Fathers of the Church

Fragments from a Letter to the Roman Church

Description

Excerpts from his epistles to the Roman church.

Provenance

Taken from a collection of fragmented writings of the second and third centuries. Dionysius wrote many Catholic epistles to various churches and leaders, exhorting and correcting when necessary. In his letters, he set forth rules to safeguard the purity and sanctity of marriage. He also advocated the a merciful treatment of those repentant lapsed. Eusebius greatly praises him for his generosity and hard work.

by Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth in 170 A.D. | translated by Rev. B. P. Pratten

I.

FOR this has been your custom from the beginning, to do good to all the brethren in various ways, and to send resources to many churches which are in every city, thus refreshing the poverty of the needy, and granting subsidies to the brethren who are in the mines. Through the resources which ye have sent from the beginning, ye Romans, keep up the custom of the Romans handed down by the fathers, which your blessed Bishop Sorer has not only preserved, but added to, sending a splendid gift to the saints, and exhorting with blessed words those brethren who go up to Rome, as an affectionate father his children.

II. FROM THE SAME EPISTLE.

We passed this holy Lord's day, in which we read your letter, from the constant reading of which we shall be able to draw admonition, even as from the reading of the former one you sent us written through Clement.

III. FROM THE SAME.

Therefore you also have by such admonition joined in close union the churches that were planted by Peter and Paul, that of the Romans and that of the Corinthians: for both of them went to our Corinth, and taught us in the same way as they taught you when they went to Italy; and having taught you, they suffered martyrdom at the same time.

IV. FROM THE SAME.

For I wrote letters when the brethren requested me to write. And these letters the apostles of the devil have filled with tares, taking away some things and adding others, for whom a woe is in store. It is not wonderful, then, if some have attempted to adulterate the Lord's writings, when they have formed designs against those which are not such.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (ANF 8, Roberts and Donaldson). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.