Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Article 235: Proba Faltonia; Juliana
Proba Faltonia; Juliana
God permitted Augustine’s heart to be pierced by a deep wound at the death of Marcellinus. However he was soon consoled by a token of divine mercy. The unwitting agent for this grace occurred during a sojourn in Carthage where he had seen his friend’s blood spilled. The celebrated miracle of grace to Demetriada, the noblest and wealthiest virgin of the Roman world, occurred in 413.1 Personally she joined the families of Proba, Olybra, and Anicius together. She consecrated herself completely to Christ: marriage had been planned for her but she renounced the world to have no spouse other than Christ.2 She enhanced a family in which consulates and other high imperial offices were the norm with the glory of virginity to which no one in her family had ever dared aspire.
Sextus Petronius Probus was her paternal grandfather and Anicius Hermogenianus Olybrius her father (consul, 395). The wife of Petronius Probus was Anicia Faltonia Proba, described on inscriptions as the daughter of a consul and an embellishment of the Anicians and Pincians.3 Proba renewed the integrity and nobility of these ancient Roman families by her model of chastity as an Illustrious, holy, and chaste woman. Claudianus pays tribute to her chastity and Augustine praises her and remarks that, after her husband’s death, she preserved chastity so inviolate that she could teach others how to regulate their celibate lives.4
Baronius says Proba composed a poem, drawn from...