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E01851: Augustine of Hippo, in his Letter 212, recommends to an African bishop two women who carry relics of *Stephen (the First Martyr, S00030). Written in Latin in Hippo, c. 425.

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posted on 2016-09-12, 00:00 authored by robert
Augustine of Hippo, Letter 212

Domino beatissimo et merito uenerabili fratri et coepiscopo Quintiliano Augustinus in Domino salutem.

Honorabiles dei famulas et praecipua membra Christi, Gallam uiduam sancti propositi et eius filiam Simpliciolam uirginem sacram matri aetate subditam, sanctitate praelatam, quas uerbo domini aluimus, ut potuimus, uenerationi tuae in christi dilectione commendo et tamquam mea manu per hanc epistulam trado consolandas et in omnibus adiuuandas, quae utilitas earum uel necessitas postulat ... Portant sane se cum reliquias beatissimi et gloriosissimi martyris Stephani, quas non ignorat sanctitas uestra, sicut et nos fecimus, quam conuenienter honorare debeatis.

'To his most blessed lord and rightly venerable brother and fellow bishop, Quintilian, Augustine sends greetings in the Lord.

I commend to Your Reverence in the love of Christ the honorable servants of God and precious members of Christ, Galla, a widow who has made a holy commitment, and her daughter Simpliciola, a consecrated virgin, less than her mother in age but greater than her in holiness, whom we have nurtured as best we could with the word of the Lord. By this letter, as if by my own hand, I entrust them to you to be consoled and assisted in every way that their benefit or need demands ... In fact they are carrying with them relics of the most blessed and most glorious martyr, Stephen. Your Holiness knows how you ought to pay them due honor, as we also have done.'

Text: Goldbacher 1895, 357. Translation: Teske 2001, 29.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Letters


  • 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 - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Women Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits

Cult Activities - Relics

Unspecified relic Privately owned relics Transfer/presence of relics from distant countries Transfer, translation and deposition of relics


The episcopal see of Quintilian to whom this letter is addressed is unknown. The relics of *Stephen arrived in Africa c. 420. It is interesting to remark that they were partly in private hands.


Edition: Goldbacher, A., Augustinus, Epistulae (ep. 185-270) (Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 57; Vienna: Tempsky, 1911). English translation: Teske, R., The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century, vol. II 4 Letters 211-270, 1*-29* (New York: New City Press, 2005), 29. 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). Gauge, V., "Les routes d’Orose et les reliques d’Etienne," Antiquité Tardive 6 (1998), 265–286.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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