Letter to the Alexandrians by Pope St. Julius

The following letter comes from Pope St. Julius. St. Athanasius indicates that Pope Julius wrote it to recommend his reception in the Church of Alexandria. The letter is preserved in St. Athanasius' Apology Against the Arians Part 1 Chapter 4. I've segmented the letter into smaller paragraphs and numbered the paragraphs to make this letter easier to cite.

Letter to the Alexandrians by Pope St. Julius

1. Julius to the Presbyters, Deacons, and people residing at Alexandria.

2. I congratulate you, beloved brethren, that you now behold the fruit of your faith before your eyes; for any one may see that such indeed is the case with respect to my brother and fellow bishop Athanasius, whom for the innocency of his life, and by reason of your prayers, God is restoring to you again.

3. Wherefore it is easy to perceive, that you have continually offered up to God pure prayers and full of love. Being mindful of the heavenly promises, and of the conversation that leads to them, which you have learned from the teaching of my brother aforesaid, you knew certainly and understood by the right faith that is in you, that he, whom you always had as present in your most pious minds, would not be separated from you for ever.

4. Wherefore there is no need that I should use many words in writing to you; for your faith has already anticipated whatever I could say to you, and has by the grace of God procured the accomplishment of the common prayers of you all.

5. Therefore, I repeat again, I congratulate you, because you have preserved your souls unconquered in the faith; and I also congratulate no less my brother Athanasius, in that, though he is enduring many afflictions, he has at no time been forgetful of your love and earnest desires towards him. For although for a season he seemed to be withdrawn from you in body, yet he has continued to live as always present with you in spirit.

6. Wherefore he returns to you now more illustrious than when he went away from you. Fire tries and purifies the precious materials, gold and silver: but how can one describe the worth of such a man, who, having passed victorious through the perils of so many tribulations, is now restored to you, being pronounced innocent not by our voice only, but by the voice of the whole Council?

7. Receive therefore, beloved brethren, with all godly honour and rejoicing, your Bishop Athanasius, together with those who have been partners with him in so many labours. And rejoice that you now obtain the fulfilment of your prayers, after that in your salutary letter you have given meat and drink to your Pastor, who, so to speak, longed and thirsted after your godliness. For while he sojourned in a foreign land, you were his consolation; and you refreshed him during his persecutions by your most faithful minds and spirits.

8. And it delights me now to conceive and figure to my mind the joy of every one of you at his return, and the pious greetings of the concourse, and the glorious festivity of those that run to meet him. What a day will that be to you, when my brother comes back again, and your former sufferings terminate, and his much-prized and desired return inspires you all with an exhilaration of perfect joy! The like joy it is ours to feel in a very great degree, since it has been granted us by God, to be able to make the acquaintance of so eminent a man.

9. It is fitting therefore that I should conclude my letter with a prayer.

10. May Almighty God, and His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, afford you continual grace, giving you a reward for the admirable faith which you displayed in your noble confession in behalf of your Bishop, that He may impart unto you and unto them that are with you, both here and hereafter, those better things, which 'the eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him,' [1 Corinthians 2:9] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom to Almighty God be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

11. I pray, dearly beloved brethren, for your health and strength in the Lord.

Source: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/28081.htm

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