Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2316
Presbyter Leuparicus carries relics of Saints Peter and Paul from Gregory the Great to Queen Brunhild. Gregory the Great, Letter 6.58, AD 596.
Letter 6.58 to Queen Brunhild (July 596)
Gregorius Brunigildae reginae francorum
Brunhild asks Gregory for some relics of the saints.
Atque ideo congruo honore uestram excellentiam salutantes indicamus latori praesentium Leparico, quem vos esse presbyterum scripsistis, per quem eloquia uestrarum suscepimus litterarum, reliquias nos beatorum apostolorum Petri ac Pauli iuxta excellentiae uestrae petitionem cum ea ueneratione qua dignum est praebuisse.
Brunhild should take careful watch over the relics.
(ed. Norberg 1982: 431)
Letter 6.58 to Queen Brunhild (July 596)
Gregory to Brunhild, queen of the Franks
Brunhild asks Gregory for some relics of the saints.
And for that reason, we greet your Excellency with suitable honour, and we inform Leuparicus, bearer of this letter, who is a presbyter as you tell us, through whom we have received your very eloquent letters, that we have provided you with relics of the blessed apostles Peter and Paul, in accordance with the request of your Excellency, with that veneration which they deserve.
Brunhild should take careful watch over the relics.
(trans. Martyn 2004: 443, slightly altered by J. Szafranowski)


It is interesting to note that Gregory apparently learned of the presbyterial status of Leuparicus from Brunhild's letter, not from Leuparicus' bishop, Palladius of Saintes. It seems that Leuparicus was in direct service of the queen rather than his bishop (there is no mention of any letters Palladius himself wrote to Gregory, see [2313]).
Brunhild was at that time at the hight of her political power, acting as a regent to both her sons: Theudebert II, who ruled over Austrasia, and Theuderic II, king of Burgundy (see Wood 1994: 130).

Place of event:

  • Gaul
  • Rome
  • 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.
I. Wood, The Merovingian Kingdoms, London-New York 1994.


Travel and change of residence
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Public functions and offices after ordination - Court office
Public functions and offices after ordination - Envoy
Relation with - Monarch and royal/imperial family
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, ER2316,