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E03631: Augustine of Hippo delivers a Latin sermon on Easter Sunday, referring to a man who has has just been healed by the agency of *Stephen (the First Martyr, S00030), the sight of whom is better testimony than any written account (libellus). Sermon 320, preached c. 426 in Hippo Regius (North Africa).

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posted on 2017-08-30, 00:00 authored by robert
Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 320

[De martyre Stephano habitus ipso die paschae

'On the martyr Stephen, preached on Easter Sunday']

De miraculis Dei per orationes beatissimi martyris Stephani libellos solemus audire. Libellus huius, aspectus est; pro scriptura notitia, pro charta facies demonstratur. Qui nostis quid in illo dolentes uidere soleatis, in praesenti gaudentes legite quod uidetis: ut Dominus Deus noster abundantius honoretur, et quod in libello conscriptum est, in uestram memoriam conscribatur. Date ueniam, quia diuturnum non reddo sermonem: nostis etenim fatigationem meam. Ut heri ieiunus tanta agere possem et non deficere, ut et hodie uobis cum loquar, orationes sancti Stephani praestiterunt.
Conuersi ad Dominum, etc.

'We are accustomed to hearing written accounts (libelli) which describe the miracles God performs through the prayers of the most blessed martyr Stephen. This man's written account is the sight of him; first-hand knowledge instead of some writing, his face presented to you instead of a document. You know what you had got used to seeing in him with sorrow and sadness; now read what you can see in him present among you with joy and gladness. In this way the Lord our God may be more abundantly honoured, and what is written down in a written account may be engraved in your memories. Please excuse me for not giving a long sermon; you know, after all, how tired I am. That I could do so much yesterday, while fasting, and not collapse, and that I could also speak to you today, is something the prayers of Saint Stephen have obtained for me.
Turning to the Lord etc.'

Text: Patrologia Latina 38,1442. Translation: Hill 1994, 157 (slightly changed).


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030

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

Hippo Regius

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

Hippo Regius Carthage Carthago Karthago قرطاج‎ Qarṭāj Mçidfa Carthage

Major author/Major anonymous work

Augustine of Hippo

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Sermon/homily

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - dependent (chapel, baptistery, etc.)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle after death Healing diseases and disabilities

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


This sermon was preached certainly after the discovery of the relics of Stephen in Cahargamala (Palestine) in AD 415, their arrival in Africa c. AD 420 and in Hippo c. 424, for the relics are evidently kept in the church in which Augustine is speaking. It had been also preached before Book 22 of The City of God (which refers to this episode) was written c. 426/427 (see E01135).


The name of the healed man was Paulus. For other sermons preached on the following days and referring to this miracle see Sermons 321-324 (E03632, E03660, E03851, E03999).


Text: Migne, J.P., Patrologia Latina 38 (Paris, 1865). Translation: Hill, E., The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century, III 9. Sermons 306-340A for the Saints ‬(New York: New City Press, 1994).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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