(In which he again says he is waiting for Anatolius' acceptance of Cyril's and his own statement of the Faith, and looks forward to a Synod in Italy.)
Letter LXXI. To the Archimandrites of Constantinople.
(Complaining of Anatolius' silence.)
Letter LXXII. To Faustus, One of the Archimandrites at Constantinople.
(Commending his faith and exhorting him to steadfastness.)
Letter LXXIII. From Valentinian and Marcian.
(Announcing their election as Emperorshyperlink (a.d. 450), and asking his prayers that (per celebrandam synodum, te auctore), peace may be restored to the Church.)
1 Valentinian III. Had been nominally Emperor of the West since 425, but his mother's (Galla Placidia) death this year compelled him to rule as well as have the name of ruler: almost simultaneously in the East the death of Theodisius II. Brought to the front his sister Pulcheria and her soldier husband Marcion.
Letter LXXIV. To Martinus, Another of the Archimandrites at Constantinople.
(Commending his steadfastness in the Faith.)
Letter LXXV. To Faustus and Martinus Together.
(Condemning the Latrocinium and maintaining that Eutyches equally with Nestorius promotes the cause of Antichrist.)
Letter LXXVI. From Marcianus Augustus to Leo.
(Proposing that he should either attend a Synod at Constantinople or help in arranging some other more convenient place of meeting.)
Letter LXXVII. From Pulcheria Augusta to Leo.
(In which she expresses her assurance that Anatolius is orthodox, and begs him to assist her husband in arranging for the Synod, and announces that Flavian's body has been buried in the Basilica of the Apostles at Constantinople and the exiled bishops restored.)
Letter LXXVIII. Leo's Answer to Marcianus.
(Briefly thanking him.)
Letter LXXIX. To Pulcheria Augusta.
Leo, bishop of the city of Rome to Pulcheria Augusta.
I. He Rejoices at Pulcheria's Zeal Both Against Nestorius and Eutyches.
That which we have always anticipated concerning your Grace's holy purposes, we have now proved fully true, viz. that, however varied may be the attacks of wicked men upon the Christian Faith, yet when you are present and prepared by the Lord for its defence, it cannot be disturbed. For God will not forsake either the mystery of His mercy or the deserts of your labours, whereby you long ago repelled the crafty foe of our holy religion from the very vitals of the Church: when the impiety of Nestorius failed to maintain his heresy because it did not escape you the handmaid and pupil of the Truth, how much poison was instilled into simple folk by the coloured falsehoods of that glib fellow. And the sequel to that mighty struggle was that through your vigilance the things which the devil contrived by means of Eutyches, did not escape detection, and they who had chosen to themselves one side in the twofold heresy, were overthrown by the one and undivided power of the catholic Faith. This then is your second victory over the destruction of Eutyches' error: and, if he had had any soundness of mind, that error having been once and long ago routed and put to confusion in the person of his instigators, he would easily have been able to avoid the attempt to rekindle into life the smouldering ashes, and thus only share the lot of those, whose example he had followed, most glorious Augusta. We desire, therefore, to leap for joy and to pay due vows for your clemency's prosperity to God, who has already bestowed on you a double palm and crown through all the parts of the world, in which the Lord's Gospel is proclaimed.
II. He Thanks Her for Her Aid to the Catholic Cause, and Explains His Wishes About the Restoration of the Lapsed Bishops.
Your clemency must know, therefore, that the whole church of Rome is highly grateful for all your faithful deeds, whether that you have with pious zeal helped our representatives throughout and brought back the catholic priests, who had been expelled from their churches by an unjust sentence, or that you have procured the restoration with due honour of the remains of that innocent and holy priest, Flavian, of holy memory, to the church, which he ruled so well. In all which things assuredly your glory is increased manifold, so long as you venerate the saints according to their deserts, and are anxious that the thorns and weeds should be removed from the Lord's field. But we learn as well from the account of our deputies as from that of my brother and fellow-bishop, Anatolius, whom you graciously recommend to me, that certain bishops crave reconciliation for those who seem to have given their consent to matters of heresy, and desire catholic communion for them: to whose request we grant effect on condition that the boon of peace should not be vouch-soled them till, our deputies acting in concert with the aforesaid bishop, they are corrected, and with their own hand condemn their evil doings; because our Christian religion requires boil that true justice should constrain the obstinate, and love not reject the penitent.
III. He Commends Certain Bishops and Churches to Her Care.
And because we know how much pious care your Grace deigns to bestow on catholic priests, we have ordered that you should be informed that my brother and fellow-bishop, Eusebius, is living with us, and sharing our communion, whose church we commend to you; for he that is improperly asserted to have been elected in his place, is said to be ravaging it. And this too we ask of you, Grace, which we doubt not you will do of your own free will, to extend the favour which is due as well to my brother and fellow-bishop, Julian, as to the clergy of Constantinople, who clung to the holy Flavian with faithful loyalty. On all things we have instructed your Grace by our deputies as to what ought to be done or arranged. Dated April 13, in the consulship of the illustrious Adelfius (451).
Letter LXXX. (to Anatolius, Bishop of Constantinople.)
Leo, the bishop, to Anatolius, the bishop.
I. He Rejoices at Anatolius Having Proved Himself Orthodox.
We rejoice in the Lord and glory in the gift of His Grace, Who has shown you a follower of Gospel-teaching as we have found from your letter, beloved, and our brothers' account whom we sent to Constantinople: for now through the approved faith of the priest, we are justifying in presuming that the whole church committed to him will have no wrinkle nor spot of error, as says the Apostle, "for I have espoused you to one husband to present you a pure virgin to Christhyperlink ." For that virgin is the Church, the spouse of one husband Christ, who suffers herself to be corrupted by no error, so that through the whole world we have one entire and pure communion in which we now welcome you as a fellow, beloved, and give our approval to the order of proceedings which we have received, ratified, as was proper, with the necessary signatures. In order, therefore, that your spirit in turn, beloved, might be strengthened by words of ours, we sent back after the Easter festival with our letters, our sons, Casterius, the Presbyter, and Patricius and Asclepias, the Deacons, who brought your writings to us, informing you, as we said above, that we rejoice at the peace of the church of Constantinople, on which we have ever spent such care that we wish it to be polluted by no heretical deceit.
II. The Penitents Among the Backsliding Bishops are to Be Received Back into Full Communion Upon Some Plan to Be Settled by Anatolius and Leo's Delegates.
But concerning the brethren whom we learn from your letters, and from our delegates' ac count, to be desirous of communion with us, on the ground of their sorrow that they did not remain constant against violence and intimidation, but gave their assent to another's crime when terror had so bewildered them, that with hasty acquiescence they ministered to the condemnation of the catholic and guiltless bishop (Flavian), and to the acceptance of the detestable heresy (of Eutyches), we approve of that which was determined upon in the presence and with the co operation of our delegates, viz., that they should be content meanwhile with the communion of their own churches, but we wish our delegates whom we have sent to consult with you, and come to some arrangement whereby those who condemn their ill-doings with full assurances of penitence, and choose rather to accuse than to defend themselves, may be gladdened by being at peace and in communion with us; on condition that what has been received against the catholic Faith is first condemned with complete anathema. For otherwise in the Church of God, which is Christ's Body, there are neither valid priesthoods nor true sacrifices, unless in the reality of our nature the true High Priest makes atonement for us, and the true Blood of the spotless Lamb makes us clean. For although He be set on the Father's right hand, yet in the same flesh which He took from the Virgin, he carries on the mystery of propitiation, as says the Apostle, "Christ Jesus Who died, yea, Who also rose, Who is on the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for ushyperlink ." For our kindness cannot be blamed in any case where we receive those who give assurance of penitence, and at whose deception we were grieved. The boon of communion with us, therefore, must neither harshly be withheld nor rashly granted, because as it is fully consistent with our religion to treat the oppressed with a Christlike charity, so it is fair to lay the full blame upon the authors of the disturbance.
III. The Names of Dioscorus, Juvenal, and Eustathius are Not to Be Read Aloud at the Holy Altar.
Concerning the reading out of the names of Dioscorus, Juvenal, and Eustathiushyperlink at the holy altar, it beseems you, beloved, to observe that which our friends who were there present said ought to be done, and which is consistent with the honourable memory of S. Flavian, and will not turn the minds of the laity away from you. For it is very wrong and unbecoming that those who have harassed innocent catholics with their attacks, should be mingled indiscriminately with the names of the saints, seeing that by not forsaking their condemned heresy, they condemn themselves by their perversity: such men should either be chastised for their unfaithfulness; or strive hard after forgiveness.
IV. One or Two Instructions About Individuals.
But our brother and fellow-bishop, Julian, and the clergy who adhered to Flavian of holy memory, rendering him faithful service, we wish to adhere to you also beloved, that they may know him who we are sure lives by the merits of his faith with our God to be present with them in you. We wish you to know this too, beloved, that our brother and fellow-bishop Eusebiushyperlink , who for the Faith's sake endured many dangers and toils, is at present staying with us and continuing in our communion; whose church we would that your care should protect, that nothing may be destroyed in his absence, and no one may venture to injure him in anything until he come to you bearing a letter from us. And that our or rather all Christian people's affection for you may be stirred up in greater measure, we wish this that we have written to you, beloved, to come to all men's knowledge, that they who serve our God may give thanks for the consummation of the peace of the Apostolic See with you. But on other matters and persons you will be more fully instructed, beloved, by the letter you will have received through our delegates. Dated 13 April, in the consulship of the illustrious Adelfius (451).
2 Rom. viii. 34.
3 Juvenal (Bishop of Jerusalem). and Eustathius (Bishop Or Berytus), had been two of the principal abettors of Dioscorus in the Latrocinium. The "reading out of their names at the altar" alludes to the practice in the early Church of keeping registers (called "diptychs' ) of the members (alive and dead) of the Church from which one or two of the more prominent names (clerical and lay) were read out at the celebration of the Holy mysteries: cf. The modern "Bidding prayer, &
4 This is the Bishop of Doryloeum in Phrygia, Eutyches former friend, but more recently his relentless accuser of heresy.
Letter LXXXI. To Bishop Julian.
(Warning him to be circumspect in receiving the lapsed.)
Letter LXXXII. To Marclan Augustus.
I. After Congratulating the Emperor on His Noble Conduct, He Deprecates Random Inquiries into the Tenets of the Faith.
Although I have repliedhyperlink already to your Grace by the hand of the Constantinopolitan clergy, yet on receiving your clemency's mercy through the illustrious prefect of the city, my son Tatian, I found still greater cause for congratulation, because I have learnt your strong eagerness for the Church's peace. And this holy desire as in fairness it deserves, secures for your empire the same happy condition as you seek for religion. For when the Spirit of God establishes harmony among Christian princes, a twofold confidence is produced throughout the world, because the progress of love and faith makes the power of their arms in both directions unconquerable, so that God being propitiated by one confession, the falseness of heretics and the enmity of barbarians are simultaneously overthrown, most glorious Emperor. The hope, therefore, of heavenly aid being increased through the Emperor's friendship, I venture with the greater confidence to appeal to your Grace on behalf of the mystery of man's salvation, not to allow any one in vain and presumptuous craftiness to inquire what must be held, as if it were uncertain. And although we may not in a single word dissent from the teaching of the Gospels and Apostles, nor entertain any opinion on the Divine Scriptures different to what the blessed Apostles and our Fathers learnt and taught, now in these latter days unlearned and blasphemous inquiries are set on foot, which of old the Holy Spirit crushed by the disciples of the Truth, so soon as the devil aroused them in hearts which were suited to his purpose.
II. The Points to Be Settled are Only Which of the Lapsed Shall Be Restored, and on What Terms.
But it is most inopportune that through the foolishness of a few we should be brought once more into hazardous opinions, and to the warfare of carnal disputes, as if the wrangle was to be revived, and we had to settle whether Eutyches held blasphemous views, and whether Dioscorus gave wrong judgment, who in condemning Flavian of holy memory struck his own death-blow, and involved the simpler folk in the same destruction. And now that many, as we have ascertained, have betoken themselves to the means of amendment, and entreat forgiveness for their weak hastiness, we have to determine not the character of the Faith, but whose prayers we shall receive, and on what terms. And hence that most religious anxiety which you deign to feel for the proclamation of a Synod, shall have fully and timely put before it all that I judge pertinent to the needs of the case, by means of the deputies who will with all speed, if God permit, reach your Grace. Dated the 23rd of April in the consulship of the illustrious Adelfius (451).
1 i.e. Lett. LXXVIII. of the series.
Letter LXXXIII. To the Same Marcian.
(Congratulating him on his benefits to the Church, and deprecating a Synod as inopportune.)