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E02783: Augustine of Hippo (North Africa), preaches in Latin a sermon for the feast of Quadratus (martyr and bishop of Utica, one of the *Martyrs of Massa Candida, S00904). Sermon 306B, preached probably c. 399 at Utica.

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posted on 2017-05-09, 00:00 authored by robert
Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 306B

[Sermo habitus XII Kal. Septemb. in natale martyris Quadrati

'Sermon preached on the 12 day before the Kalends of September (21 August] on the Birthday of the Martyr Quadratus']

Augustine tells in general terms about the martyrs as those who precede other Christians on their way to God. The only passage in which he refers specifically to Quadratus is the one in which he comments upon the martyr's name in the following words:

Quid dicemus, fratres? nonne perfectus martyr Quadratus? quid quadrato perfectius? Paria sunt latera, undique aequalis est forma; quacumque uerterit, statio est, non ruina. O nomen pulchrum, demonstrans figuram, et indicans rem futuram. Iam Quadratus et antea uocabatur, et nondum coronabatur: nondum in temptatione apparuerat, per quam esset ille quadratus; et tamen, quando uocabatur, praenuntiabatur praedestinatus ante mundi constitutionem, et, ut hoc uocaretur, hoc in illo compatitur, ut impleretur...

'What shall we say, brothers? Wasn't the martyr Quadratus perfect? What could be more perfect than the square? The sides are equal, from every direction there is equality of shape; whichever way you turn it, it's upstanding, it's not in a ruin. What a beautiful name, demonstrating the figure, indicating the future reality it's a figure of! He was already called Quadratus beforehand, and he hasn't yet been crowned; he hadn't yet been publicly subjected to the trials in which he would be squared off. And yet he was given the name it was being proclaimed that he had been "predestined before the foundation of the world" (Rom. 8:30; John 17:24); and in order to be called this, he experiences this in it, so it might be fulfilled ...'

Text: Morin 1930, 92. Translation: Hill 1994, 28-35. Summary: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Martyrs of Massa Candida (Utica), ob. c. 258 : S00904

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, village, etc


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

Utica 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 399 on the basis of intertextual references and its place in the collection of Augustine's sermons. At the beginning of this sermon Augustine greets his audience in a way which suggests that he is not preaching at home. It is possible that he was in Utica, Quadratus' former see and the place of his martyrdom.


More about Quadratus in Augustine's Sermon 306C: E002793.


Text: Morin, G., Sancti Augustini Sermones post Maurinos reperti (Miscellanea Agostiniana, vol. 1; Rome: Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, 1930). Translation: Hill, E., The Works of Saint Augustine. A Translation for the 21st Century, vol. III 9, Sermons 306-340A on 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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