University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

E02770: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 1.12) of 590, to bishop Iohannes of Orvieto, asks him to stop ill-treating a monastery of saint *George (soldier and martyr, S00259) within the diocese of Orvieto (central Italy). Written in Latin in Rome.

online resource
posted on 2017-05-08, 00:00 authored by mpignot
Pope Gregory the Great, Register of Letters 1.12

Complete text of the letter:

Agapitus abbas monasterii sancti Georgii insinuauit nobis plurima se a uestra sanctitate grauamina sustinere, et non solum in his quae necessitatis tempore aliquod monasterio possint ferre subsidium, uerum etiam in eodem monasterio missas prohibetur celebrari, sepeliri etiam ibidem mortuos interdicas. Quod si ita est a tali uos hortamur inhumanitate suspendi, et sepeliri ibidem mortuos uel celebrari missas, nulla ulterius habita contradictione, permittas, ne denuo querelam de his quae dicta sunt praedictus uir uenerabilis abbas deponere compellatur.

'Gregory to Iohannes bishop of Urbs vetus
Agapitus, abbot of the monastery of Saint George, has informed us that he has suffered a lot of trouble from your Holiness, and not only in matters that could give some assistance to the monastery in a time of need, but he says also that in the same monastery the celebration of masses is prohibited, and you even forbid the dead from being buried there. But, if that is so, we exhort you to put an end to such inhumanity, and please allow the dead to be buried there and masses to be celebrated, with no further prohibitions, so that the venerable abbot mentioned above is not compelled to make yet another complaint about these matters which have been discussed.'

Text: Norberg 1982, vol.1, 13. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 1, 129.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

George, soldier and martyr of Diospolis, ob. c. 303 : S00259

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Literary - Letters


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Rome and region

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Rome Rome Rome Roma Ῥώμη Rhōmē

Major author/Major anonymous work

Gregory the Great (pope)

Cult activities - Liturgical Activity

  • Other liturgical acts and ceremonies

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - monastic


A letter transmitted as part of Gregory the Great’s Register of Letters. This letter collection, organised into fourteen books, is large and contains letters to a variety of recipients, including prominent aristocrats, members of the clergy and royalty. The issues touched on in the letters are equally varied, ranging from theological considerations to mundane administrative matters. This collection, which was possibly curated by Gregory, was originally much larger. The surviving Register comprises several groups of letters which were extracted at several later moments in history, the largest of which took place in the papacy of Hadrian I (772-795).


Edition: Norberg, D., S. Gregorii Magni, Registrum epistularum. 2 vols. (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 140-140A; Turnhout: Brepols, 1982). English translation: Martyn, J.R.C., The Letters of Gregory the Great, 3 vols. (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2004).

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



    Ref. manager