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Home > Fathers of the Church > Letters (Athanasius) > Letter 46

Letter 46

Letter to the Mareotis from Sardica, a.d . 343-4.

Athanasius to the presbyters and deacons and the people of the Catholic Church in the Mareotis, brethren beloved and longed for, greeting in the Lord.

The holy council has praised your piety in Christ. They have all acknowledged your spirit and fortitude in all things, in that you did not fear threats, and though you had to bear insults and persecutions against your piety you held out. Your letters when read out to all produced tears and enlisted universal sympathy. They loved you though absent, and reckoned your persecutions as their own. Their letter to you is a proof of their affection: and although it would suffice to include you along with the holy Church of Alexandria , yet the holy synod has written separately to you in order that you may be encouraged not to give way on account of your sufferings, but to give thanks to God; because your patience shall have good fruit.

Formerly the character of the heretics was not evident. But now it is revealed and laid open to all. For the holy synod has taken cognisance of the calumnies these men have concocted against you, and has had them in abhorrence, and has deposed Theodore, Valens, Ursacius, in Alexandria and the Mareotis by consent of all. The same notice has been given to other Churches also. And since the cruelty and tyranny practised by them against the Churches can no longer be borne, they have been cast out from the episcopate and expelled from the communion of all. Moreover of Gregory they were unwilling even to make mention, for since the man has lacked the very name of bishop, they thought it superfluous to name him. But on account of those who are deceived by him they have mentioned his name; not because he seemed worthy of mention, but that those deceived by him might thereby recognise his infamy and blush at the kind of man with whom they have communicated. You will learn what has been written about them from the previous document : and though not all of the bishops came together to sign, yet it was drawn up by all, and they signed for all. Salute one another with a holy kiss. All the brethren salute you.

I, Protogenes , bishop, desire that you may be preserved in the Lord, beloved and longed for.

I, Athenodorus*, bishop, desire that you may be preserved in the Lord, most beloved brethren. [Other signatures] Julian, Ammonius, Aprianus, Marcellus, Gerontius*, Porphyrius*, Zosimus, Asclepius, Appian, Eulogius, Eugenius, Liodorus (26), Martyrius, Eucarpus, Lucius*, Caloes. Maximus: by letters from the Gauls I desire that you may be preserved in the Lord, beloved. We, Arcidamus and Philoxenus, presbyters, and Leo a deacon, from Rome, desire that you may be preserved. I, Gaudentius, bishop of Naissus, desire that you may be preserved in the Lord. [Also] Florentius of Meria in Pannonia, Ammianus (9), of Castellum in Pannonia, Januarius of Beneventum, Prætextatus of Narcidonum in Pannonia, Hyperneris (48) of Hypata in Thessaly, Castus of Cæsaraugusta, Severus of Calcisus in Thessaly, Julian of Therae Heptapolis , Lucius of Verona, Eugenius (35) of Hecleal Cycbinae , Zosimus (92) of Lychni Sunosion in Apulia , Hermogenes of Syceon , Thryphos of Magara, Paregorius* of Caspi, Caloes (21) of Castromartis, Ireneus of Syconis, Macedonius of Lypianum, Martyrius of Naupacti, Palladius of Dius, Broseus (87) of Lu[g]dunum in Gaul, Ursacius of Brixia, Amantius of Viminacium, by the presbyter Maximus, Alexander of Gypara in Achaia, Eutychius of Mothona, Aprianus of Petavio in Pannonia, Antigonus of Pallene in Macedonia, Dometius* of Acaria Constantias, Olympius of Enorodope , Zosimus of Oreomarga, Protasius of Milan, Mark of Siscia on the Save, Eucarpus of Opûs in Achaia, Vitalis* of Vertara in Africa, Helianus of Tyrtana, Symphorus of Herapythae in Crete, Mosinius (64) of Heracla, Eucissus of Chisamus , Cydonius of Cydonia.

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Source. Translated by Archibald Robertson. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 4. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1892.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2806046.htm>.

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