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E03013: The Fourth Council of Toledo (central Spain) in 633 is held in the church of *Leocadia (martyr of Toledo, S01367), according to the Latin acts of the council.

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posted on 2017-06-20, 00:00 authored by mszada
Acts of the Fourth Council of Toledo

Gesta synodalia in Toletanam urbem apud concilium LXVI episcoporum Spaniae et Galliae provinciarum edita. Anno tertio regnante domno nostro gloriosissimo principe Sisenando, die nonas decembres, aera DCLXXI.

Dum studio amoris Christi ac diligentia religiosissimi Sisenandi regis Spaniae atque Galliae sacerdotes apud Toletanam urbem in nomine Domini conuenissimus ut eius imperiis atque iussis communis a nobis agitaretur de quibusdam ecclesiae disciplinis tractatus, primum gratias Saluatori nostro Deo omnipotenti egimus; post haec antefacto ministro eius excellentissimo et glorioso regi, cuius tanta erga Deum deuotio exstat ut non solum in rebus humanis sed etiam in causis diuinis sollicitus maneat. Hic quippe, dum in basilicam beatissimae et sanctae martyris Leocadiae omnium nostrum pariter iam coetus adesset, tali pro merito fidei suae cum magnificentissimis et nobilissimis uiris ingressus, primum coram sacerdotibus Dei humo prostratus cum lacrimis et gemitibus pro se interueniendum Domino postulauit, deinde religiosa prosecutione synodum exhortatus est, ut Paternorum decretorum memores et conseruanda in nobis iura ecclesiastica studium praeberemus, et illa corrigere quae, dum per neglegentiam in usum uenerunt, contra ecclesiasticos mores licentiam sibi de usurpatione fecerunt. ...

'The synodal acts issued in the city of Toledo at the council of 66 bishops of the provinces of Spain and Gaul. In the third year of the reign of our most glorious lord, King Sisenand, on the day of the Nones of December in the year 671 of the era [= 6 December 633].

When we, the priests of Spain and Gaul gathered in the city of Toledo in the name of the Lord, out of zeal for the love of Christ and the diligence of our most pious King Sisenand, to discuss on his order and in accordance with the general law some issues concerning ecclesiastical discipline, we first gave thanks to our Saviour, almighty God. Then we thanked His servant, the most excellent and glorious king whose devotion to God is so great that he is anxious not only for human affairs but also for those of heaven. When the congregation of us all gathered in the basilica of the most blessed and holy martyr Leocadia, he also entered with the most magnificent and noble men for the great merit of his faith, and first he prostrated himself on the ground before the priests of God and asked them with tears and sighs to pray for him to the Lord. Afterwards he exhorted the synod in pious words to be mindful of the decrees of the Fathers and to try with zeal to preserve in our Church the ecclesiastical laws, and to correct those things which have come into use through negligence, or are wrongly considered to be permitted, against ecclesiastical custom. ...'

Text: Martínez Díez, Rodríguez 1992: 178–180. Translation: M. Szada.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Leocadia, martyr in Toledo, ob. 304/311 : S01367

Saint Name in Source



  • 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)

Toledo Osset Osset Osen (castrum) Osser castrum

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Activities Accompanying Cult

  • Meetings and gatherings of the clergy

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Monarchs and their family


The Fourth Council of Toledo was a council of the whole Visigothic church (sixty six bishops were present) gathered by King Sisenand (631-636) in 633, and held under the presidency of Isidore of Seville. It is sometimes claimed on stylistic grounds that Isidore himself was the author of the decrees (Collins 2004, 79).


The date of foundation of this church of Leocadia is unknown. These acts of the Fourth Council of Toledo provide the earliest mention of it; however, it is usually dated back to the reign of King Sisebut (612-621). This assumption is based solely on the account in the so-called Prophetic Chronicle written in 883 that says that during the reign of Sisebut the basilica of Leocadia 'was enlarged with a high roof of wonderful workmanship' (trans. Wolf 2008). The church was located outside the walls of Toledo, to the north-west. In the 1990s Pedro de Palol excavated the remains of the basilica. The excavations have shown that the church was built on a site where late Roman or Visigothic buildings were founded in the area of the circus. Although there is a tradition that the basilica was built over the tomb of Leocadia (see E###), there is no material evidence of a tomb or a cemetery below it. The basilica of Leocadia is sometimes called 'in praetorio toletano' (see E03084). It is possible that the Roman building excavated by de Palol was a praetorium, in which the church was later founded (see de Palol 1991; Martin 2003, 231-232).


Edition: Martínez Díez, G., and Rodríguez, F. (eds.), La colección canónica Hispana (Monumenta Hispaniae sacra. Serie canónica 5; Madrid, 1992). Further reading: Gurt i Esparraguera, J.M., and Diarte Blasco, P., "La basílica de santa Leocadia y el final de uso del circo romano de Toledo: una nueva interpretación," Zephyrus 69 (2012), 149–63. Martin, C., La géographie du pouvoir dans l'espace visigothique (Lille, 2003). Palol, P. de, "Resultados de las excavaciones junto al Cristo de la Vega, supuesta basílica conciliar de Sta. Leocadia de Toledo: algunas notas de topografía religiosa de la ciudad," Concilio III de Toledo: XIV Centenario 589-1989 (Toledo, 1991), 787-832. Wolf, K.B. (trans.), "Chronica Prophetica," Medieval Texts in Translation, 2008. Web 22 May 2009.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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