Letter LIII. A Fragment of a Letter from Anatolius, Bishop of Constantinople, to Leo
(about his consecration).
Letter LIV. To Theodosius Augustus
(asking for a synod in Italy).
Letters LV to LVIII.
A series of Letters.
(1) From Valentinian the Emperor to Theodosius Augustus.
(2) From Galla Placidia Augusta to Theodosius Augustus.
(3) From Licinia Eudoxia Augusta to Theodosius Augustus.
(4) From Galla Placidia Augusta to Pulcheria Augusta, all graphically describing how Leo had appealed to them in public to press his suit with Theodosius. Of these, LVI. is subjoined as perhaps the most interesting specimen.
Letter LVI. (from Galla Placidia Augusta to Theodosius).
To the Lord Theodosius, Conqueror and Emperor, her ever august son, Galla Placidia, most pious and prosperous, perpetual Augusta and mother.
When on our very arrival in the ancient city, we were engaged in paying our devotion to the most blessed Apostle Peter, at the martyr's very altar, the most reverend Bishop Leo waiting behind awhile after the service uttered laments over the catholic Faith to us, and taking to witness the chief of the Apostles himself likewise, whom we had just approached, and surrounded by a number of bishops whom he had brought together from numerous cities in Italy by the authority and dignity of his position, adding also tears to his words, called upon us to join our moans to his own. For no slight harm has arisen from those occurrences, whereby the standard of the catholic Faith so long guarded since the days of our most Divine father Constantine, who was the first in the palace to stand out as a Christian, has been recently disturbed by the assumption of one man, who in the synod held at Ephesus is alleged to have rather stirred up hatred and contention, intimidating by the presence of soldiers, Flavianus, the bishop of Constantinople, because he had sent an appeal to the Apostolic See, and to all the bishops of these parts by the hands of those who had been deputed to attend the Synod by the most reverend Bishop of Rome, who have been always wont so to attend, most sacred Lord and Son and adored King, in accordance with the provisions of the Nicene Synodhyperlink . For this cause we pray your clemency to oppose such disturbances with the Truth, and to order the Faith of the catholic religion to be preserved without spot, in order that according to the standard and decision of the Apostolic See, which we likewise revere as pre-eminent, Flavianus may remain altogether uninjured in his priestly office, and the matter be referred to the Synod of the Apostolic See, wherein assuredly he first adorned the primacy, who was deemed worthy to receive the keys of heaven: for it becomes us in all things to maintain the respect due to this great city, which is the mistress of all the earth; and this too we must most carefully provide that what in former times our house guarded seem not in our day to be infringed, and that by the present example schisms be not advanced either between the bishops or the most holy churches.
1 See no. 9a to Lett. XIIV., 3, where it is shown that this is a mistake, willful or otherwise, on Leo's part.
Letter LIX. To the Clergy and People of the City of Constantinople.
Leo the bishop to the clergy, dignitaries, and people, residing at Constantinople.
I. He Congratulates Them on Their Outspoken Resistance to Error.
Though we are greatly grieved at the things reported to have been done recently in the council of priests at Ephesus, because, as is consistently rumoured, and also demonstrated by results, neither due moderation nor the strictness of the Faith was there observed, yet we rejoice in your devoted piety and in the acclamations of the holy peoplehyperlink , instances of which have been brought to our notice, we have approved of the right feeling of you all; because there lives and abides in good sons due affection for their excellent Father, and because you suffer the fulness of catholic teaching to be in no part corrupted. For undoubtedly, as the Holy Spirit has unfolded to you, they are leagued with the Manichaeans' error, who deny that the only-begotten Son of God took our nature's true Manhood, and maintain that all His bodily actions were the actions of a false apparition. And lest you should in aught give your assent to this blasphemy, we have now sent you, beloved, by my son Epiphanius and Dionysius, notary of the Roman Church, letters of exhortation wherein we have of our own accord rendered you the assistance which you sought, that you may not doubt of our bestowing all a father's care on you, and labouring in every way, by the help of God's mercy, to destroy all the stumbling-blocks which ignorant and foolish men have raised. And let no one venture to parade his priestly dignity who can be convicted of holding such detestably blasphemous opinions. For if ignorance seems hardly tolerable in laymen, how much less excusable or pardonable is it in those who govern; especially when they dare even to defend their mendacious and perverse views, and persuade the unsteadfast to agree with them either by intimidation or by cajoling.
