Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 337
Eugenius II, bishop of Toledo (Iberian Peninsula) writes to Braulio, bishop of Saragossa (Iberian Peninsula) asking him about the case of an improperly ordained presbyter (possibly Lucidius), and about presbyters consecrating chrism (ca AD 647).
Duae res obhorte sunt in aecclesia tua, unde nimium contabescit anima mea et quit remedii adhibeam, nisi consilium uestrum prebuerit, penitus scientia nostra non abet.
De quondam fratre repperimus qui non ac<c>epto presbiterii gradu presbiteri peragit officium. Et, ut causam certius agnoscatis, omnia singu[u]lariter innotesco. Fuit idem ipse frater molestissimus domino meo Eugenio. Rogatus a rege ut eum presbiterum ordinaret, quia iussioni principis resistere non preualuit, hoc genus factionis inuenit. Duxit eum ad altarium, manum non inposuit et, cantantibus clericis In excelso, pro benedictione maledictionem effudit, sicut ipse hoc personis idoneis et sibi carissimis postmodum publicabit, coniurans ut hoc quamdiu uiueret, reticerent. Quid inde fieri precepit uestra prudentia, cita me iussione certifica; nam nescio aut si ste presbiter habeatur aut si illi, qui per eum babtizati crismate prenotati sunt, recte cristicole uocitentur. [...]
Eugenius asks a question about deacons anointing with chrism.
Duabus premissis occurrit et tertia. Presbiteres aliqui contra ius et uetitum canonum de crismate, quod sibi ipsi conficiunt, si tamen crisma stut est nominandum, babtizatos signare presumunt. Quid aut taliter signatis remedii aut his possit pro correctione preberi me fateor ignorare. [...]
There follow requests for the answers and final greetings.
(ed. Riesco Terrero 1975: 140)
Letter 35
A petition
Eugenius, your humble servant, to my lord and truly my master, Bishop Braulio.
Two situations have arisen in yours [or my] church which have caused my soul exceeding grief, and to which all my knowledge has found no remedy to apply except to ask your advice.
We have learned of a brother who, without receiving the rank of presbyter, is performing the office of presbyter. To better acquaint you with the case, I shall mention all the details. This same brother caused much trouble for my lord Eugenius. When Eugenius was asked by the king to ordain this brother a presbyter, he could not disobey the command of the monarch, so hit upon the following scheme. He led him to the altar, made no imposition of the hand, and, while the clerics were singing loudly, he pronounced a malediction over him instead of a benediction, as he later confessed to persons worthy of trust and very close to him, conjuring them to silence while he lived. Inform me speedily what your prudence desires to have done in this case, for I do not know if he is considered to be a presbyter or if they who were baptized and anointed with chrism by him are rightly called Christians. [...]
Eugenius asks a question about deacons anointing with chrism.
Now that I have mentioned the two matters, a third occurs to me. Some presbyters, against the law and the ancient canons, presume to anoint the baptized with chrism which they themselves have made, if such is to be called chrism. I confess I do not know what remedy or correction can be offered those so anointed. [...]
There follow requests for the answers and final greetings.
(trans. by C. Barlowe 1969: 77-78; lighlty adapted)


In the first line all the manuscripts have "aeclesia tua", but the further content of the letter suggests that Eugenius describes rather the problems of his own diocese rather than Braulio's. Moreover, in the response (Letter 36, see [372]) Braulio explicitly says that the problems pertain to the diocese of Toledo. Hence the conjecture "mea" of Risco and Madoz (see critical apparatus in Riesco Terrero's edition).
Manuel Risco (1775: 161) proposed identification of the presbyter mentioned by Eugenius II with the deacon Lucidius of whom Ildefonsus of Toledo wrote in his preface to De viris illustribus (see [559]).

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Saragossa
  • Toledo

About the source:

Author: Braulio of Saragossa
Title: Letters, Epistularium
Origin: Saragossa (Iberian Peninsula)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Eugenius II wrote the letter 35 to Braulio most probably in 647, the year of his accession to the episcopal see of Toledo, because it deals with the problems Eugenius II inherited from his predecessor, Eugenius I. This date is also confirmed by the position of the letter in Braulio`s Epistularium (the letters are in chronological order, see Lynch 1950: 60,208). Similarly Madoz (1941: 55-56).
Eugenius II and Braulio were friends from a long time. Eugene arrived from Toledo to Saragossa ca 620, attracted by the shrine of Eighteen Martyrs and the monastery founded by the bishop of Saragossa, John, brother of Braulio. Eugenius was made archdeacon in the church of Saragossa during Braulio`s episcopacy (Lynch 1950: 56-57). Thus, it is no surprise that after his accession to the important see of Toledo he looks for advice from his former master.
Riesco Terrero, Luis ed. Epistolario de san Braulio. Annales de la Universidad Hispalense. Serie Filosofía y Letras, v. 31. Sevilla, 1975.
C.W. Barlowe, Iberian Fathers, v. 2, Braulio of Saragossa, Fructuosus of Braga, Washington D. C. 1969.
C.H. Lynch, Saint Braulio, bishop of Saragossa (631-651) his life and writings, Washington, D.C 1938 (see also Spanish translation revised by P. Galindo: C.H. Lynch, P. Galindo, San Braulio, obispo de Zaragoza: (631 - 651). Su vida y sus obras, Madrid 1950).
J. Madoz, Epistolario de San Braulio de Zaragoza: ed. crít. según el cód. 22 del Archivo capitular de León, Madrid 1941.
M. Risco, Espana Sagrada, vol. 30, Madrid 1775


Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Described by a title - Clericus
Act of ordination
Usurping episcopal power
Usurping presbyterial power
Ritual activity - Baptism and instructing catechumens
Ritual activity - Anointment with chrism
Ritual activity - Blessing of oil
Ritual activity - Imposition of hands
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Relation with - Monarch and royal/imperial family
Reasons for ordination
Impediments or requisits for the office - Improper ordination
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER337,