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E04534: Augustine of Hippo preaches in Latin a sermon on the feast of the women martyrs of Thuburbo (North Africa), almost certainly *Maxima, Donatilla, and Secunda (S01812), showing them as an example to men. Sermon 345, delivered in an unknown city in North Africa, c. 391/430.

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posted on 2017-12-29, 00:00 authored by robert
Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 345

1. Admonet nos et sollemnitas martyrum, et dominicus dies, hoc loqui caritati uestrae, quod pertineat ad contemptum praesentis saeculi, et ad spem futuri...

'The fact that today is both a feast of the martyrs of the Lord's day constrains me to speak to your graces about what concerns indifference or contempt for the present age and hopes for the age to come...'

After that Augustine does not refer to the martyrs or their cult until the following sentence:

... Erubesce, barbate: feminae secutae sunt, quarum hodie natalicia celebramus. Feminarum martyrum Tuburbitanarum sollemnitatem hodie celebramus.

'Blush for shame, bearded man, women have followed Him, those whose birthday (natalicia) we are celebrating today. We are celebrating the feast today of the feast today of the women martyrs of Thuburbo.'

Text: Morin 1930, 201 and 207. Translation: Hill 1995, 58 and 62 (slightly adapted). Summary: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Maxima, Donatilla and Secunda (virgins and martyrs of Thuburbo, ob c. 304) : S01812

Saint Name in Source

feminae martyres Tuburbitanae

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 name in other Language(s)

Carthage Carthago Karthago قرطاج‎ Qarṭāj Mçidfa Carthage

Major author/Major anonymous work

Augustine of Hippo

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Service for the Saint

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Women


The sermon was probably preach on Sunday 30 July (the feast of the martyrs of Thuburbo was celebrated on this day), but it does not determine the year. During Augustine's episcopate it could have been in 405, 411, 416, 422, or 428.


The women martyrs of Thuburbo are know from their Martyrdom, see E07491.


Text: Morin, G., Sancti Augustini Sermones post Maurinos reperti (Miscellanea Agostiniana, vol. 1; Rome: Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, 1930). Translation: Hill, E., The Works of Saint Augustine. A Translation for the 21st Century, vol. III 10, Sermons 341-400 On Various Subjects (New York: New City Press, 1995). Dating: Kunzelmann, A., "Die Chronologie der sermones des hl. Augustinus," Miscellanea Agostiniana, vol. 2 (Rome: Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, 1931), 417-452.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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