Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 514
Saint Aemilian, monk and former presbyter, gathers local presbyters to perform exorcisms in the house of senator Honorius in Parpalines (Iberian Peninsula), the 6th century. Braulio of Saragossa`s "Life of Saint Aemilian", ca AD 631-645.
[24] Sceleratissimum seditionariumque, domus Honorii senatoris daemonem sustinebat, qui eousque monstruosissime domini illius incubabat ut foedissima quaedam turpissimaque quotidie inferebat, nec daemonicolam quispiam sustinere poterat; […] Anxius nihilominus, et quid ageret Honorius nescius, inter angustias spiritus releuat animum, fide certus de istius uiri uirtutibus, ac spe animatus, mittit ad eum arcesiendum, dirigens subsidia uehiculorum. Ueniunt nuntii, implorant ut accedat et qua ope posset daemonem pellat; tandem, fatigatus precibus, ad ostendendam dei nostri uirtutem, pedibus suis, non uehiculo, est profectus; at ubi Parpalines uenit, ibi enim res agebatur, inuenit cuncta ut ei fuerant ordine narrata, sed et ipse aliqua perpetitur inibi seditiosa; indicit ieiunium, collegit ad se illic habitantium ordinem presbiterorum, tertia die, expleto uoto indicti ieiunii, salem exorcidiat er aqua conmiscit more ecclesiastico ac domum ipsam aspargere coepit; tunc, ex intestino domus prorupit inuidus, et eici ac disturbari e suis se uidens sedibus lapidum contra eum uertit ictus, sed, munitus ille inexpugnabili clipeo, permansit tutus; postremo, in fugam uersus flammasque euomens, cum odore teterrimo perrexit ad heremum, ac sic incolae domus illius gauisi sunt eius oratione se fuisse saluatos.
(ed. Vazquez de Parga 1943: 25-26)
[XVII. He casts out a demon from a senator's house]
24. The house of the senator Honorius gave shelter to a most wicked and rebellious demon who most monstrously attached itself to his house and every day perpetrated some disgusting and vile deed so that no one could endure this servant of the devil. [...] Not a little anxious and not knowing what to do, Honorius kept calm amid his anguish, having a sure faith in the virtues of Aemilian and heartened by this hope, he sent for him to be brought to him, despatching carriages to aid him on his way. The messengers arrived and implored him to come and drive out the demon with whatever power was at his diposal. At last worn down by their entreaties he set out to show the power of God, but did so on foot not in a carriage. When he came to Parpalines (where these things took place), he found everything had happened as he had been told, and he himself endured some lawless acts. He ordered a fast and gathered to him the congregation of presbyters who lived there. On the third day, having fulfilled the vow of the fast he ordered, he exorcised some salt and mixed it with water according to the teaching of the Church and began to perform  an aspersion of the house. Then the hateful being burst forth from the bowels of the house. Seeing itself ejected and cast out of its dwelling place, it threw stones at Aemilian but he, fortified by his unconquerable shield, remained safe. Finally put to flight, the demon spewing out flames with a most nauseating odour sought the wilderness. And so the inhabitants of the house rejoiced that they had been saved by Aemilian's prayer.
(trans. A.T. Fear 1997: 31-32, slightly altered)


In the episode the status of Saint Aemilian is unclear. He has been ordained a presbyter himself, but he no longer serves in the church of Berceo from which he has been removed by the Bishop Didymus of Tarazona (see [510], [513]).
The location of "Parpalines" is unknown. For the attempts to identify it with a place in the Ocón Valley near Ausejo see (Fear 1997: 31-32, n. 77). Fear also cites the alternative reading "Pamplona".

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • San Millán de la Cogolla
  • Parpalines

About the source:

Author: Braulio of Saragossa
Title: Life of saint Aemilian, Vita sancti Aemiliani, Life of saint Emilian
Origin: Saragossa (Iberian Peninsula)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Life of Saintt Aemilian (died AD 574) was written by Braulio, bishop of Saragossa, somewhere between  AD 631 (his elevation to the episcopacy and the death of Bishop John of Saragossa) and AD 645 (the elevation to the episcopacy of Eugene II of Toledo who in the dedicatory letter is mentioned as being still a deacon; see Fear 1997: xxvi). The life was intended to be read during the celebration of Mass in honour of Saint Aemilian (breuem conscripsi, ut possit in missae eius celebritate quantocius legi, ed. Vazquez de Parga 1943: 5).
L. Vazquez de Parga ed., Sancti Braulionis Caesaraugustani episcopi Vita s. Emiliani, Madrid 1943
A.T. Fear, Lives of the Visigothic fathers, Liverpool 1997


Food/Clothes/Housing - Type of housing
    Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
      Ritual activity - Exorcism
        Relation with - Noble
          Relation with - Monk/Nun
            Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER514,