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Home > Fathers of the Church > Registrum Epistolarum (Gregory the Great) > Book V, Letter 56

Book V, Letter 56

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To Marinianus, Bishop.

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 your Fraternity, who art known to have undertaken the office of government in the Church of Ravenna. And remember thou to use it in no other way but in the proper Church of your city, when the sons (i.e. laity) have been already dismissed, as you are proceeding from the audience chamber to celebrate the sacred solemnities of mass; but, when mass is finished, you will take care to lay it by again in the audience chamber. But outside the Church, we do not allow you to use it any more, except four times in the year, in the litanies which we named to your predecessor John; giving you at the same time this admonition; that, as through the Lord's bounty you have 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 you to the glory of Christ with probity of manners and of deeds. For thus will you be conspicuous for two adornments answering to each other, if with such a vesture of the body as this the good qualities also of your soul agree. For all privileges also which appear evidently to have been formerly granted to your Church we confirm by our authority, and decree that they continue inviolate.

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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. <>.

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