University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E01771: Augustine of Hippo preaches a sermon at the feast of *Crispina, (martyr of Theveste, S00905), possibly at Theveste (North Africa). Exposition on Psalm 120, written in Latin in North Africa, 392/417.

online resource
posted on 2016-07-26, 00:00 authored by robert
Augustine of Hippo, Exposition on Psalm 120, ch. 13

Et saeuiebant persecutores in Crispinam, cuius hodie natalitia celebramus; saeuiebant in feminam diuitem et delicatam; sed fortis erat, quia dominus tegumentum eius super manum dexterae eius, ille qui eam custodiebat.

'The persecutors raged against Crispina whose annual feast (natalitia) we are celebrating today; they raged against a rich and delicate woman: but she was strong, for the Lord defended her and was her covering upon her right hand.'

There follows a short description of Crispina's martyrdom.

Putate, fratres, quia per natalem beatae Crispinae inuitaui uos, et immoderatior fui in conuiuio producendo. Nonne posset hoc uobis fieri, si quis uos militaris inuitaret, et ad mensam sine mensura bibere cogeret? Liceat nobis hoc facere in diuino sermone, ut inebriemini et satiemini, quemadmodum et dominus pluuia sua temporali dignatus est terram irrigare, ut cum maiore gaudio nos sineret ire ad locum martyrum, sicut hesterno die promiseramus. Illi enim martyres sine labore hic sunt nobiscum.

'You think, brothers, that I invited you for the annual feast (natalitia) and was immoderate in preparation of the banquet. It could happen, if some military man invited you and forced you at the table to drink without measure. It is proper for us to do the same with the holy sermon which would make you drunk and satiated, as the Lord at times deigns to water the earth by rain. All this will let us go with a greater joy to the place of martyrs (locum martyrum), as we promised yesterday. For those martyrs are here with us, without any toil.'

Text: Dekkers and Fraipont 1956. Translation and summary: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Crispina, martyr at Thagasta, ob. c. 304 : S00905

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Latin North Africa

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

Carthage Carthago Karthago قرطاج‎ Qarṭāj Mçidfa Carthage

Major author/Major anonymous work

Augustine of Hippo

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


The Expositions on the Psalms are based on Augustine's homilies preached either in Hippo or in other places in North Africa in the period from 392 to 417.


The penultimate phrase of the quoted passage suggests that the sermon was preached in Theveste, the place of the martyrdom of Crispina.


Edition: Dekkers, E., and Fraipont, J., Enarrationes in psalmos (Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina, 38; Turnhout: Brepols, 1956). About the text: La Bonnardière, M.A. "Les Enarrationes in Psalmos prêchées par saint Augustin à l'occasion de fêtes des martyrs," Recherches Augustiniennes 7 (1971), 73-104.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager