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E02816: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register, Appendix 1) of 591, to Petrus, sub-deacon and papal agent in Sicily, suggests that bishops in Sicily should assemble for the feast of *Peter (the Apostle, S00036), instead of on the anniversary of Gregory's ordination. Written in Latin in Rome.

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posted on 2017-05-17, 00:00 authored by mpignot
Pope Gregory the Great, Register of Letters, Appendix 1

Extract from a letter with instructions on how things should be managed in Sicily:

Praeterea sicut moris fuit, ut ad natalem pontificis episcopi conuenirent, ad ordinationis meae diem uenire eos prohibe, quia ista me uana superfluitas non delectat. Sed si eos conuenire necesse est, in beati Petri apostolorum principis natalem conueniant, ut ei, ex cuius largitate pastores sunt, gratiarum actiones soluant.

'Furthermore, as it was customary for them to come together for the anniversary of the pontiff, prohibit them from doing so on the day of my ordination, because that unnecessary vanity gives me no pleasure. But if it is necessary for them to come together, let them meet for the feast of Peter, the prince of the apostles, so that they can discharge their acts of gratitude to him, through whose bounty they are priests.'

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 3, 1092. Translation: Martyn, vol. 1, 158, lightly modified.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Peter the Apostle : S00036

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 - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

Cult activities - Activities Accompanying Cult

  • Meetings and gatherings of the clergy

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


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 of letters, 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).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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