Collection of Letters: Detail
- Gregory IX, pope
Bishop Gregory, servant of the servants of God, to his dearest daughter in Christ [Blanche], illustrious queen of France, greetings and apostolic blessing.
We procure/provoke for you an increase of divine grace when we suggest to your highness things to be done by which you might please the highest king.
Since, therefore, the Roman empire is in great distress, as we have heard with sorrow, it is necessary for you and other princes of the earth to offer grace with salutary support. We ask and exhort your serenity in the lord Jesus Christ, enjoining you for the remission of your sins, that you strive to share effective counsel and help to the relief of that empire, according to the power committed to you from the creator of all. You may have firm confidence in divine piety that you will win for that increased prosperity in the present and at last a perpetual crown of glory.
Dated at Anagni, 13th calends of August, in the 12th year of our pontificate.
Gregorius episcopus, servus sevorum Dei, carissime in Xpisto* filie [Blanche] illustri regine Francie, salutem et apostolicam benedictionem.
Procuramus tibi augmentum divine gratie quando celsitudini tue facienda suggerimus per que superno regi valeas complacere. Cum igitur Romanie imperium, in multo discrimine, sicut dolentes accepimus, constitutum, necesse habeat tuo et aliorum principum terre subsidiis consequi status gratiam salutaris [sic], serenitatem tuam rogamus et hortamur in Domino Jesu Xpisto*, in remissionem tibi peccaminum injungentes, quatinus ad relevationem ejusdem imperii, secundum commissam tibi ab omnium Conditore potentiam, efficax consilium et auxilium studeas impertiri, firmam habitura de pietate divina fidutiam quod impresentiarum ab ipsa et augmentum in prosperis et tandem perhennis coronam glorie consequeris.
Datum Anagnie, XIII kalendas augusti, pontificatus nostri anno duodecimo.
* Christo, using Greek letters chi and rho.
Since the pope ordinarily opposed the Roman emperor in the west, Frederick II, the reference in this letter must be to the empire in the east. Baldwin II was in such dire financial straits that he sold off precious relics, like the crown of thorns which Louis IX bought through a Venetian merchant. The following year, Baldwin sold him a piece of the cross. Baldwin’s wife, Marie, was a grandniece of Blanche.
Teulet, Layettes du Trésor des Chartes (Paris, 1863), 2.384, #2729