Fathers of the Church

Letter LIII. to Sophronius, Bishop of Constantina

Description

Theodoret’s letters are a mine of information for the history of the fifth century, of the author’s life and of the history of dogma in general. This large correspondence is distinguished for its unpretentious learning, felicitous diction and perfect grace of style. (Quasten) Here he recommends to Bishop Sophronius a fellow bishop from Africa, Cyprianus, who had been forced to flee from barbarian incursions.

Provenance

Theodoret of Cyrus (c. 393-466), the wise and zealous bishop of Cyrus, a small town near Antioch, was the last great theologian of the school of Antioch. Although he first considered Alexandrian Christology dangerous, and refused to condemn Nestorius until the Council of Chalcedon, his commitment to the correct doctrine of the Incarnation should not be questioned. As late as the 14th century more than 500 of his letters were extant, of which we still have 232.

by Theodoret in Unknown | translated by Blomfield Jackson

Since I know, O God-beloved, how generous and bountiful is your right hand, I put a coveted boon within your reach; for just as men hungry for this world's gain are annoyed at the sight of them that stand in need of pecuniary aid, so the liberal are delighted, because the riches they reach after are heavenly. A man who furnishes this excellent opportunity is the God-beloved bishop Cyprianus, formerly known among them that minister to others, but now, while he gives a deplorable account of the African calamities, he has to look to the benevolence of others, and depends on the bounty of pious souls. I hope that he too will enjoy your brotherly kindness, and will be forwarded with letters to other havens of refuge.

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. (NPNF II/III, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.