Letters (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 34)

Letters (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 34)

Translated by BROTHER EDMUND HUNT
Copyright Date: 1957
Pages: 312
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt32b0c5
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  • Book Info
    Letters (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 34)
    Book Description:

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    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1134-3
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 5-12)

    Pope St. Leo the Great was probably Tuscan in origin, but he spoke of himself as a Roman. He was one of the archdeacons of the diocese of Rome under Pope Sixtus III (432-440), possibly earlier. He was chosen Bishop of Rome while on an embassy in Gaul, trying to reconcile two factious generals of the Western emperor. He got back to Rome within forty days and was consecrated on September 29, 440. His rule lasted until late in 461—a period of great trials for the Church, barbarian invasions, social upheavals and religious heresies, all of which served as...

  3. Letter

    • Table of Contents
      (pp. 13-16)
    • 1 To the Bishop of Aquileia [Januarius?]
      (pp. 19-23)

      We have received a report (it is appended to this letter) from our holy brother and fellow bishop Septimus.¹ From it we have learned that in your province certain priests, deacons, and clerics of different ranks, previously involved in the Pelagian (or Coelestian) heresy, have been admitted into Catholic society without having been required to make any condemnation of their particular error. While the shepherds set to watch were sound asleep, wolves clothed in the skins of sheep, but still retaining their bestial instincts, invaded the Lord’s sheepfold.² These men have presumed to do what is not permitted even to...

    • 4 To the bishops presiding in Campania, Piceno, Etruria, and all provinces
      (pp. 23-27)

      Just as the well-being of the churches causes us gratification, so we are deeply saddened whenever we learn of any liberties taken with, or acts committed against, canon law and ecclesiastical discipline. We cannot excuse ourself to Him who wished us to be on the watch¹ if we do not repress such practices with the vigilance we should. We cannot excuse ourself if we permit the unsullied body of the Church (which we are bound to keep clean of all spot) to be defiled by contact with those who pursue evil ends. For the very union of the members gets...

    • 6 To Anastasius, Bishop of Thessalonica
      (pp. 27-32)

      Love of our associated colleagues causes us to read over the letters of all bishops with real pleasure of mind, for, through a spiritual gift from God we embrace, as if present, those with whom we share ideas by exchanging letters. But there appears to be a more important motive for us in these letters through which we are informed of the status of the churches and are thus, by considering the nature of our office, forced to vigilance in the exercise of our responsibility. That is, being put in a watchtower, as the Lord willed, we may give our...

    • 9 To Dioscorus, Bishop of Alexandria
      (pp. 33-36)

      How great a feeling of the Lord’s charity we bestow on your Charity you can confirm from the fact that we desire to get you more firmly established at the beginning, even though we have had evidence that the benefits of spiritual grace assist you. For we want nothing to seem lacking to your charity to make it perfect. Hence, paternal and fraternal correspondence should be most pleasing to your Holiness and should be accepted by you in the same spirit with which it comes from us, as you know.¹ It is fitting that we should think and act as...

    • 10 To the bishops in the province of Vienne
      (pp. 37-48)

      Our Lord Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, desired to have the observance of divine religion shine out through God’s grace unto all nations and races. He established it in such a way that truth, previously contained only in proclamations of the Law and the Prophets, might proceed from the Apostles’ trumpet for the salvation of all, as it is written: ‘Their sound has gone forth unto all the earth: and their words unto the ends of the world.’¹ Now, the Lord desired that the dispensing of this gift should be shared as a task by all the Apostles,...

    • 12 To the bishops in the sees of Caesarea Mauritania
      (pp. 48-57)

      Since we learned from rather frequent statements visitors to us that certain irregularities in the consecration bishops have arisen among you, the dictates of fatherly care demanded that, because of the solicitude which through God’s ordaining we dispense for the universal Church, we strive find out the reliability of the reports. We delegated our brother and fellow bishop Potentius,² who was setting out from Rome, to represent us in this concern of ours. According to the letter which we sent you through him, he was to inquire about the bishops whose selection was said to be at fault, to find...

    • 14 To the Bishop Anastasius
      (pp. 58-67)

      Were you to examine with right reason and weigh with just evaluation the importance of matters entrusted to your Fraternity by the authority of the most blessed Apostle Peter, and also the nature of the business turned over to you as a favor from us, we could then greatly rejoice over your devotion to the responsibility entrusted to you.

      For, as my predecessors did to yours, so I, also, following them as models, delegated to your Charity the task of governing which is mine, so that, while imitating our clemency, you might share in the concern which, by divine ordinance,...

