If I had to guess, I’d say that it would be an abbreviation for “De Verbi Apostoli” roughly translated as On the Word of the Apostles. But searching by that title yields nothing in English. Here is a link to the details on a university library manuscript page:
I checked my digital copy of the Summa which links to the set of Church Fathers (the same set that is on newadvent.org) and there is no link for that citation. Again, if I had to guess, I’d say that the work may not be translated into English.
The expansion would be De Verbis Apostoli, “On the Words of the Apostle.” In footnotes to learned theological works I have found two of Augustine’s sermons by that title, numbers 104 and 171, but neither of them are included in the Augustine volumes of the big 37-volume set of the Church Fathers.
Edit: That would be footnotes #107 and 108 on page 98 of the book Studies in the History of Christian Traditions, ed. Robert J. Bast, excerpts of which can be found here:
“So then: The word is human, and worthy of total acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (1 Tm 1:15). Remember the gospel: For the Son of man came to seek and to save what had got lost (Lk 19:10). If man had not got lost, the Son of man would not have come. So man had got lost, God did come as man, and man was found” (Sermon 174, 2).
Where can one find this 37 volume set? I am not sure I need the whole thing, but I am looking to begin personal study of St. Augustine and St. Aquinas. If anyone knows of a good recommendation of which works to read and in which order to read them from these two great saints, I would very much appreciate a link or a listing.
If you don’t mind reading on your computer, there are many sites that have the entire set on-line; just google “early church fathers (37 vols.)”. Or you could google for an individual writer (such as “writings of st jerome”) or an individual work (such as (Augustine “city of god”).
Hope this helps.
Edit: The writings of St. Thomas Aquinas aren’t “early” enough to be in the 37-volume set, but like the early Church Fathers, they are also available for cheap on Amazon for Kindle, and for free on-line. For example, go to this site ( basilica.org/pages/ebooks/St.%20Thomas%20Aquinas-Summa%20Theologica.pdf ) to get all 4000+ pages of the Summa as a .pdf file.
Another important series is the Catholic University of America Press printing of the Fathers of the Church series begun in 1947 and STILL issuing a couple volumes per year. Currently up to Volume 132. See here. This is a Catholic edition of the ECF’s in English. (although non-Catholics do help with the translations) unlike the other set mentioned.
You can get electronic copies through Logos/Verbum. Unfortunately, they recently disabled to “send to Kindle” feature of the Logos software, so that avenue is closed. But Logos has apps for most mobile devices to read the books.
Right now, this Church Fathers set is on sale for $1599.