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E06370: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 6.50) of 596, to Palladius, bishop of Saintes (western Gaul), discusses a church in Saintes to the Apostles *Peter and *Paul (S00036; S00008), and the Roman martyrs *Laurence and *Pancratius (S00037; S00307), and mentions the despatch of relics of these four saints for altars in the church. 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 6.50

Full text of the letter:

Ueniens lator praesentium Leuparicus presbyter uester insinuauit nobis fraternitatem uestram ecclesiam in honorem beati Petri et Pauli apostolorum nec non Laurentii atque Pancratii martyrum construxisse atque illic tredecim altaria collocasse, ex quibus quattuor necdum dedicata comperimus remansisse ob hoc, quod suprascriptorum sanctorum reliquias illic collocare deo annuente disponitis. Et quia reliquias sanctorum Petri et Pauli nec non Laurentii atque Pancratii martyrum cum ueneratione praebuimus, hortamur ut eas cum reuerentia suscipere et collocare auxiliante domino debeatis, prouisuri ante omnia ut seruientibus ibidem non debeant alimoniorum deesse suffragia.

‘Gregory to Palladius, bishop of Saintes in Gaul
Your priest Leuparic, the bearer of this letter, came and informed us that your Fraternity has built a church in honour of the apostles, the blessed Peter and Paul, and also of the martyrs Laurence and Pancratius, and has constructed thirteen altars there. We have learned that four of them remain not dedicated as yet, because you are arranging to locate there some relics of the above-mentioned saints, with God’s blessing. And as we have with veneration provided relics of Saints Peter and Paul, and also of the martyrs Laurence and Pancratius, we ask that you receive them with reverence, and locate them there with the Lord’s help, taking care before all else that agreements on the supply of sustenance for those serving here should not be lacking.’

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 1, 423. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 2, 437-8, modified.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Peter the Apostle : S00036 Paul, the Apostle : S00008 Laurence/Laurentius, deacon and martyr of Rome : S00037 Pancratius, martyr of Rome : S00307

Saint Name in Source

Petrus Paulus Laurentius Pancratius

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

  • Ceremony of dedication

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - independent (church)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops

Cult Activities - Relics

Unspecified relic


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).

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity



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