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Home > Fathers of the Church > Registrum Epistolarum (Gregory the Great) > Book XI, Letter 1

Book XI, Letter 1

To John, Abbot.

Gregory to John, Abbot of Mount Sina .

The Epistle of your Humility testifies to the holiness of your life; whence we give great thanks to Almighty God, for that we know that there are still some to pray for our sins. For we, under the colour of ecclesiastical government, are tossed in the billows of this world, which frequently overwhelm us. But by the protecting hand of heavenly grace we are raised up again from the deep. Do you, then, who lead a tranquil life in the so great serenity of your rest, and stand as it were safe on the shore, extend the hand of your prayer to us who are on our voyage, or rather who are suffering shipwreck, and with all the supplications in your power help us as we strive to reach the land of the living, so that not only for your own life, but also for our rescue, you may have reward for ever. May the Holy Trinity protect your Love with the right hand of Its protection, and grant unto you in Its sight, by praying, by admonishing, by showing example of good work, to feed the flock committed to you, that so you may be able to reach the pastures of eternal life with the flock itself which you feed. For it is written, My sheep shall come and shall find pastures John 10:27. And these pastures in truth we find, when, freed from the winter of this life, we are satisfied with the greenness of eternal life, as of a new Spring.

We have learned from the report of our son Simplicius that there is a want of beds and bedding in the Gerontocomium , which has been constructed by one Isaurus there. Wherefore we have sent 15 cloaks, 30 rachanæ , and 15 beds. We have also given money for the purchase of mattresses and for their transport, which we beg your Love not to disdain, but to supply them to the place for which they have been sent. Given on the day of the Kalends of September, Indiction 4.

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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. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360211001.htm>.

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