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E04531: Augustine of Hippo preaches in Latin a sermon on the anniversary of the death of a certain Domicianus, referred to as a just and holy man. Sermon 335M, delivered possibly in Hippo (North Africa), c. 391/430.

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posted on 28.12.2017, 00:00 by CSLA Admin
Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 335M

[Sermo unius iusti

'On a just man']

1. Diem celebramus hodie mortui iusti, et non est hic. Si autem scire uultis ubi sit, interrogate lectionem quam primo audistis: iustus si morte praeoccupatus fuerit, in refrigerio erit. refrigerium enim in hoc saeculo, cui, unde, ubi plena sunt omnia tribulationibus, et quando tribulationes parcunt, plena sunt tentationibus?

'Today we are celebrating the day of a just man, and he isn't here. But if you wish to know where he is, question the reading which you heard first: "If the just man is overtaken by death, he will be at rest" (Wis. 4:7). For whom, after all, is there any rest or relief in this age, where everything is full of troubles, and when troubles ease off, then full of temptations.'

In what follows Augustine tells about the life to be lived in order to be at rest, and mentions only once the name of the hero of this sermon, referring to him as to 'holy Domicianus' (sanctus Domicianus).

Text: Lambot 1949, 79. Translation: Hill 1994, 263. Summary: Robert Wiśniewski.


Evidence ID


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

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 - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


It is impossible to determine the date on which this sermon was preached. Hippo, Augustine's episcopal see is the most probably venue.


This sermon was delivered on the anniversary of the death of a man who was certainly not a martyr, but lived an exemplary life. We cannot say if he was a cleric or layman, but one has an impression that he was known to the congregation (probably that of Hippo). As in the case of Sermons 335K (E04512) and 335L (E04525), this commemoration does not imply a developed cult, it suggests at best an early stage of such development. Not much can be build on the fact that Domicianus is referred to as sanctus ('holy'). In late Antiquity this title is commonly used to address a bishop, and, indeed, any (good) 'Christian'. The sermon does not say anything about any cult of this man. Yet one has to remember that Augustine, especially in the early years of his clerical career, often emphasised that the saints, including martyrs, should be not so much venerated as imitated. It is thus perfectly possible that the audience had a more 'cultic' attitude toward the man praised in this sermon than the preacher.


Text: Lambot, C., "Sermons inédits de s. Augustin pour des fêtes de saints," Revue Bénédictine 59 (1949), 55-81. 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).

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