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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XII:
The Book of Pastoral Rule, and Selected Epistles, of Gregory the Great.: Epistle LXXII

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Epistle LXXII.

To Peter, Subdeacon.

Gregory to Peter, &c.

Thou hast learnt from a former letter 1381 that we have desired our brethren and fellow-bishops dwelling in the island of Sicily to assemble here for the anniversary of the blessed Peter the apostle.  But, seeing that their suit with the magnificent Justin the ex-prætor 1382 has meanwhile hindered them, and that there is not now sufficient time for coming and returning, we do not wish them to be troubled before winter.  But Gregory of Agrigentum, Leo of Catana, and Victor of Panormus, we by all means desire to come to us before winter 1383 .  Further, get together from strangers 1384 corn of this year’s growth to the value of fifty pounds of gold, and lay it up in Sicily in places where it will not rot, that we may send thither in the month of February as many ships as we can to convey this corn to us.  But, in case of our delaying to send ships, do thou thyself provide some, and, with the help of the Lord, transmit this same corn to us in February, with the exception, however, of the p. 98b corn which we expect to have sent to us now, according to custom, in the months of September or October.  Let thy Experience, then, so proceed that, without annoyance to any husbandman (colonus) of the Church 1385 , the corn may be collected, since there has been here such a scanty crop that, unless by God’s help corn be collected from Sicily, there is a serious prospect of famine.  But keep guard in all ways over the ships that have always been assigned to the use of Holy Church, as the letters also addressed to thee by the glorious ex-consul Leo concur in directing thee to do.  Moreover, many come hither desiring sundry lands or islands belonging to our Church to be leased to them; and some, indeed, we refuse, but to others we have already granted their request.  But let thy Experience see to the advantage of Holy Church, remembering that thou hast before the most sacred body of the blessed apostle Peter received power over his patrimony.  And, though letters should reach you from hence, allow nothing to be done in any way to the disadvantage of the patrimony, since we neither remember to have given, nor are disposed to give away, any thing without good reason.


Footnotes

97b:1381

See Ep. XXXVI.

97b:1382

See Ep. II.  If this Epistle is rightly assigned to the ninth Indiction, the title ex-prætor may possibly be an error in the text since Justin is still addressed as prætor in the following Indiction (II. 33).  Libertinus appears to have succeeded him as Prætor of Sicily in the eleventh Indiction.  See III. 38.

97b:1383

Two of these bishops, Gregory and Leo, are referred to afterwards as having been at Rome to answer to certain charges.  See II. 33, and III. 12.

97b:1384

Extraneis, i.e. growers or vendors of corn outside the patrimony of the Church.

98b:1385

See I. 44, note 1.


Next: Epistle LXXIV

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