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E07948: John, bishop of Arles (ob. after 668), in a letter to nuns in Arles, mentions that their monastery was dedicated to *Mary (mother of Christ, S00033). Written in Latin at Arles, southern Gaul, c. 660/c. 668.

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posted on 2020-07-27, 00:00 authored by dlambert
Letter of John, Bishop of Arles

The letter begins as follows, before going on to discuss disciplinary issues:

Sanctis ac venerandis in Christo sororibus, ipsis quibus sanctae memoriae praedecessor noster Aurelianus episcopus monasterium sanctae Mariae intra muros Arelatensis urbis constituit, praecepta vivendi sancivit, Ioannes, gratia Domini ac Dei nostri Iesu Christi, episcopus.

'John, bishop by the grace of our Lord and God Jesus Christ, to the sisters, holy and venerable in Christ, for whom our predecessor of holy memory Bishop Aurelianus established the monastery of the holy Mary within the walls of the city of Arles and enacted rules for living.'

Text: PL 72. Translation: David Lambert.


Evidence ID


Saint Name

Mary, Mother of Christ : S00033

Saint Name in Source


Type of Evidence

Documentary texts - Letters


  • Latin

Evidence not before


Evidence not after


Activity not before


Activity not after


Place of Evidence - Region

Gaul and Frankish kingdoms

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc


Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Arles Tours Tours Toronica urbs Prisciniacensim vicus Pressigny Turonorum civitas Ceratensis vicus Céré

Cult activities - Places

Cult building - monastic

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Saint as patron - of a community


The precise dates of John's tenure as bishop of Arles are not known, but he is first attested in office in 660, and last attested in 668 (Duchesne 1907, 260).


This letter confirms that the female monastic community dedicated to Mary, which had been founded by Bishop Aurelianus of Arles between 546 and 551 (see E07947), was still in existence just over a century later.


Edition: Migne, J.P., Patrologia Latina 72, 859. Further reading: Duchesne, L., Fastes épiscopaux de l'ancienne Gaule. Tome premier: Provinces du Sud-Est, 2nd ed. (Paris, 1907).

Usage metrics

    Evidence -  The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity