University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E01774: Augustine of Hippo preaches a sermon at the feast of *Felix (priest and confessor of Nola, S00000), possibly at Hippo Regius (North Africa). Exposition on Psalm 127, written in Latin in North Africa, c. 407.

online resource
posted on 2016-07-27, 00:00 authored by robert
Augustine of Hippo, Exposition on Psalm 127

Ch. 2
Augustine comments upon Psalm 127, verse 4, which mentions filii excussorum or the 'children of those shaken out'. He explains that the expression refers to the Apostles, as the wrapping of the Old Testament which often spoke in riddles should be shaken out in order to make the content, that is the true sense of the word of God, visible. In this context he says:

Excutiamus, si uidetur caritati uestrae: aderit dominus, ut procedat quod intus est; maxime, fratres mei, quia martyrum natalitia celebramus.

'Let us shake out, if it pleased to your Charity. The Lord will help us to get out what is inside. Especially, my brothers, as we are celebrating the annual feast of martyrs (natalitia martyrum).'

There follows a passage on the suffering of the martyrs.

Ch. 6
Ergo, fratres, Felix martyr et uere felix et nomine et corona, cuius hodie dies est, contemsit mundum.

'And so, brothers, the martyr Felix, who is truly happy (felix) both by name and crown, whose day we are celebrating, spurned the world'

There follows a description of the death of Felix, who was imprisoned, tortured, and confessed his faith, though he died in prison and was not killed like other martyrs.

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


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Felix priest and confessor of Nola (southern Italy) : S00000

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. According to la Bonnardière this sermon was preached in 407.


Edition: Dekkers, E., and Fraipont, J., Enarrationes in psalmos (Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina 38; Turnhout: Brepols, 1956). Further reading: 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