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E02737: Augustine of Hippo (North Africa), preaches in Latin a sermon for the feast of *Laurence (deacon and martyr of Rome, S00037), emphasising his fame in the city of Rome. Sermon 304, preached possibly c. AD 417, in North Africa.

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posted on 2017-04-25, 00:00 authored by robert
Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 304.1

Beati Laurentii triumphalem diem, quo calcauit mundum frementem, spreuit blandientem, et in utroque uicit diabolum persequentem, hodiernum nobis ecclesia Romana commendat. Quam gloriosa enim, et quanta uirtutum multitudine, quasi florum uarietate, distincta laurentii martyris sit corona, uniuersa testis est Roma. In ipsa enim ecclesia, sicut soletis audire, diaconi gerebat officium. Ibi sacrum Christi sanguinem ministrauit: ibi pro Christi nomine suum sanguinem fudit.

'The Roman Church commands this day to us as the blessed Laurence's day of triumph, on which he trod down the world as it roared and raged against him, spurned it as it coaxed and wheedled him, and in each case conquered the devil as he persecuted him. How glorious a wreath is worn by Laurence the martyr, and with what a multitude of virtues it is adorned, as with a variety of flowers, the whole city of Rome can testify. It was in that Church, you see, as you have regularly been told, that he performed the office of deacon; there that he administered the sacred chalice of Christ's blood; there that he shed his own blood for the name of Christ.'

In what follows Augustine encourages his audience to imitate Laurence, each in his or her proper way, for the garden of the Lord's includes 'not only the roses of martyrs, but also the lilies of virgins, and the ivy of married people, and the violets of widows'.

Text: Patrologia Latina 38, 1395. Translation: Hill 1994, 316. Summary: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Laurence, martyr of Rome, ob. 258 : S00037

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 - Liturgical Activity

  • Service for the Saint

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


The sermon is tentatively dated to 417 on the basis of intertextual references and its place in the collection of Augustine's sermons.


Text: Migne, J.P., Patrologia Latina 38 (Paris, 1865). Translation: Hill, E., The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century III/8. Sermons 273-305A for the Saints ‬(New York: New City Press, 1994). Dating: Kunzelmann, A., "Die Chronologie der sermones des hl. Augustinus," Miscellanea Agostiniana, vol. 2 (Rome: Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, 1931), 417-452.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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