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E07570: In his Sermons 219 and 220, Caesarius bishop of Arles (southern Gaul) celebrates the feast of *Stephen (the First Martyr, S00020). Written in Latin at Arles, 503/542.

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posted on 2019-05-23, 00:00 authored by Bryan
Sermon 219, In natale Sancti Stephani

Very brief summary:

Caesarius opens with a reference to the reading from Acts on Stephen’s martyrdom, which the congregation has just heard. In his sermon, Stephen is praised above all for praying for his persecutors; Caesarius encourages his congregation to forgive their enemies, as Stephen had.

Sermon 220, In diem Sancti Stephani

Very brief summary:

This sermon too is focused on Stephen forgiving his persecutors and praying for them.

Morin, vol. 2, 866-73. Mueller, vol. 3, 127-34.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030

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 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).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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