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E06374: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 7.19) of 597, to Cyprianus, deacon of the Sicilian patrimony, asks him to encourage the bishops of Sicily to come for a meeting in Rome at the time of the feast of *Peter (the Apostle, S00036). 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 7.19

Extract from the opening of a letter seeking to organise a general meeting of the Sicilian bishops in Rome:

Nouit dilectio tua hanc olim consuetudinem tenuisse, ut fratres et coepiscopi nostri Romam semel in triennio de Sicilia conuenirent sed nos eorum labori consulentes constituisse ut suam hic semel in quinquennio praesentiam exhiberent. Et quia iam diu est, quod hic minime conuenerunt, eos hortari te uolumus, ut natale sancti Petri hic Deo perducente nobis cum debeant celebrare.

‘Your Beloved knows that it has long been customary for our brethren and fellow bishops to come from Sicily to meet in Rome once every three years, but considering the trouble it is for them, we have decided that they should present themselves here once every five years. And because it is already a long time since they have met here at all, we want you to encourage them to celebrate the feast day (natalis) of Saint Peter with us here, under the leadership of God.’

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 1, 470. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 2, 471, 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 - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs


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).


Peter's feast day is 29 June.


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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