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Epistle XXXV.

To Barbara and Antonina140140    Cf. I. 34, note 8..

Gregory to Barbara, &c.

Having received your Glory’s letters, which spoke with tears for words, we, most beloved daughters, are affected by no less sorrow than yourselves for your father’s sickness.  For we cannot account that sadness as extraneous which is made our own by the law of charity.  But, since in no state of despair ought there to be distrust in the mercy of our Redeemer, raise your spirits for the comforting of your father, place your hope in the hand of Almighty God, and by His protection we trust that He will guard you from all adversity, and cheer your tribulation, and grant you to be favourably disposed of according to your father’s desires.  But should He pay the debt of our human lot, even then let not any despair crush you, nor the words of any persons cause you alarm.  For after God, Who is the governor and protector of orphans, we will be so solicitous in behalf of your most sweet Glory, and will so make haste, with the Lord’s help, to provide as we can for your advantage, that no rough handling of unjust men may perturb you141141    The reason why trouble to the orphans of Venantius was apprehended appears further in the letter that follows to the bishop of Syracuse., and that we may repay in all ways the debt we have contracted from the goodness of your parents.  And so may heavenly grace nurture you with its favour and defend you by its protection from all evils, that your safety may become our joy.

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