Saint Quodvultdeus

detail of a 5th century mosaic portrait of Saint Quodvultdeus; San Gennaro catacombs, Naples, Italy; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsMemorial


Fifth century North African church father. Known to have been living in Carthage c.407. Deacon c.421. Friend, spiritual student and correspondent with Saint Augustine of Hippo who dedicated some of his writings to Quodvultdeus. Bishop of Carthage. When Carthage was invaded by Arian Vandals under Genseric, Quodvultdeus and the bulk of his priests were loaded onto non-seaworthy ships and sent into exile, and an Arian patriarch was installed as bishop. Though they should have sank, the ship carried the Quodvultdeus and his men to safety to Naples. Quodvultdeus continued his ministry, fought the Pelagian heresy in Campagna, but never made it back to North Africa. The Arians would not permit a Catholic bishop to be appointed to Carthage for the next 15 years.



Name Meaning

  • What God wants


Additional Information


A tiny child is born, who is a great king. Wise men are led to him from afar. They come to adore one who lies in a manger and yet reigns in heaven and on earth. When they tell of one who is born a king, Herod is disturbed. To save his kingdom he resolves to kill him, though if he would have faith in the child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and for ever in the life to come.

Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king? He does not come to drive you out, but to conquer the devil. But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage. To destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.

You are not restrained by the love of weeping mothers and fathers mourning the deaths of their sons, nor by the cries and sobs of the children. You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart. You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong you own life, though you are seeking to kill Life himself.

The children die for Christ, though they do not know it. The parents mourn for the death of martyrs. The Christ child makes of those as yet unable to speak fit witnesses to himself. But you, Herod, do not know this and are disturbed and furious. While you vent your fury against the child, you are already paying him homage, and do not know it.

To what merits of their own do the children owe this kind of victory? They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ. They cannot use their limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory. – from a sermon by Bishop Saint Quodvultdeus about the Holy Innocents

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Quodvultdeus“. CatholicSaints.Info. 10 April 2020. Web. 28 February 2021. <>