Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2128
Presbyter Paulinus, later bishop of Nola, writes to Bishop Delphinus of Bordeaux (Gaul). Paulinus thanks Delphinus for building churches for the glory of his house and his own salvation. Paulinus of Nola, Letter 20, AD 400/401.
Letter 20 to Bishop Delphinus of Bordeaux
3. Nos uero gaudemus et gloriamur in domino, quia et uisibiliter et inuisibiliter operaris salutem <in> domum nostram uere pater bonus et salutaris patronus, inuisibiliter nos aedificas in orationibus tuis rogans intra nosmet ipsos fieri regnum dei, uisibiliter autem nobis operaris in fabricis ecclesiarum, ut partem nobis facias cum illo, cuius domus a Christo meruit uisitari.
(ed. de Hartel 1894: 145)
Letter 20 to Bishop Delphinus of Bordeaux
3. But I rejoice and glory in the Lord that you, who are truly my good father and advocate of my salvation, are both visibly and invisibly performing the work of that salvation for our house. Unseen, you build me up by praying that the kingdom of God may reside within me; and visibly you work for me in the construction of churches, allowing me a share in company with the man whose house merited a visit from Christ [cf. Luke 7:5].
(trans. Walsh 1966: 1.186-187, slightly altered by J. Szafranowski)


Paulinus was baptised by Bishop Delphinus ca 389 [2063].
This letter was written between late 400 and June 401 (see discussion in [2077]).
The message this passus conveys is unclear, but it seems that Paulinus was supporting financially the erection of churches in his native Bordeaux while he was already for almost a decade a presbyter in Nola.

Place of event:

  • Italy south of Rome and Sicily
  • Gaul
  • Rome
  • Nola
  • Bordeaux
  • Rome

About the source:

Author: Paulinus of Nola
Title: Letters, Epistulae
Origin: Nola (Italy south of Rome and Sicily)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Paulinus of Nola (Pontius Metropius Paulinus) was born into a very affluent family ca 335. Although most of his estates were located near Bordeaux in Gaul, he was appointed the governor of Campania in his early twenties. He then returned to Gaul. In 389, after being baptized, Paulinus and his wife moved to Spain. They both started to follow a semi-monastic way of life. Following the death of his newborn son, Paulinus was ordered a presbyter at Christmas 394. In 395, Paulinus established a monastery in Nola in Campania. He served as a bishop of that city from 409 till his death in 431. Paulinus corresponded with many principal Christian intellectuals of the era, including Sulpicius Severus, Jerome, Ambrose of Milan, and Augustine of Hippo. Of this rich epistolographic corpus, however, only fifty-one letters survived. For the list of all letters Paulinus sent as a presbyter, and their addressees, see [2059].
G. de Hartel ed., S. Pontii Meropii Paulini Nolani opera, vol. 1 Epistulae, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 29, Prague-Wien-Leipzig 1894.
Letters of St. Paulinus of Nola, trans. P.G. Walsh, Ancient Christian Writers 35, New York 1966.


Writing activity - Correspondence
Ecclesiastical administration - Construction/Renovation
Economic status and activity - Indication of wealth
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2128,