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E01988: Augustine of Hippo, in his Latin sermon mentions unspecified healing miracles, produced daily at the memorial shrine of a martyr, most probably *Stephen (the First Martyr, S00030). Sermon 61A, preached in an unknown city in North Africa, in the 420s.

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posted on 2016-11-04, 00:00 authored by robert
Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 61A

5. ... Propter hoc admoneo primitus caritatem uestram, quoniam scio, et omnes scimus et dissimulare non possumus: feriunt enim oculos et nolentium, quae hic cotidie fiunt miracula sanitatum per memoriam beatissimi et gloriosissimi martyris praesentis in hoc loco: sed sine dubio aliqui petunt et non accipiunt.

'5. ... This is why I admonish Your Charity, for I know, and we all know and cannot hide it. Even the eyes of those who do not want it are stricken, because here, through the memorial shrine (memoria) of the most blessed and glorious martyr daily miraculous healings are wrought in this place. Yet other seek them too, and do not receive.'

There follow reflections on why not everybody is healed at the saint's shrine, in which Augustine emphasises that the most important healing is spiritual, not somatic.

Text: Lambot 1969, 181. Translation and summary: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030

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 - Liturgical Activity

  • Sermon/homily

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - unspecified

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle after death Healing diseases and disabilities

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Cult Activities - Relics

Unspecified relic


This sermon was not preached in Hippo, for at its beginning Augustine clearly states that he is visiting this city. The relics referred to in the quoted passage are almost certainly those of Stephen. After their discovery in Caphargamala in Palestine in 415 they arrived in several cities of North Africa in the early 420s.


Text: Lambot, C., "Le sermon de saint Augustin sur la prière publié par dom A. Wilmart," Revue Bénédictine 79 (1969), 173-184 Translation: Hill, E., The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century, vol. III 2. Sermons 20-50 ‬(New York: New City Press, 1990).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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