To the Bishop Irenæus.
You are conspicuous, my Lord, for many forms of goodness, and your holiness is beautified in a special degree by loving-kindness, by contempt of riches, and by a generosity that gushes forth for the help of them that need. I know too that you deem worthy of more than ordinary attention those who have been brought up in prosperity and have fallen from it into trouble. Knowing this as well as I do I venture to make known to you the very admirable and excellent Celestinianus. He was once well known in Carthage for wealth and position, now stripped of these he is favourably known by his piety and philosophy, for he bears what men call misfortune with resignation because it has brought him to the salvation of his soul. He came to me with a letter which described his former prosperity, and after he had passed several days with me I proved the truth of what was said of him by experience. I have therefore no hesitation in commending him to your Holiness, and begging you to make him known to the well-to-do men of the city. It is probable that when they have learned what has befallen him, in fear of a like fate befalling themselves, they will endeavour to escape judgment by showing mercy. He has no resource but to go about begging, as he is put to the greater expense because he has with him his wife and children, and the domestics who with him escaped the violence of the barbarians.
Source. Translated by Blomfield Jackson. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 3. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1892.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/2707035.htm>.
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