Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 282
Sanctulus, presbyter in Norcia (Italy), is able to live by the law even though he does not know how to read and is ignorant of the actual precepts of the law, AD 568/593. Account of Gregory the Great, "Dialogues", Rome, AD 593/594.
III 37.19
Scimus certe quia isdem uenerabilis uir Sanctulus ipsa quoque elementa litterarum bene non nouerat. Legis praecepta nesciebat, sed quia "plenitudo legis est caritas" (Rm 13:10), legem totam in Dei ac proximi dilectione seruauit, et quod foras in cognitione non nouerat, ei intus uiuebat in amore. Et qui numquam fortasse legerat, quod de redemptore nostro Iohannes apostolus dixit: "quoniam ille pro nobis animam suam posuit, sic et nos debemus pro fratribus animam ponere" (Jn 3:16), tam sublime apostolicum praeceptum faciendo magis quam sciendo nouerat.
(ed. de Vogüé 1979: 424)
III 37.19
Certainly, we are aware that this venerable man Sanctulus did not obtain even a basic education. He did not know the precepts of the law. Yet because "love (caritas) is the fulfilling of the law" (Rm 13:10), he served the whole law in love (dilectio) of God and [his] neighbour, and that which outwardly lacked in knowledge, he inwardly lived in love (amor). And he who perhaps never read what John the Apostle said of our Saviour: "because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (Jn 3:16), so eminently knew the precept of the Apostle in practice rather than in theory.
(trans. Gardner 1911: 171; modified by J. Szafranowski)

Place of event:

  • Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia
  • Norcia

About the source:

Author: Gregory the Great
Title: Dialogues, Dialogorum Gregorii Papae libri quatuor de miraculis Patrum Italicorum, Dialogi
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Gregory the Great wrote his Dialogues between 593 and 594 in Rome when he was the Bishop of this city. They were written in order to present lives and miracles of Italian saints, many of them contemporary to Gregory, and the greatest of them, saint Benedict of Nurcia. The Dialogues are divided into four books in which Gregory tells the stories of various saints to Peter, who was a deacon and a friend of Gregory, and is also known from the Gregory`s private correspondence.
Grégoire le Grand, Dialogues, ed. A. de Vogüé, Sources Chretiennes 251, 260, 265, Paris 1978-1980.


Education - Insufficient education
Functions within the Church - Urban presbyter
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Education - Knowledge of canons
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER282,