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February 19

Saint Quodvultdeus_mosaic_portrait,_5th_century

Saint Quodvultdeus


(Unknown – Around 450)

“We know that the great ransom has been paid for us, because the blood of Christ has redeemed us. Let us pursue how we may avoid displeasing such a Master.

Saint Quodvultdeus

Saint’s Life Story

“What God Wills”

Quodvultdeus was born in Africa, most likely Carthage, on an unknown date – most likely around 390. His name means “what God wills”. Little is known of his youth. He was known to be living in Cartage in 407. Quodvultdeus was ordained deacon of the church at Carthage around 421 by Bishop Aurelius. 

Corresponded with Saint Augustine

Quodvultdeus corresponded with Saint Augustine of Hippo, who served as Quodvultdeus’ spiritual teacher. In one of his letters to St Augustine, Quodvultdeus asked him to write a work on heresies. St Augustine then wrote the De Haeresibus and dedicated it to Quodvultdeus. He became assistant bishop to Bishop Capreolus whom he succeeded around 437.

Bishop of Carthage

Like Saint Augustine, Quodvultdeus was an opponent of Arianism, the heresy that denied the divinity and co-equality of Jesus with God the Father. Around 434 he became the Bishop of Carthage. Quodvultdeus harshly criticized 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.

Banished from Carthage

Carthage was seized by the Arian King of the Vandals, Geiseric, and Quodvultdeus, together with many priests, was banished, incarcerating them naked into a leaky ship, ostensibly to drown and sent out to sea.  With God as Quodvultdeus’ navigator, his leaky ship landed at Naples in Italy. Quodvultdeus continued his ministry, fighting the Pelagian heresy in Campagna and converting many to the true Faith. 

His Creed Homilies and Sermons

In his Creedal Homilies that he preached in the 430’s, one hears the agony of city beset by internal religious division as it must face the brutalities of Geiseric and the Vandals to which Carthage and Bishop Quodvultdeus eventually fall. 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 survived:

  • Three De symbolo (“On the creed”)
  • Two De tempore barbarico (“On barbaric times”)
  • Two De accedentibus ad gratiam (“On the approach to grace”)
  • Adversus quinque haereses (“On five heresies”)
  • De cataclismo (“On the cataclysm”)
  • De ultima quarta feria (“On the last Wednesday”)
  • De cantico novo (“On the new song”)
  • Contra iudaeos, paganos et arrianos (“Against Jews, Pagans and Arians”)

One of Quodvultdeus’ sermons is traditionally used for the Office of Readings in the Divine Office on the Feast of the Innocents, Dec 28th:

“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, and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.”

Quodvultdeus went on to convert dozens of Arian Goths to the Catholic Faith in his lifetime. He died around 450.

Beatified:           Pre-Congregation

Canonized:        Pre-Congregation

Feast Day:          February 19

Patron Saint:    



It’s good to contemplate the example of the saints; they remind us that even though we can’t always figure out exactly how, God truly is taking care of things. So, when you are tempted to worry about your future, as long as you have done your part responsibly, you can parry the worry with a simple prayer: quod vult Deus – whatever God wants. It worked fabulously for Saint Quodvultdeus.

What are you worried about today? Just remember to pray “quod vult Deus” or whatever God wants and you can’t go wrong.

Source: St Quodvultdeus – RC Spirituality


St. Quodvultdeus, you experienced extreme religious dissent and brutal conflicts with the Arian King of the Vandals, Geiseric to the point of your exile from Africa, but that did not deter you from continuing fighting heresy and converting many to the true faith. May you intercede for us, during whatever religious trials, big or small, that we face during our lives.

St Quodvultdeus, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

AnaStpaul – Saint Quodvultdeus

AnaStpaul – Saint Quodvultdeus Quotes

Catholic Exchange – The Holy Innocents

Catholic Fire – The Feast of the Holy Innocents

Catholic Readings – Saint Quodvultdeus: Saint of the Day

CatholicSaints.Info – Saint Quodvultdeus

Quodvultdeus – Saint Quodvultdeus

Regnum Christi Spiritual Center – Saint Quodvultdeus

Renovate – Quodvultdeus on Death of the Innocents


Video Link