Gaudentius of Brescia on Baptism and the Eucharist


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Joint Liturgical Studies 76

Gaudentius of Brescia, the subject of this present Study, flourished in the West, writing in Latin in the late fourth and early fifth centuries, but is probably less well known for his sacramental teaching than are Justin or Sarapion or Ambrose. Nevertheless he provides fascinating contemporary evidence of how baptism and the eucharist had developed by his time in northern Italy, and, because he was near to Milan in miles, and overlapped with both Ambrose and Augustine in time, his witness becomes a welcome addition to their better known materials. He thus assists in the formation of a fully three-dimensional understanding of the liturgical life of their time. Along with allowing Gaudentius to give his own witness, largely in and through his sermons, Dominic Keech explores the parallels and possibly causal links with the work of Ambrose in particular. The upshot is a rich engagement with the sacramental thought of an articulate Christian leader.

Dominic Keech has written before on Gaudentius, and this present Study arose from a paper he presented to the Society for Liturgical Study in August 2011. He currently combines his keen scholarship with the daily ministerial round of being assistant curate at Wantage Parish Church in Oxford diocese.