Fathers of the Church

Epistle LVIII: to Arsicinus Duke, the Clergy, Nobility, and Common People of the City of Ariminum

Description

This epistle is from Book I of the Register of the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great. It contains another discussion of the choosing of a bishop for an unmentioned city (see Epistle LVII, Book I.)

Provenance

St. Gregory (b. 540 in Rome) was elected pope at the age of 50, serving from 590 to 604. In 14 years he accomplished much for the Church. England owes her conversion to him. At a period when the invasion of the barbarian Lombards created a new situation in Europe, he played a great part in winning them for Christ. At the same time, he watched equally over the holiness of the clergy and the maintenance of Church discipline, the temporal interests of his people of Rome and the spiritual interests of all Christendom. He removed unworthy priests from office, forbade the taking of money for many services, and emptied the papal treasury to ransom prisoners of the Lombards and to care for persecuted Jews and victims of plague and famine. Gregory also reformed the liturgy, and it still contains several of his most beautiful prayers. The name "Gregorian chant" recalls this great Pope's work in the development of the Church's music. His commentaries on Holy Scripture exercised a considerable influence on Chsdsristian thought in the Middle Ages. Following his death in 604, his numerous epistles, including the following letter, were compiled into the Papal Register of Letters.

by Gregory the Great in 590-604 | translated by James Barmby, D.d

Gregory to Arsicinus, &c.

How ready is the devotion of your love in expectation of a pontiff the text of the report which you have addressed to us shows. But, since the ordainer ought in such cases to be exceedingly careful, we are watching over this case with due deliberation. And so we warn your Charity by this present writing that no one need trouble himself to apply to us in favour of Ocleatinus: but, if any one is found in your own city to undertake this work with profit, so that he cannot be objected to by us, let your choice concur in his favour. But, if no one should be found fit for it, we have mentioned to the bearers of these presents one to whom you may no less accord your consent. But do you with one accord pray faithfully, that, whosoever may be ordained, he may be able both to be profitable to you and to display priestly service worthy of our 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. (LNPF II/XII, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.