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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. VII:
Select Letters of Saint Gregory Nazianzen.: Letter CXXI

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(Written a little later, as a letter of thanks for an Easter Gift.  Theodore had quite recently been made Archbishop of Tyana.)

We rejoice in the tokens of love, and especially at such a season, and from one at once so young a man, and so perfect; and, to greet you with the words of Scripture, stablished in your youth, 4764 for so it calls him who is more advanced in wisdom than his years lead us to expect.  The old Fathers prayed for the dew of heaven and fatness of the earth 4765 and other such things for their children, though perhaps some may understand these things in a higher sense; but we will give you back all in a spiritual sense.  The Lord fulfil all thy requests, 4766 and mayest thou be the father of such children 4767 (if I may pray for you concisely and intimately) as you yourself have shewn yourself to your own parents, so that we, as well as every one else, may be glorified concerning you.



Ps. cxliv. 2.


Gen. xxvii. 28.


Ps. xx. 7.


It seems clear, as Benoît remarks, that this expression refers to Spiritual fatherhood.  Theodore does not appear to have been married.

Next: Letter CXXII

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