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E06420: A letter of Pope Gregory the Great (Register 11.20) of 601, to Marianus, a bishop of Arabia (probably of Gerasa, in present-day Jordan), refers to the bearer of the letter’s successful quest for (unspecified) relics. 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 11.20

Extract from the opening of the letter:

Latore hic praesentium Candido abbate pro petendis reliquiis, quae et concessae sunt, ueniente, quanto de fraternitatis tuae nutrimento laetatus sum [...]

When abbot Candidus, the bearer of this letter, came here seeking relics, which were granted him, the more I was delighted over your Fraternity’s support ...’

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 2, 889-90. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 3, 754.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Saints, unnamed : S00518

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 - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

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).


Marianus, the 'bishop of Arabia' to whom Gregory's letter was addressed, is identified by Gatier 1987 as the bishop of Gerasa (Jerash, in modern Jordan).


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: Dal Santo, M., Debating the Saints' Cult in the Age of Gregory the Great (Oxford: OUP, 2012). Gatier, P.-L., "Une lettre du pape Grégoire le Grand à Marianus évêque de Gerasa," Syria 64 (1987), 131-135. McCulloch, J., "The Cult of Relics in the Letters and Dialogues of Gregory the Great," Traditio 32 (1976), 145-184. 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