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E03999: Augustine of Hippo delivers a Latin sermon on Easter Wednesday, in which he finishes a story about a boy brought back to life at the shrine of *Stephen (the First Martyr, S00030) in Uzalis (North Africa). Sermon 324, preached c. 426 in Hippo Regius (North Africa).

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posted on 08.09.2017, 00:00 by robert
Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 324

[Quo Augustinus complet partem sermonis mox praecedentis miraculo interrupti

'In which Augustine completes the sermon about a miracle, which was interrupted the day before']


Debet a nobis hesternus sermo compleri, qui maiori interruptus est gaudio.

'I must finish the sermon which was interrupted yesterday by a cause for much grater joy.'

Augustine reminds his audience that the brother and sister who have been just cured in Hippo were not brought to health in Ancona (Italy) or Uzalis (North Africa). Then, he continues the story interrupted the day before, about a woman in Uzalis whose son died unbaptised and who lamented that he would be doomed for eternity.

Impleta affectu fiduciae tulit illum mortuum, et cucurrit ad memoriam beati martyris Stephani, et coepit ab illo exigere filium, et dicere: sancte martyr, uides nullum mihi remansisse solatium. Non enim possum dicere filium praecessisse, quem nosti perisse: tu enim uides quare plangam. Redde filium meum, ut habeam eum ante conspectum coronatoris tui.

'Filled with a feeling of confidence, she picked up the dead child and hurried off to the shrine (memoria) of the blessed martyr Stephen, and began to demand her son back from him, saying, "Holy martyr, you can see that I have been left without any consolation at all. I mean, I can't say my son has gone ahead of me, since you know very well he has perished. You at least can see why I am so grief-stricken. Give my son back to me, so that I may have in the presence of the one who crowned you".'


The boy is brought back to life in order to be baptised. This having been done he dies again.

Illa autem tali eum cum uultu deduxit, tanquam non deduceret ad requiem sepulcri, sed ad sinum martyris Stephani. Probatum est cor fidele mulieris. Ubi ergo tale miraculum fecit Deus per martyrem suum, non potuit ibi istos curare? Et tamen huc nobis directi sunt. 
Conuersi ad Dominum, etc.

'She, for her part, conducted his funeral with such a tranquil expression that it seemed she was laying him not in the silence of the grave, but in the lap of the martyr Stephen. The woman's faithful heart was tried and passed the test. So could not God have cured these two in a place where he performed such a miracle as through his martyr? And yet they were directed here to us.
Turning to the Lord, etc.'

Text: Patrologia Latina 38, 1446-1447. Translation: Hill 1994, 165-166. Summary: Robert Wiśniewski.

History

Evidence ID

E03999

Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030

Saint Name in Source

Stephanus

Type of Evidence

Literary - Sermons/Homilies

Language

Latin

Evidence not before

424

Evidence not after

430

Activity not before

415

Activity not after

430

Place of Evidence - Region

Latin North Africa

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Hippo Regius

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

Hippo Regius Carthage Carthago Karthago قرطاج‎ Qarṭāj Mçidfa Carthage

Major author/Major anonymous work

Augustine of Hippo

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Sermon/homily

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - dependent (chapel, baptistery, etc.)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Oral transmission of saint-related stories

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle after death Power over life and death

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Children Ecclesiastics - bishops Unbaptized Christians

Source

This sermon was preached certainly after the discovery of the relics of Stephen in Cahargamala (Palestine) in AD 415, their arrival in Africa c. AD 420 and in Hippo c. 424, for the relics are evidently kept in the church in which Augustine is preaching. It was also preached before Book 22 of The City of God (which refers to this episode) was written c. 426/427 (see E01135).

Discussion

This sermon is the last of the series connected with the miraculous healing at Easter 426. It was preached the day after Sermon 322 and 323 (E03660 ad E03851), which were delivered on Easter Tuesday, two days after Sermon 321 (E03632), and three days after Sermon 320 (E03631).

Bibliography

Text: Migne, J.P., Patrologia Latina 38 (Paris, 1865). Translation: Hill, E., The Works of Saint Augustine. A Translation for the 21st Century, vol. III 9. Sermons 306-340A for the Saints (New York: New City Press, 1994).

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Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

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