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Home > Fathers of the Church > Registrum Epistolarum (Gregory the Great) > Book IV, Letter 8

Book IV, Letter 8

To Januarius, Bishop.

Gregory to Januarius, Bishop of Caralis (Cagliari).

We think indeed that your position may in itself be enough to compel you to be instant in the fulfilment of pious duties. But, lest remissness of any kind should intervene to abate your zeal, we have thought it right to exhort you especially with regard to them. Now it has come to our knowledge that your Stephen, when departing this life, by his last will and testament directed a monastery to be founded. But it is said that his desire is so far unaccomplished owing to the delay of the honourable lady Theodosia, his heiress. Wherefore we exhort your Fraternity to pay the utmost attention to this matter, and admonish the above-named lady, to the end that within a year's space she may establish a monastery as has been directed, and construct everything without dispute according to the will of the departed. But if she should put off the completion of the design out of negligence or artfulness (as, for instance, if she is unable to found it in the place that had been appointed, and it is thought fit that it be placed elsewhere, and the matter is neglected through the intervening delay), then we desire that it be built by the diligence of your Fraternity, and that, all things being set in order, the effects and revenues that have been left be appropriated by you to this venerable place. For so you will both escape condemnation for remissness before the awful Judge, and, in accordance with our most religious laws, will be accomplishing with episcopal zeal the pious wishes of the departed, which had been disregarded.

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Source. Translated by James Barmby. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 12. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1895.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360204008.htm>.

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