II. They are to Be Rejected Who Deny the Truth of Christ's Flesh, a Truth Repeated by Every Recipient at the Holy Eucharist.
Let such men be rejected by the holy members of Christ's Body, and let not catholic liberty suffer the yoke of the unfaithful to be laid upon it. For they are to be reckoned outside the Divine grace, and outside the mystery of man's salvation, who, denying the nature of our flesh in Christ, gainsay the Gospel and oppose the Creed. Nor do they perceive that their blindness leads them into such an abyss that they have no sure footing in the reality either of the Lord's Passion or His Resurrection: because both are discredited in the Saviour, if our fleshly nature is not believed in Him. In what density of ignorance, in what utter sloth must they hitherto have lain, not to have learnt from hearing, nor understood from reading, that which in God's Church is so constantly in men's mouths, that even the tongues of infants do not keep silence upon the truth of Christ's Body and Blood at the rite of Holy Communionhyperlink ? For in that mystic distribution of spiritual nourishment, that which is given and taken is of such a kind that receiving the virtue of the celestial food we pass into the flesh of Him, Who became our fleshhyperlink . Hence to confirm you, beloved, in your laudably faithful resistance to the foes of Truth, I shall filly and opportunely use the language and sentiments of the Apostle, and say: "Therefore I also hearing of your faith, which is in the Lord Jesus, and love towards all saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father l of glory, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your hearts being enlightened that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power in us, who believed according to the working of His mighty power which he has wrought in Christ, raising Him from the dead, and setting Him at His right hand in heavenly places above every principality, and power, and strength, and dominion, and every name which is named not only in this age, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under His feet, and given Him to be the head over all the Church which is His body, and the fulness of Him Who filleth all in allhyperlink ."
III. Perfect God And Perfect Man Were United in Christ.
In this passage let the adversaries of the Truth say when or according to what nature did the Almighty Father exalt His Son above all things, or to what substance did He subject all things. For the Godhead of the Word is equal in all things, and consubstantial with the Father, and the power of the Begetter and the Begotten is one and the same always and eternally. Certainly, the Creator of all natures, since "through Him all things were made, and without Him was nothing madehyperlink ," is above all things which He created, nor were the things which He made ever not subject to their Creator, Whose eternal property it is, to be from none other than the Father, and in no way different to the Father. If greater power, grander dignity, more exalted loftiness was granted Him, then was He that was so increased less than He that promoted Him, and possessed not the full riches of His nature from Whose fulness He received. But one who thinks thus is hurried off into the society of Arius, whose heresy is much assisted by this blasphemy which denies the existence of human nature in the Word of God, so that, in rejecting the combination of humility with majesty in God, it either asserts a false phantom-body in Christ, or says that all His bodily actions and passions belonged to the Godhead rather than to the flesh. But everything he ventures to uphold is absolutely foolish: because neither our religious belief nor the scope of the mystery admits either of the Godhead suffering anything or of the Truth belying Itself in anything. The impassible Son of God, therefore, whose perpetually it is with the Father and with the Holy Spirit to be what He is in the one essence of the Unchangeable Trinity, when the fullness of time had come which had been fore-ordained by an eternal purpose, and promised by the prophetic significance of words and deeds, became man not by conversion of His substance but by assumption of our nature, and "came to seek and to save that which was losthyperlink ." But He came not by local approach nor by bodily motion, as if to be present where He had been absent, or to depart where He had come: but He came to be manifested to onlookers by that which was visible and common to others, receiving, that is to say, human flesh and soul in the Virgin mother's womb, so that, abiding in the form of God, He united to Himself the form of a slave, and the likeness of sinful flesh, whereby He did not lessen the Divine by the human, but increased the human by the Divine.
