Part Three: The Pelagian Crisis (411–430)
Note 82: Sermo 355 and Sermo 356
Sermo 355 and Sermo 356
The relics of Stephen were brought to Hippo in 424 or the beginning of 425. If it was in 424, the chapel where according to Augustine in Sermo 356 he preached a little after the Epiphany would be the chapel of the holy martyr built by the industry and money of Heraclius. Thus this sermon would be preached in 425. The sole problem with this dating is the difficulty in believing Heraclius had kept something of his own up to that time. He could have placed this money in Augustine’s hands or have disposed of it in some other way not contrary to his profession. He had professed to hold nothing of his own. His disposing of the money would not prevent him from saying the money was not his. He had finished building a house a little earlier. This house was necessary for his dependent mother and he had given it to the church after it was finished. He still had slaves whom he later freed.
If the relics of Stephen were brought to Hippo in 425, it would be problematic to say the chapel built by Heraclius is that dedicated to Stephen. In this case Sermo 356 could have been preached at the beginning of 426. Heraclius who had been a deacon was then ordained a priest and designated by Augustine on September, 426 as his successor to govern the affairs of the diocese.2 ← 478...