Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2393
Draft: Jerome of Stridon, writes to Nepotian, presbyter in Altinum (North Italy), about the duties of the presbyters. Jerome, Letter 52, AD 394.
Letter 52
5. Jerome explains to Nepotian that his military experience is not a sufficient guide to the clergyman's duties.
6.Jerome criticises the care shown by the priests to the elderly in order to get the inheritance.
7.Jerome exhorts Nepotian to be obedient to his bishop. He compares the relation between the bishop and presbyters to that between Aaron and his sons. He exhorts the presbyters to preach even in the presence of bishops.
8.The preacher should not seek the applause of the faithful. His preaching should be nourished by the Holy Scripture.
9.Jerome advises Nepotian how to dress: he should avoid both sombre and bright colours, excluding both showiness and slovenliness. True poverty is what should be sought.
10.Jerome says that if one uses the wealth of the Temple and cult of Jerusalem as an argument against the poverty of the Christian priests, he should also apply to them all the ritual rules of the Ancient Testament.
11.Jerome warns Nepotian against keeping company of the men of the world and drunkenness.
12.Jerome urges Nepotian to as much fasts as he can bear, if only they are reasonable and not superstitious.
15.Jerome recommends discretion while visiting the sick, which is the priest’s duty.
16.Jerome says that the presbyters should not seek gifts from the faithful, and they should rarely accept them. They should not arrange marriages between the faithful. They should not be managers of other people’s estates. He exhorts them to give everything they receive as alms.
(Summary: Stanislaw Adamiak)

Place of event:

  • East
  • Rome
  • Bethlehem
  • Rome

About the source:

Author: Jerome
Title: Letters, Epistulae
Origin: Bethlehem (East)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The large corpus of Jerome`s letters covers both great theological themes and personal issues. They are one of the most important sources for our knowledge of Christian life in the fourth to fifth century.
I. Hilberg ed., Sancti Eusebii Hieronymi Epistulae, Pars 3, Ep. 121-154, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 56, Vienna-Leipzig 1918.
A. Goldbacher ed., S. Augustini Hipponiensis Episcopi Epistulae, Pars 3, Ep. 124-184A, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 44, Vienna-Leipzig 1904.
Translated by W.H. Fremantle, G. Lewis and W.G. Martley. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 6. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1893.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <>.


Social origin or status - Soldiers
Food/Clothes/Housing - Clothes
    Food/Clothes/Housing - Food and drink
      Entertainment - Feasting
        Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
        Theoretical considerations - On church hierarchy
          Devotion - Fasting
            Devotion - Almsgiving
              Pastoral activity - Preaching
                Pastoral activity - Visiting the sick
                  Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2393,