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E06331: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 2.12) of 592, to Bishop Importunus (probably a bishop in Campania, southern Italy), mentions a church dedicated to *Mary (the Mother of Christ, S00033) in Importunus' diocese. Written in Latin in Rome.

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posted on 2018-09-11, 00:00 authored by frances
Pope Gregory the Great, Register of Letters 2.12

Extract from the middle of the letter:

Et quia ecclesiam sanctae Mariae quae appellatur Pisonis, in tua positam parroechia, presbytero uacare cognouimus, praesentium portitorem Dominicum presbyterum in eadem ecclesia ut praeesse debeat nos certum est deputasse.

‘And because we know that the church of Saint Mary, which is called Piso’s, lying in your diocese, is without a priest, we have certainly appointed the bearer of this letter, Dominicus, to be in charge as the priest in that same church.’

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 1 99. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 1, 200, lightly modified.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Mary, Mother of Christ : S00033

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 - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - lesser clergy


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). Further Reading: Neil, B., and Dal Santo, M. (eds.), A Companion to Gregory the Great (Leiden: Brill, 2013).

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    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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