University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E03255: The Life of *Pastor (priest and martyr of Rome, S01842) is written in Latin, presumably in Rome, at an uncertain date, by the 12th-13th c. at the latest. The Life narrates that Pastor, priest and disciple of the apostle Paul together with *Timotheus (presumably the disciple of Paul, S00466), is the dedicatee of a church (titulus pastoris) near the vicus Laterici in Rome built by the senator Pudens, where he is buried. He took care of the burial of several saints, among whom the virgins *Praxedes and Pudentiana (martyrs of Rome, S00591 and S00142), whose life he also wrote.

online resource
posted on 2017-07-11, 00:00 authored by mpignot
Life of Pastor (BHL 6470d)


Pastor comes from a distinguished Roman family; he becomes Christian and is instructed together with Timotheus by the apostle Paul, and ordained a priest. He suffers greatly under the emperor Antoninus. He is humble and truly bears the name Pastor, as he takes care of Christians at night, instructing them and comforting them in a time of persecution. He also takes care of the poor.

A church (ecclesia) is dedicated to his name in the vicus Laterici by the senator Pudens, the father of the holy virgins Praxedes and Pudentiana, that is called titulus Pastoris up to this day.

Pastor steals and buries the bodies of several saints, relying on the help of Pudentiana and Praxedes, whom he then buries with honours and whose life he put into writing. He dedicates his whole life to God and is a remarkable example to his fellow Christians in Rome. He dies on the 7th day before the Calends of August [= 26 July]. His body is buried in the aforementioned titulus where God bestows many favours up to this day.

Text: Delehaye 1936, 264-266. Summary: M. Pignot.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Pastor, priest and martyr of Rome : S01842 Timothy, the disciple of Paul the Apostle : S00466 Paul, the Apostle : S00008 Pudentiana, virgin and martyr of Rome : S00591 Praxedis, virgin and martyr of Rome : S00142

Saint Name in Source

Pastor Timoteus Paulus Pudentiana Praxedis

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Other saint-related texts


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Rome and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Rome Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Distribution of alms

Cult Activities - Miracles

Unspecified miracle

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Aristocrats Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy Women

Cult Activities - Relics

Bodily relic - entire body Construction of cult building to contain relics


There is only one version of the Life, BHL 6470g, the earliest manuscript being from the 12th century (see the database Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina Manuscripta at


The priest Pastor in this text relates to the character Pastor, mentioned in a number of other martyrdom accounts, in particular the Martyrdom of Marius, Martha and Companions (E02093) and the Martyrdom of Pudentiana and Praxedes (E02507). The latter similarly situates the main action under emperor Antoninus, tells of Pudens’ dedication of a titulus to Pastor, and relates the care he took in burying the virgins. It also makes of Pastor a correspondent of Timotheus, who tells the story of Praxedes and Pudentiana’s life. Despite our Life being generally dated to the 6th century (Clavis Patrum Latinorum 2216; Gryson, R., Répertoire général des auteurs ecclésiastiques Latins de l’Antiquité et du Haut moyen âge, 2 vols. (Freiburg, 2007), I, 80), there is no evidence to date it on the basis of the information that it shares with other martyrdom accounts. The earliest preserved manuscript being from the 12th century, and the church of Saint Pudentiana being dedicated to Pastor and John the Baptist at that time, Lanéry guesses that it might have been composed following that dedication. The Martyrdom of Pastor (E04565) does not relate to our Life as it presents Pastor as a martyr originally coming from Nicomedia. However, it shares the same feast day, 26 July, and may point to diverging traditions on the same saint. It is worth noting that the Life at one point refers to the audience as "dearest brothers" (fratres carissimi).


Edition (BHL 6470g): Delehaye, H., Étude sur le Légendier Romain. Les saints de Novembre et de Décembre (Brussels, 1936), 264-266. Further reading: Delehaye, H., Étude sur le Légendier Romain. Les saints de Novembre et de Décembre (Brussels, 1936), 137-140. Lanéry, C., "Hagiographie d'Italie (300-550). I. Les Passions latines composées en Italie,” in: Philippart, G. (ed.), Hagiographies. Histoire internationale de la littérature hagiographique latine et vernaculaire en Occident des origines à 1550, vol. V (Turnhout, 2010), 15-369, at 299.

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager