Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 163
Augustine, bishop of Hippo Regius (North Africa), writes to ex-Donatist presbyters who came to the Catholic communion. Letter 142, ca AD 412.
Letter 142
Dominis dilectissimis fratribus presbyteris Saturnino et Eufratae et clericis, qui uobiscum ad unitatem Christi pacemque conuersi sunt,
Augustinus episcopus in domino salutem.
1. Laetificauit nos uester aduentus, sed non uos absentia nostra contristet.
Augustine talks later mainly about the unity of the Church.
4. Agite fideliter et hilariter ecclesiastica officia, quae ad uos pertinent pro gradibus uestris, et ministerium uestrum sinceriter adimplete propter illum deum, sub quo conserui sumus et cui rationem de nostris actibus reddituros nos esse cogitamus. Unde abundare debent in nobis misericordiae uiscera, quia iudicium sine misericordia erit illi, qui non fecit misericordiam [Iac 2,13]. Ac per hoc et pro illis orate nobiscum, qui adhuc contristantur <...> habet carnalis animi infirmitas ut diuturna consuetudine collecta atque contracta.
(ed. Goldbacher 1904: 247.249-250)
Letter 142
To his most beloved lords and his brother presbyters, Saturninus and Eufrates, to the clerics who returned with you to the unity and peace of Christ, Augustine sends greetings in the Lord.
1. Your coming has brought us joy, but do not let our absence cause you sadness.
Augustine talks later mainly about the unity of the Church.
4. Perform faithfully and joyfully the ecclesiastical duties that pertain to you according to your level in the hierarchy, and carry out your ministry with sincerity on account of that God under whom we are fellow servants and to whom we bear in mind that we will give an account of our actions. For this reason your heart ought to overflow with mercy, because one who does not show mercy will face a judgment without mercy. And for this reason pray along with us for those who are still without your joy in order that the infirmity of their carnal mind, which they picked up and contracted from their long-standing habit, may be healed.
(trans. Teske 2003: 298-300 , slightly altered)


Two presbyters, Eufrates and Saturninus, are distinguished here from other "clerics", who joined with them the Catholic Church, probably after the conference in Carthage (AD 411). Incidentally, Augustine mentions other clerics, who have remained in schism. The passage is a proof of the acceptance of Donatist clerics in the Catholic Church in their grades.

Place of event:

  • Latin North Africa
  • Hippo Regius

About the source:

Author: Augustine of Hippo
Title: Letters, Epistulae
Origin: Hippo Regius (Latin North Africa)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The letters of Augustine of Hippo cover a wide range of topics: Holy Scripture, dogma and liturgy, philosophy, religious practice and everyday life. They range from full-scale theological treatises to small notes asking someone for a favour. The preserved corpus includes 308 letters, 252 written by Augustine, 49 that others sent to him and seven exchanged between third parties. 29 letters have been discovered only in the 20th century and edited in 1981 by Johannes Divjak; they are distinguished by the asterisk (*) after their number.
The preserved letters of Augustine extend over the period from his stay at Cassiciacum in 386 to his death in Hippo in 430.
A. Goldbacher ed., S. Augustini Hipponiensis Episcopi Epistulae, Pars 3, Ep. 124-174A, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 44, Vienna-Leipzig 1904.
 Saint Augustine, Letters 100-155, trans. R. Teske, New York 2003.


Religious grouping (other than Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian) - Donatist
Change of denomination
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ritual activity
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER163,