May 9, 2020

The Passion of Saint Christopher (BHL 1764 - the Earliest Latin Account)

The passion of the most blessed martyr Saint Christopher and his companions who suffered in the city of Antioch under Decius Caesar on 10 July.

1. At that time there was much madness, and a great multitude of idol worshippers. When therefore this madness was growing stronger in its opposition to the Christian faith, there was sent forth an edict from the emperors of that time that all who worshipped God should taste the unclean food of idolatry, and that those who objected should be delivered up and subjected to different penalties. When they received this edict from the sacrilegious emperor, the governors devastated the church of God. In order that all of us Christians might learn that Our Lord not only helps Christians, but also rewards those from nations who are only recently converted to the Lord, and judges them acceptable in their knowledge of Him, [I tell the following tale]. There was a certain man who, since he was a foreigner from the land of man-eaters, had a terrible appearance, a dog's head as it were. He was captured in war by the counts at that time, and was led to the king. He posted him in the numerus Marmaritarum which stood at the king's hand. But when the most wicked edict was published by the governor this most blessed man was not able to speak our language.

2. However, he was greatly disturbed at heart. He went out of the palace gates, threw himself upon his face, and prayed to the Lord to give him through Christ's virtue the ability to speak [our language]. Moreover God, who loves the human race, did not delay, but immediately appeared at his side in the guise of a shining figure, and said, "Rise." He took his hand and straightened him up. Opening His mouth He breathed into him and gave him the spirit of understanding, and he began to say whatever he wanted. And the Lord said to him, "Take comfort, and act courageously; for many will believe in me through you. Fight it out well, so; for I am with you lest you fear how you are to talk to the king." So when he had received this grace from God, he went in resolute at heart, and saw the many who were being tortured, and began to speak, "You servants of a wicked and fickle cult, you are surrendering your souls to Satan, and you are willing to destroy along with yourselves those who fear God." And he added, "I am a Christian, and I will not sacrifice to your cursed demons." And as he spoke he held his cloak before his face. But one of the insolent servants, hearing him blaspheme against the gods, began to hit him in the face. When he had given him three slaps, the other threw down his garments and said to him who had hit him, "I am possessed by Christ, I have been overcome by the Saviour, and I am not able to do anything to you. However, if you exasperate my heart, you will not remain in my presence, nor will your corrupt king."

3. Then, seeing his face which was unchanged and terrible, he retreated, and fled to the king, saying, "There is a certain man of terrible appearance, one who towers over most men, who appeared in sight of all the people when the edict was being published by the governor. In fact, who could explain the appearance of this apparition, except perhaps that the God of the Christians heard their prayers and sent him to help them ? Unless you hurry and kill him he will turn all from the sacrifices of the gods." The king said to him, "You have a demon, and he appeared to you this way. What did you see ? Speak." He replied, "I tell my lord what I saw. His head was terrifying, like that of a dog. His hair was very long, and gleamed like gold. His eyes were like the morning star, and his teeth like the tusks of a boar. Words are not sufficient to tell of his greatness. Moreover, he said the most disgraceful things against you and the gods. So when I heard such talk, I began to beat him. But he said to me, "I am possessed by Christ, but if I were not, I would kill you and your king. And I therefore report these things to you my lord king, that you might know that what I say about this man is true." The king Decius said, "Is he one of our men ? Why does he say such things ?" The other replied, "I do not know, my lord." Then Decius gave orders to his soldiers, saying, "Go and get him. If he does not agree to come with you, rip him to pieces, only bring his head to me that I might see what he was like, if it was him or another."

4. While they were discussing these things, Reprobus entered the house of the Lord, set his stick before the altar opposite the window, and falling on his face, prayed saying, "Lord my God, make that stick grow leaves again if you have truly called me to contemplate your words." And immediately the stick grew leaves, and his faith comforted Reprobus. Then, readying his mind, he prayed saying, "I thank you, Lord my God, that you have thought me, a humble sinner, worthy to share in your grace."

5. While he was praying a certain woman, as was her habit, entered to gather roses, and seeing him sitting and weeping she reversed back out. She went away and told her neighbours, saying, "There is a man of God here. But already tortures are being prepared against him, I know." While she was saying this soldiers arrived seeking Reprobus. Moreover, when they heard the woman's words they asked, "Where is the man ? Show us." And she showed them where he was sitting. The soldiers entered, and said to him, "Who are you and why are you crying ?" He replied, "I more than any other ought to weep bitterly because when I was ignorant of God I was never accused, but now that I know God I suffer a tyrant." The soldiers said to him, "We have been sent to you to lead you bound to our king." Thus Christ's athlete replied, "You do not have the power to bind and take me, if I do not go of my own accord. For my Christ is pre- sent, and could free me from my chains and rescue me from your father Satan." When they heard these things they were too disturbed to speak any further to him. God glorified his servant indeed.