IV. The Sacrament of Baptism Typifies and Realizes This Union to Each Individual Believer.
For such was the state of all mortals resulting from our first ancestors that, after the transmission of original sin to their descendants, no one would have escaped the punishment of condemnation, had not the Word become flesh and dwelt in us, that is to say, in that nature which belonged to our blood and race. And accordingly, the Apostle says: "As by one man's sin (judgment passed) upon all to condemnation, so also by one man's righteousness (it) passed upon all to justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one man's obedience shall many be made righteoushyperlink ;" and again, "For because by man (came) death, by man also (came) the resurrection of the dead. And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alivehyperlink ." All they to wit who though they be born in Adam, yet are found reborn in Christ, having a sure testimony both to their justification by grace, and to Christ's sharing in their naturehyperlink ; for he who does not believe that God's only-begotten Son did assume our nature in the womb of the Virgin-daughter of David, is without share in the Mystery of the Christian religion, and, as he neither recognizes the Bridegroom nor knows the Bride, can have no place at the wedding-banquet. For the flesh of Christ is the veil of the Word, wherewith every one is clothed who confesses Him unreservedly. But he that is ashamed of it and rejects it as unworthy, shall have no adornment from Him, and though he present i himself at the Royal feast, and unseasonably join in the sacred banquet, yet the intruder will not be able to escape the King's discernment, but, as the Lord Himself asserted, will be taken, and with hands and feet bound, be cast into outer darkness; where will be weeping and gnashing of teethhyperlink . Hence whosoever confesses not the human body in Christ, must know that he is unworthy of the mystery of the Incarnation, and has no share in that sacred union of which the Apostle speaks, saying, "For we are His members, of His flesh and of His bones. For this cause a man shall leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and there shall be two in one fleshhyperlink ." And explaining what was meant by this, he added, "This mystery is great, but I speak in respect of Christ and the Church." Therefore, from the very commencement of the human race, Christ is announced to all men as coming in the flesh. In which, as was said, "there shall be two in one flesh," there are undoubtedly two, God and man, Christ and the Church, which issued from the Bridegroom's flesh, when it received the mystery of redemption and regeneration, water and blood flowing from the side of the Crucified. For the very condition of a new creature which at baptism puts off not the covering of true flesh but the taint of the old condemnation, is this, that a man is made the body of Christ, because Christ also is the body of a manhyperlink .
V. The True Doctrine of the Incarnation Restated and Commended to Their Keeping.
Wherefore we call Christ not God only, as the Manichaean heretics, nor Man only, as the Photinianhyperlink heretics, nor man in such a way that anything should be wanting in Him which certainly belongs to human nature, whether soul or reasonable mind or flesh which was not derived from woman, but made from the Word turned and changed into flesh; which three false and empty propositions have been variously advanced by the three sections of the Apollinarian hereticshyperlink . Nor do we say that the blessed Virgin Mary conceived a Man without Godhead, Who was created by the Holy Ghost and afterwards assumed by the Word, which we deservedly and properly condemned Nestorius for preaching: but we call Christ the Son of God, true God, born of God the Father without any beginning in time, and likewise true Man, born of a human Mother, at the ordained fulness of time, and we say that His Manhood, whereby the Father is the greater, does not in anything lessen that nature whereby He is equal with the Father. But these two natures form one Christ, Who has said most truly both according to His Godhead: "I and the Father are onehyperlink ," and according to His manhood "the Father is greater than Ihyperlink ." This true and indestructible Faith, dearly-beloved, which alone makes us true Christians, and which, as we hear with approval, you are defending with loyal zeal and praiseworthy affection, hold fast and maintain boldly. And since, besides God's aid, you must win the favour of catholic Princes also, humbly and wisely make request that the most clement Emperor be pleased to grant our petition, wherein we have asked for a plenary synod to be convened; that by the aid of God's mercy the sound may be increased in courage, and the sick, if they consent to be treated, have the remedy applied. (Dated October 15, in the consulship of the illustrious Asturius and Protogenes, 449.)
1 Sanctoe plebis acclamationibus .It seems that the people had openly expressed their disapproval of the maltreatment to which Flavian had been subjected
2 Two things are here to be noticed: (1) that the allusion appears to be to the formula of reception then in use at the Eucharist, the priest saying (Corpus Christi, and the recipient answering Amen. Cf. Serm. xci. 3, sic sacroe mensoe communicare debetis ut nihil prorsus de veritate corporis Christi et sanquinis ambigatis. Hoc enim ore sumitar quod fide creditur: et frustra ab illis Amen respondetur a quibus contra id quad accipitur disputatur ; (2) that infant communion is implied is regular: this we know to have been the case in much earlier days. Cf. Apost. Const. viii. 13, Cyprian de Lapsis, ix. and xxv. &c., also Bingham's Antiq. xv. chap. iv § 7.
3 Cf. Sermon LXIII. 7, where much the same language is used.
4 Ephes. i. 15-23.
5 S. .John i. 3.
6 S. Luke xix. l0.
7 Rom. v. 18. 19.
8 1 Cor. xv. 21, 22.
