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Fathers of the Church

Epistle Cxl: to Olympius


Gregory writes to ask Olympius to assist his soldier Aurelius.


Olympius was Prefect of Cappadocia Secunda in 382, to whom Gregory wrote many letters recommending certain persons to his patronage.

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

Again I write when I ought to come: but I gain confidence to do so from yourself, O Umpire of spiritual matters (to put the first thing first), and Corrector of the Commonweal—and both by Divine Providence: who have also received as the reward of your piety that your affairs would prosper to your mind. and that you alone should find attainable what to every one else is out of reach. For wisdom and courage conduct your government, the one discovering what is to be done, and the other easily carrying out what has been discovered. And the greatest of all is the purity of your hands with which all is directed. Where is your ill-gotten gold? There never was any; it was the first thing you condemned to exile as an invisible tyrant. Where is illwill? It is condemned. Where is favour? Here you do bend somewhat (for I will accuse you a little), but it is in imitating the Divine Mercy, which at the present time your soldier Aurelius entreats of you by me. I call him a foolish fugitive, because he has placed himself in our hands, and through ours in yours, sheltering himself under our gray hair and our Priesthood (for which you have often professed your veneration) as if it were under some Imperial Image. See, this sacrificing and unbloodstained hand leads this man to you; a hand which has written often in your praise, and will I am sure write yet more, if God continue your term of government—yours, I mean, and that of your colleague Themis.

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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