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E01135: Augustine of Hippo, in his City of God (22.8), tells how two siblings from Cappadocia were healed at the memorial shrine of *Stephen (the First Martyr, S00030) in Hippo Regius (North Africa) at Easter c. 425. The account of this miracle is publicly read in the church. Written in Latin in Hippo, c. 426/427.

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posted on 2016-02-21, 00:00 authored by robert
Augustine of Hippo, City of God 22.8


Having enumerated a number of contemporary miracles, especially in Hippo and other places in North Africa, in which relics of Stephen were deposited, Augustine presents in detail a miracle that he qualifies as greater, more evident, and better known that those named above.

Ten siblings in Cappadocia are cursed by their mother and they are seized by shaking of their limbs. They wander through the Roman world and two of them, Paul and Palladia, come to Hippo, two weeks before Easter. They visit the church every day and pray at the memorial shrine (memoria) of Stephen. Just before the mass of Easter, Paul, who holds the railings of the holy place (loci sancti cancelli), 'where the relics are' (ubi martyrium erat) of Stephen, suddenly falls asleep and after waking up does not tremble anymore. People in the church shout with joy. Augustine celebrates mass. Next day he promises the congregation that on the following day a written account (libellus) of the miracle will be read in the church, and it is read accordingly in the presence of the siblings. When, after the reading, they withdraw to the memoria, Palladia is healed as well.

Summary: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Other


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Latin North Africa

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Hippo Regius

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Hippo Regius Carthage Carthago Karthago قرطاج‎ Qarṭāj Mçidfa Carthage

Major author/Major anonymous work

Augustine of Hippo

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult Activities - Miracles

Healing diseases and disabilities Miracle after death

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Ecclesiastics - bishops Foreigners (including Barbarians) Other lay individuals/ people Crowds

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - unspecified

Cult Activities - Cult Related Objects

Registers of miracles


Augustine wrote the Book 22 of the City of God in Hippo, c. 426/427. Chapters 8-9 enumerate a number of contemporary miracles, most of which took place in Hippo and other cities of North Africa, either at the relics of Stephen, the first martyr, or those of *Gervasius and Protasius, martyrs in Milan.


The story of Paul and Palladia is known also from Augustine's Sermons 321-324 (E03631, E03632, E03660 and E03851) which were delivered on four successive days, from Easter Sunday to Tuesday. Sermon 322 contains the libellus, the written account that Augustine refers to in this passage. Augustine does not suggest that the fame of the relics of Stephen held at Hippo reached Cappadocia, but evidently wants to show that Hippo was not just a local cult centre.


Edition: Dombart, B., and Kalb, A., Augustinus, De civitate dei, 2 vols. (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 47-48; Turnhout: Brepols, 1955). English translation: Dods, M., Augustine, The City of God (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, vol. 2; Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1887). Further reading: Meyers, J., Les miracles de saint Etienne. Recherches sur le recueil pseudo-augustinien (BHL 7860-7861), avec édition critique, traduction et commentaire (Turnhout: Brepols, 2006).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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