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E07237: In his Sermon 221, On the feast of the Apostles James and John, Caesarius bishop of Arles (southern Gaul) celebrates the feast of *John (Apostle and Evangelist, S00042). Written in Latin at Arles, 503/542.

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posted on 2018-12-30, 00:00 authored by Bryan
Caesarius of Arles, Sermon 221, Omelia in natale Apostolorum Iacobi et Iohannis

The sermon is mainly focused on loving one’s enemies, citing the examples of Stephen, and the brothers and disciples, James and John. Despite the title, the sermon appears to have been delivered on a feast of John alone:

3. […] beatissimus Iohannes apostolus, cuius hodie festivitas recolitur’[...] huius Iohannis, cuius in toto mundo hodie festum peragitur [...]

'... the most blessed John the apostle, whose feast it is today ... of this John whose feast is today celebrated throughout the world ...'

Text: Morin, vol. 2, 873-7. Translation: Mueller, vol. 3, 134-8.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

John, the Apostle and Evangelist : S00042 James, the Apostle, son of Zebedee : S00108

Saint Name in Source

Iohannes Apostolus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Gaul and Frankish kingdoms

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Arles Tours Tours Toronica urbs Prisciniacensim vicus Pressigny Turonorum civitas Ceratensis vicus Céré

Major author/Major anonymous work

Caesarius of Arles

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast


After an early career as an ascetic monk, first at the island monastery of Lérins, Caesarius became bishop of Arles in 503, and held this post, through many political vicissitudes, until his death in 542 (for his Life see E06283). Caesarius acquired a considerable reputation as a preacher, delivering sermons in a straightforward style and language, with limited use of rhetorical effects; most of his sermons address issues of Christian morality and practice, and the handful that he delivered on the feast days of saints are often concerned with proper behaviour at their festivals. His sermons were popular, and are widely attested in the manuscript tradition. Germain Morin, the most recent collector and editor of his sermons, attributed nearly 250, in whole or in part, to Caesarius; many, according to Morin, are reworkings of earlier sermons, with shorter or longer additions by Caesarius. Although Morin's attributions are not always certain, we have accepted them without question, since to look into this issue is beyond the scope of our project. Morin divided the sermons into five groups: sermons or admonitions on various topics (1-80), sermons on Scripture (81-186), seasonal sermons (187-213), sermons on the saints and feast days (214-232), and sermons to monks (233-238).


Edition: Morin, G., Sancti Caesarii Arelatensis sermones: nunc primum in unum collecti et ad leges artis criticae ex innumeris mss. recogniti (Corpus christianorum. Series Latina, 103-104; Turnholti: Brepols, 1953). Translations: Caesarius of Arles, Sermons, vol. 1-3, trans. M. Mueller (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 31, 47 and 66; Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 2004). Césaire d’Arles, Sermons au peuple, vol. 1, ed. and transl. M.-J. Delage (Sources Chrétiennes, Volume 175; Paris: Éd. du Cerf, 1971), 13-216. Further reading: Klingshirn, W.E., Caesarius of Arles: the Making of a Christian Community in Late Antique Gaul (Cambridge, 1994).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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