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E02944: Peter Chrysologus, bishop of Ravenna (attested 448/449, died before 458), in a Latin sermon preached in Ravenna, on the Parable of the Tares, mentions the martyrdom of *Euphemia (presumably the martyr of Chalcedon, S00017).

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posted on 2017-06-07, 00:00 authored by dlambert
Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 97.3

Commenting on Matthew 13:26 ('But when the stalks had grown, and had produced ears, then the tares appeared') , Peter takes Euphemia as an example of a stalk bearing fruit:

Sic credentes in Christo multi ecclesiae videntur in pace, ubi autem persecutionis procella perflaverit, pauci martyrii repperiuntur in fructu. Sed Eufemia sancta plus soluit in fructu, quam promisit in flore, quae manente virginitatis flore copiosum martyrii pervenit ad fructum.

'And so, in a time of peace the Church seems to have many who believe in Christ, but when the storm of persecution blows, there are few who are found to bear fruit in martyrdom. But Saint Euphemia yielded more fruit than she promised in her blossom, since with the blossom of her virginity intact she managed to bear copious fruit in martyrdom'.

Text: Olivar 1981, 599. Translation: Palardy 2005, 102.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Euphemia, martyr in Chalcedon, ob. 303 : S00017

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

Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Ravenna Sardinia Sardinia Sardegna Sardinia

Major author/Major anonymous work

Peter Chrysologus

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Sermon/homily

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Ecclesiastics - bishops


Peter Chrysologus was bishop of Ravenna in the second quarter of the 5th century. The chronology of his life remains uncertain: he is attested as bishop in 448/449 and he died before 458 when there is evidence of his successor Neo receiving a letter from pope Leo the Great: see PCBE 2, 'Petrus Chrysologus 9', pp. 1728-9. While most of Peter's sermons were transmitted in a collection put together by bishop Felix of Ravenna in the 8th century, the current body of sermons attributed to him has been established and critically edited by Olivar, who rejected a number of sermons from Felix's collection as spurious and added 15 sermons not transmitted in the collection but which he considered authentic. All the sermons were preached in Ravenna, generally on specific topics or liturgical feasts that can be identified. Most, however, do not bear indications of their date, although Olivar has attempted to find chronological units within Felix' collection. For an overview of these sermons and hypotheses on their chronology, see A. Olivar, Los sermones de San Pedro Crisologo: estudio critico (Montserrat, 1962); F. Sottocornola, L’anno liturgico nei sermoni di Pietro Crisologo (Cesena, 1973); V. Zangara, “I silenzi nella predicazione di Pietro Crisologo”, Rivista di storia e letteratura religiosa 32 (1996), 225-265, and further bibliography in W.B. Palardy, Peter Chrysologus: Selected Sermons, vol. 2, (Fathers of the Church 109; Washington DC, 2004), xiii-xvi.


This sermon shows that Euphemia was well known in mid 5th c. Ravenna, but is not itself evidence of her cult in the city.


Edition: Olivar, A., Petrus Chrysologus, Sermones (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 24A; Turnhout, 1981), 597-601. Further reading: Cortesi, G., “Le chiese ravennati di S. Eufemia e la loro problematica,” Corso di cultura sull’arte ravennate e bizantina 25 (1978), 77-91. Lucchesi, G., “Eufemia di Calcedonia, santa, martire,” Bibliotheca Sanctorum 5 (Rome, 1964), 154-160.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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