Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2313
Gregory the Great sends relics of saints to Bishop Palladius of Saintes through his Presbyter Leuparicus. Palladius has recently built a church with thirteen altars. Gregory the Great, Letter 6.50, AD 596.
Letter 6.50 to Bishop Palladius of Saintes (July 596)
Gregorius Palladio episcopo santonis galliarum
Veniens lator praesentium Leuparicus presbyter uester insinuauit nobis fraternitatem uestram ecclesiam in honorem beati Petri et Pauli apostolorum nec non Laurentii atque Pancratii martyrum construxisse atque illic tredecim altaria collocasse, ex quibus quattuor necdum dedicata comperimus remansisse ob hoc, quod suprascriptorum sanctorum reliquias illic collocare deo annuente disponitis.
Et quia reliquias sanctorum Petri et Pauli nec non Laurentii atque Pancratii martyrum cum ueneratione praebuimus, hortamur ut eas cum reuerentia suscipere et collocare auxiliante Domino debeatis, prouisuri ante omnia ut seruientibus ibidem non debeant alimoniorum deesse suffragia.
(ed. Norberg 1982: 423)
Letter 6.50 to Bishop Palladius of Saintes (July 596)
Gregory to Palladius, bishop of Saintes in Gauls
Your Presbyter Leuparic, the bearer of this letter, came and informed us that your Fraternity has built a church in honor of the apostles, the blessed Peter and Paul, and also of the martyrs Laurence and Pancratius, and has erected thirteen altars there. We have been infomed that four of them remain not dedicated as yet, because you are arranging to put there some relics of the above-mentioned saints, with God's blessing.
And as we have provided, with veneration, the relics of Saints Peter and Paul, and also of the martyrs Laurence and Pancratius, we ask that you receive them with reverence, and put them there with the Lord's help, taking care before all else that agreements on the supply of sustenance for those serving there should not be lacking.
(trans. Martyn 2004: 437–438, slightly altered by J. Szafranowski)


This letter is one of the very first pieces of evidence confirming the erection of multiple altars in the same church. See also the contemporaneous church legislation which seems to justify such practice at [1568].
Presbyter Leuparicus carried also Gregory's letter 6.58 to Queen Brunhild ([2316]).

Place of event:

  • Gaul
  • Rome
  • Saintes
  • Rome

About the source:

Author: Gregory the Great
Title: Letters, Epistulae, Epistolae, Registrum epistularum, Registrum epistolarum
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Gregory, later called the Great (Gregorius Magnus), was born ca 540 to an influential Roman family with some connection to the ancient gens Anicia. His great-great-grandfather was Felix III, who served as the bishop of Rome from 526 to 530. Possibly, Agapetus I, pope between 535 and 536, was his relative as well. Little is known about his early career, but in 573 Gregory ascended to the high office of city prefect. Shortly afterwards, however, he resigned from his post and adopted the monastic way of life. He founded a monastery dedicated to St. Andrew within his family estate on Coelian Hill, next to the library established by Agapetus and Cassiodorus. Six other monasteries were founded in the estates his family owned in Sicily. Soon after his monastic conversion, he started to be given various tasks by Popes Benedict I (575–578) and Pelagius II (578–590). At that time, he was ordained a deacon. Between 579 and 585/6, Gregory acted as Pelagius` envoy in Constantinople. In 590, he was elected Pelagius` successor to the bishopric of Rome. The registry of his letters contained copies of Gregory`s papal correspondence up to his death in 604. The scope of Gregory`s original registry is still the subject of scholarly speculation. There are 854 extant letters gathered in fourteen volumes, most of them (686 letters) originating from the collection compiled at the time of Pope Hadrian I (772–795).
It is worth remembering that the majority of Gregory’s correspondence was jointly produced by the pope and his subordinates, see Pollard 2013.
D. Norberg ed., S. Gregorii Magni Registrum Epistularum, Corpus Christianorum: Series Latina 140, 140A, Turnhout 1982.
The Letters of Gregory the Great, trans. J.R.C. Martyn, Mediaeval Sources in Translation 40, Toronto 2004.
R.M. Pollard, A Cooperative Correspondence: The Letters of Gregory the Great, in: M. Dal Santo, B. Neil (eds.), A Companion to Gregory the Great, Leiden-Boston 2013, pp. 291–312.


Travel and change of residence
Ritual activity - Eucharist
    Ritual activity - Private mass
      Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
      Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
        Ritual activity - Daily mass
          Devotion - Veneration of saints and relics
          Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2313,