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E04547: Augustine of Hippo preaches in Latin a sermon on the feast of the Apostles *Peter (S00036) and *Paul (S00008), explaining that they died on the same day, but not in the same year. Sermon 381, if authentic preached in an unknown place in North Africa between 391 and 430.

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posted on 2018-01-01, 00:00 authored by robert
Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 381

1. Petri et Pauli apostolorum dies, in quo triumphalem coronam, deuicto diabolo, meruerunt, quantum fides romana testatatur, hodiernus est. Quibus solemnis festiuitas exhibetur, solemnis etiam sermo reddatur. Laudes audiant a nobis, preces fundant pro nobis. Sicut traditione patrum cognitum memoria retinetur, non uno die passi sunt per coeli spatia decurrente. Natalitio ergo Petri passus est Paulus, non quo ex utero matris in numerum fusus est hominum, sed quo ex uinculo carnis in lucem natus est angelorum; ac per hoc ita singuli dies dati sunt duobus, ut nunc unus celebretur ambobus.

'As the belief of the Romans assures us, today is the day of the apostles Peter and Paul, on which, having roundly defeated the devil, they earned the victor's crown. Since a solemn feast (solemnis festiuitas) is held in their honour, let our respects also be paid to them with a formal sermon, may they hear our praises, may they pour out prayers on our behalf. The common memory, basing itself on the tradition of the fathers, knows that they did not actually suffer in the course of the same day between sunrise and sunset. So Paul suffered on Peter's birthday (natalitium), not the day he emerged from his mother's womb to join the ranks of mankind, but the one on which he was released from the bonds of the flesh and born into the light of the angels. And so it is, while each was given his own day of martyrdom, they are now both celebrated on the same day.'

In what follows Augustine reflects upon the role of Peter and Paul in the beginning of the Church.

Text: Patrologia Latina 39, 1683. Translation: Hill 1995, 372. Summary: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Peter the Apostle : S00036 Paul, the Apostle : S00008

Saint Name in Source

Petrus Paulus

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


Neither the dating of this sermon nor the place in which it was delivered can be established with any certainty. As the sermon is preserved only in medieval lectionaries and not in collections of Augustine's sermons Hill 1995, 374 raises doubts as to its authenticity (strengthened by the peculiarities of the style which he considers rather that of an imitator that Augustine himself).


Similar remarks on the dates of death of the Apostles Peter and Paul can be found in Sermon 295 (E02589).


Text: Migne, J.P., Patrologia Latina 39 (Paris, 1865). 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).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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