S. Gregory I, letters 20556
20556 Gregory to Marinianus, Bishop of Ravenna.
Moved by the benevolence of the Apostolical See and the order of ancient custom, we have thought fit to grant the use of the pallium to thy Fraternity, who art known to have undertaken the office of government in the Church of Ravenna48 . And remember thou to use it in no other way but in the proper Church of thy city, when the sons (i.e). laity) have been already dismissed, as thou art proceeding from the audience chamber49 to celebrate the sacred solemnities of mass; but, when mass is finished, thou wilt take care to lay it by again in the audience chamber. But outside the Church, we do not allow thee to use it any more, except four times in the year, in the litanies which we named to thy predecessor John; giving thee at the same time this admonition; that, as through the Lord’s bounty thou hast obtained from us the use of an adornment of this kind to the honour of the priestly office, so thou strive to adorn also the office undertaken by thee to the glory of Christ with probity of manners and of deeds. For thus wilt thou be conspicuous for two adornments answering to each other, if with such a vesture of the body as this the good qualities also of thy soul agree. For all privileges also which appear evidently to have been formerly granted to thy Church we confirm by our authority, and decree that they continue inviolate.
20557 Gregory to John, Bishop of the Corinthians
Now that our God, from whom nothing is hidden, having cast out an atrocious plague of pollution from the government of His Church50 , has been pleased to advance you to the rule thereof, there is need of anxious precaution on your part that the Lord’s flock, after the wounds and various evils inflicted by its former shepherd, may find consolation and wholesome medicine in your Fraternity. Thus, then, let the hand of your action wipe away the stain of the previous contagion, so as tO suffer no traces even to remain of that execrable wickedness.
Let, therefore, your solicitude towards your subjects be worthy of praise. Let discipline be exhibited with gentleness. Let rebuke be with discernment. Let kindness mitigate wrath; let zeal sharpen kindness: and let one be so seasoned with the other that neither immoderate punishment afflict more than it ought, nor again laxity impair the rectitude of discipline. Let the conduct of your Fraternity be a lesson to the people committed to you. Let them see in you what to love, and perceive what to make haste to imitate. Let them be taught how to live by your example. Let them not deviate from the straight course through your leading; let them find their way to God by following you; that so thou mayest receive as many rewards from the Saviour of the human race as thou shalt have won souls for Him. Labour therefore, most dear brother, and so direct the whole activity of thy heart and soul, that thou mayest hereafter be counted worthy to hear, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord (Mt 25,21).
As you requested in your letter which we received through our brother and fellow-bishop Andrew, we have sent you the pallium, which it is necessary that you should so use as your predecessors, by the allowance of our predecessors, are proved to have used it.
Furthermore, it has come to our ears that in those parts no one attains to any sacred order without the giving of a consideration. If this, is so, I say with tears, I declare with groans, that, when the priestly order has fallen inwardly, neither will it stand long outwardly. For we know from the Gospel what our Redeemer in person did; how He went into the temple, and overthrew the seats of them that sold, doves (Mt 21,12). For to sell cloves is to receive a temporal consideration for the Holy Spirit, whom, being consubstantial with Himself, Almighty God gives to men through imposition of hands. And what follows from this evil, as I have said before, is intimated; for the seats of those who presumed to sell doves in the temple of God fell by the judgment of God. And in truth this transgression is propagated with increase among subordinates. For one who attains to a sacred dignity tainted in the very root of his promotion is himself the more prepared to sell to others what he has bought. And where then is that which is written, Freely ye have received; freely give (Mt 10,8)? And, since the simoniacal heresy was the first to arise against holy Church, why is it not considered, why is it not seen, that whosoever ordains any one for a price in promoting him causes him to become a heretic? Seeing, then, that the holy universal Church utterly condemns this most atrocious wickedness, we exhort your Fraternity in all ways to repress, with all the urgency of your solicitude, this so detestable and so huge a sin in all places that are under you. For, if we shall perceive anything of the kind to be done henceforth, we will correct it, not with words, but with canonical punishment; and we shall begin to have a different opinion of you; which ought not so to be.
Further, your Fraternity knows that formerly the pallium was not given except for a consideration received. But, since this was incongruous, we held a council before the body of the blessed Peter, Prince of the apostles, and forbade under a strict interdiction the receiving of anything, as well for this as for ordinations.
It is your duty then, that neither for a consideration, nor for favour or the solicitation of certain persons, you consent to any persons being advanced to sacred orders. For it is a grave sin, as we have said, and we cannot suffer it to continue without reproof.
