Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Fathers of the Church

Epistle LXXXVIII: to Nectarius Archbishop of Constantinople


A letter of congratulations to Nectarius.


Gregory, having failed to persuade the Council of A. D. 381 to end the schism at Antioch by recognizing Paulinus as successor to Meletius, thought it best for the sake of peace to resign the Archbishopric. The Council elected in his place Nectarius, a catechumen at the time, who was Praetor of Constantinople, and he was consecrated and enthroned June 9, 381. Gregory always maintained cordial relations with him; and the following letter was written in answer to the formal announcement of his election.

by Gregory Nazianzen in 381 | translated by Charles Gordon Browne, M.A., James Edward Swallow, M.A

It was needful that the Royal Image should adorn the Royal City. For this reason it wears you upon its bosom, as was fitting, with the virtues and the eloquence, and the other beauties with which the Divine Favour has conspicuously enriched you. Us it has treated with utter contempt, and has cast away like refuse and chaff or a wave of the sea. But since friends have a common interest in each other's affairs, I claim a share in your welfare, and feel myself a partaker in your glory and the rest of your prosperity. Do you also, as is fitting, partake of the anxieties and reverses of your exiles, and not only (as the tragedians say) hold and stick to happy circumstances, but also take your part with your friend in troubles; that you may be perfectly just, living justly and equally in respect of friendship and of your friends. May good fortune abide with you long, that you may do yet more good; yes, may it be with you irrevocably and eternally, after your prosperity here, unto the passage to that other world.

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

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