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E03261: Augustine of Hippo delivers a Latin sermon on the feast of *Cyprian (bishop and martyr of Carthage, S00411). Sermon 313D, preached possibly in Carthage, at an unknown date between 391 and 430.

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posted on 13.07.2017, 00:00 by robert
Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 313D

[Tractatus de natale Cypriani

'Discourse on the Birthday of St Cyprian']

1. Sollemnitatem sanctam eius martyris hodie celebramus, qui multos ante se martyres misit eloquio, multos post se eduxit exemplo. Quid ergo tantae rei dignum tanto illi proferamus, nisi ut non expectet laudari a nobis, sed non cesset orare pro nobis? ...

'Today we are celebrating the holy festival of that martyr, who sent many martyrs ahead of himself by his eloquence, and brought many along after himself by his example. So what am I to offer so great a man as he was that is worthy of such a great matter, but to ask him not to expect to be praised by me, while not ceasing to pray for me? ...'

2. Magna est enim merces proposita, fratres dilectissimi|. Certe sollemnitate celebramus beatissimi martyris: ad hanc festiuitatem omnium fratrum sororum que multitudo conuenit, et gaudent celebrantes natalicia martyris.

'It's a great reward, after all, my dearest brothers, that has been set before us. Certainly, we are celebrating the feast of this most blessed martyr. All the brothers and sisters have gathered in a big crowd for the feast, and are rejoicing as they celebrate the martyr's birthday.'

In what follows Augustine emphasises that Cyprian, as all the martyrs, was born for heaven on the day of his martyrdom. Also, he refers to the dialogue between Cyprian and the judge as it can be read in Cyprian's Acts.

Text: Morin 1930, 531-532. Translation: Hill 1994, 104-105. Summary: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Cyprian, bishop of Carthage (Africa) and martyr, ob. 258 : S00411

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies



Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Latin North Africa

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Carthage Carthage Carthago Karthago قرطاج‎ Qarṭāj Mçidfa Carthage

Major author/Major anonymous work

Augustine of Hippo

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Service for the Saint

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Transmission, copying and reading saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Crowds


It is impossible to date this sermon with any certainty. Since Augustine claims that crowds gathered for this celebration, we may suppose that it was preached in Carthage, where Cyprian died and was buried.


Text: Morin, G., Sancti Augustini Sermones post Maurinos reperti (Miscellanea Agostiniana, vol. 1; Rome: Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, 1930). Translation: Hill, E., The Works of Saint Augustine. A Translation for the 21st Century, vol. III 9, Sermons 306-340A on the Saints (New York: New City Press, 1994). Dating: Kunzelmann, A., "Die Chronologie der sermones des hl. Augustinus," Miscellanea Agostiniana, vol. 2 (Rome: Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, 1931), 417-452.

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