I delayed receiving the above named Andrew, our brother and fellow-bishop, because by the report of our brother and fellow-bishop Secundinus we learnt that he had forged letters, as to himself from us, in the proceedings against John of Larissa51 . And, unless your goodness had induced us, we would on no account have received him. Given the 15th day of the month of August, Indiction 13.
20558 Gregory to all bishops constituted in the province of Helladia.
I return thanks with you, dearest brethren, to Almighty God, who has caused the hidden sore which the ancient enemy had introduced to come to the knowledge of all, and has cut it away by a wholesome incision from the body of His Church. Herein we have cause both to rejoice and to mourn; to rejoice, that is, for the correction of a crime, but to mourn for the fall of a brother. But, since for the most part the fall of one is wont to be the safeguard of another, whosoever fears to fall, let him give heed to this, that he afford no way of approach to the enemy, nor think that deeds done lie hidden. For the Truth proclaims, There is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed (Mt 10,26). For this voice is already the herald of our doings, and He himself, being witness, brings in all ways to public view what is done in secret. And who may strive to hide his deeds before Him Who is both their witness and their judge? But, since sometimes, when one thing is attended to, another is not guarded against, it behoves every one to be watchful against all the snares of the enemy, lest, while he conquers in one point he be vanquished in another. For an earthly enemy too, when he desires to invade fortified places, thus employs the art of warfare. For indeed he lays ambushes latently; but shews himself as though entirely bent on the storming of one place, so that, while there is a running together for defence of that place where the danger is imminent, other places about which there is no suspicion may be taken. And the result is, that he who, when perceived, was repulsed by the valour of his opponent, obtains by stealth what he could not obtain by fighting. But, since in all these things there is need of the aid of divine protection, let every one of us cry to the Lord with the voice of the heart, saying, Lord, remove not Thy help far from me; Look Thou to my defence (Ps 21,20)53 . For it is manifest that, unless He Himself should help, and defend those who cry to Him, our enemy cannot be vanquished.
Furthermore, know ye that, having received the letter of your Charity through Andrew our brother and fellow-bishop, we have transmitted the pallium to John our brother, the bishop of the Corinthians; whom it is by all means fitting that you should obey, especially as the order of ancient custom claims this, and his good qualities, to which you yourselves bear testimony, invite it. For from the account given me by certain persons I have learnt that in those parts no one attains to any sacred order without the giving of a consideration. If this is so, I say with tears, I declare with groans, that, when the priestly order has fallen inwardly, neither will it be able to stand long outwardly. For we know from the Gospel what our Redeemer did in person; how He went into the temple, and overthrew the seats of them that sold doves. For in truth to sell doves is to receive a temporal consideration for the Holy Spirit, whom, being consubstantial with Himself, Almighty God gives to men through imposition of hands. And, as I have said before, what follows from this evil is intimated; for the seats of them that presumed to sell doves in the temple of God fell by God’s judgment And in truth this transgression is propagated with increase among subordinates. For he who is advanced to a sacred order already tainted in the very root of his promotion is himself more prepared to sell to others what he has bought. And where is that which is written, Freely ye have received; freely give (Mt 10,8)? And, since the simoniacal heresy was the first to arise against the holy Church, why is it not considered, why is it not seen, that whosoever ordains any one for a price in promoting him causes him to become a heretic? And so we exhort that none of you suffer this to be done any more; or dare to promote any to sacred orders for the favour or supplication of any person, except such a one as the character of his life and actions has shewn to be worthy. For, if we should perceive the contrary in future, know ye that it will be repressed with strict and canonical punishment. Given on the 15th day of the month of August, Indiction 13).
1 They had been sent by Gregory into Sardinia with the special purpose of promoting the conversion of the natives, which had been neglected by the bishops aud clergy of the island. See V. 41, and IV. 23, note 8.
2 Apparently the designation of the monastery which had been now at length founded by Theodosia in execution of her late husband’s will. See above. IV. 8, 15. In IV. 15, Gregory had acceded to her desire in view of certain difficulties in carrying out her husband’s intention, to found a nunnery in a house of her own at Cagliari. But it seems that a monastery of monks had in the end been founded.
3 See IV. 39.
4 This had been a synod held at Carthage for the suppression of the Donatists. Cf. I. 74, note 8. Gregory, while fully approving, as he shows elsewhere, of strict enforcement of the imperial laws against them, expresses fear in this epistle lest the council lately held might have gone too far, so as to endanger the unity of the African Church, in exceeding the decrees of synods that had been held elsewhere, and especially in ordering severe measures against bishops or others who might be remiss in the work of suppressing heresy).
