Dei Patris Immensa

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Dei Patris Immensa
by Pope Innocent IV, translated by Wikisource
Dei Patris Immensa (sometimes Dei Patris Inmensa) was a letter written by Pope Innocent IV to the Mongols on March 5, 1245. It was an exposition of the Christian faith, and urged Mongols to accept baptism. Other documents in the same vein were Cum non solum (1245) and Viam agnoscere veritatis (1248) — Excerpted from Dei Patris Immensa on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

"...to the king and people of the Tartars [that they may] acknowledge the way of truth.

The immense benevolence of God the father, considering with ineffable piety the fall of mankind, which came to ruin by the sin of the first man, and wishing with great love to mercifully revive him whom diabolic envy has made prostrate by deceitful suggestion, has sent his only-begotten son, sharing the same nature with him, from the highest throne of heaven to the lowest dirt of the world, he who, conceived in the womb of the pre-elected virgin by the grace of the Holy Spirit and endowed there with the clothing of human flesh, thenceforth appeared to all, having exited from the enclosed gate of his mother's virginity.

For human nature, although it was reasonable, ought to have been fed with the eternal truth as its best meal; but having been detained in mortal chains by the penalty of sin, it was reduced from decreasing to this(?), so that through interpretations of visible things it tried to understand the invisible matters of the reasonable meal.

The creator of that creature became visible in our fashion not without a change of nature, so that, made visible, he might recall those following visible things to himself while invisible, informing men with his teachings of salvation, and, showing them the way of perfect life with his teaching as proof, after his examples of sacred conversation and his speeches of evangelical instruction, he deigned to suffer death under the torture of the harsh cross, so that, with a penalty being the end of the present life, he might put an end to the penalty of perpetual death, which the descendants of the first man had incurred by their sin, and so that man might drink the sweetness of eternal life from the bitter chalice of his temporal life.

For it was necessary to have a mediator crossing between us and God and between mortality and permanent blessedness, so that through that which crosses over, he might join together with those about to die, and might transfer us from the dead to that which is permanent.

Therefore putting himself forward as a sacrifice for the redemption of mankind, with the enemy of man's salvation made prostrate, he rescued it from the shame of servitude to the glory of freedom, by opening the gate of the heavenly nation for it; and finally rising again from the dead and ascending into heaven, he left behind a vicar for mankind on earth, to whom the constancy of his love, proven by the evidence of his three-fold profession, committed the care of souls, so that he might vigilantly be attentive and attentively be vigilant to their salvation, for which he had humbled his loftiness, handing over to him the keys of the kingdom of heaven, through which he and his successors through him might obtain the power of opening and closing the gate of the same kingdom for everyone.

Whence we the aforementioned vicars, with God appointing, although we have been made successors undeservedly, concerning everything which is incumbent from the duty assigned to us, direct the glance of our intention to your salvation and the salvation of others, we fix the disposition of our mind especially to this, carefully vigilant concerning it with diligent zeal and zealous diligence, so that we would be well to educate those erring on the path of truth, and to make everyone a profit for God, with his grace cooperating with us.

But because, with the nature of the human condition resisting, we cannot be present face to face in many places at the same time, lest we seem to neglect anything while absent, we send to them honest and discreet men in our place, carrying out by their ministry the debt of apostolic servitude for them; because of which we have led to you our beloved son brother Lawrence of Portugal, and his associates, bearers of the present letters, of the Order of the Friars Minor, men conspicuous in religion, decorous in honesty and gifted with knowledge of sacred scripture, determined that recognizing Jesus Christ himself as the son of God in their teachings of salvation, you may worship his glorious name in observation of the Christian faith.

And therefore we warn, ask and urge all of you attentively, that kindly receiving those same brothers for our reverence and for divine reverence, or rather receiving us in them, and treating them honestly, you should wish to apply undoubted faith to them concerning these things, which they will tell you on our behalf, and having a fruitful treaty with them about the aforementioned things, you should provide secure conduct for the same men and other things necessary for coming and going, so that, when they wish, they may be able to return safely to our presence.

We led the aforementioned brothers, whom we chose before among others as long-proven under the observance of their rule and fully instructed in the sacred scriptures, to be sent to you because we believed they would be very useful to you, as followers of the humility of our saviour, and if we had thought that there were more fruitful and kinder men for you, we would have sent either some prelates of the church or other powerful men.

Written at Lyon, March 5, in the second year of our reign.

This is a translation and has a separate copyright status from the original text. The license for the translation applies to this edition only.
Original:
This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.
 
Translation:
This work is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.