Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living

Fathers of the Church

Epistle CXXXI: to Olympius


Gregory requests that Olympiuus witness to his ill health as the reason he could not attend the Synod.


Olympius was Prefect of Cappadocia Secunda in 382. In 382 Gregory was summoned to a Synod at Constantinople; he wrote to Procopius, the Prefectus Urbi, and declined to go, on the ground of his great dislike to Episcopal Synods, from which, he said, he had never known any good to result. However he seems to have received a more urgent summons through Icarius and Olympius. His reply to Icarius has been lost; that to Olympius is as follows.

by Gregory Nazianzen in 382 | translated by Charles Gordon Browne, M.A., James Edward Swallow, M.A

It is more serious to me than my illness, that no one will believe that I am ill, but that so long a journey is enjoined upon me, and I am pushed into the midst of troubles from which I rejoiced to have withdrawn, and almost thought that I ought to be grateful for this to my bodily affliction. For quiet and freedom from affairs is more precious than the splendour of a busy life. I wrote this yesterday to the Most Illustrious Icarius, from whom I received the same summons: and I now beg your Magnanimity also to write this for me, for you are a very trustworthy witness of my ill health. Another proof of my inability is the loss which I have now suffered in having been unable even to come and enjoy your society, who are so kind a Governor, and so admirable for virtue that even the preludes of your term of office are more honourable than the good fame which others can earn by the end of theirs.

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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