Fathers of the Church
Epistle LV: to Protasius, Bishop
by Gregory the Great in 596 | translated by James Barmby, D.d
Gregory to Protasius, Bishop of Aquae in Gaul (Aix).
How great love of the blessed Peter, Prince of the apostles, distinguishes you is evident, not only from the prerogative of your office, but also from the devotion you bestow on what is to the advantage of his Church. And Having learnt that this is the case from the relation of Augustine, servant of God, the bearer of these presents, we rejoice exceedingly for the affection and zeal for truth that is in you; and we give thanks that, though absent in the body, you still shew that you are with us in heart and mind, seeing that you exhibit brotherly charity towards us, as is fit. In order then that actual fact may confirm the good report of you, tell our brother and fellow-bishop Virgilius to hand over to us the payments which his predecessor received for many years and retained in his own hands: for it is the property of the poor. And if perchance, as we do not believe will be the case, he should desire in any way to excuse himself, do you, who know the real truth more exactly, inasmuch as you acted as steward (vicedominus) at that time, explain to him how the matter stands, and urge him not to retain in his hands the property of Saint Peter and of his poor. But, though perhaps our men may not need this, do not refuse your testimony in the case; that so, with regard to the truth as well as to the devotion of your good will, the blessed apostle Peter, for whose love you do this, may respond to you by his intercession both here and in the life to come. We heartily commend to your Holiness the presbyter Candidus, our common son, to whom we have committed the charge of this patrimony.
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.