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E04447: Augustine of Hippo preaches in Latin a sermon on the martyrs, emphasising that they did not care about the integrity of their bodies after death. Sermon 335F, delivered on an unspecified date between AD 391 and 430, somewhere in North Africa.

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posted on 10.12.2017, 00:00 authored by robert
Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 335F

[De martyribus

'On some martyrs']


Sed quid de martyribus dicamus? Quanta illis securitas data est ut non curarent etiam de diuisione membrorum suorum? Curam gerit de numero capillorum et non gerit curam in resurrectione de integritate membrorum?

'But what are we to say about the martyrs? What a great assurance was given them, so they shouldn't worry even about the cutting of their limbs! He takes care about the number of their hairs, and takes no care in the resurrection about the integrity of their limbs?'

In what follows Augustine reflects generally on the martyrs and their readiness for death and does not refer to any specific personage or form of the cult.

Text: Patrologiae Latinae Supplementum 2, 802. Translation: Hill 1994, 240. Summary: Robert Wiśniewski.

History

Evidence ID

E04447

Saint Name

Martyrs, unnamed or name lost : S00060

Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

391

Evidence not after

430

Activity not before

391

Activity not after

430

Place of Evidence - Region

Latin North Africa

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

Carthage Carthago Karthago قرطاج‎ Qarṭāj Mçidfa Carthage

Major author/Major anonymous work

Augustine of Hippo

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Sermon/homily

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Cult Activities - Relics

Division of relics

Source

Sermon 335F is not a complete sermon, but a part of one. It cannot be dated with any certainty.

Discussion

The context suggests that when Augustine tells about the division of the limbs (divisio membrorum) of the martyrs he means their cutting out during or just after the execution and not a custom of dividing relics.

Bibliography

Text: Hamman, A., Patrologiae Latinae Supplementum, vol. 2 (Turnhout: Brepols, 1960). Translation: Hill, E., The Works of Saint Augustine. A Translation for the 21st Century, vol. III 9, Sermons 306-340A on the Saints (New York: New City Press, 1994).

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