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Next is the baptizand phase. Augustine calls them competentes, i.e., those who together seek and aspire to the same thing Serm. 216,1,1 PL 38, 1077. Like Cyril of Jerusalem, Augustine Serm. 205, 1 PL 38, 1039 and Quodvultdeus Symb. 1,1,3 CCL 60, 305 liken this period, close to baptism and begun with the sign of the cross, to a gestation in the church’s womb for a new sacramental birth. Among the baptizands were also children Aug., Contra Julianum op. imperf. 4,7 PL 45, 1343, persons of the city Hippo and Carthage and its surroundings; these latter had to go to the city and stay there for 40 days until Easter. Preachers exhorted the hesitant to have their names enrolled Aug., Mesa Subway Map Ep. 258,5 CSEL 57, 609-610. Competentes prepared with severity monastic influence? for baptism, with a daily fast until nine Aug., Ep. 54,9 CSEL 34, 168 and abstinence from wine, meat, baths and, for spouses, intercourse. Positively recommended were prayer, almsgiving, nocturnal vigils Serm. 229A Guelf. 7, 2 PL Suppl. 2, 555 and the hair shirt. On Holy Thursday they bathed, also for hygienic reasons Aug., Ep. 54,10 168. On feast days the baptizands were the object of exorcisms and scrutinies aimed at freeing them from evil spirits Aug., Serm. 216,6,6 PL 38, 1080. According to Quodvultdeus Symb. 3,1,3 CCL 60, 349, the same rigor was employed at Carthage as at Hippo. Augustine also held a moral catechesis on the Christian’s duties: We scatter the seed of the word, you produce the fruits of faith Serm. 216,1, Ut competentes competenter adolescite in Christo, ut in virum perfectum iuveniliter accrescatis Serm. 216, 7. He summarizes the catechesis to competentes, reminding them of his having explained to them the sacrament of the creed to be believed, that of prayer, and that of baptism; these all have been handed over to them Serm. 28,3 PL 38, 1102. Two or three weeks before Easter he explains the creed pactum fidei: Serm. 212,1; 214,12 traditio, containing breviter all that you believe Serm. 212,1; Symbolum est breviter complexa regula fidei Serm. 213,1, which they must memorize within eight days in order to recite it redditio; the same occurs for the handing over and recitation of the oratio dominica O. Pasquato: RAC 20, 469-470. At the baptismal vigil each recites the creed before the whole community Serm. 58,1,1 PL 38, 393. For Carthage, Quodvultdeus’s competentes, perhaps in the Easter Vigil, are led before the whole community, barefoot and in penitential garments; a scrutiny examen is carried out, invoking Christ; in this way the devil, whom they had earlier spit upon, is cast out Symb. 1,1,4-6 CCL 60, 305. Then comes the aversio of the devil apotaxis and the conversio syntaxis to God. Parents or others stood in for children and the dying M. Metzger: RAC 20, 543; O.

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