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Home > Fathers of the Church > Registrum Epistolarum (Gregory the Great) > Book I, Letter 72

Book I, Letter 72

To Peter, Subdeacon.

Gregory to Peter, etc.

You have learned from a former letter that we have desired our brethren and fellow bishops dwelling in the island of Sicily to assemble here for the anniversary of the blessed Peter the apostle. But, seeing that their suit with the magnificent Justin the ex-prætor has meanwhile hindered them, and that there is not now sufficient time for coming and returning, we do not wish them to be troubled before winter. But Gregory of Agrigentum, Leo of Catana, and Victor of Panormus, we by all means desire to come to us before winter. Further, get together from strangers grain of this year's growth to the value of fifty pounds of gold, and lay it up in Sicily in places where it will not rot, that we may send there in the month of February as many ships as we can to convey this grain to us. But, in case of our delaying to send ships, do you yourself provide some, and, with the help of the Lord, transmit this same grain to us in February, with the exception, however, of the grain which we expect to have sent to us now, according to custom, in the months of September or October. Let your Experience, then, so proceed that, without annoyance to any husbandman (colonus) of the Church , the grain may be collected, since there has been here such a scanty crop that, unless by God's help grain be collected from Sicily, there is a serious prospect of famine. But keep guard in all ways over the ships that have always been assigned to the use of Holy Church, as the letters also addressed to you by the glorious ex-consul Leo concur in directing you to do. Moreover, many come hither desiring sundry lands or islands belonging to our Church to be leased to them; and some, indeed, we refuse, but to others we have already granted their request. But let your Experience see to the advantage of Holy Church, remembering that you have before the most sacred body of the blessed apostle Peter received power over his patrimony. And, though letters should reach you from hence, allow nothing to be done in any way to the disadvantage of the patrimony, since we neither remember to have given, nor are disposed to give away, any thing without good reason.

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Source. Translated by James Barmby. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 12. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1895.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360201072.htm>.

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