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E02042: According to the Latin Acts of the Conference of Carthage (North Africa, AD 411), a Catholic bishop and a Donatist priest celebrated together a vigil, most probably preceding the feast of a local martyr in the city of Numidia i Mauretania Caesariensis (North Africa), some time before 411.

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posted on 2016-11-24, 00:00 authored by robert
Acts of the Conference in Carthage, AD 411

Session 1, paragraph 188

... Item recitauit:  "Ianuarius episcopus Numidiensis". Cumque accessisset, idem dixit: "Mandaui et subscripsi et traditores non habeo". Fortunatianus episcopus ecclesiae catholicae Siccensis dixit: "Unde es?" Ianuarius episcopus dixit: "Numidia est; Mauretania est Caesariensis". Reparatus episcopus ecclesiae catholicae Sufasaritanae dixit: "Dioecesis mea est. Illic presbyterum habeo, illic tecum uigilauit"...

'... [Marcellinus] read: "Januarius, the bishop of [the city of] Numidia". He approached, and said: "I signed the mandate; I do not have traitors". Fortunatianus, the bishop of the Catholic Church of Sicca, said: "Where are you from?" The [Donatist] bishop Januarius said: "From Numidia in Mauretania Caesariensis". Reparatus, the bishop of the Catholic Church of Sufasar, said: "This is my diocese. I have a presbyter there, he kept vigil with you"...'

Text: Lancel 1972, 838-840. Translation: Stanisław Adamiak.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Anonymous martyrs : S00060


  • 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


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

Carthage Carthage Carthago Karthago قرطاج‎ Qarṭāj Mçidfa Carthage

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs



The conference in Carthage was held in 411 with the aim of putting an end to the Donatist schism and re-establishing the unity of the Church in Africa. On the first day of the conference, the Donatists challenged the list of signatures of the Catholic bishops on the document. A roll call followed, in order to ensure that the right people were present. The tribune Marcellinus, who presided, called out the names of the Catholic bishops one by one, and their Donatist counterparts were asked to identify them. Then the roll call proceeded in the opposite way, with the Donatist bishops identified by the Catholics.


This text does not specify what kind of vigil was held jointly by the Catholics and Donatists. It is hardly possible that the two parties celebrated together Easter or Christmas. This they did in their own churches. But both the Catholics and Donatists certainly wanted to celebrate the feast of the local martyr or martyrs at their graves. See also E02038.


Edition and French translation: Lancel, S., Actes de la Conférence de Carthage en 411, vol. II (Sources Chrétiennes 195; Paris, 1972).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity