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E01900: Augustine of Hippo, in his treatise On the sole baptism, refers to the Roman practice of commemorating all the bishops of the city whose episcopate was irreproachable, and mentions specifically *Stephanus (bishop and martyr of Rome, S00205). Written in Latin in North Africa, 410/411.

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posted on 2016-10-07, 00:00 authored by robert
Augustine of Hippo, On the Sole Baptism 14.23

Augustine deals with the issue of rebaptism, which he considers to be inspired by the devil. In this context he has to explain why Bishop Stephanus of Rome is commemorated in that city in spite of the fact that he rebaptised heretics. He puts this question in the following way:

Sed uolo mihi soluat iste quaestionem, quandoquidem, cum Romanae ecclesiae per ordinem commemoraret episcopos, inter eos commemorauit et Stephanum, quos episcopatum inlibatum gessisse confessus est.

'But let me solve this question of why the church of Rome, which commemorates its subsequent bishops, whose episcopate is believed to be irreproachable, commemorates among them also Stephanus.'

Text: Petschening 1910, 23. Translation and Summary: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Stephen, martyr and bishop of Rome, ob. c. 257 : S00205

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 - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast


This treatise was written against the Donatists, shortly before the Conference of Carthage in 411, which put an end to the official existence of their Church.


This is interesting evidence that Augustine was aware of the list of bishops commemorated (though not necessarily venerated) in Rome.


Text: Petschenig, M., Augustinus, De unico baptismo (Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, 53; Vienna: Tempsky, 1910), 3-34.

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