Sometime around the middle of the 20th century the Latin orthography of official Roman Catholic liturgical books of the Roman Rite switched from "juxta", "Jesus", "Judaei" etc. to "iuxta", "Iesus", "Iudaei".

When exactly did this change happen and why?

  • 1
    I don't know the answer, but as a data point, I have a Clementine Vulgate printed in 1956 that has the J spellings.
    – varro
    Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 18:03
  • @varro That's not an official liturgical book. Even liturgical music books (graduals, antiphonals, usuals) were being reprinted with the old orthography up to the sixties, probably because of the costs of new typesetting. Regarding liturgical books in the strictest sense, I have a 1953 breviary with old orthography and 1956 Ordo hebdomadae sanctae with new orthography. But I have been unsuccessful searching for the very document saying "from now on no more j in liturgical books ... Contrariis minime obstantibus."
    – igneus
    Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 18:29
  • I tried to locate the point of turn using the AAS, whose archive is available online, but it seems that AAS either started to use the "new" orthography long before the liturgical books, or the orthography was "modernized" as the volumes went through OCR.
    – igneus
    Commented Dec 16, 2017 at 18:32
  • 1
    I have a 1954 breviary with J. Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


I don't think there has been any concrete time and if so, it was already around the Tridentine Council. I have been working with Cistercian Latin resources from last 200 years, and they all use the newer orthography. And I wouldn't call the Cistercians as the more progressive ones :-) (and I mean it as a compliment).

  • Thanks! It seems to be a similar case like with the abovementioned AAS, though: in liturgical books even Cistercians (of both "old" and strict observance) used the orthography with "j". See e.g. this 1954 OCist diurnale and other books on the same website.
    – igneus
    Commented Jan 1, 2018 at 15:10

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