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Fathers of the Church

Letter CXVI

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). This letter exhorts its recipient, a magistrate, to act in an upright and Christian manner in a particular case. It was sent, with the details of the case, by way of the local priest (see letter CXV).

Provenance

The extant correspondence of St. Augustine includes more than 270 letters, including well over 200 written by him. Those numbered 31-123 span the period from his episcopal ordination until the conference between Catholic and Donatist bishops held in 411.

by Augustine of Hippo in 410 | translated by J. G. Cunningham

TO GENEROSUS, MY NOBLE AND JUSTLY DISTINGUISHED LORD, MY HONOURED AND MUCH- LOVED SON, AUGUSTIN SENDS GREETING IN THE LORD.

Although the praises and favourable report of your administration and your own illustrious good name always give me the greatest pleasure because of the love which we feel due to your merit and to your benevolence, on no occasion have I hitherto been burdensome to your Excellency as an intercessor requesting any favour from you, my much-loved lord and justly- honoured son. When, however, your Excellency has learned from the letters which I have sent to my venerable brother and colleague, Fortunatus, what has occurred in the town in which I serve the Church of God, your kind heart will at once perceive the necessity under which I have been constrained to trespass by this petition on your time, already fully occupied. I am perfectly assured that, cherishing towards us the feeling which, in the name of Christ, we are fully warranted to expect, you will act in this matter as becomes not only an upright, but also a Christian magistrate.

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.