The letter of Avitus
1. To the most blessed and always loved in the Lord Pope Balconius and to all the clergy and people of the Church of Braga, presbyter Avitus in the Lord sends the eternal greeting. 2. I want you remember of me and I ask you for it. I too, as far as I can, do not stop to have you in memory in the holy [places], and I grieve about your tribulations and incessantly shed tears in the holy places for the collapse of your homeland, may the Lord either restore to you, whom He wanted to admonish, the freedom, or make clement those whom He allowed to prevail. 3. Oh blessed brothers, Our Lord Jesus Christ be my witness, I frequently wanted to come to you in order to endure misfortunes and benefit of the prosperity together with you. But my wish was hindered by the flood of the enemy in whole Spain. 4. I was afraid that leaving the holy places I will not be able to arrive to you and, being captured somewhere on my way, will suffer punishment for insane audacity. 5. But because God is merciful He will deign to give the indulgence of His grace to my prayer and to your merit, first because my beloved son and copresbyter Orosius was sent to this country from the African bishops. His love and consolation restored to me the presence of you all. Secondly because in those days when he was preparing with incredible eagerness his return to you, the blessed and holy Stephen, the First Martyr, truly a crown of our glory in Jesus Christ, condescended to reveal himself and manifest clearly his power in the signs and miracles that followed. 6. Whom I, seizing the opportunity that such events were ordered by God, considered right to dispatch to Your Charity so that this defender and patron, who condescended to pray even for his enemies while he suffered, deign to assist the prayers of those who serve him. 7. Therefore, my blessed and beloved brothers, having you always in mind and seeing such favourable order of God I deserved to obtain a particle of the discovered body from the presbyter to whom it was revealed. Having asked for it promptly and having received it in secret I did not delay to send it to you. 8. For this reason I dispatch to you through my holy son and copresbyter Orosius the relics from the body of blessed Stephen, first martyr, that is the dust of flesh and sinews, and what is more certain to believe and more convincing, the solid bones anointed in new colours and smells of his sanctity. 9. Lest there be any doubt, I am sending you, attached below, a letter of the holy presbyter to whom these things were revealed, which he first dictated to me (who requested it from him for the fuller proof of the truth) in his own words in Greek, and which I later translated into Latin. 10. I beg you, holy and blessed brothers, to deem these things as accurately related as truly they took place. I am sure that as the blessed martyr deigned to announce and reveal himself for the salvation of the endangered world, you helped by the presence of such a patron will live safely and quietly if you will love him as your pledge with a due diligence.
(trans. M. Szada)