    • 16 To the bishops in Sicily
      (pp. 68-77)

      We are aroused by divine orders and apostolic admonitions to a vigorous zeal for the welfare of the churches. And when anything blamable is discovered anywhere, we are aroused to recall men, by a speedy show of concern, from faults due to ignorance or practices illicitly taken for granted. We are warned by the Lord’s command, in the passage where the most blessed Apostle Peter is deeply impressed with the mystical order, three times repeated, that he who loves Christ is to feed Christ’s sheep.¹ Hence, out of reverence for the See itself over which we preside through the abundance...

    • 19 To Dorus, Bishop of Beneventum
      (pp. 77-80)

      We are grieved that the hopes we entertained for you have come to nothing. We notice that you have committed acts which, as reprehensible innovations, have contaminated the entire system of ecclesiastical ordinances. For you know very well with what solicitude we desire that the canonical regulations of the Fathers be observed in all the Lord’s churches; and that we particularly want the bishops of all peoples to share in this responsibility, so that the provisions of the holy canons may not be corrupted by any deviations. Hence we are amazed that you, who had the best opportunity of observing...

    • 20 To Eutyches, abbot at Constantinople
      (pp. 81-81)

      Your Charity’s letter has brought to our attention the fact that, through the efforts of certain persons, there has been a revival of the Nestorian heresy. We reply that your concern in this matter has pleased us, for the letter we received is an indication of your attitude: it shows that there is no doubt in your mind that the Lord, the Author of true faith, will be with you in everything. When we have been able to learn more fully through whose perversity this is happening, we must with God’s help see to it that the heinous poison, and...

    • 21 Eutyches to Pope Leo
      (pp. 82-87)

      God is indeed my witness before all others of my faith and hope concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, who in judging decides what is true in the souls and minds of men. Yet I also implore your Holiness [to attest to the correctness of my views]² and statements. For the Devil, the prince of all evil, being hostile to our efforts and purpose, has stirred up all his forces against us, using as tools those by whom his strength should have been destroyed. The holy man Eusebius, then, Bishop of Dorylaeum, presented a document of complaint to the devout Flavian,...

    • 23 To Flavian, Bishop of Constantinople
      (pp. 87-89)

      The most Christian and clement emperor, concerned for the peace of the Catholic Church because of his holy and laudable faith, has sent us a letter about what happened in your area to cause a noisy disturbance. Hence, we are amazed that your Fraternity could have kept secret from us what that scandal was about and did not, instead, first take care to instruct us by your informative report, so that we could have no doubt about the actual happenings.² We did, indeed, receive a document from Eutyches the priest, who complains that, on the accusation of Bishop Eusebius, he...

    • 24 To Emperor Theodosius II
      (pp. 89-91)

      This letter which you sent me is additional proof of how much protection for His Church the Lord has provided in your Clemency’s faith. Hence, we rejoice that you have the mind not only of a king but also of a priest, since, aside from your cares for the realm and the people, you have a most devoted concern for the Christian religion. That is, you are careful to prevent schisms or heresies or any other stumbling blocks from gaining strength among God’s people. For your realm is in the best possible condition when men serve the eternal and unchanging...

    • 28 To Bishop Flavian
      (pp. 92-105)

      We have read your Charity’s letter (we are amazed that it came so late) and have reviewed the proceedings of the council of bishops.² At last we have found out about the obstacle to the integrity of the faith which arose in your area; what before seemed obscure has now been disclosed and clarified for us. Eutyches, who appeared to be honorable because of his priestly title, is revealed by your letter to be quite rash and ignorant. Hence, the saying of the Prophet also fits him: ‘He would not understand that he might do well. He hath devised iniquity...

    • 29 To Emperor Theodosius
      (pp. 106-108)

      How much Divine Providence deigns to care for human affairs is shown by your Clemency’s solicitude, enlivened by the Spirit of God; you want nothing unsettled, nothing odds, in the Catholic Church. For faith (which does not exist unless it is one) can in no way consist of anything dissimilar to itself. So, as the minutes of the episcopal proceedings have made clear,² Eutyches was found to be in error through ignorance and imprudence, and he should have given up his belief, which is deservedly condemned. Nevertheless, since your Piety (you love Catholic truth most religiously unto the honor of...

    • 33 To the bishops assembled at Ephesus
      (pp. 108-110)

      Our most clement emperor, knowing in his religious faith that it is especially pertinent to his glory should there arise no germ of any heresy within the Catholic Church, has invoked the authority of the Apostolic See in order to effect holy settlement [of the present dispute]. In this he has shown reverence for divine institutions, desiring, as it were, that the most blessed Apostle Peter proclaim those words in profession of faith which were praised [by Christ]. It was when² the Lord said: ‘Whom do men say that I the Son God am?’ and the disciples listed various opinions...

