University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E05493: Leo the Great composes several Latin sermons in Rome in 440/461 which refer to Saturday evening vigils conducted in the presence of *Peter (the Apostle, S00036).

online resource
posted on 2018-05-21, 00:00 authored by frances
Leo the Great, Sermons


In each of these sermons the following phrase (with only minor modifications) appears near the end of the sermon:

Quarto igitur et sexta feria ieiunimus, sabbato autem apud beatissimum/beatum Petrum apostolum uigilias celebremus.

‘... on Wednesday and Friday let us fast, and on Saturday let us keep vigil with the most blessed/blessed Apostle Peter.’

In each case, Leo continues to tell the congregation of the benefits Peter’s prayers and intercession will bring to the faithful.

This statement can be found at the end of sermons concerning days of fast in December (Sermons 12, 16, 17, 18, 19); days of fast in Lent (42); Pentecost (75, 76, 81); and days of fast in September (88, 89, 90, 92).

Summary: Frances Trzeciak.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Peter the Apostle : S00036

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

Rome and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Rome Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Major author/Major anonymous work

Leo the Great (pope)

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Crowds


Leo the Great’s sermons were composed and delivered to the congregation in Rome throughout his papacy, between 440 and 461. The vast majority of these sermons were delivered at St Peter’s at the Vatican. The most recent editor of these sermons, A. Chavasse, argues that Leo edited and circulated a collection of 59 sermons, composed between 441 and 445, and that a second group of sermons from the latter part of his papacy were edited and circulated shortly after his death in 460. It is possible that these sermons were intended to provide a model for other bishops or to educate priests and the lower clergy.


Text: Chavasse, A., Sancti Leonis Magni Romani Pontificis tractaus (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 138, 138A; Turnhout, 1973). Translation: Freeland, J. and Conway, A., St Leo the Great Sermons (Fathers of the Church 93; Washington D.C., 1996). Further Reading: Demacopoulos, G.E., The Invention of Peter: Apostolic Discourse and Papal Authority in Late Antiquity (Philadelphia, 2013). Salzman, M.R., "Leo’s Liturgical Topography: Contestations for Space in Fifth-Century Rome," Journal of Roman Studies 103 (2013), 208-232. Thacker, A., "Patrons of Rome: The cult of Sts Peter and Paul at court and in the city in the fourth and fifth centuries," Early Medieval Europe 20:4 (2012), 380-406. Wessel, S., Leo the Great and the Spiritual Rebuilding of Rome (Leiden, 2008).

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager