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Home > Fathers of the Church > Registrum Epistolarum (Gregory the Great) > Book IX, Letter 82

Book IX, Letter 82

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To Anatolius, Constantinopolitan Deacon .

Gregory to Anatolius, etc.

To good and devoted sons it is worth our labour so to respond as to double, because we are paying a debt, what it would befit us of our own mere motion to bestow upon them. Seeing, then, that the bearer of these presents, our son the magnificent Marcellinus , has demeaned himself as he has in the cause of our brother and fellow bishop Maximus and in that of the Istrians, and is anxious to employ himself for the advantage of our Church, therefore, that he may be able more and more to show his sincere affection not only in words but also in deeds, we hereby exhort your Love to co-operate with him when he comes to the royal city with entire zeal and earnestness, and to be at pains so to assist him with all the succour in your power, that, supported by the aid of Almighty God and yours, he may have the less difficulty to contend with there. You will also study so to attend to him as to one who is in very truth our own, and so to bestow on him the efficiency of your charity, that he may both recognise a return made to him for the past, and also be able to entertain a great hope of retribution in the future for his devotion which he promises to exhibit in the service of the Church. But inasmuch as, so far as we have learned, the most serene lord the Emperor had commanded our aforesaid magnificent son to hasten to wait upon him immediately, it is fitting for you to seek an opportunity of intimating that it was no faulty disobedience, but the cause of our brother and fellow bishop Maximus, that has detained him: which cause, though late, has nevertheless through his exertions been brought to a conclusion. But this we desire your Love to attend to carefully; not to allow yourself to be mixed up in any cause whatever where there is oppression of the poor; lest haply, under pressure to some extent from persons in power, you should be driven to do what could not be of advantage to your soul. Dealing, then, with all matters in the fear of God, consider especially the eternal reward.

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Source. Translated by James Barmby. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 13. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1898.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <>.

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