    • 35 To Julian, Bishop of Cos
      (pp. 111-116)

      In the interests of the faith we are sending quite a complete letter against an absolutely impious heresy to our brother Flavian, through those envoys whom we are dispatching from Rome. Even so, since we received a letter from your Charity through our son Basil the deacon² (a letter which pleased us greatly because of the intensity of its Catholic views), we are sending this letter in addition, one which is in agreement with that letter.³ You may thereby offer a united and constant resistance to those who seek to corrupt Christ’s Gospel, since in us and in you there...

    • 37 To Emperor Theodosius
      (pp. 116-117)

      From the letter² received from your Clemency I have concluded that the universal Church should greatly rejoice over your desire that the Christian faith, in which God is honored and worshiped, should have in it no variation and no discord. What more efficacious support can there be for obtaining God’s mercy in human affairs than to have everyone present to His majesty but one act of thanksgiving and the offering of a single profession of faith? In this offering, the devotion of the priests and of all the faithful will thus be finally complete when no one holds any other...

    • 38 To Bishop Flavian
      (pp. 118-120)

      After our envoys had already set out, those whom we sent you in the interests of the faith, we received your Charity’s letter² through our son Basil the deacon.³ You rightly did not put much in it about the business which is our common worry, since the proceedings brought to us earlier had instructed us sufficiently on all points, and Basil, mentioned above, was at hand to answer our inquiries personally. We now send back our reply through him and exhort your Charity through the grace of our Lord, in which we trust, using the words of the Apostle and...

    • 40 To the bishops in the province of Arles
      (pp. 120-121)

      We have just and reasonable cause to rejoice when learn that the Lord’s bishops have acted in harmony the canonical regulations of the Fathers and customs by the Apostles. The entire body of the Church but have a healthy growth if the members who are leaders are outstanding for vigorous authority and peaceful rule. Accordingly, we ratify with our sanction the good action done by your Fraternities in the diocese of Arles. On death of Hilary of holy memory² you unanimously consecrated a man approved also by us, our brother Ravennius, according to the wishes of the clergy, the nobles...

    • 42 To Ravennius, Bishop of Arles
      (pp. 121-122)

      We want you to be circumspect and careful to prevent blameworthy presumption from being able to justify itself anything. For, when it gains entrance by creeping in illegally, it stretches out to greater boldness in the name of the dignity it has usurped. We have learned that a certain Petronianus, footloose and always wandering about through Gaul, boasted that he is a deacon of ours and that, under cover of this dignity, he is making the rounds of the various churches

      in that province. We learned this from the reliable reports of your clergy. Dearly beloved brother, we want your...

    • 44 To Emperor Theodosius
      (pp. 122-127)

      From the letter² which, in your love for the Catholic faith, your Clemency recently sent to the See of the blessed Apostle Peter we derived so much confidence for the defense of truth and peace through you that we did not expect that any harm could lurk in a case so simple and so well supported. We felt this particulary because the men sent to the meeting of bishops, which you ordered held at Ephesus, were so instructed that, if the Bishop of Alexandria³ had allowed the bishops to hear read the letter which our envoys brought to the holy...

    • 49 To Bishop Flavian
      (pp. 128-128)

      What sufferings your Charity has endured for the defense of the Catholic faith, and how great they are, we have learned from the deacon² who secretly slipped away from Ephesus. And although we praise God, who comforts you with the power of His grace, we cannot but grieve over the ruin of those who attack the truth and shake the very foundations of the entire Church. But your Fraternity should know (since God’s providence always grants necessary aid unto His own) that we are omitting nothing that should be done for the common cause, so that, first of all, we...

    • 50 To the church at Constantinople
      (pp. 129-132)

      We admit that our mind was afflicted with great sorrow when we received news of the events which took place at Ephesus; they were the opposite of what all expected. And we could not readily have believed that so much license was granted to wickedness if it were not that our son Hilary the deacon, refusing to be a party to the unjust sentence, had returned in flight (he had been sent to the council with others to represent us there). Indeed our delegates expressed their dissent in the council;² but the bishop of Alexandria, who claimed that the handling...

    • 60 To Pulcheria, sister of Theodosius II
      (pp. 132-134)

      Your Piety’s letter has brought me a great deal of joy and exultation in the Lord. In it you clearly show how much you love the Catholic faith and how much you despise the errors of heretics. O most glorious [Augusta], heresy is truly quite blasphemous and hostile to evangelical truth. It does not try to harm just a portion, but to destroy the very foundations of the Christian religion. It denies that the eternal Son of the eternal Father took from the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary the real flesh of our nature, and it attacks with condemnation...

    • 66 To the bishops presiding in Gaul
      (pp. 134-135)

      Our sons Petronius the priest and Regulus the deacon have brought us your Charities’ letter. By reading it we have learned clearly what an affectionate regard you feel for our brother and fellow bishop Ravennius, for you request that rights be restored to him which were deservedly taken away from his predecessor for his excessive presumption. But the Bishop of Vienne sent us his views by envoys and a letter, which came in advance of your Fraternities’ petition. He complains that the Bishop of Arles unlawfully took upon himself to consecrate the bishop of Vaison. We must, of course, preserve...

    • 67 To Bishop Ravennius
      (pp. 136-137)

      We have kept our sons Petronius² the priest and Regulus the deacon in Rome for a long time. For they have merited this favor from us, and the cause of the faith, now attacked by the heresy of certain men, demanded it. We wanted, in fact, to have them present at our discussions and to pick all the information which we wished brought to all brothers and fellow bishops through you, dearly beloved. We particularly delegate your Charity to bring to the notice of all our brothers the letter which we sent to the East to the faith, as well...

    • 69 To Emperor Theodosius
      (pp. 137-141)

      In the midst of the anxieties which we suffer for the faith all your Piety’s letters have indeed given us the greatest hope of security through your support of the Council of Nicaea² to the extent that you do not permit the priests of the Lord to deviate from it, as you have often said in letters. But to prevent my seeming to have done anything prejudicial to the defense of Catholic doctrine, it was my idea that there should meanwhile be no rash exchange of letters between the two sides concerning the consecration of the man who has begun...

    • 75 To Faustus and Martin, priests and abbots at Constantinople
      (pp. 142-144)

      I gladly take every occasion of writing and do not cease to address your Charities with priestly affection, so that you can learn from the very frequency of the letters how much concern we have for the entire Church. It is proper that your Pieties should share in our labors for the zealous defense of the most pure faith of this Church. We have sent our brothers, bishops and priests, in the interest of the Christian religion, and we trust that they have been with you for some time.² From all the instructions we gave through them you could have...

    • 79 To Pulcheria
      (pp. 144-147)

      Through experience we now have a complete understanding of what we always took for granted concerning your Piety’s attitude. That is, although the Christian faith may be attacked by various tricks of depraved men, it cannot be disturbed so long as you are present and prepared by the Lord to defend it. God neither fails in His pledge to show mercy nor ignores the merits of your labor, through which you have long since driven away from the very vitals of the Church the crafty foe of our holy religion. That was the time when the Nestorian impiety was unable...

    • 80 To Anatolius, Bishop of Constantinople
      (pp. 147-150)

      We rejoice in the Lord and glory in the gift of His grace. As we have learned from your Charity’s letter and from the report of our brothers whom we sent to Constantinople, He has shown that you are a follower of evangelical teaching. We may thus rightly assume that through the approved faith of its bishop the entire church entrusted to him will have in it no stain, no blemish of any heresy. As the Apostle says: ‘For I betrothed you to one spouse, that I might present you a chaste virgin to Christ.’² Now, that virgin is the...

    • 81 To Bishop Julian
      (pp. 151-152)

      Through our sons, the clerics of Constantinople, I received your Fraternity’s letter expressing your greetings. In it you point out that you have been distressed by great troubles. That is quite natural, since there has been no of that concern and worry which wear out the mind which adheres to truth in the midst of bold adversaries of the Catholic faith. And as you put it, your intention was to use the brought on by necessity to recall yourself to and your fatherland.² I had, in fact, hoped this would occur so that I might learn from your own lips...

    • 83 To Emperor Marcian
      (pp. 153-155)

      Your letter, which I was honored to receive, and my fellow bishops returning from Constantinople have given me much confidence to write to your Clemency. They reveal, not only through statements but through the very results of what you have already undertaken, that in you there thrives a Godgiven bulwark for the defense of the Catholic faith. Not only the position of the Church, of course, but also the vigor of your government, is thereby fortified; hence, you may deservedly ask for the protection of Him whose truth you cherish, O most glorious [Augustus]. The following items are due to...

    • 85 To Bishop Anatolius
      (pp. 156-158)

      Although I hope that your Charity is devoted to every good work, still, in order to render your zeal more efficacious, it was necessary and proper to send our brothers, Lucensius the bishop and Basil the priest, as we promised.² Your Charity is to be associated with them so that nothing may be done indecisively or sluggishly in those matters which pertain to the well-being of the universal Church. For, while those whom we instructed to carry out our arrangements are staying with you, those affairs can be treated with all moderation; that is, neither the claim of kindness nor...

    • 88 To Paschasinus, papal legate
      (pp. 159-162)

      I have no doubt that your Fraternity has been made fully aware of the whole origin of scandals about the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ which were stirred up in the Eastern Churches. Still, in order to avoid the possibility that anything could by chance remain unknown to your solicitude, I am sending you for careful consideration and review the very thorough letter of ours which we sent to Flavian of holy memory on this subject and one which the universal Church accepts.² Understanding thus how completely the impiety of this entire heresy has been destroyed with the help...

    • 89 To Emperor Marcian
      (pp. 162-164)

      It was our belief that your Clemency could yield to our wishes by ordering that the council of bishops be put off to a more opportune time, as required by present difficulties. A really universal council could thus be held by summoning the bishops from all the provinces. But, since in your love for the Catholic faith you wished the meeting to be held at once, in order not to obstruct your devoted decision, I am sending my brother and fellow bishop Paschasinus,² summoned from that province which is apparently more secure, who can be present as my representative. To...

    • 93 To the Synod of Nicaea
      (pp. 165-167)

      Through love for our dearly beloved colleagues I had hoped for a firm stand by all the Lord’s priests in a united devotion to the Catholic faith. I hoped that none was being corrupted by favors from or fear of the secular powers, so as to depart from the path of truth. However, there often are numerous occurrences which can bring about repentance, and the mercy of God overcomes the faults of the erring; hence, punishment is thus put off so that there can be room for amendment. For that reason we should follow the most clement emperor’s advice, wholly...

    • 95 To Pulcheria
      (pp. 168-171)

      In every way I recognize the devoted solicitude of your Clemency, which you unceasingly display for the Catholic faith. And I thank God that I see you possessed of so great a care for the universal Church that I may with confidence suggest to you a course which I feel is in harmony with both justice and kindness. What has been done up to now without fault through your Piety’s zeal and the mercy of God may thereby be brought more quickly to an end worth rejoicing over. Your Clemency has ordered the holding of a council at Nicaea,² although...

    • 102 To the bishops presiding in Gaul
      (pp. 172-176)

      We had indeed hoped to receive a letter from your Fraternities at the time you promised it in order that the expression of your views might also have been sent along with our brothers setting out for the East—the men we sent to the holy synod in our place for the defense of the Catholic faith. Although numerous obstacles caused you to be unexpectedly tardy, we were grateful to receive your letter through our brother and fellow bishop Ingenuus,² however late and long expected it was. And in reviewing it with joy, we obtained proof (as we expected to)...

    • 104 To Emperor Marcian
      (pp. 177-182)

      The joys of the entire Catholic Church were multiplied by a great gift of God’s mercy when a most pernicious heresy was rooted out through your Clemency’s holy and renowned zeal. And our efforts reached the goal aimed at in a shorter time because they were assisted by the faith and power of the God-serving secular rulers. For, although, in the midst of any dissensions whatever, the liberty of the Gospel was defensible in the power of the Holy Spirit acting through the services of the Apostolic See, the grace of God was made the more apparent by granting to...

    • 106 To Bishop Anatolius
      (pp. 182-188)

      As we hoped, the light of the Gospel of truth has been made manifest through God’s mercy, and the dark night of a most pernicious heresy has been driven from the universal Church. Hence, we cannot but express our joy in the Lord that the task assigned to us has reached the desired end (as it is also expressed in the words of your letter).² Thus, according to the teaching of the Apostle, we may all say the same thing and there may be no dissensions among us, but we may be perfectly united in one mind and one judgment.³...

    • 107 To Bishop Julian
      (pp. 189-190)

      On numerous occasions your Charity has had proof of the constancy and fixity of purpose with which I guard the provisions of the Nicene canons, since I consider all ecclesiastical regulations to be disrupted when any item of that sacrosanct arrangement of the Fathers is violated. I am amazed that you could have sent such a letter¹ through our brother and fellow bishop Lucianus.² In it you think that special favor should be granted you. You thereby become seriously involved on behalf of a novel disorder if I agree to this illegitimate request. With however much affection I am attached...

    • 108 To Theodore, Bishop of Forum Julii
      (pp. 190-193)

      This is the order in which your solicitude ought to have manifested itself. You should first of all have conferred with your metropolitan on the matter which apparently required investigation. And if what your Charity did not know was also unknown to him, you both should have asked to be instructed. For, in problems which pertain to the general observance of all the Lord’s priests, no inquiry should be made without the primates. However, in order that some sort of instruction may be given you, who in doubt consult me, I shall not keep silent about the Church’s regulation concerning...

    • 109 To Bishop Julian
      (pp. 194-198)

      The deeds which your Fraternity mentions as being perpetrated by crowds of false monks are serious and to be lamented with no small grief.² It is the impious Eutyches who, through the madness of his deceivers, wages war against the evangelical and apostolic teachings, a war which is bound to involve him and his associates in ruin. Through God’s patience the coming of the ruin is delayed in order to make clear how much the enemies of Christ’s cross are serving the Devil. Heretical depravity now comes out from behind the old veil of pretense and can no longer restrain...

    • 117 To the same
      (pp. 199-202)

      The content of your letter shows how vigilantly and how devotedly your Fraternity watches over the Catholic faith. My solicitude is greatly relieved by the information in it, since it is supported by the devoted concern of the most religious emperor, a concern which (as is clearly apparent) God has prepared for the strengthening of the universal Church. Hence, so long as the Christian rulers act with holy zeal for the faith, the Lord’s priests may confidently pray for their realm. I have willingly complied, therefore, with what the most clement emperor thought necessary by sending a letter² to all...

    • 119 To Maximus, Bishop of Antioch
      (pp. 203-209)

      How much your Charity is pleased by the most sacred unity of our common faith and the calm harmony of peace within the Church is shown by the content of your letter, which our sons Marinian the priest and Olympius the deacon brought to me. They are the more pleasing to us in that through them we exchange ideas in conversation. In this way the grace which causes rejoicing throughout the entire world over the manifesting of the light of Catholic truth may more and more become known. Yet, as the report of the messengers indicates, certain men are still...

    • 126 To Emperor Marcian
      (pp. 210-211)

      It is with joy over two letters from your Clemency that I write back thanking you as you deserve. I rejoice over the mercy of God, who, in your Providence’s virtues, has set up a most glorious bulwark for the profit of the Roman state and the peace of the Catholic Church. Hence, I trust that both these most salutary concerns of your Piety will be so assisted by God that complete peace may be granted to the Christian religion and to your government. The fact, then, that God’s people in the provinces of Palestine were recalled to the unity...

    • 127 To Bishop Julian
      (pp. 211-214)

      We have often had proof through the clearest evidence of the faith of the most Christian emperor. And I thank our God that in His fatherly concern He has deigned to grant such a ruler in human affairs, one who would use the greatest vigilance in watching over the problems of the faith and the State, ever resisting the endeavors of heretics and allowing no license to any of their insanity against the Catholic faith. We owe it to his benevolence, after God, that the Bishop of Jerusalem was restored,² and by his august authority he recalled to health the...

    • 129 To Proterius, Bishop of Alexandria
      (pp. 214-217)

      Your Charity’s letter, dutifully carried to me by our brother and fellow bishop Nestorius, has brought me joy. It was right that a letter be sent to the Apostolic See by the head of the Alexandrian church, such as would prove that the Egyptians had learned at the start from the teaching of the most blessed Apostle Peter through blessed Mark, his disciple, that belief which the Romans held, as is well known: namely, that outside the Lord Jesus Christ ‘there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.’² But all men do...

    • 130 To Emperor Marcian
      (pp. 218-220)

      My brother and fellow bishop Nestorius has brought me your letter. In it you have again displayed the purity of Christian faith with which your Clemency shines forth. You have shown most deserved favor to my brother Proterius, Bishop of Alexandria, and thus he has become on all counts more acceptable to me. When your Piety deigns to give a testimonial to anyone, the man would unquestionably have to be approved of even if he remained silent. But he is favored besides by being known through his own writings, and his own profession of faith makes patent his integrity as...

    • 131 To Bishop Julian
      (pp. 220-222)

      From a letter received from our brother and fellow bishop Proterius, in charge of Alexandria, I have learned beyond doubt that he is zealous for Catholic doctrine and resists heretics with a right heart. Hence, we can rightly hope that he will be of service to the church over which he presides, both by the example of his acts and by his teaching of the faith. But the Eutychian factions are stirring up no small trouble for him. They are said to have corrupted the letter I sent to Flavian of blessed memory by an erroneous translation and then passed...