6. The soldiers said to him, "If you do not want to come with us, rest, and we will go away and tell the king, "We did not find him", and you leave and go wherever you want." But blessed Reprobus replied, "Not that way; but I shall actually go, and reveal to you the power of God. Only wait for me a little while." They said to him, "We are paid according to the length of time we spend looking for you. If you do not want to come with us now, stay." And he said to them, "Hear my words, and you will eat well." The soldiers focused their attention and replied, "What is it that you want ? Tell us." And he replied, "Put aside those cares which have enthralled you, and I will pray to my Lord for you, and you will see the power of my God." He spoke a second time to them, "The God in whom I believe lives, and I will give you the bread of his abundance." They replied, "We believe you, because you are the servant of a great God." Then the holy one prayed, saying, "Lord Jesus Christ who blessed the five loaves and fed the great multitude, my God, hear me your servant, take pity on me, that all these standing here might be made your servants by this prayer and glorify the true God."

7. The Lord heard the prayer of his servant, and sending an angel blessed the loaves, and they were multiplied so that all were satisfied, and filled their sacks. They glorified God and said, "The God of the Christians is truly great, and has listened to those who hope in him. We believe in Him through you who worked these wonders, because He is able to save us." Blessed Reprobus began to recite the psalms, saying, "Bless the Lord now, all you servants of the Lord." Moreover, the soldiers joined in response. When the psalm had been completed, they knelt down and gave worship. When they rose they summoned the priest of the holy place, Peter by name. He came and baptized the soldiers, just as he also baptized blessed Reprobus, and named him Christopher, that is Bearer-of-Christ.

8. When they were baptized they rejoiced in the Lord, and Christopher began to encourage them saying, "My most beloved brothers, he whom you have confessed, or to whose service you have been called, is God, and has called you to His kingdom. What do you want us to do ?" As one they said to him, "God has enlightened us through you. So now you are one of us, and let what you want be done." He said to them, "Let us go to the king, therefore, that we might receive a better crown." They all went with enthusiasm since God was with them. Blessed Christopher addressed them a second time, "Brothers, see that you do without hesitation all that is commanded of you when you have brought me to the king. For my part I will pray for you, and just as you will see me suffer, you will do likewise." As he was saying this they were hurrying to the city. And blessed Christopher said to them, "Brothers, tie me up, in case anyone who sees me unbound should perhaps make accusations against you, and you should be found to be at fault on my account." Thus they produced a chain which had been prepared. He put his hands behind his back, and they bound him, like a ram chosen from a great herd, readied for sacrifice to God.

9. When he saw Christopher's face the king fell off his seat. The most brave athlete of Christ said to him, "O most unfortunate and corrupt king ! If you are so afraid of me a servant of God, how are you going to account to God ? For God has it in his power to punish you, and he will demand from your hands the lives which you have destroyed." The king, Decius, said, "What is your religion, or your nationality, or what are you called ? The most blessed one replied, "If you want to know my religion, I am a Christian. My face reveals my nationality. My name, that which I was called by my parents, is Reprobus; but after I was enlightened I was called Christopher. Decius the king said, "That name which you have given yourself after the one called Christ is use- less, because it will be of no advantage to you. Now sacrifice to the gods, and by the gods, that you might receive honours and rewards from me." But the most blessed one replied to the king, "I neither desire your wealth nor admire your life; but know that I I put my faith in my king the Saviour Jesus Christ. Do what you want, then: for I will not ofer sacrifice to the demons who are deaf, just as you yourself are also deaf."

10. Decius said, "You do not know where you are standing, to say such things. You are storing up for yourself bitter torments." Christopher replied, "Do you not know, O king, that while you torture me you anger God and do honour to the demons ?" Then, enraged, the king ordered that he be hung up and torn with hooks. Many hours went by, and the holy martyr said nothing in reply, but only prayed and spoke to God. Again the king ordered that he be viciously tortured. And when Christopher's ribs had been laid bare, the king's servants said to him, "Take pity on yourself, and us, and sacrifice. What harm is it to you to say "I sacrifice", and live ?" The most blessed one replied, "If you saw your eternal punishment, you would not torture the servants of God."

