University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E05891: Hesychius of Jerusalem composes his Homily 9, On *Stephen (the First Martyr, S00030), which he preaches during the celebration of the saint, probably held at the diaconikon of Holy Sion in Jerusalem on 27 December. Written in Greek at Jerusalem, 415/438.

online resource
posted on 2018-06-29, 00:00 authored by erizos
Hesychius of Jerusalem, Homily 9, On Stephen (CPG 6573 = BHG 1657b)

The homily consists of exegetical and laudatory contemplations on the life and martyrdom of Stephen.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Other saint-related texts Literary - Sermons/Homilies


  • Greek

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Palestine with Sinai

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Jerusalem Caesarea Maritima Καισάρεια Kaisareia Caesarea Kayseri Turris Stratonis

Major author/Major anonymous work

Hesychius of Jerusalem

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Service for the Saint

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy


Hesychius lived as a monk and priest in Palestine and Jerusalem in the first half of the 5th century. A member of the clergy of the Holy Sepulchre, he was a leading theologian and author, flourishing from the 410s to perhaps after 451. He was a close associate of Juvenal (bishop of Jerusalem 422-458), and participated in the theological debate against Nestorius, supporting Cyril of Alexandria. The date of his death is uncertain. Theophanes reports that he died in the same year as Melania the Younger (ed. de Boor 92, 20: AM 5926), but he is also reported to have been alive when the Council of Chalcedon took place in 451, and to have opposed it. His surviving works include commentaries and homilies. He is known to have published an ecclesiastical history, which has not survived. The circulation of his works in the Middle Ages seems to have been geographically limited, since they tend to be found in manuscripts from Jerusalem and southern Italy, but hardly ever in Constantinopolitan ones. His homilies are important testimonies for the early stages of development of the liturgical traditions of the church of Jerusalem, and the appearance of a number of feasts with a strong Marian dimension like the 14 February feast of Hypapante (Candlemas) and 15 August. Homily 9 is preserved in one manuscript of the 8th/9th c. (Sinait. Gr. 493):


The biblical references and other details in the text strongly suggest that the venue was the church of Sion, where the relics of Stephen were deposited in 415, and the occasion the saint’s feast on 27 December, as recorded in the Armenian Lectionary of Jerusalem (E05189).


Text, French translation, and commentary: Aubineau, M., Les homélies festales d’Hésychius de Jérusalem I: les homélies I-XV (Subsidia Hagiographica 59: Brussels, 1978). English translation: Leemans, J. (ed.), 'Let Us Die That We May Live' : Greek Homilies on Christian Martyrs from Asia Minor, Palestine and Syria (c. AD 350-AD 450) (London: Routledge, 2003), 195-204 (by P. Allen).

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager