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E06419: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 11.19) of 601, to Pascasius, bishop of Naples, asks that he obtain relics of *Severinus (hermit and monk of Noricum, S00848) for a man dedicating an oratory to the saint, presumably in the diocese of Naples (southern Italy). 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 11.19

Extract from the opening of the letter:

Iohannes seruus et actor domni Venanti sanctuaria beati Seuerini confessoris oblata petitione suprascripto domno suo postulat debere concedi, quatenus in eius nomine oratorium propriis constructum sumptibus possit sollemniter consecrari.

‘John, servant and agent of Lord Venantius, has presented a petition asking that relics of Saint Severinus the martyr should be granted to his aforesaid Lordship, so that an oratory in his name might be solemnly consecrated, built at his own expense.’

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 2, 889. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 3, 754, modified.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Severinus, hermit and monk in Noricum, ob. 482 : S00848

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 - Liturgical Activity

  • Ceremony of dedication

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - dependent (chapel, baptistery, etc.)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Construction of cult buildings

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Officials Other lay individuals/ people Ecclesiastics - bishops

Cult Activities - Relics

Unspecified relic Transfer, translation and deposition of relics


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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