File(s) not publicly available

E05337: Gaudentius of Brescia composes a Latin sermon (Sermon 15) in Brescia, northern Italy, after 384/397, in honour of the feast day of the *Maccabean Martyrs (pre-Christian Jewish martyrs of Antioch, S00303).

online resource
posted on 2018-04-16, 00:00 authored by frances
Gaudentius of Brescia, Sermon 15


The tract is entitled: ‘Tract Fifteen on the Maccabean Martyrs on their Feast Day' (Tractatus Quintus Decimus de Machabaeis Martyribus. Die Natalis Eorum). Gaudentius opens by asking if any in his congregation are surprised that Jews are celebrated as holy martyrs. He tells them this is because they were living before the coming of Christ. He praises the nobility of the youths who suffered: they venerate God and the law. In particular they did not eat the flesh of pigs. This was because meat can nourish carnal lusts and pigs are unclean animals who are associated with demons. This exhortation to avoid a certain type of meat is likened to God’s command that Adam and Eve should not eat from one of the trees in Eden. The most important thing for the Maccabees is that they obeyed God in even small matters. Gaudentius then praises the brothers for withstanding tortures, which ranged from physical suffering to resistance to promises of riches. Their mother – who looked on their bodies with joy – also ought to be praised.

Summary: Frances Trzeciak.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Maccabean Martyrs, pre-Christian Jewish martyrs of Antioch : S00303

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Brescia Sardinia Sardinia Sardegna Sardinia

Major author/Major anonymous work

Gaudentius of Brescia

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Sermon/homily

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult activities - Rejection, Condemnation, Scepticism

Uncertainty/scepticism/rejection of a saint

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Women Relatives of the saint Torturers/Executioners


A sermon of Gaudentius of Brescia. Gaudentius was ordained bishop of Brescia by Ambrose of Milan at some time between 384 (the earliest possible date of the death of his predecessor, Philastrius) and 397 (the year of Ambrose’s death). He was bishop of Brescia for at least fourteen years. During this time, he authored several tracts, many of which were intended to be preached to his congregation in Brescia.


Text: Glück, A., Tractatus XXI. Gaudentius Brixiensis (Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 68; Vienna, 1936). Translation: Boehrer, S., Gaudentius of Brescia: Sermons and Letters (Studies in Sacred Theology Second Series: Doctoral Dissertation, 165; Washington D.C., 1965) Further Reading: Lizzi, R., "Ambrose’s Contemporaries and the Christianization of Northern Italy," Journal of Roman Studies 80 (1990) 156-173. Truzzi, C., Zeno, Gaudenzio e Cromazio. Testi e contenuti della predicaione Cristiana per le chiese di Verona, Brescia e Aquileia (360 – 410 ca.) (Brescia: Paideia, 1985).

Usage metrics