Fathers of the Church

Letter XXXIII. to Stasimus, Count and Primate

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 asks Count Stasimus to find a home for Celestinianus and his family (see letter XXIX).

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

To narrate the sufferings of the most honourable and dignified Celestinianus would require tragic eloquence. Tragic writers set forth fully the ills of humanity, but I can only in a word inform your excellency that his country is Libya, so long on all men's tongues, his city the far famed Carthage, his hereditary rank a seat in her famous council, his circumstances affluent. But all this is now a tale, mere words stripped bare of realities. The barbarian war has deprived him of all this. But such is fortune; she refuses to remain always with the same men and hastens to change her abode to dwell with others. I beg to introduce this guest to your excellency, and beseech you that be may enjoy your far famed beneficence. I beg also that through your excellency he may become known to all those who are in office and opulence, in order that you may both become a means of advantage to them and win the higher reward from our merciful God.

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.