Collection of Letters: Detail
- Innocent IV, pope
to the illustrious queen of France.
To the voices of the moaning church, with the queen of heaven interceding as we believe, the benevolence of the eternal king so inclined his hearing that with our most beloved son in Christ the illustrious king and beloved sons counts, noble men, arranging to lend magnificent help personally to the church, you, enflamed by the fire of the Holy Spirit offered from the royal heart that you yourself wished to take the road with the army that you might help the church magnificently. For this, dearest daughter, you have obliged not only us and our brothers, flooded with full delight, to perpetual favor to you and your sons, but having acquired the fame of stable and immense praise among men, you have rendered the creator of all so benign that we belive your soul will be repaid by him with glory on high in the future.
Since the said church is, however, frequently pierced by the darts of anguish from the horrendous malignity of its constant persecutor, may it be a cause of continuing happiness, what divine clemency is known to have fulfilled through the most pious intention of yourself and your sons. We ask your serenity with what affection we can, enjoining you in the remission of sins, that to continually enhance the plan infused into you and your sons by God, you may hold firm and stable to this for the honor of the divine name, that the church might thus rise again. This will redound to the glory of its founder, the son of God, and bring to its afflicted sons a state of salutary grace with shame to its persecutor while confused in mind he realizes that the court of the kingdom of France which is always filled with virtues, turns the force of its power to this, that through it the faith which he attempted to stamp out, is preserved in a state of honor and glory.
For the rest, since it is our desire for you to offer that help when it is determined to be opportune, we wish that neither the aforesaid king nor you or any of your sons take the road to offer help to that church, until the will of the apostolic see is declared to you and them over this by our messenger or by special letters.
Dated as above [Lyons]
... illustri regine Francie.
Vocibus gementis ecclesie, sicut confidimus celorum intercedente regina, sic regis eterni benignitas suum inclinavit auditum, ut, carissimo in Christo filio nostro illustri rege ac dilectis filiis nobilibus viris comitibus, natis tuis, disponentibus magnificum ecclesie personaliter prestare succursum, tu inflammata igne Sancti Spiritus de regio corde protuleris, quod te ipsam velles cum exercitu ad iter accingere, ut posses ecclesie magnifice subvenire. Ex hoc, enim, filia carissima, non solum nos et fratres nostros, plena iucunditate perfusos, tibi et filiis tuis ad favorem perpetuum obligasti, sed acquisito apud homines laudis stabilis et immense preconio, sic benignum reddidisti conditorem omnium, ut anime tue compensandam ab ipso credamus in posterum gloriam supernorum. Cum autem predicta ecclesia puncta frequenter angustiarum aculeis, quos producit assidue horrenda malignitas persequentis, sit in statu conservande letitie, qua divina clementia ipsam per tuam et filiorum tuorum intentionem piissimam noscitur replevisse, tuam serenitatem qua possumus affectione rogamus, in remissionem peccaminum iniungentes, quatinus infusum tibi et eisdem filiis a Deo propositum deducens iugiter in augmentum, ad hoc pro divini honore nominis firma et stabilis habearis, ut sic resurgere possit ecclesia, quod ipsius fundatori, Dei filio, redundet in gloriam, et afflictis eius filiis proveniat status gratie salutaris, verecundo manente persecutore ipsius ecclesie, dum mente confusus adverterit, quod aula regni Francie, que virtutibus semper emicuit, ad hoc robur converterit sue potentie, ut per eam fides, quam ille suffocare nititur, in statu decoris et glorie conservetur. Ceterum, cum sit nostri desiderii tunc nobis prestari subsidium, quando dinoscitur esse opportunum, volumus tamen, quod nec predictus rex vel tu aut aliquis filiorum tuorum pro succursu prestando ipsi ecclesie se accingant ad iter, quousque super hoc tibi et ipsis per nostrum nuntium vel speciales litteras votum sedis apostolice declaretur.
Dat. ut supra.
Innocent heaps lavish praise and gratitude on the queen for her desire to come to the aid of the church directly but asks her to wait until he sends his messenger. (Don’t call us, we’ll call you?) The ultimate enemy alluded to here is probably the devil, though it might be the emperor Frederick II, with whom Innocent waged a long struggle, leading to his removal of the papacy to Lyons.
MGH, Ex Innocentii IV Registro, Epistolae Selectae, 1247, #395