Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1688
Pope Leo the Great informs the Emperor Theodosius that he has sent the legates, Bishop Julius of Puteoli, the Presbyter Renatus and the Deacon Hilary to act as his representatives at the Council of Ephesus. Letter 29 of Pope Leo the Great "Quantum rebus", written in Rome, AD 449.
Letter 29
Caesari Theodosio, religiosissimo et piissimo Augusto, Leo papa Ecclesiae catholicae urbis Romae.
Quantum rebus humanis consulere providentia divina dignetur, sollicitudo clementiae vestrae, Spiritu Dei incitata demonstrat, quae in catholica Ecclesia nihil impacatum, nihil vult esse diversum: quoniam fides, quae non nisi una est, in nullo potest sui esse dissimilis. Unde licet Eutyches, quantum gestorum episcopalium ordo patefecit, imperite atque imprudenter errare detectus sit, debueritque a sua, quae merito reprobatur, persuasione discedere, quoniam tamen pietas vestra, quae in honorem Dei religiosissime catholicam diligit veritatem, apud Ephesum constituit synodale iudicium, ut imperito seni ea in qua nimis caligat veritas innotescat: fratres meos Iulium episcopum, et Renatum presbyterum, et filium meum Hilarum diaconem misi, qui ad vicem praesentiae meae pro negotii qualitate sufficerent; et qui eum secum deferrent iustitiae ac benignitatis affectum, ut quia dubitari non potest, quae sit christianae confessionis integritas, et totius erroris pravitas damnaretur: et si resipiscens, qui deviaverat, pro venia supplicaret, sacerdotalis ei benevolentia subveniret; cum in libello suo, quem ad nos misit, hoc saltem sibi ad promerendam veniam reservaverit, ut correcturum se esse promitteret quidquid nostra sententia de his, quae male senserat, improbasset. Quid autem catholica Ecclesia universaliter de sacramento Dominicae incarnationis credat et doceat, ad fratrem et coepiscopum meum Flavianum plenius continent scripta, quae misi. Data idibus Iunii, Asturio et Protogene viris clarissimis consulibus.
Greek version:
Τῷ ἐνδοξοτάτῳ καὶ φιλανθρωποτάτῳ Θεοδοσίῳ Αὐγούστῳ, Λέων ἐπίσκοπος.
Ὅσοι τῶν ἀνθρωπίνων πραγμάτων κατά δύναμιν προνοεῖν καταξιοῖ τῆς ὑμετέρας φιλανθρωπίας ἡ φροντὶς,) πνεύματι Θεοῦ κινηθεῖσα, εὖ ἂν ἔχοι, μὴ βουλομένη περὶ τὴν καθολικὴν Ἐκκλησίαν διαφορὰν, ἀλλ' εἰρήνην τυγχάνειν. Καίπερ ἡ πίστις μία οὖσα, ἑαυτῆς οὐκ ὀφείλει τυγχάνειν ἀνομοία. Ὅθεν, εἰ καὶ Εὐτυχὴς, ὡς αἱ τῶν ἐπισκοπικῶν ὑπομνημάτων τάξεις ἐφανέρωσαν, ἀπείρως καὶ ἀσυνέτως πεπλανῆσθαι ἀποδέδεικται, καὶ ὤφειλεν ἀπὸ τῆς ἰδίας συνειδήσεως τῆς ἀξίως ἀποδοκιμαζομένης ἀναλαβεῖν· ὅμως, sb;επείπερ ἡ ὑμετέρα εὐσέβεια, ἡ εἰς τιμὴν τοῦ Θεοῦ τὴν εὐλαβεστάτην καθολικὴν ἀλήθειαν ἀγαπῶσα, τετύπωσε συνοδικὸν κριτήριον, ὥστε τῷ ἀπείρῳ γέροντι τὴν ἀλήθειαν, περὶ ἣν μάλιστα διέσφαλται, φανεροποιηθῆναι, τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς τοὺς ἡμετέρους, Ἰούλιον τὸν ἐπίσκοπον, καὶ Ῥενάτον τὸν πρεσβύτερον, καὶ τὸν ἐμὸν υἱὸν διάκονον Ἱλάρον πέπομφα, τοὺς εἰς τόπον ἐμὸν κατὰ τὴν τοῦ πράγματος ποιότητα δυναμένους ἀρκεῖν, καὶ ἰσχύοντας αὐτὸν εἰς τὴν τοῦ δικαίου καὶ ἀγαθοῦ μεταγαγεῖν διάθεσιν· ἵν' ὅτι περ ἀμφιβάλλεσθαι οὐ δύναται, ὁποῖόν τι τυγχάνει τῆς τῶν χριστιανῶν ὁμολογίας τὸ ἀκέραιον, καὶ πάσης τῆς πλάνης τὸ φαῦλον καταδικασθείη, καὶ, εἰ ἀνανήψειεν, ὃς πεπλάνηται, ὑπὲρ συγγνώμης παρακαλέσων, τὴν τῶν ἐπισκόπων αὐτῷ βοήθειαν ἐπικουρῆσαι. Ἐπείπερ ἐν τῷ ἑαυτοῦ λιβέλλῳ τῷ πρὸς ἡμᾶς ἀποσταλέντι καὶ τοῦτο ἑαυτῶ πρὸς τὸ ἀξιωθῆναι συγγνώμης ἐφύλαξεν, ἐπαγγελλόμενος ἑαυτὸν διορθοῦν, εἴ τι δ' ἂν ἡ ἡμετέρα γνώμη περὶ τούτων, περὶ ὧν κακῶς ᾔσθετο, ἀποδοκιμάσειεν. Τί δὲ ἡ καθολικὴ Ἐκκλησία καθόλου περὶ τοῦ θείου μυστηρίου τῆς Δεσποτικῆς σαρκώσεως πιστεύει, καὶ διδάσκει, τῷ ἀδελφῷ ἡμῶν, καὶ συνεπισκόπῳ Φλαυιανῷ, σαφέστερον τὰ ἀπεσταλμένα γράμματα περιέχει.
(Patrologia Latina 54, 781-784 = Ballerini 1753: 839-842)
Letter 29
To Caesar Theodosius, the most religious and devout Augustus Leo pope of the Catholic Church of the city of Rome.
How much God's providence vouchsafes to consult for the interests of men is shown by your merciful care which, incited by God's Spirit, is unwilling that there should be any disturbance or difference: since the Faith, which is absolutely one, cannot be different from itself in any thing. Hence although Eutyches, as the minutes of the bishops' proceeds reveals, has been detected in an ignorant and unwise error, and ought to have withdrawn from his conviction which is rightly condemned, yet since your piety which loves the Catholic Truth with great jealousy for God's honour, has determined on a synodal judgment at Ephesus, that that Truth on which he is blind may be brought home to the ignorant old man; I have sent my brothers Julius the Bishop, Renatus the presbyter, and my son Hilary the deacon to act as my representatives as the matter requires, and they shall bring with them such a spirit of justice and kindness that while the whole misguided error is condemned (for there can be no doubt as to what is the integrity of the Christian Faith), yet if he who has gone astray repents and entreats for pardon, he may receive the succour of priestly indulgence: seeing that in his appeal which he sent us, he reserved to himself the right of earning our forgiveness by promising to correct whatever our opinion disapproved of in his opinion. But what the catholic Church universally believes and teaches on the mystery of the Lord's Incarnation is contained more fully in the letter which I have sent to my brother and fellow-bishop Flavian. Dated on the Ides of June in the consulship of the illustrious Asturius and Protogenes [= 13 June 449].
(trans. Ch. Lett Feltoe 1895: 44; slightly adapted)


Presbyter Renatus never arrived to Ephesus because he died during the travel on the isle of Delos, see [1565].

Place of event:

  • Rome
  • East
  • Rome
  • Constantinople
  • Ephesus

About the source:

Author: Leo the Great
Title: Letters, Epistulae
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Leo the Great was the bishop of Rome from AD 440 to his death in AD 461. We have the collection of 173 letters of Leo.
Eutyches was a presbyter and an archimandrite in Constantinople who got involved in the theological discussions against Nestorius and was inclined toward the monophysite Christology. These views were considered heretical by Bishop Flavian of Constantinople and Eutyches was excommunicated by the so-called Home Synod in AD 448 (σύνοδος ἐνδημοῦσα, the synod of the bishops who happened to be in the capital). Eutyches sent in protest the letters to the bishops all over the world, from which the letter to Pope Leo is still extant. Eutyches also tried to obtain the support of Emperor Theodosius. In fact, the emperor eventually agreed on organizing the Council which was supposed to condemn Bishop Flavian and his supporters. Leo was warned of the preparations by Bishop Flavian and in June AD 449 he sent his legacy consisting of Bishop Julius of Puteoli, the Presbyter Renatus, and the Deacon Hilary. He entrusted to the envoys the dogmatical letter on Christ, the Tomus ad Flavianum, see [1686]. Although Leo tried to prevent through the letters the gathering, the council met in Ephesus on 8 August 449. The legates from Rome tried to read out the Tome at the council but were successfully hindered by Dioscorus of Alexandria and Eutyches (see Grillmeier 1975: 523-528).
There was a long scholarly discussion about the possible participation of Prosper of Aquitaine in the composition of the Tome of Leo, see Green 2008: 193-201.
P. and G. Ballerini eds., Sancti Leoni Magni Romani pontificis opera, vol. 1, Venice 1753
Patrologia Latina, vol. 54
B. Green, The soteriology of Leo the Great, Oxford; New York 2008.
A. Grillmeier, Christ in Christian tradition, v. 1, Atlanta 1975.


Travel and change of residence
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ecclesiastical administration - Participation in councils and ecclesiastical courts
Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
Relation with - Monarch and royal/imperial family
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1688,