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The Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity

from its origins to circa AD 700, across the entire Christian world

Gregory the Great in a papal letter (Register 13.10) of 602, to its abbess Talasia, grants privileges to a monastery dedicated to *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033) in Autun (central Gaul). Written in Latin in Rome.

Evidence ID


Type of Evidence

Literary - Letters

Major author/Major anonymous work

Gregory the Great (pope)

Pope Gregory the Great, Register of Letters 13.10

Extract from a long letter granting the monastery protection and privileges:

Proinde iuxta scripta filiorum nostrorum praecellentissimorum regum Brunigildis ac nepotis ipsius Theoderici monasterio sanctae Mariae, ubi ancillarum dei est congregatio constituta, in urbe Augustodonensi a reuerendae memoriae Syagrio episcopo condito, cui praeesse dinosceris, huiusmodi priuilegia praesentis auctoritatis nostrae decreto indulgemus.

‘And so, in accordance with the letters of our children, those most excellent of rulers, Brunhild and her grandson, Theuderic, by the decree of our authority in this letter we grant privileges of this sort to the monastery of Saint Mary, where a community of nuns has been established, founded in the city of Autun by Bishop Syagrius, of reverend memory, and by our aforesaid most excellent daughter and queen [Brunhild], over which you are known to preside.’

Text: Norberg 1982, vol. 2, 1007. Translation: Martyn 2004, vol. 3, 717, lightly adapted.

Cult Places

Cult building - monastic

Non Liturgical Activity

Construction of cult buildings

Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Ecclesiastics - bishops


A letter transmitted as part of Gregory the Great’s Register of Letters. This letter collection, organised into fourteen books, is large and contains letters to a variety of recipients, including prominent aristocrats, members of the clergy and royalty. The issues touched on in the letters are equally varied, ranging from theological considerations to mundane administrative matters. This collection of letters, which was possibly curated by Gregory, was originally much larger. The surviving Register comprises several groups of letters which were extracted at several later moments in history, the largest of which took place in the papacy of Hadrian I (772-795).


Norberg, D., S. Gregorii Magni, Registrum epistularum. 2 vols. (Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 140-140A; Turnhout: Brepols, 1982).

English translation:

Martyn, J.R.C.,
The Letters of Gregory the Great, 3 vols. (Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2004).

Further Reading:

Neil, B., and Dal Santo, M. (eds.),
A Companion to Gregory the Great (Leiden: Brill, 2013).

Record Created By

Frances Trzeciak

Date Last Modified


Related Saint Records
IDNameName in SourceIdentity
S00033Mary, Mother of ChristMariaCertain

Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL:
Frances Trzeciak, Cult of Saints, E06429 -