    • 136 To Emperor Marcian
      (pp. 223-225)

      I have with due reverence received the manifold favor of your Clemency’s letter and rejoiced to learn what dutiful solicitude you have for the Christian religion, as has been customary with you. For you are desirous of strengthening that harmony among the Lord’s priests which is suited to the universal Church and the worship of God. That commendable peace is, in fact, also the true charity about which the blessed Apostle preaches most fully, saying, ‘Charity from a pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned.’² Hence, complying with and willingly consenting to your Piety’s holy suggestion, I am...

    • 138 To the bishops presiding in Gaul and Spain
      (pp. 226-227)

      Since it is proper that the bishops have a unified practice in carrying out prescribed regulations, we must be particularly and above all cautious that no fault occur in keeping the Easter festival on different dates, through ignorance or presumption. The season for the most sacred solemnity has dates so arranged that the salutary mystery may properly be celebrated at one time earlier, at another later. Hence, the solicitude of the Apostolic See is ever on the watch to prevent any uncertainty from disturbing devotion in the Church. On certain lists of the Fathers we find that the day assigned...

    • 139 To Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem
      (pp. 227-231)

      When I received your Charity’s letter, brought to me by our sons Andrew the priest and Peter the deacon, I indeed rejoiced over the fact that you were permitted to return to your episcopal see. But there poured into my mind all the causes which, through certain excesses, got you into trouble. And I grieved that you yourself were the source of your troubles and that you lost constancy in resisting heretics on the grounds that, in their opinion, you are not at liberty to dare contradiction of men who, as you admitted, were once acceptable to you as heretics.²...

    • 143 To Bishop Anatolius
      (pp. 232-232)

      It is with pleasure that I learn of your Charity’s concern for the works of charity (and I exhort you to perform these more frequently), for it is of profit to the entire Church when we know what is being done. As part of this solicitude, your Charity should be on the watch, as you unquestionably know, since you are aware that some of the leftovers of unprincipled men have remained in your area. We want you to be constantly active in suppressing or, rather, in abolishing them in so far as God assists you to do so. Otherwise, that...

    • 144 To Bishop Julian
      (pp. 232-233)

      I thank God that your Charity’s zeal has in no way failed me in all matters pertaining to the welfare of the Church and the mystery of the faith. I know that you vigilantly watch over it to prevent the snares of heretics from being able to accomplish anythhlg against evangelical and Apostolic doc trine. Now, as you deign to point out, those disturbances which the Eutychians tried to stir up after the death of the Emperor Marcian of venerable memory² have been destroyed through your energy and that of the people whom the Spirit of God aroused together with...

    • 145 To Emperor Leo I
      (pp. 234-236)

      I have already performed my duty in congratulating you on your coming to power.² I am adding, also, this letter of needed entreaty, in which I ask for the protection (of God’s preparing) of your favor for the Catholic faith. For from the report of my brother and fellow bishop Anatolius I have learned that in the Alexandrian Church such deeds have been perpetrated that the entire Christian religion would feel itself attacked and violated if it were not watched over by the complete devotedness of your faith, and if Christian liberty were not returned to the church mentioned (one...

    • 149-150 To Bishops Basil, Juvenal, Euxitheus, Peter, and Luke
      (pp. 236-238)

      According to the custom of the Church, I should really have learned of your Charity’s consecration² by a letter from you or from our brothers, the provincial bishops. Causes were not lacking to impede your taking care of this, and the Emperor Marcian of holy memory in a letter of his informed us of your consecration; we can have no doubt about your merits. Hence, while we are warning a number of our brothers about present difficulties, in our letter we also include your Charity, whom we know of.

      Now that I have learned what was done at Alexandria through...

    • 152 To Bishop Julian
      (pp. 239-240)

      I have a suitable opportunity for sending a letter to your Charity now when our son Gerontius is returning to Constantinople. In this letter we arouse your zeal in the causes of the Church and those which pertain to the faith, so that you may stand firm against the attempts of heretics, trusting that the mercy of God will provide that these criminal endeavors are justly punished even in these times. Your Charity should know that we are sending letters to certain of our brothers and fellow bishops, the metropolitans;² your diligence or that of our son Aetius the priest...

    • 153 To Aetius, priest
      (pp. 240-241)

      We have received your Charity’s letter, which attests your diligence in the interests of the Church. We briefly exhort you at this time to work vigilantly, as you have begun, in order that the perversity of heretics may not accomplish anything to disturb the Lord’s Church. In our concern, then, we are sending letters (needed for the cause of the faith) to the most clement emperor and to the illustrious patrician Aspar.² These will doubtless be able to effect the desired results if you, also, in your concern, are on the watch. It has also pleased us to send a...

