Letter 9.58 to Bishop Passivus of Fermo (November 598)
Gregory to Passivus, bishop
Valerianus, a notary of the church of your Fraternity, has suggested to us with an ingratiating petition, included herewith in an appendix, that he has founded an oratory to show his devotion, in the Visian estate under his control, next to the walls of the city of Fermo. He wants this to be consecrated in honour of the blessed martyr Sabinus. And for that reason, dearest brother, if the building mentioned is under the control of your diocese (parrochia), and it is certain that no human body has been buried there, first of all receive the legal donation, that is, three gold coins in return, free of payments to the treasury, and record the transaction in the municipal records. Then you will solemnly consecrate the aforesaid oratory, without [the right to] public masses, in such a way that no baptistery is built in the same place at some future date, and no presbyter is permanently ascribed to this place (nec presbyterum constituas cardinalem). And if by chance Valerianus would prefer masses to be held for him there, let him know that he must seek a presbyter from your beloved. Under no circumstances should he dare to ask for such a service some other priest (sacerdos, i.e. other bishop?). And you will take up her sacred relics and place them within with due reverence.
(trans. Martyn 2004: 580, altered by J. Szafranowski)