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E05656: Desiderius of Cahors, in a letter written in Latin in Gaul in the mid 7th century, requests the favour of the courtier Chlodulf for his cathedral at Cahors, dedicated to *Stephen, the First Martyr (S00030).

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posted on 2018-06-06, 00:00 authored by dlambert
Desiderius of Cahors, Letters 1.8

Desiderius begins the letter by recalling past favours which Chlodulf had bestowed on him, and goes on to describe the vividness of his memories of Chlodulf's father. He then concludes the letter with the passage translated here.

Interea, quamquam necessarium esse non ducam, latorem praesentis offitii multa deuotione conmendo, et, ubi quod aut iste dixerit aut aditum cognoscitis oportunum, condiciones patroni vestri beati Stefani, cuius administrationem gerere uideor, habete receptas et per omnia commendatas, ut ipsi dominus rerum, cui uice nostri redemptoris seruire uidemur, ipsi uobis inpendia aeterna conpenset ac supplimentum suae tribuat largitatis.

'Meanwhile, although I should not consider it necessary, I commend with much devotion the bearer of the present message, and, when he says or because you recognise a suitable occasion, may you consider as accepted and recommended in all things the requirements of your patron the blessed Stephen, whose administration I carry out, so that the Lord himself, whom we serve as a deputy of our redeemer, may compensate your expense with an eternal reward and grant you an addition to his largesse.'

Text: Norberg 1961, 24. Translation: David Lambert


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Stephen, the First Martyr : S00030

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

Gaul and Frankish kingdoms

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


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

Cahors Tours Tours Toronica urbs Prisciniacensim vicus Pressigny Turonorum civitas Ceratensis vicus Céré

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Bequests, donations, gifts and offerings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops Aristocrats


The letter collection of Desiderius, bishop of Cahors from 630 to 655 (Norberg 1961, 5), contains fifteen letters by, and twenty-one letters to, Desiderius, covering the period from the 620s to Desiderius' death. The collection survives in a single manuscript, dating from c. 800 (Codex Sangallensis 190, the sole source for a number of late antique and early medieval Gallic letter collections). This letter is addressed to Chlodulf, the son of Arnulf of Metz (died c. 640), a powerful Austrasian aristocrat who became bishop of Metz (and was himself recognised as a saint: S02103). It is clear from the references to Arnulf in the letter that he had died some years before it was written, which is the only indication as to its date; Norberg dates it to c. 647. Chlodulf himself later became bishop of Metz (in 657, after Desiderius' death).


At the conclusion of a letter dealing mostly with other matters, Desiderius asks Chlodulf to favour 'the requirements of your patron the blessed Stephen'. It was Stephen to whom the cathedral at Cahors was dedicated (Prévot 1989, 61). Desiderius tells Chlodulf that this will bring a reward from God.


Editions: Norberg, D., Epistulae s. Desiderii Cadurcensis (Stockholm, 1961), with commentary (in Latin). Arndt, W., Desiderii episcopi Cadurcensis epistolae, in: Epistolae Merowingici et Karolini Aevi (Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Epistolae 3; Berlin, 1892), 193-214. Further reading: Prévot, F., "Cahors," in N. Gauthier and J.-Ch. Picard (eds.), Topographie chrétienne des cités de la Gaule des origines au milieu du VIIIe siècle, vol. 6: Provinces ecclésiastique de Bourges (Aquitania Prima) (Paris, 1989), 57-65.

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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