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E02739: Hymn in honour of *Aemilianus (ascetic and miracle-worker in Spain, ob. 570s, S00578), written in Latin for liturgical purpose, presumably by Braulio, bishop of Saragossa (north-east Spain), between 631 and 646; presents the saint as intercessor and miracle-worker.

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posted on 2017-04-26, 00:00 authored by mszada
Braulio of Saragossa, Hymn in honour of St Aemilianus

The first strophe begins from an apostrophe to Christ 'as the great master of all things whom the stars of Olympus always obey'. There follows a lengthy prayer of people distressed by various sufferings and sins, asking for the grace of God. Only in the seventh strophe is there a first allusion to the festivity of a saint:

(7) Hec mente rite fixa dum reuolbimus,
libet dicatum predicare seruulum,
tuum ministrum, Xriste Ihesu, uernulum,
ut, festa mixtis gaudiis cum pangimus,
sequatur inde tota te laudatio.

'(7) While we return to these things with a mind rightly set, it is pleasing, O Jesus Christ, to praise the devoted servant, your loyal assistant (minister), so that, while we engage in the feast joined with joy, thence all praise might follow you.'

Sanchez in his Spanish translation proposed to translate uernulus in the text as equal to uernaculus, and therefore meaning 'our fellow countryman' (coterráneo nuestro). Strophe 8 praises God as King surrounded by saints. The next three strophes contain prayers to God for the absolution of sins and for salvation. There follow the strophes about miracles, possibly alluding to those performed by Aemilianus according to his Life:

(12) Videmus orbos restitutos lumini
clodosque plantis exilire uiuidis,
consumpta tabo membra conualescere,
mortis sopore pressa demum surgere,
letos deinde conuenire sospites;

(13) Tortos repelli, effugari demones,
tormenta penis eiulantes perpeti,
anguis uenenum uersipellis angeli
suo latenti confodiri uulnere
suisque telis sauciatum conteri.

(14) Vt conditoris hec patent miracula,
sic claudicantes mentis egritudine
serpens repulsus deserat nequissimus,
sic nigra corda nubilo socordie
fulgore sudo premicent clarissima.

(15) Hec nempe uirtus Xristi est tutissima,
Emilianum que tulit per ardua,
uite trophea que coronat premio,
nostris ut esset seculis sectabilis
foretque fortis aduocatus infimis.

'(12) We see the blind whose sight is restored and the lame leap, their feet now vigorous, [we see] that the bodies consumed by decay recover, and those already oppressed by the slumber of death now resuscitated. [We see them] afterwards gathering together, healthy and joyful.

(13) [We see] twisted demons expelled and put to flight, they lament suffering torments as punishment. The venomous serpent of the cunning angel pierced itself with a hidden wound and hurt by its own darts, it is destroyed.

(14) In order to make manifest the miracles of the Creator, the repelled evil serpent deserts those disabled by the illness of mind, and in that way the hearts blackened by the cloud of idleness now shine with the most clear and serene light.

(15) Certainly, it is the unfailing power of Christ which led Aemilianus through difficulties and which crowns with reward the trophies of life so that he may be a guide in our times and a powerful advocate in the last times.'

Here follow a strophe (16) in which the congregation is again called to sing and pray to God, and a final strophe (17) with the doxology.

Text: Castro Sánchez 2010, 326-330. Summary and translation: M. Szada.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Aemilianus, ascetic and miracle-worker in Spain, ob. in the 570s : S00578

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Liturgical texts - Hymns


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Iberian Peninsula

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Saragossa Osset Osset Osen (castrum) Osser castrum

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Chant and religious singing

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime Miracle after death

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits


The Hymn in honour of Aemilianus consists of seventeen five-line strophes in iambic trimeter (see Norberg 195, 71, 111). It is known from manuscripts of the 11th century: Alia Officia Toletana, British Library 30845, fol. 145r and Psalmi Cantica et Hymni, British Library 30851, fol. 151r-152v. There is also a 16th century manuscript in the Museo Catedralico Diocesano in Segorbe, ms. G1, fol. 119r-120r (which was not used by the editor). See The attribution of the hymn to Braulio is based on the latter's letter to his brother, Fronimianus, in which he says that he composed a hymn in honour of Aemilianus in senaric iambic. If so, the hymn was composed at the same time as Braulio's Life of the saint (see E02685 and E02732).


The hymn makes no clear allusion to the Life of Aemilianus written by Braulio, and generally is very uninformative about the saint and his cult. He is mentioned by name only in one strophe, and all his virtues are summed up in a vague phrase that he had difficulties in his life, was rewarded for them by the Lord, and can now be an efficient intercessor. Strophes 12 and 13 which refer to the miracles are sometimes interpreted as alluding to the Life of Aemilianus (Castro Sánchez 2010, 821), but are highly generic.


Editions: J. Castro Sánchez, Hymnodia hispanica (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 167; Turnhout 2010). J. Castro Sánchez (ed.), Hymnodia hispánica, Corpus Christianorum in Translation 19, (Turnhout: Brepols, 2014). Spanish translation. Further reading: D. Norberg, Introduction à l'étude de la versification latine médiévale (Stockholm 1958).

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