Saint of the Day – 19 February – Saint Quodvultdeus (Died c 453) Father of the Church, Bishop of Carthage, Confessor, Writer and Theologian, spiritual student, friend and correspondent of St Augustine, who dedicated some of his works to St Quodvultdeus. Name Meaning – “What God wants.” Born in the late 4th century, probably in Carthage, North Africa and died in c 450 in Naples, Italy. Additional Memorials – 8 January (calendar of Carthage), 28 November (as one of the Martyrs of North Africa).
The Roman Martyrology reads: “In Naples, deposition of St Quodvultdeus, Bishop of Carthage, who was sent into exile together with his clergy by the Arian king Genseric and placed on disused ships without sails or oars. Against all hope he landed in Naples, where he died. Confessor of the faith.”
Little is known of his youth. Born in Africa, almost certainly in Carthage, he was Ordained Deacon around 421 by St Augustine.
In one of his letters to St Augustin, Quodvultdeus asked him to write a work on heresies. St Augustine then wrote the De Haeresibus and dedicated it to Quodvultdeus
In c 434 he became the Bishop of Carthage. He harshly criticised Christians who let themselves be fascinated more by spectacles such as the circus than by the works and examples of the saints and Martyrs of their time, attributing the calamity of that region to a punishment from God for their sinfulness and lack of obedience to the teachings of the Church..
When Carthage was invaded by Arian Vandals under Genseric, Quodvultdeus and most of his Priests were loaded onto non-seaworthy ships and sent into exile and an Arian patriarch was installed as Bishop. Although the ships should have sank, they stayed afloat and carried Quodvultdeus and his clergy to safety in Naples.
Quodvultdeus continued his ministry, fighting the Pelagian heresy in Campagna and converting many to the true Faith. He was never able to return to his See of Carthage in North Africa. The Arians would not permit a Catholic Bishop to be appointed to Carthage for the next 15 years.
Twelve sermons by Quodvultdeus survive.