9 Habentes fidei testimonium et de justificatione gratioe et oe communione naturoe .
10 The reference is to S. Matt. xxii. 11-13.
11 Eph. v. 30,31,32.
12 Ipsa est enim novoe condiiio creaturoe quoe in baptismate non indumento veroe carnis sed contagio damnatoe vetustatis exuitur ut efficiatur homo corpus Christi, quia et Christus corpus est hominis .The most crabbed of the several crabbed passages in this letter. The mystical transmutation of the believer's body into the body of Christ is here referred to the sacrament of Baptism, while earlier in the letter (chap. ii.) it is described as one of the effects of Holy Communion.
13 The followers of Photinus, Bishop of Sirmium (circ. 410 a.d.):for an account of his heretical opinions see, Schaff's History of the Christian Church. in loc. Cf. Letter XV, 4.
14 Apollinaristarum tres partes ; see Sermon xxviii. chap. 4 (end) with Bright's n. 32 on Apollinarianism generally.
15 S. John x. 30 ; xiv. 28.
16 S. John x. 30 ; xiv. 28.
Letter LX. To Pulcheria Augusta.
(He hopes for her intercession to procure the condemnation of Eutyches.)
Letter LXI. To Martinus and Faustus, Presbyters.
(Reminding them of a former letter he has written to them, viz. Lett. LI.)
(Letters LXII., LXIII., LXIV., are the Emperor Theodosius' answers (a) to Valentinian, (b) to Galla Placidia, and (c) to Licinia Eudoxia (assuring them of his orthodoxy and care for the Faith.)
Letter LXV. From the Bishops of the Province of Arles.
(Asking Leo to confirm the privileges of that city, which they allege date from the mission of Trophimus, by S. Peter, and more recently ratified by the Emperor Constantine.)
Letter LXVI. Leo's Reply to Letter LXV.
Leo, the pope, to the dearly-beloved brethren Constantinus, Armentarius, Audientius Severianus, Valerianus, Ursus, Stephanus, Nectarius, Constantius, Maximus, Asclepius, Theodorus, Justus Ingenuus, Augustalis, Superventor, Ynantius, Fonteius, and Palladius.
I. The Bishop of Vienne Has Anticipated Their Appeal. He Proposes to Arbitrate with Impartiality.
When we read your letter, beloved, which was brought to us by our sons Petronius the presbyter and Regulus the deacon, we recognized how affectionate is the regard in which you hold our brother and fellow-bishop, Ravennius: for your request is that what his predecessorhyperlink deservedly lost for his excessive presumption may be restored to him. But your petition, brothers, was forestalled by the bishop of Vienne, who sent a letter and legates with the complaint that the bishop of Aries had unlawfully claimed the ordination of the bishop of Vasa. Accordingly, as we had to show such respect both for the canons of the fathers and for your good opinion of us, that in the matter of the churches' privileges we should allow no infringement or deprivation, it were incumbent on us to preserve the peace within the province of Vienne by employing such righteous moderation as should disregard neither ancient usage nor your desires.
II. The Bishop of Vienne is to Retain Jurisdiction Over Four Neighbouring Cities: the Rest to Belong to Arles.
For alter considering the arguments advanced by the clergy present on either side, we find that the cities of Vienne and Arles within your province have always been so famous, that in certain matters of ecclesiastical privilege, now one, now the other, has alternately taken precedence, though the national tradition is that formerly they had community of rights. And hence we suffer not the city of Vienne to be altogether without honour, so far as concerns ecclesiastical jurisdiction, especially as it already possesses the authority of our decree for the enjoyment of its privilege: to wit the power which, when taken away from Hilary, we thought proper to confer on the bishop of Vienne. And that he seem not suddenly and unduly lowered, he shall hold rule over the four neighbouring towns, that is, Valentia, Tarantasia, Genava and Gratianopolis, with Vienne herself for the fifth, to the bishop of which shall belong the care of all the said churches. But the other churches of the same province shall be placed under the authority and management of the bishop of Arles, who from his temperate moderation we believe will be so anxious for love and peace as by no means to consider himself deprived of that which he sees conceded to his brother. Dated 5th of May, in the consulship of Valentinianus Augustus (7th time), and the most famous Avienus (450.)
1 This, it will be remembered, was Hillary : see Letter X. above.
Letter LXVIIhyperlink . To Ravennius, Bishop of Arles.
To his dearly-beloved brother Ravennius, Leo the pope.
We have kept our sons Petronius the presbyter, and Regulus the deacon, long in the City, both because they deserved this from their favour in our eyes, and because the needs of the Faith, which is now being assailed by the error of some, demanded it. For we wished them to be present when we discussed the matter, and to ascertain everything which we desire through you, beloved, should reach the knowledge of all our brethren and fellow-bishops, specially deputing this to you, dear brother, that through your watchful diligence our letter, which we have issued to the East in defence of the Faith, or elsehyperlink that of Cyril of blessed memory, which agrees throughout with our views, may become known to all the brethren; in order that being furnished with arguments they may fortify themselves with spiritual strength against those who think fit to insult the Lord's Incarnation with their misbeliefs. You have a favourable opportunity, beloved brother, of recommending the commencement of your episcopacy to all the churches and to our God, if you will carry out these things in the way we have charged and enjoined you. But the matters which were not to be committed to paper, in reliance on God's aid, you shall carry out effectually, as we have said, and laudably, when you have learnt about them from the mouths of our aforesaid sons. God keep you safe, dearest brother. Dated 5th of May, in the consulship of the most glorious Valentinianus (for the 7th time) and of the famous Avienus (450).
1 This letter, together with Letters XL. , LXV. And LXVI. Are found only in the Collection of Arles (numbered XV. By the Ballerinii).
2 Vel can hardly equel et as the Ball. Would wish. So that here Leo recommends either his own Tome or Cyril's second letter to Nestorius. Cf. Letter LXIX., chap. I. Below; also Letter LXX.
Letter LXVIII. From Three Gallic Bishops to St. Leo.
Ceretius, Salonius and Veranus to the holy Lord, most blessed father, and pope most worthy of the Apostolic See, Leo.
I. They Congratulate and Thank Leo for the Tome.
Having perused your Excellency's letter, which you composed for instruction in the Faith, and sent to the bishop of Constantinople, we thought it our duty, being enriched with so great a wealth of doctrine, to pay our debt of thanks by at least inditing you a letter. For we appreciate your fatherly solicitude on our behalf, and confess that we are the more indebted to your preventing care because we now have the benefit of the remedy before experiencing the evils. For knowing that those remedies are well-nigh too late which are applied after the infliction of the wounds, you admonish us with the voice of loving forethought to arm ourselves with those Apostolic means of defence. We acknowledge frankly, most blessed popehyperlink , with what singular loving-kindness you have imparted to us the innermost thoughts of your breast, by the efficacy of which you secure the safety of others: and while you extract the old Serpent's infused poison from the hearts of others, standing as it were on the watch-tower of Love, with Apostolic care and watchfulness you cry aloud, lest the enemy come on us unawares and off our guard, lest careless security expose us to attack, O holy Lord, most blessed father and pope, most worthy of the Apostolic See. Moreover we; who specially belong to youhyperlink , are filled with a great and unspeakable delight, because this special statement of your teaching is so highly regarded wherever the Churches meet together, that the unanimous opinion is expressed that the primacy of the Apostolic See is rightfully there assigned, from whence the oracles of the Apostolic Spirit still receive their interpretations.
II. They Ask Him to Correct or Add to Their Copy of the Tome.
Therefore, if you deem it worth while, we entreat your holiness to run through and correct any mistake of the copyist in this work, so valuable both now and in the future, which we have had committed to parchmenthyperlink , in our desire to preserve it, or if you have devised anything further in your zeal, which will profit all who read, give orders in your loving care that it be added to this copy, so that not only many holy bishops our brethren throughout the provinces of Gaul, but also many of your sons among the laity, who greatly desire to see this letter for the revelation of the Truth, may be permitted, when it is sent back to us, corrected by your holy hand, to transcribe, read and keep it. If you think fit, we are anxious that our messengers should return soon, in order that we may the speedier have an account of your good health over which to rejoice: for your well-being is our joy and health.
May Christ the Lord long keep your eminence mindful of our humility, O holy Lord, most blessed father and pope most worthy of the Apostolic See.
I, Ceretius, your adopted (son?), salute your apostleship, commending me to your prayers.
I, Salonius, your adorer, salute your apostleship, entreating the aid of your prayers.
I, Veranus, the worshipper of your apostleship, salute your blessedness, and beseech you to pray for me.
1 Cf. Lett. XVII. N 2a.
2 Peculiares tui. So each one's autograph subscription at the end of the letter Ceretius calls himself susceptus vester , Salonius venerator vester, and Veranus cultor vestri apostolatus.
Letter LXIX. (to Theodosius Augustus.)
Leo, the bishop, to Theodosius ever Augustus.
I. He Suspends His Opinion on the Appointment of Anatolius Till He Has Made Open Confession of the Catholic Faith.
In all your piously expressed letters amid the anxieties, which we suffer for the Faith, you have afforded us hope of security by supporting the Council of Nicaea so loyally as not to allow the priests of the Lord to budge from it, as you have often written us already. But lest I should seem to have done anything prejudicial to the catholic defence, I thought nothing rash on either side ought meanwhile to be written back on the ordination of him who has begun to preside over the church of Constantinople, and this not through want of loving interest, but waiting for the catholic Truth to be made clear. And I beg your clemency to bear this with equanimity that when he has proved himself such as we desire towards the catholic Faith, we may the more fully and safely rejoice over his sincerity. But that no evil suspicion may assail him about our disposition towards him, I remove all occasion of difficulty, and demand nothing which may seem either hard or controvertible but make an invitation which no catholic would decline. For they are well known and renowned throughout the world, who before our time have shone in preaching the catholic Truth whether in the Greek or the Latin tongue, to whose learning and teaching some even of our own day have recourse, and from whose writings a uniform and manifold statement of doctrine is produced: which, as it has pulled down the heresy of Nestorius, so has it cut off this error too which is now sprouting out again. Let him then read again what is the belief on the Lord's Incarnation which the holy fathers guarded and has always been similarly preached,and when he has perceived that the letter of Cyril of holy memory, bishop of Alexandria, agrees with the view of those who preceded him [wherein he wished to correct and cure Nestorius, refuting his wrong statements and setting out more clearly the Faith as defined at Nicaea, and which was sent by him and placed in the library of the Apostolic Seehyperlink ], let him further reconsider the proceedings of the Ephesian Synodhyperlink wherein the testimonies of catholic priests on the Lord's Incarnation are inserted and maintained by Cyril of holy memory. Let him not scorn also to read my letterhyperlink over, which he will find to agree throughout with the pious belief of the fathers. And when he has realized that that is required and desired from him which shall serve the same good end, let him give his hearty assent to the judgment of the catholics, so that in the presence of all the clergy and the whole people he may without any reservation declare his sincere acknowledgment of the common Faith, to be communicated to the Apostolic See and all the Lord's priests and churches, and thus the world being at peace through the one Faith, we may all be able to say what the angels sang at the Saviour's birth of the Virgin Mary, "Glory in the highest to God and on earth peace to men of good willhyperlink ."
II. He Promises to Accept Anatolius on Making This Confession, and Asks for a Council in Italy to Finally Define the Faith.
But because both we and our blessed fathers, whose teaching we revere and follow, are in concord on the one Faith, as the bishops of all the provinces attest, let your clemency's most devout faith see to it that such a document as is due may reach us as soon as may be from the bishop of Constantinople, as from an approved and catholic priest, that is, openly and distinctly affirming that he will separate from his communion any one who believes or maintains any other view about the Incarnation of the Word of God than my statement and that of all catholics lays down, that we may fairly be able to bestow on him brotherly love in Christ. And that swifter and fuller effect, God aiding us, may be given through your clemency's faith to our wholesome desires, I have sent to your piety my brethren and fellow-bishops Abundius and Asterius, together with Basilius and Senator presbyters, whose devotion is well proved to me, through whom, when they have displayed the instructions which we have sent, you may be able properly to apprehend what is the standard of our faith, so that, if the bishop of Constantinople gives his hearty assent to the same confession, we may securely, as is due, rejoice over the peace of the Church and no ambiguity may seem to lurk behind which may trouble us with perhaps ungrounded suspicions. But if any dissent from the purity of our Faith and from the authority of the Fathers, the Synod which has met at Rome for that purpose joins with me in asking your clemency to permit a universal council within the limits of Italy; so that, if all those come together in one place who have fallen either through ignorance or through fear, measures may be taken to correct and cure them, and no one any longer may be allowed to quote the Synod of Niches in a way which shall prove him opposed to its Faith; since it will be of advantage both to the whole Church and to your rule, if one God, one Faith and one mystery of man's Salvation, be held by the one confession of the whole world.
Dated 17th July in the consulship of the illustrious Valentinianus for the seventh time) and Avienus (450).
1 Wherein- see, probably a gloss by way of identifying the letter: it is the second letter to Nestorius. See Letter LXVII above.
2 Viz., the third Ecumenical Council held at Ephesus 431, in which Nestorius was condemned .