Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2340
Gregory urges Bishop Adeodatus, the primate of Numidia (Africa), to be wary of illegal ordination to clergy. Gregory the Great, Letter 3.48, AD 593.
Letter 3.48 to Bishop Adeodatus, the primate of Numidia in Africa (July 593)
Gregorius Adeodato episcopo primati prouinciae Numidiae
Gregory praises Adeodatus' faith and aknowledges the unity of love and thought between both of them.
Salutantes praeterea fraternitatem uestram congruo caritatis affectu, hortamur ut officium primatus, quod deo habetis auctore, tota intentione sic studeatis sagaciter exhibere, quatenus ad hunc uos ordinem peruenisse et animae uestrae proficiat et aliis in futuro exemplum bonae imitationis exsistat. Estote ergo praecipue in ordinatione solliciti, et ad sacros ordines aspirare nisi prouectiores aetate et mundos opere nullatenus admittatis, ne forte semper esse desinant, quod immature esse festinant. Eorum enim qui in sacros sunt ordines collocandi prius uitam mores que discutite, et ut dignos huic officio adhibere possitis, non uobis potentia aut supplicatio quarumlibet subripiat personarum. Ante omnia uero cautos uos esse oportet, ut nulla proueniat in ordinatione uenalitas, ne, quod absit, et ordinatis et ordinantibus periculum maius immineat. Si quando igitur de his tractari necesse est, graues expertos que uiros consiliis uestris adhibete participes, et cum eis communi de hoc deliberatione pensate. Prae omnibus autem columbum fratrem et coepiscopum nostrum in cunctis adhibere uos conuenit. Credimus enim quia, si illa quae agenda sunt cum eius consilio feceritis, nullus in uobis quod quibusque modis redarguere possit inueniet, nobis que ita gratum esse tamquam si cum nostro consilio agantur cognoscite, quoniam uita mores que illius ita nobis sunt in omnibus approbati, ut cunctis liquido constet, quia quod cum eius consensu agatur, nullius culpae macula fuscatur.
(ed. Norberg 1982: )
Letter 3.48 to Bishop Adeodatus, the primate of Numidia in Africa (July 593)
Gregory to Adeodatus, primate bishop of the province of Numidia
Gregory praises Adeodatus' faith and aknowledges the unity of love and thought between both of them.
(trans. Martyn 2004: 267, altered and summarized by J. Szafranowski)



Place of event:

  • Italy south of Rome and Sicily
  • Rome
  • Tarentum
  • Gallipoli
  • 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.


Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2340,