Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2385
Gregory the Great informs Bishop Venantius of Luni (Italy) that ex-presbyter Saturninus, although forbidden to offer Eucharist, is permitted to govern the monasteries on the islands of Gorgona and Capraria. Gregory sent his "Regula Pastoralis" to Presbyter Columbanus. Gregory the Great, Letter 5.17, AD 594.
Letter 5.17 to Bishop Venantius of Luni (November 594)
Gregorius Venantio episcopo Lunensi
Gregory discusses some other matters.
Saturum uero ex presbytero ut numquam ad sacri ordinis ministerium praesumat accedere scriptis cauere decreuimus. Sed eum in insula Gorgona atque Capraria sollicitudinem de monasteriis gerere et in eo quo est statu sine cuiusquam aduersitate manere permittimus.
Gregory again moves to some other matters.
Codicem uero Regulae pastoralis domno Columbo presbytero transmittendum per harum portitores direximus. Quem uos nolite detinere, nam alium sub celeritate usui uestro transmittimus.
(ed. Norberg 1982: 284, 285)
Letter 5.17 to Bishop Venantius of Luni (November 594)
Gregorius to Venantius, bishop of Luni
Gregory discusses some other matters.
We have decreed in our [previous] letter that you should take care that the ex-presbyter Saturninus should never presume to aspire to the ministry of a holy order, but we give permission for him to govern the monasteries in the islands of Gorgona and Capraria, and to remain in the office which he now holds without opposition from everyone.
Gregory moves to some other matters.
We have also directed that those bearing this letter should hand over a copy of our Pastoral Care to the lord (domnus) Presbyter Columbanus. You are not to keep it for yourself, for we are sending another copy as quickly as possible, for you to use.
(trans. Martyn 2004: 335, slightly altered and summarised by J. Szafranowski)

Place of event:

  • Rome
  • Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia
  • Rome
  • Luni
  • Capraria (Cabrera)
  • Gorgona
  • Bobbio

About the source:

Author: Gregory the Great
Title: Letters, Epistulae, Epistolae, Registrum epistularum, Registrum epistolarum
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Gregory, later called the Great (Gregorius Magnus), was born ca 540 to an influential Roman family with some connection to the ancient gens Anicia. His great-great-grandfather was Felix III, who served as the bishop of Rome from 526 to 530. Possibly, Agapetus I, pope between 535 and 536, was his relative as well. Little is known about his early career, but in 573 Gregory ascended to the high office of city prefect. Shortly afterwards, however, he resigned from his post and adopted the monastic way of life. He founded a monastery dedicated to St. Andrew within his family estate on Coelian Hill, next to the library established by Agapetus and Cassiodorus. Six other monasteries were founded in the estates his family owned in Sicily. Soon after his monastic conversion, he started to be given various tasks by Popes Benedict I (575–578) and Pelagius II (578–590). At that time, he was ordained a deacon. Between 579 and 585/6, Gregory acted as Pelagius` envoy in Constantinople. In 590, he was elected Pelagius` successor to the bishopric of Rome. The registry of his letters contained copies of Gregory`s papal correspondence up to his death in 604. The scope of Gregory`s original registry is still the subject of scholarly speculation. There are 854 extant letters gathered in fourteen volumes, most of them (686 letters) originating from the collection compiled at the time of Pope Hadrian I (772–795).
It is worth remembering that the majority of Gregory’s correspondence was jointly produced by the pope and his subordinates, see Pollard 2013.
D. Norberg ed., S. Gregorii Magni Registrum Epistularum, Corpus Christianorum: Series Latina 140, 140A, Turnhout 1982.
The Letters of Gregory the Great, trans. J.R.C. Martyn, Mediaeval Sources in Translation 40, Toronto 2004.
R.M. Pollard, A Cooperative Correspondence: The Letters of Gregory the Great, in: M. Dal Santo, B. Neil (eds.), A Companion to Gregory the Great, Leiden-Boston 2013, pp. 291–312.


Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Monastic or common life - Cenobitic monk
Monastic or common life - Monastic superior (abbot/prior)
Further ecclesiastical career - Lay status
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2385,