5 Per manus quorundam debiti conductorum. If the word debiti (absent from some mss.) is read here, the meaning may be that certain persons, called debiti conductores, undertook the recovery of the arrears of the rustici, and that through them easy loans were advanced to such as were unable to pay at the proper time. Cf. I. 44, p. 89. For the ordinary meaning of conductores (without debiti), in connexion with the Church estates, see I. 44, p, 89, note 5.
6 Aut in angariis aut in rerum pretio. The word angaria is applicable to any kind of vexatious exaction, either in the way of forced labour or in other ways. “Per angarias intelliguntur vexationes et injurioe quoelibet.” Du Cange. It may be used here for exorbitant interest on loans obtained from usurers. As to rerum pretio, cf. I. 44, p. 89, about burdatio, and note 2).
7 “Servis tuis turpia crimina imponis,” - apparently meaning that at all hours he was accustomed to call them by opprobrious names.
8 The meaning may be, “I am thankful now that the fact of communication between Rome and Ravenna being blocked by the Lombards when the matter first reached my ears prevented my acting so peremptorily as I might then have been disposed to do.”
9 The deacon Cyprian had succeeded the sub-deacon Peter as rector patrimonii in Sicily, and Gregory’s general agent there, through whom he acted in ecclesiastical as well as temporal matters, at any rate now, after the death of Maximianus of Syracuse.
10 See II. 7, note 5.
11 Bishop of Catana where this John was archdeacon
12 On the same occasion of this letter and subsequent correspondence on the same subject, see Prolegomena, pp. xiv., xxii).
13 As to this assertion (repeated in V. 20, 43, and in VIII. 30), Giesler says, "Gregory was mistaken in believing that at the Council of Chalcedon the name Universalis Episcopus was given to the bishop of Rome. He is styled oijkoumeniko;" ajrxiepiskopo" (Mansi VI. 1006, 1012), as other patriarchs also. But in another place the title was surreptitiously introduced into the Latin acts by the Romish legates. In the sentence passed on Dioscurus, actio iii (Mansi VI. 1048), the Council say, oJ aJgiwvtato" kai; makariwvtato" ajrxiepivskopo" th`" megavlh" kai; presbutevra" JRwvmh" Aevwn: on the contrary, in the Latin acts which Leo sent to the Gallic bishops (Leonis, Ep 103, al. 82), we read; ‘Sanctus ac beatissimus Papa, caput universalis Ecclesioe, Leo.0’ In the older editions the beginning of Leo’s Epist. 97 (ap. Quesn. 134, Baller. 165), runs thus: ‘Leo Romoe et universalis catholicoeque Ecclesioe Episcopus Leoni semper Augusto salutem.0’ Quesnel and the Ballerini, however, found in all the Codices only, ‘Leo Episcopus Leoni Augusto.0’ (Giesler’s Qo Hist., 2nd Period, 1st Division, ch. 3,§ 94, note 72).
14 Cf. III. 53, and reff.
15 Sabinianus was at this time the pope’s apocrisiarius, or responsalis, at Constantinople.
16 Cum eo procedere, i.e. in effect, to communicate with him). Procedere means to approach the altar for celebration. Cf. III. 57, “ingredientibus diaconibus ut mox procedatur.”
17 The ironical allusion here to John the Faster is evident.
18 Cf. V. 18, and note 5).
19 The main purport of this letter to Empress is to induce her to move the Emperor to disallow the title of Universal Bishop assumed by the patriarch of Constantinople; but at the end of the letter he takes occasion to solicit her good offices also in the case of Maximus, bishop of Salona for an account of which, with references to other letters on the subject, cf. III. 47, note 2.
20 Viz. John bishop of Ravenna, as to whom see III. 56, 57; V. 11, 15. Marinianus was elected in his place. See VI. 34, 61.
21 De proecedentibus. Al). de proecedentibus.
22 Viz. John, bishop of Ravenna. See Ep. 23.
23 Cf. II. 6, note 3.
24 We have in this epistle the form of appointment to the office of Defensor Ecclesioe. Cf. XI. 38. From IX. 62 it appears that the functions of the office had in some cases been usurped by persons not duly authorized, as it is there ordered that none should be recognized but such as possessed letters of appointment. The only duties of the office specified in this form of appointment have reference to the poor- “pro pauperum commodis;” but it is evident from the many epistles addressed to defensores, that they had a much wider scope. See Prolegomena, p. 7,
25 Or Scribo may be the official designation of the officer commissioned to distribute the imperial bounty. Cf. II. 32, note 7.
26 Or Scribo may be the official designation of the officer commissioned to distribute the imperial bounty. Cf. II. 32, note 7.
27 “SCHOLASTICUS - Quivis eloquens, disertus, oratorioe facultatis et politiaris literaturoe studiis eruditus.-Advocatus, patronus, qui causam in foro agit; sed proprie peritus, eloquens, disertus patronus (Cod. Theod).” [D’Arnis’ Lexicon Manuale.] Severus may be concluded to have been the Exarch’s legal adviser.
28 See I. 7, note 5. Anastasius had now been recently restored to his patriarchal see).
29 The expression is found in the spurious, but not in what are held to be the genuine, epistles of St. Ignatius.
30 For Gregory’s view of Antioch having been St. Peter’s see previously to his presiding over that of Rome, and of the sees of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch jointly representing the see of the Prince of the Apostle’s, see especially VII. 40. Cf. also VI. 60; VIII. 2; X. 35.
31 Benedictio, meaning a present. See IV. 31, note 9).
32 This may be an ironical allusion to something the Emperor had said in his letter to Gregory).
33 For the circumstances referred to in this epistle, see Proleg., p. 19,It shews how outspoken Gregory could be, when greatly moved, in addressing the Emperor, notwithstanding his accustomed deference.
34 i.e. the payment to the imperial government required from judges or other functionaries in consideration of their appointment. “SUFFRAGIUM. Pecunioe quoe suffragii titulo ab Imperatoribus accipiebantur cum honores deferebant, quoe despotika; vocantur in formula jurisjurandi.- Novelloe Justiniani 8, cujus titulus est, ut judices sine suffragio fiant.” Du Cange.
35 Titulos, i e. notices put upon properties, asserting claim, or announcing sale, &c).
36 Romanus Patricius, the Exarch.
37 Viz. of Antioch).
38 Cf. V. 18, and note).
39 On the term , “Scholasticus,” see V. 36 note 9. It appears from this and other epistles that persons thus designated were addressed as “Gloria vestra.” The “Patrician” mentioned in this letter as having recommended the Archdeacon Donatus to succeed John as Archbishop of Ravenna, was Romanus Patricius, Exarch of Italy, who dieda.d.598. He is often addressed or referred to in the Epistles. See Index.
40 See above V. 23).
41 For subsequent notices of Marinianus, see index.
42 Anastasius, bishop of the Metropolitan See of Corinth, had been deposed for some serious crime, the nature of which is not mentioned, Secundinus, bishop of some other see, having apparently been commissioned by Gregory to investigate the charges against him. John, to whom this letter is addressed had now succeeded him. See also Epp. LVII., LVIII).
43 Gregory here asserts the view of his day, which after his manner he takes for granted that Gaul had derived its Christianity from Rome. Similarly, long before him, pope Zosimus (417- 418), writing to the bishops of Gaul in support of the jurisdiction over them of Patroclus of Arles, speaks of such jurisdiction being of ancient right, derived from Trophimus having been sent from Rome as first bishop of Arles, and all Gaul having received the stream of faith from that fountain. Gregory of Tours (Hist. Franc. 1,28), referring to Pasio S. Saturnini Episc. Solos., speaks of seven missionary bishops having been sent from Rome to Gaul “Decio et Grato consulibus,” i.e.a.d.250, including Trophimus, who is said to have founded the see of Arles. But the see of Arles must have existed before the date assigned, since it appears from Cyprian (Ep. VI. 7), that in 254 Marcian had long been its bishop. And generally, the well-known differences of tbe Gallican liturgy and usages from the Roman, to which pope Gregory himself alludes in his letter to Augustine. (XI. 64), as well as Irenoeus of Lyons, in the second century, being said to have been a disciple of Polycarp points to an Asiatic rather than Roman origin of the Church in Gaul).
44 Religiosorum. The appellation is applied to persons generally who gave themselves to a religious life, including monks, nuns, dedicated virgins, and the like. It must be here taken to include the clergy.
45 Childebert II., the son of Sigebert I. and Brunehild, was at this time the ruler of nearly all the dominions of the Franks in Gaul. Having been proclaimed by the Austrasian nobles king of Austrasia on the death of his father,a.d.575. he acquired also Burgundy on the death of his uncle Guntramn in 593. These kingdoms at this time comprised by far the greatest part of Gaul, the kingdom of what was called Neustria under Clotaire II. including only a small territory on the north-west coast.
46 See preceeding Epistle, note 9).
47 See Ep. LIII., note 9).
48 With regard to the use of the pallium claimed by, and allowed to, John, the preceding bishop of Ravenna, see III. 56, 57; V. 11, 15. For further contentions with Marinianus on the subject, see VI. 34, 61.
49 Salutatario: called in previous letters to Archbishop John, secretarium.See III. 56, note 2.
50 See above, V. 52, and Ep. LVIII., below).
51 See III. 6, 7.
52 Meaning, we may suppose, the province of Achaia, of which Corinth was the metropolis).
53 In English Bible, xxii.
20601 Gregory to Marinianus, Bishop of Ravenna.
As unjust demands should not be conceded, so the petition of such as desire what is lawful ought not to be set aside. Now your Fraternity’s presbyters, deacons and clergy have presented to us a petition complaining that the late John, your predecessor, made a will burdening his Church with various bequests. And they have petitioned that these, which are to the detriment of his Church, should under no excuse be paid, as being prohibited by law. And although, heredity and succession having been by him renounced, no reason binds thee to satisfy any such claims, nevertheless we hereby exhort thee over and above that with regard to such bequests as he has made, contrary to the ordinances of the laws, of property belonging to his Church, or acquired by him in his episcopate, your Fraternity neither lend your authority nor on any account consent to them. But, if he has wished or directed anything to be done with regard to his private property which he had before his episcopate, and which he had not previously bestowed upon his Church, it is necessary that this disposition should be held valid in all respects, and that no one of the ecclesiastics should attempt against reason on any pretext to set it aside.
But, inasmuch as during his life he often begged of us that we should confirm by our authority what he had conferred on the monastery which he had himself constructed near the church of Saint Apollinaris, and we promised to do this, we hold it needful to exhort your Fraternity to suffer nothing of what he has there conferred and constituted to be diminished, but to see to all being preserved and firmly established. Since, then, he is known to have made mention of this monastery, and of the property conferred on it, in the will which he made, you must know that we have not confirmed this part of it by reason of our following his last wishes, but because, as we have said, we promised it to him when he was alive. Let your Fraternity, therefore, make haste so carefully to accomplish all these things that both what was by him constituted and by us confirmed in the above-named monastery may be maintained, and what he has by will directed to be given or done to the detriment of his Church may have no validity, seeing that the law forbids it.
20602 Gregory to the clergy and people of the Church of Ravenna.
We have been informed that certain men, instigated by the malignant spirit, have wished to corrupt your minds by false speech with regard to the reputation of our brother and fellow-bishop Marinianus1 ; saying that this our brother venerates the holy synod of Chalcedon less than becomes him2 . On this head both he himself in person will satisfy you all of the integrity of his faith, and we fully testify that, having been nursed from his cradle in the bosom of the holy Universal Church, he has held the right preaching of the faith with the attestation of his life. For he venerates the holy Nicene synod in which Arius, the Constantinopolitan, in which Macedonius, the first Ephesine, in which Nestorius, and the holy Chalcedonian, in which Dioscorus and Eutyches were condemned. And if any one presumes ever to speak anything against the faith of these four synods and against the tome and definition of pope Leo of holy memory, let him be anathema. Accordingly, receiving the fullest satisfaction, love ye your pastor in entire charity with a pure heart, that the intercession of the same your pastor, poured out purely before God, may avail to your profit).
20603 Gregory to Maximus, pretender to the Church of Salona3 .
As often as anything is said to have been done contrary toecclesiastical discipline, we dare not leave it unexamined, lest we should be guilty before God for connivance. Now it has come to our ears that thou wast ordained by means of simoniacal heresy. Nay and many other things have been said of thee here, whereof there was one especially on account of which we held it needful to prohibit thee urgently by letter from celebrating the solemnities of mass until we might ascertain the state of the case more certainly. Wherefore, lest the children of the Church should be too long without a shepherd, and lest, in case of these things which are said remaining unexamined, vice of this nature should extend itself to many, we exhort thee to make haste to come to us, laying aside all excuses, to the end that with due regard to justice we may be able to gain knowledge of these things, and terminate them according to the canonical institutes, Christ shewing us the way. But do thou so act that there be no more of these successive delays of thy coming, lest thy very absence point thee out as the more obnoxious to these charges against t hee, and lest we should be thus compelled to pass in council a harder sentence on thee, not only for thy alleged crimes from which thou evadest purging thyself, but also for the fault of disobedience, to wit as one that is contumacious.