    • 156 To Emperor Leo
      (pp. 242-247)

      I have with reverence received your Clemency’s letter, full of vigorous faith and the light of truth. I should like to comply with it, even to the point where your Piety thinks that my presence is necessary,² in order that I might attain greater fruit from the sight of your splendor. But I think that what reason has shown to be preferable will please you more. Everywhere you strengthen the peace of the Church with holy and spiritual zeal, and nothing is more suited for the defense of the faith than adherence to what has been faultlessly decided with the...

    • 159 To Nicetas, Bishop of Aquileia
      (pp. 248-251)

      On his return to us, my son Adeodatus, a deacon of our See, reminded us of your Charity’s request that you receive from us the authoritative answer of the Aposolic See about those matters which are apparently quite difficult to decide. We must take care, considering the necessities of the times, that the wounds inflicted by the attacks of the enemy may be healed particularly by the wise action of religion.

      You mention that, through the destruction of war and the extremely heavy assaults of the enemy, certain marriages were broken up in this way: When the husbands were carried...

    • 162 To Emperor Leo
      (pp. 252-256)

      My mind exults in the Lord with great joy, and I have good reason for rejoicing when I learn that your Clemency’s most excellent faith is in every way increased by the gifts of heavenly grace and when through your increased diligence I experience the devotedness of a priestly mind in you. In your Piety’s letter is obviously disclosed what the Holy Spirit is effecting through you for the welfare of the entire Church, and through how many prayers of all the faithful it is to be hoped that your reign will reach out to attain every glory. Aside from...

    • 164 To the same
      (pp. 257-262)

      Being glad to have it shown to me by many and sure proofs how zealously you plan for the universal Church, I have wasted no time in complying with your Piety’s orders as soon as possible. I am sending my brothers and fellow bishops Donatian and Geminian,² who, by urging my solicitous entreaties upon you, are to ask you for a settled state of evangelical doctrine and obtain liberty for the faith, in which you yourself are especially pre-eminent, following the instruction of the Holy Spirit. This would result from driving far away the enemies of Christ, who would not...

    • 165 To the same [The Tome]
      (pp. 262-274)

      Venerable Emperor, I recall my promise² that a fuller letter from my humble self would be sent to you in the interests of the faith, about which I know that your Clemency is dutifully solicitous. With God’s help, now that I have a sure opportunity, I am fulfilling my promise, so that you may not lack instruction, useful (in my judgment) for your Piety’s holy zeal. Although I am aware that your Clemency does not lack instruction from men and that, from the abundance of the Holy Spirit, you have imbibed the purest doctrine, it is my duty to make...

    • [Testimonia]
      (pp. 275-288)

      (1)² Indeed, for the sake of the human race the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary and of the Holy Spirit, planted the seeds of a body for Himself and instituted the birth of His flesh; the Son Himself shared in this operation, with His (that is, God’s) power overshadowing it. He did this in order that as a man produced from a virgin He might take to Himself the nature of flesh and that, by means of this assumption of flesh, the body of the entire human race might be sanctified in Him. Thus, just as all...

    • 167 To Rusticus, Bishop of Narbonne
      (pp. 289-297)

      It is with pleasure that I received your Fraternity’s letter which Hermes your archdeacon brought. It was quite extensive, since various problems were grouped in it, but not so burdensome to my patience as a reader as to cause me to pass over any of them, even though I am beset by concerns on every side. We have read, then, what you stated in your entire letter and reviewed what took place at the investigation conducted by the bishops and leading men. We thus found out that the priests Sabinian and Leo lacked confidence in what you were doing and...

    • 169 To Emperor Leo
      (pp. 297-300)

      Were we desirous of praising your Piety’s glorious resolve for the defense of the faith as much as the importance of the fact itself demands, we should be found unequal to giving thanks to you, that is, if we were to celebrate the joys of the universal Church merely with the limited powers of our own tongue. For your acts and merits a more fitting reward will be reserved by Him in whose cause you are outstanding for special zeal and are triumphing for having reached the glorious end aimed at. Your Clemency should know, therefore, that all God’s churches...

    • 173 To the bishops in Egypt
      (pp. 300-302)

      I am gratified to learn from your Fraternities’ letter, brought to me by our sons Daniel the priest and Timothy the deacon, that the faith of our glorious and venerable emperor, united to the teachings of the Prophets and Evangelists, has attained the holy results of its undertakings, results pleasing to God. That is, after the most cruel usurper of the Alexandrian church was expelled and exiled to a faraway place, a choice was made by the entire city of a bishop worthy of ruling it.² You were not drawn to consecrate him by any self-seeking; no sedition forced you,...

  4. INDEX
    (pp. 303-312)