11. Then the governor said, "There are two women, prostitutes, in this city. Order these to be brought here, clothed with the costliest garments, with various perfumes, and let us shut him in a small apartment with them, so that they can seduce him, and convert him to our lusts." This talk pleased the king. And when this had been done, the women, wanting to achieve victory, just as they had been taught to arouse pleasure, talked softly, clapped their hands, and surrounded him. Blessed Christopher had been engaged in prayer. And when his prayer was finished he rose from the place where he was praying, and said to the women, "What do you want ?" They answered thus, "Your face ter- rifies us," and they did not dare to speak to him.

12. Again he said to them, "Why have you come here ?" But they said to them- selves, "We have sinned greatly, because hard times befell us. If he keeps on threatening us, we will perish. What will we do now ? The gods do not help us."

13. Moreover they said to saint Christopher, "We believe in the God whom you have confessed, if only he forgets our sins." He said to them, "What are your sins ? Are you conscious of guilt for murder or other wicked deeds ? Speak, that I may pray for you to the Lord." They replied, "Not at all, lord. Those are not our sins, but we are conscious that we were prostitutes and behaved accordingly. Until now we have been harlots and pagans. All the more so now do we rescue from death those whom we can, and redeem those sold as slaves." When they were saying this the jailer entered and said to them, "Get up. Here is your call. The king summons you. But, I beg you, holy man of God, not to forget me in your virtuous martyrdom." Saint Christopher was then brought to the king. Consequently the king ordered that the two women be brought to him, and he said to them, "What is it ? Have you persuaded this man to offer sacrifice to the gods ?" They replied, "We agree no more with the great king, and there is no salvation in any god except him who is, just as the servant of God declares, the one and only God who made heaven and earth. But your gods cause ruination, and have never been able to achieve anything for anyone except to lead them to damnation." Decius the king said, "Have you also been seduced by his magic, and put your trust in him ?"

14. One of them, Gallenice by name, replied, "We have not been seduced by his magic, but we willingly put our faith in God, and are willing to die for him." Decius said, "Summon the joiner to me." His aide replied, "He is present, Lord." Decius said, "Make for me a cubit-length wooden square, and cut it down the middle. Finish it, and bring it to me, that I may put a painful end to her life." When the joiner had finished it, it was readied in the sight of the king. He ordered that her breasts be put through it, that she be suspended by her hair, and that two mill-stones be hung from her feet. Her ribs were torn apart by the weight, and the flesh and skin of her neck split, so that she no longer seemed human. As he watched blessed Christopher prayed, saying, "My God, remember your servant, because she is your slave." And he said to her, "Your journey has been completed, your prayer accepted. Go to the Lord, and remember me." As he said these things to her, blessed Gallenice came to her happy end.

15. When she had died, the king ordered the servant of God Aquilina to be brought to him. And he said to her, "Aquilina, take pity on yourself and sacrifice to the gods, and by the gods, I will not spare the gold, but I will erect statues of you throughout all the cities, and I will honour you magnificently in order for you to recognise that it is a good thing to worship the gods." Aquilina replied, "And to what gods are you ordering me to offer sacrifice?" Decius answered, "Sacrifice to Hercules, Jupiter, and Apollo." Aquilina said, "I ought to trust your commands and offer sacrifice to the gods." Decius replied, "You are acting like a sensible woman." He ordered that great linen mats be rolled out for her to walk upon, from the palace all the way to the temple, and that different perfumes be sprinkled before her, and that heralds proclaim in front of her and say, "Aquilina, most beloved of the gods, sacrifices to the gods. Assemble everyone." She entered the temple of the idols and said to the people standing there, "Watch me and the sacrifice which I make." She climbed to the place where the statues stood and said to the statue of Jupiter, "Are you a god?" It made no reply to her. She said again, "Speak to me if you are truly a god. I have come as your servant. What do you want me to do?" There was not a word or reply. The servant of God said, "Woe to me a sinner ! They are angry because I have offended them."

16. But the priests said, "Repent, and the great god Jupiter will take pity on you." Laughing she replied, "I will ask them not to take pity on my sin." And saying this she took her belt, and tied her handkerchief about the statue of Jupiter, and pulling it towards her, she threw the statue down. It was immediately smashed to pieces as fine as sand. Then she ran to Apollo and said, "These gods are not awake, but sleep, so they do not hear their personal servants." In a similar manner she tied her belt to this statue, and threw it down. It was broken into three pieces. The result was that all who were watching cried out, "The audacity of the woman who does not fear such statues!" And she said to Hercules, "Get going, if you are a god, so that I do not destroy you." And she jumped up, grabbed the idol with her hands, and threw it down. She said to the people standing by, "Call the doctors, and let them cure your gods." Again she spoke, "Alas for the human race which is in terror of the demons." Moreover, the blessed soldiers rejoiced greatly. But the devil, seeing himself mocked, was angry at his priests, and said, "Why have you done this to me ? Why have you brought this mischief-maker to me ? Get up, grab her, and take her to the king for him to destroy her."

17. Then, rising, the priests caught her, and brought her to the king, saying, "Why did you send this madwoman to us? She has smashed the great gods, and if we had not caught her she would not have let one escape." Then the king said to her, "Wicked woman, did you not agree with me to offer sacrifice to the gods?" And she replied to him, "O king, I offered the sacrifice that I ought. Moreover, permit me, if you wish, to sacrifice to the rest."

18. Then the king was very much angered, and he ordered an awl to be brought, and for her heel to be pierced for it to penetrate as far as her shoulder. He commanded that she be hung up in this manner, and that two mill-stones be attached to her feet, and one to her neck. Seeing these things the servant of God said to saint Christopher, "I beg you, servant of God, pray for me while I struggle." Then the most blessed Christopher cried, "O Lord my God, do not permit your maid to be tortured for a long time, but receive her spirit because she is your servant." As he prayed God's maidservant died. And when this most blessed woman was deceased the tyrant ordered that the bodies of the two most blessed women and martyrs be kept for burning. They died on the 24 June.

19. Then the king ordered that most blessed Christopher be brought forward, and he said to him, "You most wickedly named and ugly man, you who are separateed from the gods, you ought rather only to have died, and not to have destroyed the ornaments of this city by your magic skills." Christopher replied, "I was not the author of that work, but Christ, who has chosen his own gold and deigned me worthy to serve him in his palace. You, king, act and be comforted, that you may know how you meet the multitude who believe in God. For many ought to believe through me."

20. And looking towards the soldiers he said, "Come, let us join together to earn the greatest crowns." Moreover, they, just as they were returning from a trip abroad, immediately threw down their arms and their clothing in front of the king, and fell down at the feet of Saint Christopher. They praised him, saying, "Hail, servant of God on high. Your calling has been made a lamp for us." And they said to the king, "We are Christians, and we sacrifice no more now to demons." Decius said, "Alas for me, you have been turned into my oppressors." Blessed Christopher said, "Do not be afraid. No successor to you has risen from Hell. For we are Christians.

21. Then the king ordered the servant of God to withdraw, and he began to talk to them in private, "My sons, how have I wronged you that you desert me ? Perhaps your horses have been lacking, or your clothing or ration is not sufficient ? Come so, I apologise, and will make satisfaction for whatever wrong I have done. I ask you merely not to desert me, and I will give you many rewards. But as one they replied to the king, "Sit on our horses yourself, and eat our rations, and wear our uniforms in the great underworld which is going to receive you, and enjoy there your whole inventory. But since meeting the most perfect servant of God we receive true nourishment, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and despise the fire and torments [of hell]." Then, angered, the tyrant said, "In case any others should perhaps join them, let them be quickly killed." He therefore ordered that their heads be cut-off. His servants immediately beheaded them.

22. After these things Decius ordered saint Christopher to be brought forward and said to him, "Wretched man, how has such madness profited you? Offer sacrifice, and spare yourself the torments which await you." Most blessed Christopher replied to the king, "Demon of many forms, son of Satan, it is enough to confound you. You will not prevail over me, even if you were to inflict several times as much upon me." Annoyed the king ordered a bronze bench to be made to the height of a man and set in the middle of the city. He ordered that the saint be fastened by nails to the top of the bench. And when this had been done he ordered that plenty of wood be brought, and that a great deal of olive nuts, 18 measures of olive-oil, and a lot of pitch be poured over the wood, and thus they fueled the fire with these three ingredients.

23. When the pitch and the olive-oil had heated up a fiery flood ran down through the edge of the fire, so that a crowd of the pagans perished. More- over, by the will of God a wind blew up and thrust the flames against the houses which were nearest and set them alight. Thirty houses fell. When the fire had died out there came to see the death of the most blessed martyr a crowd of pagans and Christians, that they might acquire the blessing of his relics. And when they were all weeping most blessed Christopher rose and stood on the bench, saying, "Brothers, listen to me all of you. I saw myself in this hour standing in the middle of a city, and I saw a beautiful man. His face shone like the sun, his garments were radiant like the light. Moreover, I am incapable of describing his crown. There were also a few soldiers with him. And I saw another, dark and most terrible to behold. The hair of his head was like an intricate chain. They joined battle, and the ignoble one grew stronger against the noble one, and he gloried in his confidence. However, a short space of the hour went by, the one doing the glorying changed, and he overcame the other. He destroyed his army, and banished his will."

24. When the people heard these things they cried out, saying, "There is one God, he in whom saint Christopher believes. He has certainly not laboured in vain. He knows the one to whom he fled. And we believe, hoping that we can save ourselves through you, Lord God." And ten thousand people believed at the same time, and cried out, saying, "Almighty God, we believe in you. Take pity on us, Our Saviour, and make us your worthy servants, Christ, and do not give us wealth for your booty; but give to your servants, Lord, the bath of immortality and the garment of incorruption, because yours is the glory forever and ever, amen." And when they had prayed, behold three priests came and baptized them, and sang psalms, saying, "Come to the Lord and be enlightened, and let not your faces blush." And when they were all praising God, Satan was struck with sorrow; transformed into a man he went off to the king and said to him, "The gods have thought of you as less suitable because you have not succeeded in harming one of the impious, but you have rather been defeated instead. You will perhaps be killed even, if you do not flee. Ten thousand have unanimously put their faith in Christ, and they seek to kill you. I heard them speaking thus, and I rushed to tell you." When the king heard these things he fled.

25. When morning came he ordered that the sacrifices be celebrated. The heralds cried out, saying, "Gather everyone to pay sacrifice to the gods," and they ran up hurriedly. But most blessed Christopher, catching a crowd of Christians, went to the place where the fires had been, and began to recite the psalms, saying, "Paradise is clear. Let us wait a little while until we are crowned." And the ten thousand replied together, so that because of the sweetness of their chant a crowd of pagans gathered to them. Moreover, the wretched devil, approaching the king again, said to him, "You have destroyed my worship, if you do not hurry up." Then the king, burning with great anger, gathered together a crowd from his army, and went to the place where were those who believed in God. He counted seven individuals, and cut them entirely to pieces. For he did not behead them as was the custom, but he fell upon them like the wolf attacks a flock when the shepherd is away.

26. When this had been done the tyrant ordered a furnace to be made, and their bodies to be thrown into it; and seated nearby he ordered that they be completely cremated. The king's servants held two-pronged irons in their hands, and breaking up the bones which were not on fire they pushed them into the flame, where they burned. Again the wicked king ordered sacks to be brought, and their ashes to be collected into them so that none of the Christians would touch them. And while he was pondering this blessed Christopher prayed, saying, "Almighty God, invisible Saviour, visit your servants. Heed, Lord, the wickedness of our enemy, that the tyrant glories in destroying the bones of your servants. You said, Lord, that not one of those bones would be broken. Therefore see now, Lord, that your servants have been crushed, even their bones, on account of your name, Lord, and take mercy, good shepherd." And when saint Christopher had prayed thus, God the lover of the human race heard his prayers, and there was an earthquake about the furnace, so that the king's seat fell. Then a crowd of men said to the king, "You have truly tried God and sinned against his servant." Indeed earthquakes continued until evening, and all who were there fled. Moreover, upon hearing these things the archdeacon of bishop Athanasius, together with his brothers, seized the relics of the saints and took them to upper Italy. Again the most wicked king ordered that Christopher be brought to him, and he said to him, "Reprobus, why have you desired such doctrine ? Why have you displayed such great madness ? So now, compromise while you are away from the tortures, and offer sacrifice to the great gods. But if you do not, by the great gods I will make an evil end of you." However, Christ's martyr replied, "Inventor of every wickedness, disciple of the devil, partner in eternal damnation, you have already been told that I neither compromise with, nor sacrifice to, those who are called gods by you. I hold firm to the God who made me." Decius said, "Let a large rock which thirty youths can barely move be brought forward." And he ordered them to pierce the rock, and that Christopher's hair be pulled through there, and that he should be dragged along the whole street. When the crowd of men dragged him the rock crushed the chest of the holy martyr, and many Christians gathered for his holy body. But those who were dragging it were beaten by the praepositi, and were forced to drag it bravely along. Then they said to the holy martyr, "Take pity on yourself and on us, for we are worn out by this dragging." He said to them, "You eat the king's bread, and do not prevail upon the servant of God to do wrong ? Free me and you will see the strength of my God." Seeing that he was almost dead, so crushed was he, they rolled the rock forward, set it upon him and left him for dead. But the Lord stood by, and rolling the rock away from him, brought his crushed limbs to life again. And rising he took the rock in his hands, and went away to the king and said to him, "Do you want me to strike you for this ?" The king ordered that he be held until the following day. When morning came he ordered that he be brought to him. And when he was present the king said to him, "By the gods, I am afraid to say anything further to you, but I will with sorrow pass sentence on you." Christ's athlete said to him, "You have spoken well of me, king, because my God has made you grieve for me. For the rest do what you will. I hasten to the table of my Lord Jesus Christ; and my brothers who have gone before me support me. Pass your sentence quickly." The king asked him, "Have you resolved to die rather than to live with us in glory?" Saint Christopher replied, "I am an enemy of that glory, and of your demons which you adore." Annoyed again the king said, "Reprobus does not agree with our great gods, and scorns my commands. On account of this I order that he be beheaded, and his corpse burned."

27. When the sentence had been received they left the palace. Saint Christopher began to sing psalms, praying thus, "You have saved us from those afflicting us, and you have thrown into confusion those who hated us." And he turned to the soldiers, and said, "Wait a little for me that I may pray." And he spoke, "O Lord my God, pay the king back in accordance with the way in which he has treated me." Upon saying these things he went off to the place which had been prepared. And again he said to the soldiers, "Wait for me a little while that I may pray a second time." And stretching out his hands to the sky he prayed, "God, heed my humility, and deign to reveal to me the way of perfection, that I might rejoice in your glory, Lord." And behold, there was a great earthquake, with the result that the crowd present were killed. Behold, the heavens opened, and saint Christopher saw the Lord coming to him, and a great chorus of the just, and four angels in a sky of seven-fold splendour. A throne was placed, the Lord sat down, and many were astonished to see the glory which had appeared. Thus blessed Christopher when he saw this glory humbled himself at the feet of the Lord, and said, "How, in word or thought, will I praise you, Lord, that you have deigned to reveal your glory to me your humble servant ?" The Lord said to him, "You are more blessed than many, and will be called my most beloved servant, and blessed will those souls be who have merited possession of your relics. I shall heed no longer the sins of those who have approached me through your intercession. I swear by my glory to you that they shall attain paradise." Saint Christopher replied, "If I have found favour in your sight, Lord my God, grant me the confidence to speak to you." The Lord responded, "Say what you will." The saint replied, saying, "Lord, grant my corpse this second favour, that all who possess a part of my relics will merit such grace that no evil spirit nor bodily sickness will cower them, and drive from them every evil desire. Lord my God, whether it be a city, larger area, or small locality where lies some of my relics, let not hail-shower, crop-disease or vine-sterility prevail there; but wherever my relics travel, if those regions have been harmed, grant them the grace of my presence as it were, Lord my God, so that all the inhabitants of those regions may richly receive the produce of their cultivation, and filled with your grace wholeheartedly glorify your holy name. Act thus, Lord my God." And the Lord replied, "It will be as you request. I will not cause you sadness. And so you have come, ascend to your brothers. For they all wonder at you, and my army of angels desires to see you." And when he had said this, he departed, and went to the place which had been prepared and said to the executioner, "Come, son, do what has been commanded. But I adjure you, by the God who watches over earth's orb, not to judge me." And upon saying these things, he crossed himself, and bending his knees he stretched out his neck; and in this manner his head was cut off. He perfected his martyrdom on a Sunday, at the 7th hour.

28. Moreover, Athanasius, the bishop of Italy, a city which is on the border with Persia, heard of these events. He came to Antioch, paid three hundred aurei to the king's servants, and took away the corpse of the holy martyr to his own city. There was a river which used flow down and flood this city. The bishop constructed a basilica at the source of the river, and deposited there the corpse of the holy martyr; and the river was turned down the other side of the mountain, and the city has been kept safe until the present day. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit whose is the honour and glory, power and authority, forever and ever. Amen.