Saint NameJohn the Baptist : S00020
Saint Name in SourceIohannes
Type of EvidenceLiterary - Sermons/Homilies
Evidence not before426
Evidence not after458
Activity not before426
Activity not after458
Place of Evidence - RegionItaly north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia
Place of Evidence - City, village, etcRavenna
Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)Ravenna
Major author/Major anonymous workPeter Chrysologus
Cult activities - Liturgical Activity
Cult activities - Festivals
Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and NarrativesEcclesiastics - bishops
SourcePeter 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, not found in Felix’ collection, but transmitted in Alanus of Farfa’s homiliary and notably attested in an 8th or 9th c. manuscript (Munich, BSB, Clm 4564, f. 25v-27r), has been attributed to Peter Chrysologus by Olivar 1962, 365-368. On the transmission see Olivar 1982, 1084, who also suggested that Peter may have used John Chrysostom’s homily 36 (37) on Matthew (Patrologia Graeca 57, 413-415).
DiscussionIt is possible, but uncertain, that this sermon was preached for the feast of John the Baptist. Unlike other sermons of Peter on John, it does not discuss John’s death, but his preaching activity.
Olivar, A., Petrus Chrysologus, Sermones (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 24B; Turnhout, 1982), 1085-1088.
Palardy, W.B., Peter Chrysologus, Selected Sermons. Volume 3 (Fathers of The Church 110; Washington D.C, 2005), 354-358.
Olivar, A., Los sermones de San Pedro Crisologo: estudio critico (Montserrat, 1962), 365-368.