20605 Gregory to Brunichild, Queen of the Franks4 .
The laudable and God-pleasing goodness of your Excellence is manifested both by your government of your kingdom and by your education of your son5 . To him you have not only with provident solicitude conserved intact the glory of temporal things, but have also seen to the rewards of eternal life, having planted his mind in the root of the true faith with maternal, as became you, and laudable care of his education. Whence not undeservedly it ensues that he should surpass all the kingdoms of the nations6 , in that he both worships purely and confesses truly the Creator of these nations. But that faith may shine forth in him the more laudably in his works, let the words of your exhortation kindle him, to the end that, as royal power shews him lofty among men, so goodness of conduct may make him great before God.
Now inasmuch as past experience in many instances gives us confidence in the Christianity of your Excellence, we beg of you, for the love of Peter, Prince of the apostles, whom we know that you love with your whole heart, that you would cherish with the aid of your patronage our most beloved son the presbyter Candidus7 , who is the bearer of these presents, together with the little patrimony for the government of which we have sent him, to the end that, strengthened by the favour of your support, he may be able both to manage profitably this little patrimony, which is evidently beneficial towards the expenses of the poor, and also to recover into the possession of this little patrimony anything that may have been taken away from it. For it is not without increase of your praise that after so long a time a man belonging to Church has been sent for the management of this patrimony. Let your Excellency, then, deign so willingly to give your attention to what we request of you that the blessed Peter, Prince of the apostles, to whom the power of binding and loosing has been given by the Lord Jesus Christ, may both grant to your Excellence to rejoice here in your offspring, and after courses of many years cause you to be found, absolved from all ills before the face of the eternal Judge.
20606 Gregory to Childebert, King of the Franks8 .As much as royal dignity is above that of other men, so much in truth does the high position of your kingdom excel that of the kingdoms of other nations. And yet to be a king is not extraordinary, there being others also; but to be a Catholic, which others are not counted worthy to be, this is enough. For as the splendour of a great lamp shines by the clearness of its light in the darkness of earth’s night, so the clear light of your faith glitters and flashes amid the dark perfidy of other nations. Whatever the other kings glory in having you have. But they are in this regard exceedingly surpassed, because they have not the chief good thing which you have. In order, then, that they may be overcome in action as well as in faith, let your Excellence always shew yourself kind to your subjects. And, if there are any things such as to offend your mind, punish them not without enquiry. For then you will the more please the King of kings, that is the Almighty Lord, if, restraining your power, you feel that you may not do all that you can.
Now that you keep purity of faith both in mind and deed, the love that is in you of the blessed Peter, Prince of the apostles, evidently shews, whose property has been so far well governed and preserved under the sway of your supremacy. But since Dynamius the Patrician, who on our recommendation looked after this property, is not able, as we have learnt, to govern it now, lest the little patrimony which is in your parts should be ruined from neglect, we have therefore sent the bearer of these presents, our most beloved son the presbyter Candidus9 to govern it, whom we commend in all respects to your Excellency, greeting you in the first place with paternal charity, with the request that, if by any chance any wrong has been done there, or if the property of the same little patrimony is detained by any one, the matter may be set right, and what has been alienated may be restored to its original ownership; that so your equity, as well as your faith, may shine forth to all nations, which will be something very glorious and laudable.
Moreover we have sent to your Excellency Saint Peter’s keys, containing a portion of his chains, to protect you from all evils, when hung on your neck10 .
20607 Gregory to Candidus, Presbyter, going to the patrimony of Gaul.
Now that thou art proceeding, with the help of our Lord God Jesus Christ, to the government of the patrimony that is in Gaul, we desire thy Love to procure with the money thou mayest receive clothing for the poor, or English boys of about seventeen or eighteen years of age, who may profit by being given to God in monasteries, that so the money of Gaul, which cannot be spent in our country11 , may he expended profitably in its own locality. Further, if you should succeed in getting anything from the moneys accruing to revenue which are called ablatae12 , from this too we desire thee to procure clothing for the poor, or, as we have before said, boys who may profit in the service of Almighty God. But, since such as can be found there are pagans, I desire that a presbyter be sent hither with them to provide against the case of any sickness occurring on the way, that he may baptize those whom he sees to be about to die. Wherefore let your Love so proceed as to lose no time in accomplishing these things diligently.
S. Gregory I, letters 20556