Fathers of the Church

Letter CCXII

Description

”Augustine’s correspondence, the mark and expression of the influential personality and apostolic zeal of the author, is rich in historical, philosophical, theological, exegetical, spiritual, literary, and autobiographical content” (Agostino Trapè). Here he recommends the bearers, a consecrated widow and her daughter, a consecrated virgin, to his fellow bishop Quintilianus.

Provenance

The extant correspondence of St. Augustine includes more than 270 letters, including well over 200 written by him. Those numbered 124-231 span the period from the conference between Catholic and Donatist bishops held in 411, and the rise of the Pelagian heresy, until Augustine’s death in 430.

by Augustine of Hippo in 423 | translated by J. G. Cunningham

TO QUINTILIANUS, MY LORD MOST BLESSED AND BROTHER AND FELLOW BISHOP DESERVEDLY VENERABLE, AUGUSTIN SENDS GREETING.

Venerable father, I commend to you in the love of Christ these honourable servants of God and precious members of Christ, Galla, a widow (who has taken on herself sacred vows), and her daughter Simplicia, a consecrated virgin, who is subject to her mother by reason of her age, but above her by reason of her holiness. We have nourished them as far as we have been able with the word of God; and by this epistle, as if it were with my own hand, I commit them to you, to be comforted and aided in every way which their interest or necessity requires. This duty your Holiness would doubtless have undertaken without any recommendation from me; for if it is our duty on account of the Jerusalem above, of which we are all citizens, and in which they desire to have a place of distinguished holiness, to cherish towards them not only the affection due to fellow- citizens, but even brotherly love, how much stronger is their claim on you, who reside in the same country in this earth in which these ladies, for the love of Christ, renounced the distinctions of this world. I also ask you to condescend to receive with the same love with which I have offered it my official salutation, and to remember me in your prayers. These ladies carry with them relics of the most blessed and glorious martyr Stephen: your Holiness knows how to give due honour to these, as we have done.

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 I/I, Schaff). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.