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E06353: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 5.11) of 594, to Iohannes, bishop of Ravenna (northern Italy), restricts his use of the pallium to certain feast days. 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 5.11


Nos autem sollicite requirentes ab Adeodato, quondam diacone fraternitatis tuae, cognouimus quia numquam consuetudo fuerit decessoribus tuis, ut in letaniis pallio nisi in sollemnitate beati Iohannis baptistae, beati Petri apostoli et beati martyris Apollinaris uterentur.

‘But from careful inquiries, we have found out from Adeodatus, who was once deacon of your Fraternity, that it was never customary for your predecessors to use the pallium in litanies, except in the solemnities for Saint John the Baptist, Saint Peter the apostle and Saint Apollinaris the martyr.’

Gregory continues to allow John the use of the pallium on these days and on the celebration of his own consecration.

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 1, 277. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 2, 330, modified.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Peter the Apostle : S00036 John the Baptist : S00020 Apollinaris, bishop and martyr of Ravenna : S00331

Saint Name in Source

Petrus Iohannes Apollinaris

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

  • Service for the Saint

Cult activities - Festivals

  • Saint’s feast

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). 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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