Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Jovinianus

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

An opponent of Christian asceticism in the fourth century, condemned as a heretic (390). Our information about him is derived principally from the work of St. Jerome in two books, "Adversus Jovinianum". He was a monk at one time in his life, but subsequently an advocate of anti-ascetical tendencies. He became the head of a party, and in the act condemning him Auxentius, Genialis, Germinator, Felix, Prontinus, Martianus, Januarius and Ingeniosus are designated as his disciples. His views were promulgated in writings which were condemned at a synod held in Rome under Pope Siricius, and subsequently at a synod convened at Milan by St. Ambrose. The writings of Jovinianus were sent to St. Jerome by his friend Pammachius; Jerome replied to them in a long treatise written in 393. From this work it would appear that Jovinianus maintained

  • that a virgin as such is no better in the sight of God than a wife;
  • abstinence is no better than the partaking of food in the right disposition;
  • a person baptized with the Spirit as well as water cannot sin ;
  • all sins are equal;
  • there is but one grade of punishment and one of reward in the future state.
From a letter of the synod at Milan to Pope Siricius (Ambrose, Ep. xlii) and from St. Augustine (lib. I contra Julian., ii) it is clear that Jovinianus denied also the perpetual virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The reply of St. Jerome was couched in language that terrified Pammachius, who found fault with it because it was excessive in praise of virginity and in depreciation of marriage. The efforts to suppress it failed and St. Jerome's work obtained a wide circulation. Nothing is known of the later career of Jovinianus. From a remark in St. Jerome's work against Vigilantius, written in 409, that he "amidst pheasants and pork rather belched out than breathed out his life", it is inferred that he was then dead.

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2020 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.