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Catholic Culture Overview

Fathers of the Church

Epistle XCIII: to Sophronius, Prefect of Constantinople


A brief letter of friendship, written soon after Gregory's resignation of the Archbishopric.


Sophronius, a native of the Cappadocian Caesarea, was an early friend and fellow-student of Gregory and Basil. He entered the Civil Service, and soon rose to high office. In A.D. 365 he was appointed Prefect of Constantinople, as a reward for timely intimation which he gave to the Emperor Valens of the usurpation attempted by Procopius. He is chiefly known to us by the letters of Gregory and Basil, invoking his good offices for various persons.

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

Our retreat and leisure and quiet have about them something very agreeable to me; but the fact that they cut me off from your friendship and society is not so advantageous but rather the other way. Others enjoy your Perfection, to me it would be really a great boon if I might have just that shadow of conversation which comes in a letter. Shall I see you again? Shall I embrace again him of whom I am so proud, and shall this be granted to the remnant of my life? If so, all thanks to God: if not, the best part of my life is over. Pray remember your friend Gregory and pray for him.

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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