pejoratively in this sense.
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.