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E07465: Ildefonsus, bishop of Toledo in his On the Lives of the Famous Men, written in Latin in 657/667, writes that Bishop Nonnitus of Girona dedicated himself to the worship of the tomb of *Felix (martyr of Girona, S00408).

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posted on 2019-03-22, 00:00 authored by mszada
Ildefonsus of Toledo, De viris illustribus 9

Nonnitus post Iohannem in Gerundensi sede pontifex accessit. Vir professione monachus, simplicitate perspicuus, actibus sanctus; non hominum diutina deliberatione, sed Dei per homines celeri definitione in pontificatum adscitus, adhaerens instanter obsequiis sepulchri sancti Felicis martyris.

'After John, Nonnitus acceded as bishop to the see of Girona. A monk by profession, outstanding in his honesty, holy in his deeds, he was elected to his bishopric not through the long deliberation of men, but by a swift decree of God enacted through men. He dedicated himself at once to the cult of the tomb of the holy martyr Felix.'

Text: Codoñer 2007, 611-12. Translation, Fear 1997, 117, lightly adapted.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Felix, martyr of Gerona (Spain) : S00408

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Other


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Iberian Peninsula

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Toledo Osset Osset Osen (castrum) Osser castrum

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits


Ildefonsus was abbot of the important monastery of Agali and later bishop of Toledo. Here he succeeded his uncle, Eugenius II, in 657 and was bishop until his death in 667. He was then succeeded by Quiricius. Julian, bishop of Toledo in 680-690 and also a former abbot of Agali, wrote an Elogium in honour of Ildefonsus, which is our main source for his life. In his capacity as abbot of Agali, Ildefonsus was present at the Eighth and Ninth Councils of Toledo in 653 and 655. Because of his Marian devotion, he is sometimes considered responsible for the project to establish the feast of Mary in December, which was introduced by the Tenth Council of Toledo in 656. Ildefonsus, however, does not appear amongst the signatories of the council, so it seems that he did not take part in the proceedings. Four works were certainly authored by Ildefonsus of Toledo – On the Virginity of Holy Mary, On the Lives of Famous Men, On the Understanding of Baptism and On the Way of the Desert. There are also letters and liturgical texts (see Clavis Patrum Latinorum nos. 1247-1256). Their exact chronology is uncertain. On the Lives of Famous Men was probably written sometime during Ildefonsus' episcopate, between 657 and 667.


For a similar devotion of a bishop to the martyrs noted by Ildefonsus see E07463.


Edition and translation: Codoñer Merino, C., De viris illustribus, in: Ildefonsi Toletani opera omnia (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 114A; Turnhout, 2007), 595-616. Fear, A.T., Lives of the Visigothic Fathers (Translated Texts for Historians 26; Liverpool 1997), 107–122.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity