Ante-nicene fathers

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Narrative of Joseph of Arimathaea, that begged the Lord’s body; In which also he brings in the cases of the two robbers.

Chapter I.

I am Joseph of Arimathaea, who begged from Pilate the body of the Lord Jesus for burial, and who for this cause was kept close in prison by the murderous and God-fighting1 Jews, who also, keeping to the law, have by Moses himself become partakers in tribulation and having provoked their Lawgiver to anger, and not knowing that He was God, crucified Him and made Him manifest to those that knew God. in those days in which they condemned the Son of God to be crucified, seven days before Christ suffered, two condemned robbers were sent from Jericho to the procurator Pilate; and their case was as follows:—

The first, his name Gestas, put travellers to death, murdering them with the sword, and others he exposed naked. And he hung up women by the heels, head down, and cut off their breasts, and drank the blood of infants limbs, never having known God, not obeying the laws, being violent from the beginning, and doing such deeds.

And the case of the other was as follows: He was called Demas, and was by birth a Galilaean, and kept an inn. He made attacks upon the rich, but was good to the poor—a thief like Tobit, for he buried the bodies of the poor.2 And he set his hand to robbing the multitude of the Jews, and stole the law3 itself in Jerusalem, and stripped naked the daughter of Caiaphas, who was priestess of the sanctuary, and took away from its place the mysterious deposit itself placed there by Solomon. Such were his doings.

And Jesus also was taken on the third day before the passover, in the evening. And to Caiaphas and the multitude of the Jews it was not a passover, but it was a great mourning to them, on account of the plundering of the sanctuary by the robber. And they summoned Judas Iscariot, and spoke to him, for he was son of the brother4 of Caiaphas the priest. He was not a disciple before the face of Jesus; but all the multitude of the Jews craftily supported him, that he might follow Jesus, not that he might be obedient to the miracles done by Him, nor that he might confess Him, but that he might betray Him to them, wishing to catch up some lying word of Him, giving him gifts for such brave, honest conduct to the amount of a half shekel, of gold each day. And he did this for two years with Jesus, as says one of His disciples called John.

And on the third day, before Jesus was laid hold of, Judas says to the Jews: Come, let us hold a council; for perhaps it was not the robber that stole the law, but Jesus himself, and I accuse him. And when these words had been spoken, Nicodemus, who kept the keys of the sanctuary, came in to us, and said to all: Do not do such a deed. For Nicodemus was true, more than all the multitude of the Jews. And the daughter of Caiaphas, Sarah by name, cried out, and said: He himself said before all against this holy place, I am able to destroy this temple, and in three days to raise it. The Jews say to her: Thou hast credit with all of us. For they regarded her as a prophetess. And assuredly, after the council had been held, Jesus was laid hold of.

Chapter 2.

And on the following day, the fourth day of the week, they brought Him at the ninth hour into the hall of Caiaphas. And Annas and Caiaphas say to Him: Tell us, why hast thou stolen our law, and renounced5 the ordinances of Moses and the prophets? And Jesus answered nothing. And again a second time, the multitude also being present, they say to Him: The sanctuary which Solomon built in forty and six years, why dost thou wish to destroy in one moment? And to these things Jesus answered nothing. For the sanctuary of the synagogue had been plundered by the robber.

And the evening of the fourth day being ended, all the multitude sought to burn the daughter of Caiaphas, on account of the loss of the law; for they did not know how they were to keep the passover. And she said to them: Wait, my children, and let us destroy this Jesus, and the law will be found, and the holy feast will be fully accomplished. And secretly Annas and Caiaphas gave considerable money to Judas Iscariot, saying: Say as thou saidst to us before, I know that the law has been stolen by Jesus, that the accusation may be turned against him, and not against this maiden, who is free from blame. And Judas having received this command, said to them: Let not all the multitude know that I have been instructed by you to do this against Jesus; but release Jesus, and I persuade the multitude that it is so. And craftily they released Jesus.

And Judas, going into the sanctuary at the dawn of the fifth day, says to all the people: What will you give me, and I will give up to you the overthrower6 of the law, and the plunderer of the prophets? The Jews say to him: If thou wilt give him up to us, we will give thee thirty pieces of gold. And the people did not know that Judas was speaking about Jesus, for many of them confessed that he was the Son of God. And Judas received the thirty pieces of gold.

And going out at the fourth hour, and at the fifth, he finds Jesus walking in the street. And as evening was coming on, Judas says to the Jews: Give me the aid of soldiers with swords and staves, and I will give him up to you. They therefore gave him officers for the purpose of seizing Him. And as they were going along, Judas says to them: Lay hold of the man whom I shall kiss, for he has stolen the law and the prophets. Going up to Jesus, therefore, he kissed Him, saying: Hail, Rabbi! it being the evening of the fifth day. And having laid hold of Him, they gave Him up to Caiaphas and the chief priests, Judas saying: This is he who stole the law and the prophets. And the Jews gave Jesus an unjust trial, saying: Why hast thou done these things? And be answered nothing.

And Nicodemus and I Joseph, seeing the seat of the plagues,7 stood off from them, not wishing to perish along with the counsel of the ungodly.

Chapter 3.

Having therefore done many and dreadful things against Jesus that night, they gave Him up to Pilate the procurator at the dawn of the preparation, that he might crucify Him; and for this purpose they all came together. After a trial, therefore, Pilate the procurator ordered Him to be nailed to the cross, along with the two robbers. And they were nailed up along with Jesus, Gestas on the left. and Demas on the right.

And he that was on the left began to cry out, saying to Jesus: See how many evil deeds I have done in the earth; and if I had known that thou wast the king, I should have cut off thee also. And why dost thou call thyself Son of God, and canst not help thyself in necessity? how canst thou afford it to another one praying for help? If thou art the Christ, come down from the cross, that I may believe in thee. But now I see thee perishing along with me, not like a man, but like a wild beast. And many other things he began to say against Jesus, blaspheming and gnashing his teeth upon Him. For the robber was taken alive in the snare of the devil.8

But the robber on the right hand, whose name was Demas, seeing the Godlike grace of Jesus, thus cried out: I know Thee, Jesus Christ, that Thou art the Son of God. I see Thee, Christ, adored by myriads of myriads of angels. Pardon me my sins which I have done. Do not in my trial make the stars come against me, or the moon, when Thou shall judge all the world; because in the night I have accomplished my wicked purposes. Do not urge the sun, which is now darkened on account of Thee, to tell the evils of my heart, for no gift can I give Thee for the remission of my sins. Already death is coming upon me because of my sins; but Thine is the propitiation. Deliver me, O Lord of all, from Thy fearful judgment. Do not give the enemy power to swallow me up, and to become heir of my soul, as of that of him who is hanging on the left; for I see how the devil joyfully takes his soul, and his body disappears. Do not even order me to go away into the portion of the Jews; for I see Moses and the patriarchs in great weeping, and the devil rejoicing over them. Before, then, O Lord, my spirit departs, order my sins to be washed away, and remember me the sinner in Thy kingdom, when upon the great most lofty throne9 thou shalt judge the twelve tribes of Israel.10 For Thou hast prepared great punishment for Thy world on account of Thyself.

And the robber having thus spoken, Jesus says to him: Amen, amen; I say to thee, Demas, that to-day thou shalt be with me in paradise.11 And the sons of the kingdom, the children of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and Moses, shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.12 And thou alone shalt dwell in paradise until my second appearing, when I am to judge those who do not confess my name. And He said to the robber: Go away, and tell the cherubim and the powers, that turn the flaming sword, that guard paradise from the time that Adam, the first created, was in paradise, and sinned, and kept not my commandments, and I cast him out thence. And none of the first shall see paradise until I am to come the second time to judge living and dead. And He wrote thus: Jesus Christ the Son of God, who have come down from the heights of the heavens, who have come forth out of the bosom of the invisible Father without being separated from Him,13 and who have come down into the world to be made flesh, and to be nailed to a cross, in order that I might save Adam, whom I fashioned,—to my archangelic powers, the gatekeepers of paradise, to the officers of my Father: I will and order that he who has been crucified along with me should go in, should receive remission of sins through me; and that he, having put on an incorruptible body, should go in to paradise, and dwell where no one has ever been able to dwell.

And, behold, after He had said this, Jesus gave up the ghost, on the day of the preparation, at the ninth hour. And there was darkness over all the earth; and from a great earthquake that happened, the sanctuary fell down, and the wing of the temple.

Chapter 4.

And I Joseph begged the body of Jesus, and put it in a new tomb, where no one had been put. And of the robber on the right the body was not found; but of him on the left, as the form of a dragon, so was his body.

And after I had begged the body of Jesus to bury, the Jews, carried away by hatred and rage, shut me up in prison, where evil-doers were kept under restraint. And this happened to me on the evening of the Sabbath, whereby our nation transgressed the law. And, behold, that same nation of ours endured fearful tribulations on the Sabbath.

And now, on the evening of the first of the week, at the fifth hour of the night, Jesus comes to me in the prison, along with the robber who had been crucified with Him on the right, whom He sent into paradise. And there was a great light in the building. And the house was hung up by the four corners, and the place was opened, and I came out. Then I first recognised Jesus, and again the robber, bringing a letter to Jesus. And as we were going into Galilee, there shone a great light, which the creation did not produce. And there was also with the robber a great fragrance out of paradise.

And Jesus, having sat down in a certain place, thus read: We, the cherubim and the six-winged, who have been ordered by Thy Godhead to watch the garden of paradise, make the following statement through the robber who was crucified along with Thee, by Thy arrangement: When we saw the print of the nails of the robber crucified along with Thee, and the shining light of the letter of Thy Godhead,14 the fire indeed was extinguished, not being able to bear the splendour of the print;15 and we crouched down, being in great fear. For we heard that the Maker of heaven and earth, and of the whole creation, had come down from on high to dwell in the lower parts of the earth, on account of Adam, the first created. And when we beheld the undefiled cross shining like lightning from the robber, gleaming with sevenfold the light of the sun, trembling fell upon us. We felt a violent shaking of the world below;16 and with a loud voice, the ministers of Hades said, along with us: Holy, holy, holy is He who in the beginning was in the highest. And the powers sent up a cry: O Lord, Thou hast been made manifest in heaven and in earth, bringing joy to the world; and, a greater gift than this, Thou hast freed Thine own image from death by the invisible purpose of the ages.

Chapter 5.

After I had beheld these things, as I was going into Galilee with Jesus and the robber, Jesus was transfigured, and was not as formerly, before He was crucified, but was altogether light; and angels always ministered to Him, and Jesus spoke with them. And I remained with Him three days. And no one of His disciples was with Him, except the robber alone.

And in the middle of the feast of unleavened bread, His disciple John comes, and we no longer beheld the robber as to what took place. And John asked Jesus: Who is this, that Thou hast not made me to be seen by him? But Jesus answered him nothing. And falling down before Him, he said: Lord, I know that Thou hast loved me from the beginning, and why dost Thou not reveal to me that man? Jesus says to him: Why dost thou seek what is hidden? Art thou still without understanding? Dost thou not perceive the fragrance of paradise filling the place? Dost thou not know who it is? The robber on the cross has become heir of paradise. Amen, amen; I say to thee, that it shall belong to him alone until that the great day shall come. And John said: Make me worthy to behold him.

And while John was yet speaking, the robber suddenly appeared; and John, struck with astonishment, fell to the earth. And the robber was not in his first form, as before John came; but he was like a king in great power, having on him the cross. And the voice of a great multitude was sent forth: Thou hast come to the place prepared for thee in paradise. We have been commanded by Him that has sent thee, to serve thee until the great day. And after this voice, both the robber and I Joseph vanished, and I was found in my own house; and I no longer saw Jesus.

And I, having seen these things, have written them down, in order that all may believe in the crucified Jesus Christ our Lord, and may no longer obey the law of Moses, but may believe in the signs and wonders that have happened through Him, and in order that we who have believed may inherit eternal life, and be found in the kingdom of the heavens. For to Him are due glory, strength, praise, and majesty for ever and ever. Amen.

The Avenging of the Saviour


This version of the legend of Veronica is written in very barbarous Latin, probably of the seventh or eighth century. An Anglo-Saxon version, which Tischendorf concludes to be derived from the Latin, was edited and translated for the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, by C. W. Goodwin, in 1851. The Anglo-Saxon text is from a the Cambridge Library, one of a number presented to the Cathedral of Exeter by Bishop Leofric in the beginning of the eleventh century.

The reader will observe that there are in this document two distinct legends, somewhat clumsily joined together—that of Nathan’s embassy, and that of Veronica.

Here Beginneth the Avenging of the Saviour.

In the days of the Emperor Tiberius Caesar, when Herod was tetrarch, Christ was delivered under Pontius Pilate by the Jews, and revealed by Tiberius.

In those days Titus1 was a prince under Tiberius in the region of Equitania, in a city of Libia which is called Burgidalla. And Titus had a sore in his right nostril, on account of a cancer, and he had his face torn even to the eye. There went forth a certain man from Judaea, by name Nathan the son of Nahum; for he was an Ishmaelite who went from land to land, and from sea to sea, and in all the ends of the earth. Now Nathan was sent from Judaea to the Emperor Tiberius, to carry their treaty to the city of Rome. And Tiberius was ill, and full of ulcers and fevers, and had nine kinds of leprosy. And Nathan wished to go to the city of Rome. But the north wind blew and hindered his sailing, and carried him down to the harbour of a city of Libia. Now Titus, seeing the ship coming, knew that it was from Judaea; and they all wondered, and said that they had never seen any vessel so coming from that quarter. And Titus ordered the captain to come to him, and asked him who he was. And he said: I am Nathan the son of Nahum, of the race of the Ishmaelites, and I am a subject of Pontius Pilate in Judaea. And I have been sent to go to Tiberius the Roman emperor, to carry a treaty from Judaea. And a strong wind came down upon the sea, and has brought me to a country that I do not know.

And Titus says: If thou couldst at any time find anything either of cosmetics or herbs which could cure the wound that I have in my face, as thou seest, so that I should become whole, and regain my former health, I should bestow upon thee many good things. And Nathan said to him: I do not know, nor have I ever known, of such things as thou speakest to me about. But for all that, if thou hadst been some time ago in Jerusalem, there thou wouldst have found a choice prophet, whose name was Emanuel, for He will save His people from their sins. And He, as His first miracle in Cana of Galilee, made wine from water; and by His word He cleansed lepers, He enlightened the eyes of one born blind, He healed paralytics, He made demons flee, He raised up three dead; a woman caught in adultery, and condemned by the Jews to be stoned, He set free; and another woman, named Veronica, who suffered twelve years from an issue of blood, and came up to Him behind, and touched the fringe of His garment, He healed; and with five loaves and two fishes He satisfied five thousand men, to say nothing of little ones and women, and there remained of the fragments twelve baskets. All these things, and many others, were accomplished before His passion. After His resurrection we saw Him in the flesh as He had been before. And Titus said to Him: How did he rise again from the dead, seeing that he was dead? And Nathan answered and said: He was manifestly dead, and hung up on the cross, and again taken down from the cross, and for three days He lay in the tomb: thereafter He rose again from the dead, and went down to Hades, and freed the patriarchs and the prophets, and the whole human race; thereafter He appeared to His disciples, and ate with them; thereafter they saw Him going up into heaven. And so it is the truth, all this that I tell you. For I saw it with my own eyes, and all the house of Israel. And Titus said in his own words: Woe to thee, O Emperor Tiberius, full of ulcers, and enveloped in leprosy, because such a scandal has been committed in thy kingdom; because thou hast made such laws2 in Judaea, in the land of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, and they have seized the King, and put to death the Ruler of the peoples; and they have not made Him come to us to cure thee of thy leprosy, and cleanse me from mine infirmity: on which account, if they had been before my face, with my own hands I should have slain the carcases of those Jews, and hung them up on the cruel tree, because they have destroyed my Lord, and mine eyes have not been worthy to see His face. And when he had thus spoken, immediately the wound fell from the face of Titus, and his flesh and his face were restored to health. And all the sick who were in the same place were made whole in that hour. And Titus cried out, and all the rest with him, in a loud voice, saying: My King and my God, because I have never seen Thee, and Thou hast made me whole, bid me go with the ship over the waters to the land of Thy birth, to take vengeance on Thine enemies; and help me, O Lord, that I may be able to destroy them, and avenge Thy death: do Thou, Lord, deliver them into my hand. And having thus spoken, he ordered that he should be baptized. And he called Nathan to him, and said to him: How hast thou seen those baptized who believe in Christ? Come to me, and baptize me in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.3 For I also firmly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart, and with all my soul; because nowhere in the whole world is there another who has created me, and made me whole from my wounds.

And having thus spoken, he sent messengers to Vespasian to come with all haste with his bravest men, so prepared as if for war.

Then Vespasian brought with him five thousand armed men, and they went to meet Titus. And when they had come to the city of Libia, he said to Titus: Why is it that thou hast made me come hither? And he said: Know that Jesus has come into this world, and has been born in Judaea, in a place which is called Bethlehem, and has been given up by the Jews, and scourged, and crucified on Mount Calvary,4 and has risen again from the dead on the third day. And His disciples have seen Him in the same flesh in which he was born, and He has shown Himself to His disciples, and they have believed in Him. And we indeed wish to become His disciples. Now, let us go and destroy His enemies from the earth, that they may now know that there is none like the Lord our God on the face of the earth.

With this design, then, they went forth from the city of Libia which is called Burgidalla,5 and went on board a ship, and proceeded to Jerusalem, and surrounded the kingdom of the Jews, and began to send them to destruction. And when the kings of the Jews heard of their doings, and the wasting of their land, fear came upon them, and they were in great perplexity. Then Archelaus6 was perplexed in his words, and said to his son: My son, take my kingdom and judge it; and take counsel with the other kings who are in the land of Judah, that you may be able to escape from our enemies. And having thus said, he unsheathed his sword and leant upon it; and turned his sword, which was very sharp, and thrust it into his breast, and died. And his son allied himself with the other kings who were under him, and they took counsel among themselves, and went into Jerusalem with their chief men who were in their counsel, and stood in the same place seven years. And Titus and Vespasian took counsel to surround their city. And they did so. And the seven years being fulfilled, there was a very sore famine, and for want of bread they began to eat earth. Then all the soldiers who were of the four kings took counsel among themselves, and said: Now we are sure to die: what will God do to us? or of what good is our life to us, because the Romans have come to take our place and nation? It is better for us to kill each other, than that the Romans should say that they have slain us, and gained the victory over us. And they drew their swords and smote themselves, and died, to the number of twelve thousand men of them. Then there was a great stench in that city from the corpses of those dead men. And their kings feared with a very great fear even unto death; and they could not bear the stench of them, nor bury them, nor throw them forth out of the city. And they said to each other: What shall we do? We indeed gave up Christ to death, and now we given up to death ourselves. Let us bow our heads, and give up the keys of the city to the Romans, because God has already given us up to death. And immediately they went up upon the walls of the city, and all cried out with a loud voice, saying: Titus and Vespasian, take the keys of the city, which have been given to you by Messiah, who is called Christ.

Then they gave themselves up into the hands of Titus and Vespasian, and said: Judge us, seeing that we ought to die, because we judged Christ; and he was given up without cause. Titus and Vespasian seized them, and some they stoned, and some they hanged on a tree, feet up and head down, and struck them through with lances; and others they gave up to be sold, and others they divided among themselves, and made four parts of them, just as they had done of the garments of the Lord. And they said: They sold Christ for thirty pieces of silver, and we shall sell thirty of them for one denarius. And so they did. And having done so, they seized all the lands of Judaea and Jerusalem.

Then they made a search about the face or portrait7 of Jesus, how they might find it.8 And they found a woman named Veronica who had it. Then they seized Pilate, and sent him to prison, to be guarded by four quaternions of soldiers at the door of the prison. Then they forthwith sent their messengers to Tiberius, the emperor of the city of Rome, that he should send Velosianus to them. And he said to him: Take all that is necessary for thee in the sea, and go down into Judaea, and seek out one of the disciples of him who is called Christ and Lord, that he may come to me, and in the name of his God cure me of the leprosy and the infirmities by which I am daily exceedingly burdened, and of my wounds, because I am ill at ease. And send upon the kings of the Jews, who are subject to my authority, thy forces and terrible engines, because they have put to death Jesus Christ our Lord, and condemn them to death. And if thou shalt there find a man as may be able to free me from this infirmity of mine, I will believe in Christ the Son of God, and will baptize myself in his name. And Velosianus said: My lord emperor, if I find such a man as may be able to help and free us, what reward shall I promise him? Tiberius said to him: The half of my kingdom, without fail, to be in his hand.

Then Velosianus immediately went forth, and went on board the ship, and hoisted the sail in the vessel, and went on sailing through the sea. And he sailed a year and seven days, after which he arrived at Jerusalem. And immediately he ordered some of the Jews to come to his power, and began carefully to ask what had been the acts of Christ. Then Joseph, of the city of Arimathaea, and Nicodemus, came at the same time. And Nicodemus said: I saw Him, and I know indeed that He is the Saviour of the world. And Joseph said to him: And I took Him down from the cross, and laid Him in a new tomb, which had been cut out of the rock. And the Jews kept me shut up on the day of the preparation, at evening; and while I was standing in prayer on the Sabbath-day, the house was hung up by the four corners, and I saw the Lord Jesus Christ like a gleam of light, and for fear I fell to the ground. And He said to me, Look upon me, for I am Jesus, whose body thou buriedst in thy tomb. And I said to Him, Show me the sepulchre where I laid Thee. And Jesus, holding my hand in His right hand, led me to the place where I buried Him.9

And there came also the woman named Veronica, and said to him: And I touched in the crowd the fringe of His garment, because for twelve years I had suffered from an issue of blood; and He immediately healed me. Then Velosianus said to Pilate: Thou, Pilate, impious and cruel, why hast thou slain the Son of God? And Pilate answered: His own nation, and the chief priests Annas and Caiaphas, gave him to me. Velosianus said: Impious and cruel, thou art worthy of death and cruel punishment. And he sent him back to prison. And Velosianus at last sought for the face or the countenance of the Lord. And all who were in that same place said: It is the woman called Veronica who has the portrait of the Lord in her house. And immediately he ordered her to be brought before his power. And he said to her: Hast thou the portrait of the Lord in thy house? But she said, No. Then Velosianus ordered her to be put to the torture, until she should give up the portrait of the Lord. And she was forced to say: I have it in clean linen, my lord, and I daily adore it. Velosianus said: Show it to me. Then she showed the portrait of the Lord. When Velosianus saw it, he prostrated himself on the ground; and with a ready heart and true faith he took hold of it, and wrapped it in cloth of gold, and placed it in a casket, and sealed it with his ring. And he swore with an oath, and said: As the Lord God liveth, and by the health of Caesar, no man shall any more see it upon the face of the earth, until I see the face of my lord Tiberius. And when he had thus spoken, the princes, who were the chief men of Judaea, seized Pilate to take him to a seaport. And he took the portrait of the Lord, with all His disciples, and all in his pay, and they went on board the ship the same day. Then the woman Veronica, for the love of Christ, left all that she possessed, and followed Velosianus. And Velosianus said to her: What dost thou wish, woman, or what dost thou seek? And she answered: I am seeking the portrait of our Lord Jesus Christ, who enlightened me, not for my own merits, but through His own holy affection.10 Give back to me the portrait of my Lord Jesus Christ; for because of this I die with a righteous longing. But if thou do not give it back to me, I will not leave it until I see where thou wilt put it, because I, most miserable woman that I am, will serve Him all the days of my life; because I believe that He, my Redeemer, liveth for everlasting.

Then Velosianus ordered the woman Veronica to be taken down with him into the ship And the sails being hoisted. they began to go in the vessel in the name of the Lord, and they sailed through the sea. But Titus, along with Vespasian, went up into Judaea, avenging all nations upon their land.11 At the end of a year Velosianus came to the city of Rome, brought his vessel into the river which is called Tiberis, or Tiber, and entered the city which is called Rome. And he sent his messenger to his lord Tiberius the emperor in the Lateran about his prosperous arrival.

Then Tiberius the emperor, when he heard the message of Velosianus, rejoiced greatly, and ordered him to come before his face. And when he had come, he called him, saying: Velosianus, how hast thou come, and what hast thou seen in the region of Judaea of Christ the Lord and his disciples? Tell me, I beseech thee, that he is going to cure me of mine infirmity, that I may be at once cleansed from that leprosy which I have over my body, and I give up my whole kingdom into thy power and his.

And Velosianus said: My lord emperor, I found thy servants Titus and Vespasian in Judaea fearing the Lord, and they were cleansed from all their ulcers and sufferings. And I found that all the kings and rulers of Judaea have been hanged by Titus; Annas and Caiaphas have been stoned, Archelaus has killed himself with his own lance; and I have sent Pilate to Damascus in bonds, and kept him in prison under safe keeping. But I have also found out about Jesus, whom the Jews most wickedly attacked with swords, and staves, and weapons; and they crucified him who ought to have freed and enlightened us, and to have come to us, and they hanged him on a tree. And Joseph came from Arimathaea, and Nicodemus with him, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds, to anoint the body of Jesus; and they took him down from the cross, and laid him in a new tomb. And on the third day he most assuredly rose again froth the dead, and showed himself to his disciples in the same flesh in which he had been born. At length, after forty days, they saw him going up into heaven. Many, indeed, and other miracles did Jesus before his passion and after. First, of water he made wine; he raised the dead, he cleansed lepers, he enlightened the blind, he cured paralytics, he put demons to flight; he made the deaf hear, the dumb speak; Lazarus, when four days dead, he raised from the tomb; the woman Veronica, who suffered from an issue of blood twelve years, and touched the fringe of his garment, he made whole. Then it pleased the Lord in the heavens, that the Son of God, who, sent into this world as the first-created, had died upon earth, should send his angel; and he commanded Titus and Vespasian, whom I knew in that place where thy throne is. And it pleased God Almighty that they went into Judaea and Jerusalem, and seized thy subjects, and put them under that sentence, as it were, in the same manner as they did when thy subjects seized Jesus and bound him. And Vespasian afterwards said: What shall we do about those who shall remain? Titus answered: They hanged our Lord on a green tree, and struck him with a lance; now let us hang them on a dry tree, and pierce their bodies through and through with the lance. And they did so. And Vespasian said: What about those who are left? Titus answered: They seized the tunic of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of it made four parts; now let us seize them, and divide them into four parts,—to thee one, to me one, to thy men another, and to my servants the fourth part. And they did so. And Vespasian said: But what shall we do about those who are left? Titus answered him: The Jews sold our Lord for thirty pieces of silver: now let us sell thirty of them for one piece of silver. And they did so. And they seized Pilate, and gave him up to me, and I put him in prison, to be guarded by four quaternions of soldiers in Damascus. Then they made a search with great diligence to seek the portrait of the Lord; and they found a woman named Veronica who had the portrait of the Lord. Then the Emperor Tiberius said to Velosianus: How hast thou it? And he answered: I have it in clean cloth of gold, rolled up in a shawl. And the Emperor Tiberius said: Bring it to me, and spread it before my face, that I, falling to the ground and bending my knees, may adore it on the ground. Then Velosianus spread out his shawl with the cloth of gold on which the portrait of the Lord had been imprinted; and the Emperor Tiberius saw it. And he immediately adored the image of the Lord with a pure heart, and his flesh was cleansed as the flesh of a little child. And all the blind, the lepers, the lame, the dumb, the deaf, and those possessed by various diseases, who were there present, were healed, and cured, and cleansed. And the Emperor Tiberius bowed his head and bent his knees, considering that saying: Blessed is the womb which bore Thee, and the breasts which Thou hast sucked; and he groaned to the Lord, saying with tears: God of heaven and earth, do not permit me to sin, but confirm my soul and my body, and place me in Thy kingdom, because in Thy name do I trust always: free me from all evils, as Thou didst free the three children from the furnace of blazing fire.

Then said the Emperor Tiberius to Velosianus: Velosianus, hast thou seen any of those men who saw Christ? Velosianus answered: I have. He said: Didst thou ask how they baptize those who believed in Christ? Velosianus said: Here, my Lord, we have one of the disciples of Christ himself. Then he ordered Nathan to be summoned to come to him. Nathan therefore came and baptized him in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Immediately the Emperor Tiberius, made whole from all his diseases, ascended upon his throne, and said: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God Almighty, and worthy to be praised, who hast freed me from the snare of death, and cleansed me from all mine iniquities; because I have greatly sinned before Thee, O Lord my God, and I am not worthy to see Thy face. And then the Emperor Tiberius was instructed in all the articles of the faith, fully, and with strong faith.

May that same God Almighty, who is King of kings and Lord of lords, Himself shield us in His faith, and defend us, and deliver us from all danger and evil, and deign to bring us to life everlasting, when this life, which is temporary, shall fail; who is blessed for ever and ever. Amen.

Acts of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul


It came to pass, after Paul went out of the island Gaudomeleta,1 that he came to Italy; and it was heard of by the Jews who were in Rome, the elder of the cities, that Paul demanded to come to Caesar. Having fallen, therefore, into great grief and much despondency, they said among themselves: It does not please him that he alone has afflicted all our brethren and parents in Judaea and Samaria, and in all Palestine; and he has not been pleased with these, but, behold, he comes here also, having through imposition asked Caesar to destroy us.

Having therefore made an assembly against Paul, and having considered many proposals,2 it seemed good to them to go to Nero the emperor, to ask him not to allow Paul to come to Rome. Having therefore got in readiness not a few presents, and having carried them with them, with supplication they came before him, saying: We beseech thee, O good emperor, send orders into all the governments of your worship, to the effect that Paul is not to come near these parts; because this Paul, having afflicted all the nation of our fathers, has been seeking to come hither to destroy us also. And the affliction, O most worshipful emperor, which we have from Peter is enough for us.

And the Emperor Nero, having heard these things, answered them: It is3 according to your wish. And we write to all our governments that he shall not on any account come to anchor in the parts of Italy. And they also informed Simon the magian, having sent for him, that, as has been said, he should not come into the parts of Italy.

And while they were thus doing, some of those that had repented out of the nations, and that had been baptized at the preaching of Peter, sent elders to Paul with a letter to the following effect: Paul, dear servant of our Lord Jesus Christ, and brother of Peter, the first of the apostles, we have heard from the rabbis of the Jews that are in this Rome, the greatest of the cities, that they have asked Caesar to send into all his governments, in order that, wherever thou mayst be found, thou mayst be put to death. But we have believed, and do believe, that as God does not separate the two great lights which He has made, so He is not to part you from each other, that is, neither Peter from Paul, nor Paul from Peter; but we positively believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, into whom we have been baptized, that we have become worthy also of your teaching.

And Paul, having received the two men sent with the letter on the twentieth of the month of May, became eager to go, and gave thanks to the Lord and Master Jesus Christ. And having sailed from Gaudomeleta, he did not now come through Africa to the parts of Italy, but ran to Sicily, until he came to the city of Syracuse with the two then who had been sent from Rome to him. And having sailed thence, he came to Rhegium of Calabria, and from Rhegium he crossed to Mesina, and there ordained a bishop, Bacchylus by name. And when he came out of Mesina he sailed to Didymus, and remained there one night. And having sailed thence, he came to Pontiole4 on the second day.

And Dioscorus the shipmaster, who brought him to Syracuse, sympathizing with Paul because he had delivered his son from death, having left his own ship in Syracuse, accompanied him to Pontiole. And some of Peter’s disciples having been found there, and having received Paul, exhorted him to stay with them. And he stayed a week, in hiding, because of the command of Caesar. And all the toparchs were watching to seize and kill him. But Dioscorus the shipmaster, being himself also bald, wearing his shipmaster’s dress, and speaking boldly, on the first day went out into the city of Pontiole. Thinking therefore that he was Paul, they seized him, and beheaded him, and sent his head to Caesar.

Caesar therefore, having summoned the first men of the Jews, announced to them, saying: Rejoice with great joy, for Paul your enemy is dead. And he showed them the head. Having therefore made great rejoicing on that day, which was the fourteenth of the month of June, each of the Jews fully believed it.

And Paul, being in Pontiole, and having heard that Dioscorus had been beheaded, being grieved with great grief, gazing into the height of the heaven, said: O Lord Almighty in heaven, who hast appeared to me in every place whither I have gone on account of Thine only-begotten Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, punish this city, and bring out all who have believed in God and followed His word. He said to them therefore: Follow me: And going forth from Pontiole with those who Met believed in the word of God, they came to a place called Baias;5 and looking up with their eyes, they all see that city called Pontiole sunk into the sea-shore about one fathom; and there it is until this day, for a remembrance, under the sea.

And having gone forth from Baias, they went to Gaitas, and there he taught the word of God. And he stayed there three days in the house of Erasmus, whom Peter sent from Rome to teach the Gospel of God. And having come forth from Gaitas, he came to the castle called Taracinas, and stayed there seven days in the house of Caesrius the deacon, whom Peter had ordained by the laying on of hands. And sailing thence, be came by the river to a place called Tribus Tabernes.

And those who bad been saved out of the city of Pontiole that had been swallowed up, reported to Caesar in Rome that Pontiole had been swallowed up, with all its multitude. And the emperor, being in great grief on account of the city, having summoned the chief of the Jews, said to them: Behold, on account of what I heard from you, I have caused Paul to be beheaded, and on account of this the city has been swallowed up. And the chief of the Jews said to Caesar: Most worshipful emperor, did we not say to thee that he troubled all the country of the East, and perverted our fathers? It is better therefore, most worshipful emperor, that one city be destroyed, and not the seat of thine empire; for this had Rome to suffer. And the emperor, having heard their words, was appeased.

And Paul stayed in Tribus Tabernes four days. And departing thence, he came to Appii Forum, which is called Vicusarape; and having slept there that night, he saw one sitting on a golden chair, and a multitude of blacks standing beside him, saying: I have to-day made a son murder his father. Another said: And I have made a house fall, and kill parents with children. And they reported to him many evil deeds—some of one kind, some of another. And another coming, reported to him: I have managed that the bishop Juvenalius, whom Peter ordained, should sleep with the abbess Juliana. And having heard all these things when sleeping in that Appii Forum, near Vicusarape, straightway and immediately be sent to Rome one of those who had followed him from Pontiole to the bishop Juvenalius, telling him this same thing which had just been done. And on the following day, Juvenalius, running, threw himself at the feet of Peter, weeping and lamenting, and saying what had just befallen; and he recounted to him the matter, and said: I believe that this is the light which thou wast awaiting. And Peter said to him: How is it possible that it is he when he is dead? And Juvenalius the bishop took to Peter him that had been sent by Paul, and be reported to him that he was alive, and on his way, and that he was at Appii Forum. And Peter thanked and glorified the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Then having summoned his disciples that believed, he sent them to Paul as far as Tribus Tabernes. And the distance from Rome to Tribus Tabernes is thirty-eight miles.6 And Paul seeing them, having given thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ, took courage; and departing thence, they slept in the city called Aricia.

And a report went about in the city of Rome that Paul the brother of Peter was coming. And those that believed in God rejoiced with great joy. And there was great consternation among the Jews; and having gone to Simon the magian, they entreated him, saying: Report to the emperor that Paul is not dead, but that he is alive, and has come. And Simon said to the Jews: What head is it, then, which came to Caesar from Pontiole? Was it not bald also?

And Paul having come to Rome, great fear fell upon the Jews. They came together therefore to him, and exhorted him, saying: Vindicate the faith in which thou wast born; for it is not right that thou, being a Hebrew, and of the Hebrews, shouldst call thyself teacher of Gentiles, and vindicator of the uncircumcised; and, being thyself circumcised, that thou shouldst bring to nought the faith of the circumcision.7 And when thou seest Peter, contend against his teaching, because be has destroyed all the bulwarks of our law; for he has prevented the keeping of Sabbaths and new moons, and the holidays appointed by the law. And Paul, answering, said to them: That I am a true Jew, by this you can prove; because also you have been able to keep the Sabbath, and to observe the true circumcision; for assuredly on the day of the Sabbath God rested from all His works. We have fathers, and patriarchs, and the law. What, then, does Peter preach in the kingdom of the Gentiles? But if he shall wish to bring in any new teaching, without any tumult, and envy, and trouble, send him word, that we may see, and in your presence I shall convict him. But if his teaching be true, supported by the book and testimony of the Hebrews, it becomes all of us to submit to him.

Paul saying these and such like things, the Jews went and said to Peter: Paul of the Hebrews has come, and entreats thee to come to him, since those who have brought him say that he cannot meet whomsoever he may wish until he appear before Caesar. And Peter having heard, rejoiced with great joy; and rising up, immediately went to him. And seeing each other, they wept for joy; and long embracing each other, they bedewed each other with tears.

And when Paul had related to Peter the substance8 of all his doings, and how, through the disasters of the ship, he had come, Peter also told him what he had suffered from Simon the magian, and all his plots. And having told these things, he went away towards evening.

And in the morning of the following day, at dawn, behold, Peter coming, finds a multitude of the Jews before Paul’s door. And there was a great uproar between the Christian Jews and the Gentiles. For, on the one hand, the Jews said: We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, the friends of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, with whom God spake, to whom He showed His own mysteries and His great wonders. But you of the Gentiles are no great thing in your lineage; if otherwise, you have become polluted and abominable by idols and graven images.

While the Jews were saying such things, and such-like, those of the Gentiles answered, saying: We, when we heard the truth, straightway followed it, having abandoned our errors. But you, both knowing the mighty deeds of your fathers, and seeing the signs of the prophets, and having received the law, and gone through the sea with dry feet, and seen your enemies sunk in its depths, and the pillar of fire by night and of cloud by day shining upon you, and manna having been given to you out of heaven, and water flowing to you out of a rock,—after all these things you fashioned to yourselves the idol of a calf, and worshipped the graven image. But we, having seen none of the signs, believe to be a Saviour the God whom you have forsaken in unbelief.

While they were contending in these and such-like words, the Apostle Paul said that they ought not to make such attacks upon each other, but that they should rather give heed to this, that God had fulfilled His promises which He swore to Abraham our father, that in his seed he should inherit all the nations.9 For there is no respect of persons with God.10 As many as have sinned in law shall be judged according to law, and as many as have sinned without law shall perish without law.11 But we, brethren, ought to thank God that, according to His mercy, He has chosen us to be a holy people to Himself: so that in this we ought to boast, whether Jews or Greeks; for you are all one in the belief of His name.

And Paul having thus spoken, both the Jews and they of the Gentiles were appeased. But the rulers of the Jews assailed Peter. And Peter, when they accused him of having renounced their synagogues, said: Hear, brethren, the holy Spirit about the patriarch David, promising, Of the fruit of thy womb shall He set upon thy throne.12 Him therefore to whom the Father said, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee, the chief priests through envy crucified; but that He might accomplish the salvation of the world, it was allowed that He should suffer all these things.13 Just as, therefore, from the side of Adam Eve was created, so also from the side of Christ was created the Church, which has no spot nor blemish. In Him,14 therefore, God has opened an entrance to all the sons of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in order that they may be in the faith of profession towards Him,15 and have life and salvation in His name. Turn, therefore, and enter into the joy of your father Abraham, because God hath fulfilled what He promised to him. Whence also the prophet says, The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedec.16 For a priest He became upon the cross, when He offered the whole burnt-offering of His own body and blood as a sacrifice for all the world.

And Peter saying this and such-like, the most part of the people believed. And it happened also that Nero’s wife Libia, and the yoke-fellow of Agrippa the prefect, Agrippina by name, thus believed, so that also they went away from beside their own husbands. And on account of the teaching of Paul, many, despising military life, clung to God; so that even from the emperor’s bed-chamber some came to him, and having become Christians, were no longer willing to return to the army or the palace.

When, consequently, the people were making a seditious murmuring, Simon, moved with zeal, rouses himself, and began to say many evil things about Peter, saying that he was a wizard and a cheat. And they believed him, wondering at his miracles; for he made a brazen serpent move itself, and stone statues to laugh and move themselves, and himself to run and suddenly to be raised into the air. But as a set-off to these, Peter healed the sick by a word, by praying made the blind to see, put demons to flight by a command; sometimes he even raised the dead. And he said to the people that they should not only flee from Simon’s deceit, but also that they should expose him, that they might not seem to be slaves to the devil.

And thus it happened that all pious men abhorred Simon the magian, and proclaimed him impious. But those who adhered to Simon strongly affirmed Peter to be a magian, bearing false witness as many of them as were with Simon the magian; so that the matter came even to the ears of Nero the Caesar, and he gave order to bring Simon the magian before him. And he, coming in, stood before him, and began suddenly to assume different forms, so that on a sudden he became a child, and after a little an old man, and at other times a young man; for he changed himself both in face and stature into different forms, and was in a frenzy, having the devil as his servant. And Nero beholding this, supposed him to be truly the son of God; but the Apostle Peter showed him to be both a liar and a wizard, base and impious and apostate, and in all things opposed to the truth of God, and that nothing yet remained except that his wickedness, being made apparent by the command of God, might be made manifest to them all.

Then Simon, having gone in to Nero, said: Hear, O good emperor: I am the son of God come down from heaven. Until now I have endured Peter only calling himself an apostle; but now he has doubled the evil: for Paul also himself teaches the same things, and having his mind turned against me, is said to preach along with him; in reference to whom, if thou shalt not contrive their destruction, it is very plain that thy kingdom cannot stand.

Then Nero, filled with concern, ordered to bring them speedily before him. And on the following day Simon the magian, and Peter and Paul the apostles of Christ, having come in to Nero, Simon said: These are the disciples of the Nazarene, and it is not at all well that they should be of the people of the Jews, Nero said: What is a Nazarene? Simon said: There is a city of Judah which has always been opposed to us, called Nazareth, and to it the teacher of these men belonged. Nero said: God commands us to love every man; why, then, dost thou persecute them? Simon said: This is a race of men who have turned aside all Judaea from believing in me. Nero said to Peter: Why are you thus unbelieving, according to your race?17 Then Peter said to Simon: Thou hast been able to impose upon all, but upon me never; and those who have been deceived, God has through me recalled from their error. And since thou hast learned by experience that thou canst not get the better of me, I wonder with what face thou boastest thyself before the emperor, and supposest that through thy magic art thou shalt overcome the disciples of Christ. Nero said: Who is Christ? Peter said: He is what this Simon the magian affirms himself to be; but this is a most wicked man, and his works are of the devil. But if thou wishest to know, O good emperor, the things that have been done in Judaea about Christ, take the writings of Pontius Pilate sent to Claudius, and thus thou wilt know all. And Nero ordered them to be brought, and to he read in their presence; and they were to the following effect:18

Pontius Pilate to Claudius, greeting. There has lately happened an event which I myself was concerned in. For the Jews through envy have inflicted on themselves, and those coming after them, dreadful judgments. Their fathers had promises that their God would send them his holy one from heaven, who according to reason should be called their king, and he had promised to send him to the earth by means of a virgin. He, then, when I was procurator, came into Judaea. And they saw19 him enlightening the blind, cleansing lepers, healing paralytics, expelling demons from men, raising the dead, subduing the winds, walking upon the waves of the sea, and doing many other wonders, and all the people of the Jews calling him Son of God. Then the chief priests, moved with envy against him, seized him, and delivered him to me; and telling one lie after another, they said that he was a wizard, and did contrary to their law. And I, having believed that these things were so, gave him up, after scourging him, to their will;20 and they crucified him, and after he was buried set guards over him. But he, while my soldiers were guarding him, rose on the third day. And to such a degree was the wickedness of the Jews inflamed against him, that they gave money to the soldiers, saying, Say his disciples have stolen his body. But they, having taken the money, were not able to keep silence as to what had happened; for they have testified that they have seen him (after he was) risen, and that they have received money from the Jews. These things, therefore, have I reported, that no one should falsely speak otherwise, and that thou shouldest not suppose that the falsehoods of the Jews are to be believed.

And the letter having been read, Nero said: Tell me, Peter, were all these things thus done by him? Peter said: They were, with your permission, O good emperor. For this Simon is full of lies and deceit, even if it should seem that he is what he is not—a god. And in Christ there is all excellent victory through God and through man,21 which that incomprehensible glory assumed which through man deigned to come to the assistance of men. But in this Simon there are two essences, of man and of devil, who through man endeavours to ensnare men.

Simon said: I wonder, O good emperor, that you reckon this man of any consequence—a man uneducated, a fisherman of the poorest, and endowed with power neither in word nor by rank. But, that I may not long endure him as an enemy, I shall forthwith order my angels to come and avenge me upon him. Peter said: I am not afraid of thy angels; but they shall be much more afraid of me in the power and trust of my Lord Jesus Christ, whom thou falsely declarest thyself to be.

Nero said: Art thou not afraid, Peter, of Simon, who confirms his godhead by deeds? Peter said: Godhead is in Him who searcheth the hidden things of the heart.22 Now then, tell me what I am thinking about, or what I am doing. I disclose to thy servants who are here what my thought is, before he tells lies about it, in order that he may not dare to lie as to what I am thinking about. Nero said: Come hither, and tell me what thou art thinking about. Peter said: Order a barley loaf to be brought, and to be given to me secretly. And when he ordered it to be brought, and secretly given to Peter, Peter said: Now tell us, Simon, what has been thought about, or what said, or what done.

Nero said: Do you mean me to believe that Simon does not know these things, who both raised a dead man, and presented himself on the third day after he had been beheaded, and who has done whatever he said he would do? Peter said: But he did not do it before me, Nero said: But he did all these before me. For assuredly he ordered angels to come to him, and they came. Peter said: If he has done what is very great, why does he not do what is very small? Let him tell what I had in my mind, and what I have done. Nero said: Between you, I do not know myself. Simon said: Let Peter say what I am thinking of, or what I am doing. Peter said: What Simon has in his mind I shall show that I know, by my doing what he is thinking about. Simon said: Know this, O emperor, that no one knows the thoughts of men, but God alone. Is not, therefore, Peter lying? Peter said: Do thou, then, who sayest that thou art the Son of God, tell what I have in my mind; disclose, if thou canst, what I have just done in secret. For Peter, having blessed the barley loaf which he had received, and hawing broken it with his right hand and his left, had heaped it up in his sleeves. Then Simon, enraged that he was not able to tell the secret of the apostle, cried out, saying: Let great dogs come forth, and eat him up before Caesar. And suddenly there appeared great dogs, and rushed at Peter. But Peter, stretching forth his hands23 to pray, showed to the dogs the loaf which he had blessed; which the dogs seeing, no longer appeared. Then Peter said to Nero: Behold, I have shown thee that I knew what Simon was thinking of, not by words, but by deeds; for he, having promised that he would bring angels against me, has brought dogs, in order that he might show that he had not god-like but dog-like angels.

Then Nero said to Simon: What is it, Simon? I think we have got the worst of it. Simon said: This man, both in Judaea and in all Palestine and Caesarea, has done the same to me;24 and from very often striving with me, he has learned that this is adverse to them. This, then, he has learned how to escape from me; for the thoughts of men no one knows but God alone. And Peter said to Simon: Certainly thou feignest thyself to be a god; why, then, dost thou not reveal the thoughts of every man?

Then Nero, turning to Paul, said: Why dost thou say nothing, Paul? Paul answered and said: Know this, O emperor, that if thou permittest this magician to do such things, it will bring an access of the greatest mischief to thy country, and will bring down thine empire from its position. Nero said to Simon: What sayest thou? Simon said: If I do not manifestly hold myself out to be a god, no one will bestow upon me due reverence. Nero said: And now, why dost thou delay, and not show thyself to be a god, in order that these men may be punished? Simon said: Give orders to build for me a lofty tower of wood, and I, going up upon it, will call my angels, and order them to take me, in the sight of all, to my father in heaven; and these men, not being able to do this, are put to shame as25 uneducated men. And Nero said to Peter: Hast thou heard, Peter, what has been said by Simon? From this will appear how much power either he or thy god has. Peter said: O most mighty emperor, it thou wert willing, thou mightst perceive that he is full of demons. Nero said: Why do you make to me roundabouts of circumlocutions? To-morrow will prove you.

Simon said: Dost thou believe, O good emperor, that I who was dead, and rose again, am a magician? For it had been brought about by his own cleverness that the unbelieving Simon had said to Nero: Order me to be beheaded in a dark place, and there to be left slain; and if I do not rise on the third day, know that I am a magician; but if I rise again, know that I am the Son of God.

And Nero having ordered this, in the dark, by his magic art be managed that a ram should be beheaded. And for so long did the ram appear to be Simon until he was beheaded. And when he had been beheaded in the dark, he that had beheaded him, taking the head, found it to be that of a ram; hut he would not say anything to the emperor, lest be should scourge him, having ordered this to be done in secret. Thereafter, accordingly. Simon said that he bad risen on the third day, because he took away the head of the ram and the limbs—but the blood had been there congealed—and on the third day he showed himself to Nero, and said: Cause to be wiped away my blood that has been poured out; for, behold, having been beheaded, as I promised, I have risen again on the third day.

And when Nero said, To-morrow will prove yon, turning to Paul, he says: Thou Paul, why dost thou say nothing? Either who taught thee, or whom thou hast for a master, or how thou hast taught in the cities, or what things have happened through thy teaching? For I think that thou hast not any wisdom, and art not able to accomplish any work of power. Paul answered: Dost thou suppose that I ought to speak against a desperate man. a magician, who has given his soul up to death, whose destruction and perdition will come speedily? For he ought to speak who pretends to be what he is not, and deceives men by magic art. If thou consentest to hear his words, and to shield him, thou shalt destroy thy soul and thy kingdom, for he is a most base man. And as the Egyptians Jannes and Jambres led Pharaoh and his army astray until they were swallowed up in the sea, so also he, through the instruction of his father the devil, persuades men to do many evils to themselves, and thus deceives many of the innocent, to the peril of thy kingdom. But as for the word of the devil, which I see has been poured out through this man, with groanings of my heart am dealing with the Holy Spirit, that it may clearly shown what it is; for as far as he seems to raise himself towards heaven, so far will he be sunk down into the depth of Hades, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. But about the teaching of my Master, of which thou didst ask me, none attain it except the pure, who allow faith to come into their heart.26 For as many things as belong to peace and love, these have I taught. Round about from Jerusalem, and as far as Illyricum,27 I have fulfilled the word of peace. For I have taught that in honour they should prefer one another;28 I have taught those that are eminent and rich not to be lifted up, and hope in uncertainty of riches, but to place their hope in God;29 I have taught those in a middle station to be content with food and covering;30 I have taught the poor to rejoice in their own poverty; I have taught fathers to teach their children instruction in the fear of the Lord, children to obey their parents in wholesome admonition;31 I have taught wives to love their own husbands, and to fear them as masters, and husbands to observe fidelity to their wives; I have taught masters to treat their slaves with clemency, and slaves to serve their own masters faithfully;32 I have taught the churches of the believers to reverence one almighty, invisible, and incomprehensible God. And this teaching has been given me, not from men, nor through men, but through Jesus Christ,33 who spoke to me out of heaven, who also has sent me to preach, saying to me, Go forth, for I will be with thee; and all things, as many as thou shalt say or do, I shall make just.

Nero said: What sayest thou, Peter? He answered and said: All that Paul has said is true.34 For when he was a persecutor of the faith of Christ, a voice called him out of heaven, and taught him the truth; for he was not an adversary of our faith from hatred, but from ignorance. For there were before us false Christs, like Simon, false apostles, and false prophets, who, contrary to the sacred writings, set themselves to make void the truth; and against these it was necessary to have in readiness this man, who from his youth up set himself to no other thing than to search out the mysteries of the divine law, by which35 he might become a vindicator of truth and a persecutor of falsehood. Since, then, his persecution was not on account of hatred, but on account of the vindication of the law, the very truth out of heaven held intercourse with him, saying, I am the truth which you persecutest; cease persecuting me. When, therefore, he knew that this was so, leaving off that which he was vindicating, he began to vindicate this way of Christ which he was persecuting.

Simon said: O good emperor, take notice that these two have conspired against me; for I am the truth, and they purpose evil against me. Peter said: There is no truth in thee; but all thou sayest is false.

Nero said: Paul, what sayest thou? Paul said: Those things which thou hast heard from Peter, believe to have been spoken by me also; for we purpose the same thing, for we have the same Lord Jesus the Christ. Simon said: Dost thou expect me, O good emperor, to hold an argument with these men, who have come to an agreement against me? And having turned to the apostles of Christ, he said: Listen, Peter and Paul: if I can do nothing for you here, we are going to the place where I must judge you. Paul said: O good emperor, see what threats he holds out against us. Peter said: Why was it necessary to keep from laughing outright at a foolish man, made the sport of demons, so as to suppose that he cannot be made manifest?

Simon said: I spare you until I shall receive my power. Paul said: See if you will go out hence safe. Peter said: If thou do not see, Simon, the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, thou wilt not believe thyself not to be Christ. Simon said: Most sacred emperor, do not believe them, for they are circumcised knaves. Paul said: Before we knew the truth. we had the circumcision of the flesh; but when the truth appeared, in the circumcision of the heart we both are circumcised, and circumcise. Peter said: If circumcision be a disgrace, why hast thou been circumcised, Simon?

Nero said: Has, then, Simon also been circumcised? Peter said: For not otherwise could he have deceived souls, unless he reigned himself to be a Jew, and made a show of teaching the law of God. Nero said: Simon, thou, as I see, being carried away with envy, persecutest these men. For, as it seems, there is great hatred between thee and their Christ; and I am afraid that thou wilt be worsted by them, and involved in great evils. Simon said: Thou art led astray, O emperor. Nero said: How am I led astray? What I see in thee, I say. I see that thou art manifestly an enemy of Peter and Paul and their master.

Simon said: Christ was not Paul’s master. Paul said: Yes; through revelation He taught me also. But tell me what I asked thee—Why wast thou circumcised? Simon said: Why have you asked me this? Paul said: We have a reason for asking you this. Nero said: Why art thou afraid to answer them? Simon said: Listen, O emperor. At that time circumcision was enjoined by God when I received it. For this reason was I circumcised.

Paul said: Hearest thou, O good emperor, what has been said by Simon? If, therefore, circumcision be a good thing, why hast thou, Simon, given up those who have been circumcised, and forced them, after being condemned, to be put to death? Nero said: Neither about you do I perceive anything good. Peter and Paul said: Whether this thought about us be good or evil has no reference to the matter; but to us it was necessary that what our Master promised should come to pass. Nero said: If I should not be willing? Peter said: Not as thou willest, but as He promised to us.

Simon said: O good emperor, these men have reckoned upon thy clemency, and have bound thee. Nero said: But neither hast thou yet made me sure about thyself. Simon said: Since so many excellent deeds and signs have been shown to thee by me, I wonder how thou shouldst be in doubt. Nero said: I neither doubt nor favour any of you; but answer me rather what I ask.

Simon said: Henceforward I answer thee nothing. Nero said: Seeing that thou liest, therefore thou sayest this. But if even I can do nothing to thee, God, who can, will do it. Simon said: I no longer answer thee. Nero said: Nor do I consider thee to be anything: for, as I perceive, thou art a liar in everything. But why do I say so much? The three of you show that your reasoning is uncertain; and thus in all things you have made me doubt, so that I find that I can give credit to none of you.36

Peter said: We preach one God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that has made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that therein is, who is the true King; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.37 Nero said: What king is lord? Paul said: The Saviour of all the nations. Simon said: l am he whom you speak of. Peter and Paul said: May it never be well with thee, Simon, magician, and full of bitterness.

Simon said: Listen, O Caesar Nero, that thou mayst know that these men are liars, and that I have been sent from the heavens: to-morrow I go up into the heavens, that I may make those who believe in me blessed, and show my wrath upon those who have denied me. Peter and Paul said: Us long ago God called to His own glory; but thou, called by the devil, hastenest to punishment. Simon said: Caesar Nero, listen to me. Separate these madmen from thee, in order that when I go into heaven to my father, I may be very merciful to thee. Nero said: And whence shall we prove this, that thou goest away into heaven? Simon said: Order a lofty tower to be made of wood, and of great beams, that I may go up upon it, and that my angels may find me in the air; for they cannot come to me upon earth among the sinners. Nero said: I will see whether thou wilt fulfil what thou sayest.

Then Nero ordered a lofty tower to be made in the Campus Martins, and all the people and the dignities to be present at the spectacle. And on the following day, all the multitude having come together, Nero ordered Peter and Paul to he present, to whom also he said: Now the truth has to be made manifest. Peter and Paul said: We do not expose him, but our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whom he has falsely declared himself to be.

And Paul, having turned to Peter, said: It is my part to bend the knee, and to pray to God; and thine to produce the effect, if thou shouldst see him attempting anything, because thou wast first taken in hand38 by the Lord. And Paul, bending his knees, prayed. And Peter, looking stedfastly upon Simon, said: Accomplish what thou hast begun; for both thy exposure and our call is at hand: for I see my Christ calling both me and Paul. Nero said: And where will you go to against my will? Peter said: Whithersoever our Lord has called us. Nero said: And who is your lord? Peter said: Jesus the Christ, whom I see calling us to Himself. Nero said: Do you also then intend to go away to heaven? Peter said: If it shall seem good to Him that calls us. Simon said: In order that thou mayst know, O emperor, that these are deceivers, as soon as ever I ascend into heaven, I will send my angels to thee, and will make thee come to me. Nero said: Do at once what thou sayest.

Then Simon went up upon the tower in the face of all, and, crowned with laurels, he stretched forth his hands, and began to fly. And when Nero saw him flying, he said to Peter: This Simon is true; hut thou and Paul are deceivers. To whom Peter said: Immediately shalt thou know that we are true disciples of Christ; but that he is not Christ, but a magician, and a malefactor. Nero said: Do you still persist? Behold, you see him going up into heaven. Then Peter, looking stedfastly upon Paul, said: Paul, look up and see. And Paul, having looked up, full of tears, and seeing Simon flying, said: Peter, why art thou idle? finish what thou hast begun; for already our Lord Jesus Christ is calling us. And Nero hearing them, smiled a little, and said: These men see themselves worsted already, and are gone mad. Peter said: Now thou shalt know that we are not mad. Paul said to Peter: Do at once what thou doest.

And Peter, looking stedfastly against Simon, said: I adjure you, ye angels of Satan, who are carrying him into the air, to deceive the hearts of the unbelievers, by the God that created all things, and by Jesus Christ, whom on the third day He raised from the dead, no longer from this hour to keep him up, but to let him go. And immediately, being let go, he fell into a place called Sacra Via, that is, Holy Way, and was divided into four parts, having perished by an evil fate.

Then Nero ordered Peter and Paul to be put in irons, and the body of Simon to be carefully kept three days, thinking that he would rise on the third day. To whom Peter said: He will no longer rise, since he is truly dead, being condemned to everlasting punishment. And Nero said to him: Who commanded thee to do such a dreadful deed? Peter said: His reflections and blasphemy against my Lord Jesus Christ have brought him into this gulf of destruction. Nero said: I will destroy you by an evil taking off. Peter said: This is not in thy power, even if it should seem good to thee to destroy us; but it is necessary that what our Master promised to us should he fulfilled.

Then Nero, having summoned Agrippa the propraetor, said to him: It is necessary that men introducing mischievous religious observances should die. Wherefore I order them to take iron clubs,39 and to be killed in the sea-fight. Agrippa the propraetor said: Most sacred emperor, what thou hast ordered is not fitting for these men, since Paul seems innocent beside Peter. Nero said: By what fate, then, shall they die? Agrippa answered and said: As seems to me, it is just that Paul’s head should be cut off, and that Peter should be raised on a cross as the cause of the murder. Nero said: Thou hast most excellently judged.

Then both Peter and Paul were led away from the presence of Nero. And Paul was beheaded on the Ostesian road.40

And Peter, having come to the cross, said: Since my Lord Jesus Christ, who came down from the heaven upon the earth, was raised upon the cross upright,41 and He has deigned to call to heaven me, who am of the earth, my cross ought to be fixed head down most, so as to direct my feet towards heaven; for I am not worthy to be crucified like my Lord. Then, having reversed the cross, they nailed his feet up.

And the multitude was assembled reviling Caesar, and wishing to kill him. But Peter restrained them, saying:42 A few days ago, being exhorted by the brethren, I was going away; and my Lord Jesus Christ met me, and having adored Him, I said, Lord, whither art Thou going? And He said to me, I am going to Rome to be crucified. And I said to Him, Lord, wast Thou not crucified once for all? And the Lord answering, said, I saw thee fleeing from death, and I wish to be crucified instead of thee. And I said, Lord, I go; I fulfil Thy command. And He said to me, Fear not, for am with thee.43 On this account, then, children, do not hinder my going; for already my feet are going on the road to heaven. Do not grieve, therefore, but rather rejoice with me, for to-day I receive the fruit of my labours. And thus: speaking, he said: I thank Thee, good Shepherd, that the sheep which Thou hast entrusted to me, sympathize with me; I ask, then, that with me they may have a part in Thy kingdom.44 And having thus spoken, he gave up the ghost.

And immediately there appeared men glorious and strange in appearance; and they said: We are here, on account of the holy and chief apostles, from Jerusalem. And they, along with Marcellus, an illustrious man, who, having left Simon, had believed in Peter, took up his body secretly, and put it under the terebinth near the place for the exhibition of sea-fights in the place called the Vatican.45

And the men who had said that they came from Jerusalem said to the people: Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, because you have been deemed worthy to have great champions. And know that Nero himself, after these not many days, will be utterly destroyed, and his kingdom shall be given to another.

And after these things the people revolted against him; and when he knew of it, he fled into desert places, and through hunger and cold he gave up the ghost, and his body became food for the wild beasts.

And some devout men of the regions of the East wished to carry off the relics of the saints, and immediately there was a great earthquake in the city;46 and those that dwelt in the city having become aware of it, ran and seized the men, but they fled. But the Romans having taken them, put them in a place three miles froth the city, and there they were guarded a year and seven months, until they had built the place in which they intended to put them. And after these things, all having assembled with glory and singing of praise, they put them in the place built for them.

And the consummation of the holy glorious Apostles Peter and Paul was on the 29th of the month of June—in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and strength.

The Story of Perpetua.


And as Paul was being led away to be beheaded at a place about three miles from the city, he was in irons. And there were three soldiers guarding him who were of a great family. And when they had gone out of the gate about the length of a bow-shot, there met them a God-fearing woman; and she, seeing Paul dragged along in irons, had compassion on him, and wept bitterly. And the name of the woman was called Perpetua; and she was one-eyed. And Paul, seeing her weeping, says to her: Give me thy handkerchief, and when I turn back I shall give it to thee. And she, having taken the handkerchief, gave it to him willingly. And the soldiers laughed, and said to the woman: Why dost thou wish, woman, to lose thy handkerchief? Knowest thou not that he is going away to be beheaded? And Perpetua said to them: I adjure you by the health of Caesar to bind his eyes with this handkerchief when you cut off his head. Which also was done. And they beheaded him at the place called Aquae Salviae, near the pine tree. And as God had willed, before the soldiers came back, the handkerchief, having on it drops of blood, was restored to the woman. And as she was carrying it, straightway and immediately her eye was opened.

And the three soldiers who had cut off the head of Saint Paul, when after three hours they came on the same day with the Bulla bringing it to Nero, having met Perpetua, they said to her: What is it, woman? Behold, by thy confidence thou hast lost thy handkerchief. But she said to them: I have both got my handkerchief, and my eye has recovered its sight. And as the Lord, the God of Paul, liveth, I also have entreated him that I may be deemed worthy to become the slave of his Lord. Then the soldiers who had the Bulla, recognising the handkerchief, and seeing that her eye had been opened, cried out with a loud voice, as if from one mouth, and said: We too are the slaves of Paul’s master. Perpetua therefore having gone away, reported in the palace of the Emperor Nero that the soldiers who had beheaded Paul said: We shall no longer go into the city, for we believe in Christ whom Paul preached, and we are Christians. Then Nero, filled with rage, ordered Perpetua, who had informed him of the soldiers, to be kept fast in irons; and as to the soldiers, he ordered one to be beheaded outside of the gate about one mile from the city, another to be cut in two, and the third to be stoned. And Perpetua was in the prison; and in this prison there was kept Potentiana, a noble maiden, because she had said: I forsake my parents and all the substance of my father, and I wish to become a Christian. She therefore joined herself to Perpetua, and ascertained from her everything about Paul, and was in much anxiety about the faith in Christ. And the wife of Nero was Potentiana’s sister; and she secretly informed her about Christ, that those who believe in Him see everlasting joy, and that everything here is temporary, but there eternal: so that also she fled out of the palace, and some of the senators’ wives with her. Then Nero, having inflicted many tortures upon Perpetua, at last tied a great stone to her neck, and ordered her to be thrown over a precipice. And her remains lie at the Momentan1 gate. And Potentiana also underwent many torments; and at last, having made a furnace one day, they burned her.

Acts of Paul and Thecla


As Paul was going up to Iconium after the flight from Antioch, his fellow-travellers were Demas and Ermogenes, full of hypocrisy; and they were importunate with Paul,1 as if they loved him. But Paul, looking only to the goodness of Christ, did them no harm, but loved them exceedingly, so that he made the oracles of the Lord sweet to them in the teaching both of the birth and the resurrection of the Beloved; and he gave them an account, word for word, of the great things of Christ, how He2 had been revealed to him.

And a certain man, by name Onesiphorus, hearing that Paul had come to Iconium, went out to meet him with his children Silas and Zeno, and his wife Lectra, in order that he might entertain him: for Titus had informed him what Paul was like in appearance: for he had not seen him in the flesh, but only in the spirit. And he went along the road to Lystra, and stood waiting for him, and kept looking at the passers by according to the description of Titus. And he saw Paul coming, a man small in size, bald-headed, bandy-legged, well-built,3 with eyebrows meeting, rather long-nosed, full of grace. For sometimes he seemed like a man, and sometimes he had the countenance of an angel. And Paul, seeing Onesiphorus, smiled; and Onesiphorus said: Hail, O servant of the blessed God! And he said: Grace be with thee and thy house. And Demas and Ermogenes were jealous, and showed greater hypocrisy; so that Demas said: Are not we of the blessed God, that thou hast not thus saluted us? And Onesiphorus said: I do not see in you the fruit of righteousness; but if such you be, come you also into my house and rest yourselves.

And Paul having gone into the house of Onesiphorus, there was great joy, and bending of knees, and breaking of bread, and the word of God about self-control and the resurrection; Paul saying: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God:4 blessed are they that have kept the flesh chaste, for they shall become a temple of God:5 blessed are they that control themselves, for God shall speak with them: blessed are they that have kept aloof from this world, for they shall be called upright:6 blessed are they that have wives as not having them, for they shall receive God for their portion:7 blessed are they that have the fear of God, for they shall become angels of God:8 blessed are they that have kept the baptism, for they shall rest beside the Father and the Son: blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy,9 and shall not see the bitter day of judgment: blessed are the bodies of the virgins, for they shall be well pleasing to God, and shall not lose the reward of their chastity; for the word of the Father shall become to them a work of salvation against the day of His Son, and they shall have rest for ever and ever.10

And while Paul was thus speaking in the midst of the church in the house of Onesiphorus, a certain virgin Thecla, the daughter of Theocleia, betrothed to a man named Thamyris, sitting at the window close by, listened night and day to the discourse of virginity and prayer, and did not look away from the window, but paid earnest heed to the faith, rejoicing exceedingly. And when she still saw many women going in beside Paul, she also had an eager desire to be deemed worthy to stand in the presence of Paul, and to hear the word of Christ; for never had she seen his figure, but heard his word only.

And as she did not stand away from the window, her mother sends to Thamyris; and he comes gladly, as if already receiving her in marriage. And Theocleia said: I have a strange story to tell thee, Thamyris; for assuredly for three days and three nights Thecla does not rise from the window, neither to eat nor to drink; but looking earnestly as if upon some pleasant sight, she is so devoted to a foreigner teaching deceitful and artful discourses, that I wonder how a virgin of such modesty is so painfully put about. Thamyris, this man will overturn the city of the Iconians, and thy Thecla too besides; for all the women and the young men go in beside him, being taught to fear God and to live in chastity. Moreover also my daughter, tied to the window like a spider, lays hold of what is said by Paul with a strange eagerness and awful emotion; for the virgin looks eagerly at what is said by him, and has been captivated. But do thou go near and speak to her, for she has been betrothed to thee.

And Thamyris going near, and kissing her, but at the same time also being afraid of her overpowering emotion, said: Thecla, my betrothed, why dost thou sit thus? and what sort of feeling holds thee overpowered? Turn round to thy Thamyris, and be ashamed. Moreover also her mother said the same things: Why dost thou sit thus looking down, my child, and answering nothing, but like a mad woman? And they wept fearfully, Thamyris indeed for the loss of a wife, and Theocleia of a child, and the maidservants of a mistress: there was accordingly much confusion in the house of mourning.11 And while these things were thus going on, Thecla did not turn round, but kept attending earnestly to the word of Paul.

And Thamyris starting up, went forth into the street, and kept watching those going in to him and coming out. And be saw two men bitterly contending with each other; and he said: Men, tell me who this is among you, leading astray the souls of young men, and deceiving virgins, so that they do not marry, but remain as they are. I promise, therefore, to give you money enough if you tell me about him; for I am the first man12 of the city. And Demas and Ermogenes said to him: Who this is, indeed, we do not know; but he deprives young men of wives, and maidens of husbands, saying, There is for you a resurrection in no other way, unless you remain chaste, and pullute not the flesh, but keep it chaste. And Thamyris said to them: Come into my house, and rest yourselves. And they went to a sumptuous dinner, and much wine, and great wealth, and a splendid table; and Thamyris made them drink, from his love to Thecla, and his wish to get her as his wife. And Thamyris said during the dinner: Ye men, what is his teaching, tell me, that I also may know; for I am no little distressed about Thecla, because she thus loves the stranger, and I am prevented from marrying.

Demas and Ermogenes said: Bring him before the governor Castelios on the charge of persuading the multitudes to embrace the new teaching of the Christians, and he will speedily destroy him, and thou shalt have Thecla as thy wife. And we shall teach thee that the resurrection of which this man speaks has taken place, because it has already taken place in the children which we have;13 and we rose again when we came to the knowledge of the true God.

And Thamyris, hearing these things, being filled with anger and rage, rising up early, went to the house of Onesiphorus with archons and public officers, and a great crowd with batons, saying: Thou hast corrupted the city of the Iconians, and her that was betrothed to me, so that she will pot have me: let us go to the governor Castelios. And all the multitude said: Away with the magician; for he has corrupted all our wives, and the multitudes have been persuaded to change their opinions.

And Thamyris, standing before the tribunal, said with a great shout: O proconsul, this man, who he is we know not, who makes virgins averse to marriage; let him say before thee on what14 account he teaches these things. And Demas and Ermogenes said to Thamyris: Say that he is a Christian, and thus thou wilt do away with him. But the proconsul stayed his intention, and called Paul, saying: Who art thou, and what dost thou teach? for they bring no shall charges against thee. And Paul lifted up his voice, saying: Since I am this day examined as to what I teach, listen, O proconsul: A living God, a God of retributions, a jealous God, a God in need of nothing, consulting for the salvation of men, has sent me that I may reclaim them from corruption and uncleanness, and from all pleasure, and from death, that they may not sin. Wherefore God sent His own Son, whom I preach, and in whom I teach men to rest their hope, who alone has had compassion upon a world led astray, that they may be no lover trader judgment, O proconsul, but may, have faith, and the fear of God, and the knowledge of holiness, and the love of truth. If, therefore, I teach what has been revealed to me by God, wherein do I do wrong? And the proconsul having heard, ordered Paul to be bound, and sent to prison, until, said he, I, being at leisure, shall hear him more attentively.

And Thecla by night having taken off her bracelets, gave them to the gatekeeper; and the door having been opened to her, she went into the prison; and having given the jailor a silver mirror, she went in beside Paul, and, sitting at his feet, she heard the great things of God. And Paul was afraid of nothing, but ordered his life in the confidence of God. And her faith also was increased, and she kissed his bonds.

And when Thecla was sought for by her friends, and Thamyris, as if she had been lost, was running up and down the streets, one of the gatekeeper’s fellow-slaves informed him that she had gone out by night. And having gone out, they examined the gatekeeper; and he said to them: She has gone to the foreigner into the prison. And having gone, they found her, as it were, enchained by affection. And having gone forth thence, they drew the multitudes together, and informed the governor of the circumstance. And he ordered Paul to be brought to the tribunal; but Thecla was wallowing on the ground15 in the place where he sat and taught her in the prison; and he ordered her too to be brought to the tribunal. And she came, exulting with joy. And the crowd, when Paul had been brought, vehemently cried out: He is a magician! away with him! But the proconsul gladly heard Paul upon the holy works of Christ. And having called a council, he summoned Thecla, and said to her: Why dost thou not obey Thamyris, according to the law of the Iconians? But she stood looking earnestly at Paul. And when she gave no answer, her mother cried out, saying: Burn the wicked wretch; burn in the midst of the theatre her that will not marry, in order that all the women that have been taught by this man may be afraid.

And the governor was greatly moved; and having scourged Paul, he cast him out of the city, and condemned Thecla to be burned. And immediately the governor went away to the theatre, and all the crowd went forth to the spectacle of Thecla. But as a lamb in the wilderness looks round for the shepherd, so she kept searching for Paul. And having looked upon the crowd, she saw the Lord sitting in the likeness of Paul, and said: As I am unable to endure my lot, Paul has come to see me. And she gazed upon him with great earnestness, and he went up into heaven. But the maid-servants16 and virgins brought the faggots, in order that Thecla might be burned. And when she came in naked, the governor wept, and wondered at the power17 that was in her. And the public executioners arranged the faggots for her to go up on the pile. And she, having made the sign of the cross, went up on the faggots; and they lighted them. And though a great fire was blazing, it did not touch her; for God, having compassion upon her, made an underground rumbling, and a cloud overshadowed them from above, full of water and hail; and all that was in the cavity of it was poured out, so that many were in danger of death. And the fire was put out, and Thecla saved.

And Paul was fasting with Onesiphorus and his wife, and his children, in a new tomb, as they were going from Iconium to Daphne. And when many clays were past, the fasting children said to Paul: We are hungry, and we cannot buy loaves; for Onesiphorus had left the things of the world, and followed Paul, with all his house. And Paul, having taken off his cloak, said: Go, my child, buy more loaves, and bring them. And when the child was buying, he saw Thecla their neighbour, and was astonished, and said: Thecla, whither art thou going? And she said: I have been saved from the fire, and am following Paul. And the boy said: Come, I shall take thee to him; for he is distressed about thee, and is praying six days. And she stood beside the tomb where Paul was with bended knees, and praying, and saying: O Saviour Christ, let not the fire touch Thecla, but stand by her, for she is Thine. And she, standing behind him, cried out: O Father, who hast made the heaven and the earth, the Father of Thy holy Son, I bless Thee that Thou hast saved me that I may see Paul. And Paul, rising up, saw her, and said: O God, that knowest the heart, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I bless Thee that Thou, having heard me, hast done quickly what I wished.

And they had five loaves, and herbs, and water; and they rejoiced in the holy works of Christ. And Thecla said to Paul: I shall cut my hair, and follow thee whithersoever thou mayst go. And he said: It is a shameless age, and thou art beautiful. I am afraid lest another temptation come upon thee worse than the first, and that thou withstand it not, but be cowardly. And Thecla said: Only give me the seal18 in Christ, and temptation shall not touch me. And Paul said: Thecla, wait with patience, and thou shalt receive the water.

And Paul sent away Onesiphorus and all his house to Iconium; and thus, having taken Thecla, he went into Antioch. And as they were going in, a certain Syriarch, Alexander by name, seeing Thecla, became enamoured of her, and tried to gain over Paul by gifts and presents. But Paul said: I know not the woman whom thou speakest of, nor is she mine. But he, being of great power, himself embraced her in the street. But she would not endure it, but looked about for Paul. And she cried out bitterly, saying: Do not force the stranger; do not force the servant of God. I am one of the chief persons of the Iconians; and because I would not have Thamyris, I have been cast out of the city. And taking hold of Alexander, she tore his cloak, and pulled off his crown, and made him a laughing-stock. And he, at the same time loving her, and at the same time ashamed of what had happened, led her before the governor; and when she had confessed that she had done these things, he condemned her to the wild beasts. And the women were struck with astonishment, and cried out beside the tribunal: Evil judgment! impious judgment! And she asked the governor, that, said she, I may remain pure until I shall fight with the wild beasts. And a certain Tryphaena,19 whose daughter was dead, took her into keeping, and had her for a consolation.

And when the beasts were exhibited, they bound her to a fierce lioness; and Tryphaena accompanied her. But the lioness, with Thecla sitting upon her, licked her feet; and all the multitude was astonished. And the charge on her inscription was: Sacrilegious. And the women cried out from above: An impious sentence has been passed in this city! And after the exhibition, Tryphaena again receives her. For her daughter Falconilla had died, and said to her in a dream: Mother, thou shaft have this stranger Thecla in my place, in order that she may pray concerning me, and that I may be transferred to the place of the just.

And when, after the exhibition, Tryphaena received her, at the same time indeed she grieved that she had to fight with the wild beasts on the day following; and at the same time, loving her as much as her daughter Falconilla, she said: My, second child Thecla, come and pray for my child, that she may live for ever; for this I saw in my sleep. And she, nothing hesitating, lifted up her voice, and said: God most high,20 grant to this woman according to bet wish, that her daughter Falconilla may live for ever. And when Thecla had thus spoken, Tryphaena lamented, considering so much beauty thrown to the wild beasts.

And when it was dawn, Alexander came to take her, for it was he that gave the hunt,21 saying: The governor is sitting, and the crowd is in uproar against us. Allow me to take away her that is to fight with the wild beasts. And Tryphaena cried aloud, so that he even fled, saying: A second mourning for my Falconilla has come upon my house and there is no one to help; neither child, for she is dead, nor kinsman, for I am a widow. God of Thecla, help her!

And immediately the governor sends an order that Thecla should be brought. And Tryphaena, taking her by the hand, said: My daughter Falconilla, indeed, I took away to the tomb; and thee, Thecla, I am taking to the wild-beast fight. And Thecla wept bitterly, saying: O Lord, the God in whom I believe, to whom I have fled for refuge, who deliveredst me from the fire, do Thou grant a recompense to Tryphaena, who has had compassion on Thy servant, and because she has kept me pure. Then a tumult arose, and a cry of the people, and the women sitting together, the one saying: Away with the sacrilegious person! the others saying: Let the city be raised22 against this wickedness. Take off all of us, O proconsul! Cruel sight! evil sentence!

And Thecla, having been taken out of the hand of Tryphaena, was stripped, and received a girdle,23 and was thrown into the arena, and lions and bears and a fierce lioness were let loose upon her; and the lioness having run up to her feet, lay down; and the multitude of the women cried aloud. And a bear ran upon her; but the lioness, meeting the bear, tore her to pieces. And again a lion that had been trained against men, which belonged to Alexander, ran upon her; and she, the lioness, encountering the lion, was killed along with him. And the women made great lamentation, since also the lioness, her protector, was dead.

Then they send in many wild beasts, she standing and stretching forth her hands, and praying. And when she had finished her prayer, she turned and saw a ditch full of water, and said: Now it is time to wash myself. And she threw herself in, saying: In the name of Jesus Christ I am baptized on my last day. And the women seeing, and the multitude, wept, saying: Do not throw thyself into the water; so that also the governor shed tears, because the seals were going to devour such beauty. She then threw herself in the name of Jesus Christ; but the seals having seen the glare of the fire of lightning, floated about dead. And there was round her, as she was naked, a cloud of fire; so that neither could the wild beasts touch her, nor could she be seen naked.

And the women, when other wild beasts were being thrown in, wailed. And some threw sweet-smelling herbs, others nard, others cassia, others amomum, so that there was abundance of perfumes. And all the wild beasts that had been thrown in, as if they had been withheld by sleep, did not touch her; so that Alexander said to the governor: I have bulls exceedingly terrible; let us bind to them her that is to fight with the beasts. And the governor, looking gloomy, turned, and said: Do what thou wilt. And they bound her by the feet between them, and put red-hot irons under the privy parts of the bulls, so that they, being rendered more furious, might kill her. They rushed about, therefore; but the burning flame consumed the ropes, and she was as if she had not been bound. But Tryphaena fainted standing beside the arena, so that the crowd said: Queen Tryphaena is dead. And the governor put a stop to the games, and the city was in dismay. And Alexander entreated the governor, saying: Have mercy both on me and the city, and release this woman. For if Caesar hear of these things, he will speedily destroy the city also along with us, because his kins-woman Queen Tryphaena has died beside the Abaci.24

And the governor summoned Thecla out of the midst of the wild beasts, and said to her: Who art thou? and what is there about thee, that not one of the wild beasts touches thee? And she said: I indeed am a servant of the living God; and as to what there is about me, I have believed in the Son of God, in whom He is well pleased; wherefore not one of the beasts has touched me. For He alone is the end25 of salvation, and the basis of immortal life; for He is a refuge to the tempest-tossed, a solace to the afflicted, a shelter to the despairing; and, once for all, whoever shall not believe on Him, shall not live for ever.

And the governor having heard this, ordered her garments to be brought, and to be put on. And Thecla said: He that clothed me naked among the wild beasts, will in the day of judgment clothe thee with salvation. And taking the garments, she put them on. The governor therefore immediately issued an edict, saying: I release to you the God-fearing Thecla, the servant of God. And the women shouted aloud, and with one mouth returned thanks to God, saying: There is one God, the God of Thecla; so that the foundations of the theatre were shaken by their voice. And Tryphaena having received the good news, went to meet the holy Thecla, and said: Now I believe that the dead are raised: now I believe that my child lives. Come within, and I shall assign to thee all that is mine. She therefore went in along with her, and rested eight days, having instructed her in the word of God, so that most even of the maid-servants believed. And there was great joy in the house.

And Thecla kept seeking Paul; and it was told her that he was in Myra of Lycia. And taking young men and maidens, she girded herself; and having sewed the tunic so as to make a man’s cloak, she came to Myra, and found Paul speaking the word of God. And Paul was astonished at seeing her, and the crowd with her, thinking that some new trial was coming upon her. And when she saw him, she said: I have received the baptism, Paul; for He that wrought along with thee for the Gospel has wrought in me also for baptism. And Paul, taking her, led her to the house of Hermaeus, and hears everything from her, so that those that heard greatly wondered, and were comforted, and prayed over Tryphaena. And she rose up, and said: I am going to Iconium. And Paul said: Go, and teach the word of God. And Tryphaena sent her much clothing and gold, so that she left to Paul many things for the service of the poor.

And she went to Iconium. And she goes into the house of Onesiphorus, and fell upon the pavement where Paul used to sit and teach her, and wept, saying: God of myself and of this house, where Thou didst make the light to shine upon me, O Christ Jesus, the Son of the living God, my help in the fire, my help among the wild beasts, Thou art glorified for ever. Amen. And she found Thamyris dead, but her mother alive. And having sent for her mother, she said: Theocleia, my mother, canst thou believe that the Lord liveth in the heavens? For whether thou desirest wealth, God gives it to thee through me; or thy child, I am standing beside thee. And having thus testified, she departed to Seleucia, and dwelt in a cave seventy-two years, living upon herbs and water. And she enlightened many by the word of God.

And certain men of the city, being Greeks by religion, and physicians by profession, sent to her insolent young men to destroy26 her. For they said: She is a virgin, and serves Artemis, and from this she has virtue in healing. And by the providence of God she entered into the rock alive, and went under ground. And she departed to Rome to see Paul, and found that he had fallen asleep.27 And after staying there no long time, she rested in a glorious sleep; and she is buried about two or three stadia from the tomb of her master Paul.

She was cast, then, into the fire when seventeen years old, and among the wild beasts when eighteen. And she was an ascetic in the cave, as has been said, seventy-two years, so that all the years of her life were ninety. And having accomplished many cures, she rests in the place of the saints, having fallen asleep on the twenty-fourth of the month of September in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and strength for ever and ever. Amen.

Instead of the last two sections, the ms.which Dr. Grabe used has the following:—

And a cloud of light guided her. And having come into Seleucia, she went forth outside of the city one stadium. And she was afraid of them also, for they worshipped idols. And it guided her to the mountain called Calamon or Rhodeon; and having there found a cave, she went into it. And she was there many years, and underwent many and grievous trials by the devil, and bore them nobly, being assisted by Christ. And some of the well-born women, having learned about the virgin Thecla, went to her, and learned the oracles of God. And many of them bade adieu to the world, and lived an ascetic life with her. And a good report was spread everywhere concerning her, and cures were done by her. All the city, therefore, and country round, having known this, brought their sick to the mountain; and before they came near the door they were speedily released from whatever disease they were afflicted by; and the unclean spirits went out shrieking, and all received their own in health, glorifying God, who had given such grace to the virgin Thecla. The physicians, therefore, of the city of the Seleucians were thought nothing of, having lost their trade, and no one any longer had regard to them; and being filled with envy and hatred, they plotted against the servant of Christ, what they should do to her. The devil then suggests to them a wicked device; and one day, being assembled, and having taken counsel, they consult with each other, saying: This virgin is a priestess of the great goddess Artemis; and if she ask anything of her, she hears her as being a virgin, and all the gods love her. Come, then, let us take men of disorderly lives, and make them drunk with much wine, and let us give them much gold, and say to them, If you can corrupt and defile her, we shall give you even more money. The physicians therefore said to themselves, that if they should be able to defile her, neither the gods nor Artemis would listen to her in the case of the sick. They therefore did so. And the wicked men, having gone to the mountain, and rushed upon the cave like lions, knocked at the door. And the holy martyr Thecla opened, emboldened By the God in whom she believed; for she knew of their plot beforehand. And she says to them: What do you want, my children? And they said: Is there one here called Thecla? And she said: What do you want with her? They say to her: We want to sleep with her. The blessed Thecla says to them: I am a humble old woman, but the servant of my Lord Jesus Christ; and even though you want to do something to me out of place, you cannot. They say to her: It is impossible for us not to do to thee what we want. And having said this, they laid fast hold of her, and wished to insult her. And she says to them with mildness: Wait, my children, that you may see the glory of the Lord. And being laid hold of by them, she looked up into heaven, and said: God, terrible and incomparable, and glorious to Thine adversaries, who didst deliver me out of the fire, who didst not give me up to Thamyris, who didst not give me up to Alexander, who didst deliver me from the wild beasts, who didst save me in the abyss, who hast everywhere worked with me, and glorified Thy name in me, now also deliver me from these lawless men, and let me not insult my virginity, which through Thy name I have preserved till now, because I love Thee, and desire Thee, and adore Thee, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost for ever. Amen. And there came a voice out of the heaven, saying: Fear not, Thecla, my true servant, for I am with thee. Look and see where an opening has been made before thee, for there shall be for thee an everlasting house, and there thou shalt obtain shelter. And the blessed Thecla regarding it, saw the rock opened as far as to allow a man to enter, and did according to what had been said to her: and nobly fleeing from the lawless ones entered into the rock; and the rock was straightway shut together, so that not even a joining appeared. And they, beholding the extraordinary wonder, became as it were distracted; and they were not able to detain the servant of God, but only caught hold of her veil, and were able to tear off a certain part; and that by the permission of God for the faith of those seeing the venerable place, and for a blessing in the generations afterwards to those that believe in our Lord Jesus Christ out of a pure heart.

Thus, then, suffered the first martyr of God, and apostle, and virgin, Thecla, who came from Iconium at eighteen years old; and with the journeying, and the going round, and the retirement in the mountain, she lived other seventy-two years. And when the Lord took her, she was ninety years old. And thus is her consummation. And her holy commemoration is on the twenty-fourth of the month of September, to the glory of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to ages of ages. Amen.

The Acts of Barnabas


The Journeyings and Martyrdom of St. Barnabas the Apostle.

Since from the descent of the presence of our Saviour Jesus Christ, the unwearied and benevolent and mighty Shepherd and Teacher and Physician, I beheld and saw the ineffable and holy and unspotted mystery of the Christians, who hold the hope in holiness, and who have been sealed; and since I have zealously served Him, I have deemed it necessary to give account of the mysteries which I have heard and seen.

I John, accompanying the holy apostles Barnabas and Paul, being formerly a servant of Cyrillus the high priest of Jupiter, but now having received the gift of the Holy Spirit through Paul and Barnabas and Silas, who were worthy of the calling, and who baptized me in Iconium. After I was baptized, then, I saw a certain man standing clothed in white raiment; and he said to me: Be of good courage, John, for assuredly thy name shall be changed to Mark, and thy glory shall be proclaimed in all the world. the darkness in thee has passed away from thee, and there has been given to thee understanding to know the mysteries of God.

And when I saw the vision, becoming greatly terrified, I went to the feet of Barnabas, and related to him the mysteries which I had seen and heard from that man. And the Apostle Paul was not by when I disclosed the mysteries. And Barnabas said to me: Tell no one the miracle which thou hast seen. For by me also this night the Lord stood, saying, Be of good courage: for as thou hast given thy life for my name to death and banishment from thy nation, thus also shall thou be made perfect. Moreover, as for the servant who is with you, take him also with thyself; for he has certain mysteries. Now then, my child, keep to thyself the things which thou hast seen and heard; for a time will come for thee to reveal them.1

And I, having been instructed in these things by him, remained in Iconium2 many days; for there was there a holy man and a pious, who also entertained us, whose house also Paul had sanctified. Thence, therefore, we came to Seleucia, and after staying three days sailed away to Cyprus; and I was ministering to them until we had gone round all Cyprus. And setting sail from Cyprus, we landed in Perga of Pamphylia. And there I then stayed about two months, wishing to sail to the regions of the West; and the Holy Spirit did not allow me. Turning, therefore, I again sought the apostles; and having learned that they were in Antioch, I went to them.

And I found Paul in bed in Antioch from the toil of the journey, who also seeing me, was exceedingly grieved on account of my delaying in Pamphylia. And Barnabas coming, encouraged him, and tasted bread, and he took a little of it. And they preached the word of the Lord, and enlightened many of the Jews and Greeks. And I only attended to them, and was afraid of Paul to come near him, both because he held me as having spent much time in Pamphylia, and because be was quite enraged against me. And I gave repentance on my knees upon the earth to Paul, and he would not endure it. And when I remained for three Sabbaths in entreaty and prayer on my knees, I was unable to prevail upon him about myself; for his great grievance against me was on account of my keeping several parchments in Pamphylia.

And when it came to pass that they finished teaching in Antioch, on the first of the week they took counsel together to set out for the places of the East, and after that to go into Cyprus, and oversee all the churches in which they had spoken the word of God. And Barnabas entreated Paul to go first to Cyprus, and oversee his own in his village; and Lucius3 entreated him to take the oversight of his city Cyrene. And a vision was seen by Paul in sleep, that he should hasten to Jerusalem, because the brethren expected him there. But Barnabas urged that they should go to Cyprus, and pass the winter, and then that they should go to Jerusalem at the feast. Great contention, therefore, arose between them.4 And Barnabas urged me also to accompany them, on account of my being their servant from the beginning, and on account of my having served them in all Cyprus until they came to Perga of Pamphylia; and I there had remained many days. But Paul cried out against Barnabas, saying: It is impossible for him to go with us. And those who were with us there urged me also to accompany them, because there was a vow upon me to follow them to the end. So that Paul said to Barnabas: If thou wilt take John who also is surnamed Mark with thee, go another road; for he shall not come with us. And Barnabas coming to himself, said: The grace of God does not desert5 him who has once served the Gospel and journeyed with us. If, therefore, this be agreeable to thee, Father Paul, I take him and go. And he said: Go thou in the grace of Christ, and we in the power of the Spirit.

Therefore, bending their knees, they prayed to God. And Paul, groaning aloud, wept, and in like manner also Barnabas, saying to one another: It would have been good for us, as at first, so also at last, to work in common among men; but since it has thus seemed good to thee, Father Paul, pray for me that my labour may be made perfect to commendation: for thou knowest how I have served thee also to the grace of Christ that has been given to thee. For I go to Cyprus, and hasten to be made perfect;6 for I know that I shall no more see thy face, O Father Paul. And failing on the ground at his feet, he wept long. And Paul said to him: The Lord stood by me also this night, saying, Do not force Barnabas not to go to Cyprus, for there it has been prepared for him to enlighten many; and do thou also, in the grace that has been given to thee, go to Jerusalem to worship in the holy place, and there it shall be shown thee where thy martyrdom has been prepared. And we saluted one another, and Barnabas took me to himself.

And having come down to Laodiceia,7 we sought to cross to Cyprus; and having found a ship going to Cyprus, we embarked. And when we had set sail, the wind was found to be contrary. And we came to Corasium;8 and having gone down to the shore where there was a fountain, we rested there, showing ourselves to no one, that no one might know that Barnabas had separated from Paul. And having set sail from Corasium, we came to the regions of Isauria, and thence came to a certain island called Pityusa;9 and a storm having come on, we remained there three days; and a certain pious man entertained us, by name Euphemus, whom also Barnabas instructed in many things in the faith, with all his house.

And thence we sailed past the Aconesiae,10 and came to the city of Anemurium; and having gone into it, we found two Greeks. And coming to us, they asked whence and who we were. And Barnabas said to them: If you wish to know whence and who we are, throw away the clothing which you have, and I shall put on you clothing which never becomes soiled; for neither is there in it anything filthy, but it is altogether splendid. And being astonished at the saying, they asked us: What is that garment which you are going to give us? And Barnabas said to them: If you shall confess your sins, and submit yourselves to our Lord Jesus Christ, you shall receive that garment which is incorruptible for ever. And being pricked at heart by the Holy Spirit, they fell at his feet, entreating and saying: We beseech thee, father, give us that garment; for we believe in the living and true God whom thou proclaimest. And leading them down to11 the fountain, he baptized them into the name of Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost. And they knew that they were clothed with power, and a holy robe. And having taken from me one robe, he put it on the one; and his own robe he put on the other. And they brought money to him, and straightway Barnabas distributed it to the poor. And from them also the sailors were able to gain many things.12

And they having come down to the shore, he spoke to them the word of God; and he having blessed them, we saluted them, and went on board the ship. And the one of them who was named Stephanus wished to accompany us, and Barnabas did not permit him. And we, having gone across, sailed down to Cyprus by night; and having come to the place called Crommyacita,13 we found Timon and Ariston the temple Servants, at whose house also we were entertained.

And Timon was afflicted by much fever. And having laid our hands upon him, we straightway removed his fever, having called upon the name of the Lord Jesus. And Barnabas had received documents from Matthew, a book of the word14 of God, and a narrative of miracles and doctrines. This Barnabas laid upon the sick in each place that we came to, and it immediately made a cure of their sufferings.

And when we had come to Lapithus,15 and an idol festival16 being celebrated in the theatre, they did not allow us to go into the city, but we rested a little at the gate. And Timon, after he rose up from his disease, came with us. And having gone forth from Lapithus, we travelled through the mountains, and came to the city of Lampadistus, of which also Timon was a native; in addition to whom, having found also that Heracleius was there, we were entertained by him. He was of the city of Tamasus,17 and had come to visit his relations; and Barnabas, looking stedfastly at him, recognised him, having met with him formerly at Citium with Paul; to whom also the Holy Spirit was given at baptism, and he changed his name to Heracleides. And having ordained him bishop over Cyprus, and having confirmed the church in Tamasus, we left him in the house of his brethren that dwelt there.

And having crossed the mountain called Chionodes,18 we came to Old Paphos, and there found Rhodon, a temple servant, who also, having himself believed, accompanied us. And we met a certain Jew, by name Barjesus, coming from Paphos, who also recognised Barnabas, as having been formerly with Paul. He did not wish us to go into Paphos; but having turned away, we came to Curium.19

And we found that a certain abominable race was being performed20 in the road near the city, where a multitude of women and men naked were performing the race. And there was great deception and error in that place. And Barnabas turning, rebuked it; and the western part fell, so that many were wounded, and many of them also died and the rest fled to the temple of Apollo, which was close at hand in the city, which was called sacred.21 And when we came near the temple, a great multitude of Jews who were there, having been put up to it by Barjesus. stood outside of the city, and did not allow us to go into the city; but we spent the evening under a tree near the city, and rested there.

And on the following day, we came to a certain village where Aristoclianus dwelt. He being a leper, had been cleansed in Antioch, whom also Paul and Barnabas sealed to be a bishop, and sent to his village in Cyprus, because there were many Greeks there. And we were entertained in the cave by him in the mountain, and there we remained one day. And thence we came to Amathus and there was a great multitude of Greeks in the temple in the mountain, low women and men pouring libations. There also Barjesus, getting the start of as, gained over the nation of the Jews, and did not allow us to enter into the city; but a certain widow woman. eighty years old. being outside of the city, and she also not worshipping the idols, coming forward to us, took us into her house one hour. And when we came out we shook the dust off our feet over against that temple where the libation of the abominable took place.

And having gone out thence, we came through desert places, and Timon also accompanied us. And having come to Citium, and there being a great uproar there also in their hippodrome, having learned this, we came forth out of the city, having all shaken the dust off our feet; for no one received us, except that we rested one hour in the gate near the aqueduct.

And having set sail in a ship from Citium, we came to Salamis, and landed in the so-called islands, where there was a place full of idols; and there there took place high festivals22 and libations. And having found Heracleides there again, we instructed him to proclaim the Gospel of God, and to set up churches, and ministers in them. And having gone into Salamis. we came to the synagogue near the place called Biblia; and when we had gone into it, Barnabas, having unrolled the Gospel which he had received from Matthew his fellow-labourer, began to teach the Jews.

And Barjesus, having arrived after two days, after not a few Jews had been instructed, was enraged, and brought together all the multitude of the Jews; and they having laid hold of Barnabas, wished to hand him over to Hypatius, the governor of Salamis. And having bound him to take him away to the governor, and a pious Jebusite,23 a kinsman of Nero, having count to Cyprus, the Jews, learning this, took Barnabas by night, and bound him with a rope by the neck; and having dragged him to the hippodrome from the synagogue, and having gone out of the city, standing round him, they burned him with fire, so that even his bones became dust. And straightway that night, having taken his dust, they cast it into a cloth; and having se cured it with lead. they intended to throw it into the sea. But I, finding an opportunity in the night, and being able along with Timon and Rhodon to carry it. we came to a certain place, and having found a cave, put it down there, where the nation of the Jebusites formerly dwelt. And having found a secret place in it, we put it away, with the documents which he had received from Matthew. And it was the fourth hour of the night of the second of the week.24

And when we were hid in the place. the Jews made no little search after us; and having almost found us, they pursued us as far as the village of the Ledrians; and we, having found there also a cave near the village, took refuge in it, and thus escaped them. And we were hid in the cave three days; and the Jews having gone away, we came forth and left the place by night. And taking with us Ariston and Rhodon, we came to the village of Limnes.25

And having come to the shore, we found an Egyptian ship; and having embarked in it, we landed at Alexandria. And there I remained, teaching the brethren that came the word of the Lord, enlightening them, and preaching what I had been taught by the apostles of Christ, who also baptized me into the name of Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost; who also changed my name to Mark in the water of baptism, by which also I hope to bring many to the glory of God through His grace; because to Him is due honour and everlasting glory. Amen.

The journeyings and martyrdom of the holy apostle Barnabas have been fulfilled through God.

The Acts of Philip


Of the Journeyings of Philip the Apostle

From the Fifteenth Act Until the End, and Among Them the Martyrdom.1


About the time when the Emperor Trajan received the government of the Romans, after Simon the son of Clopas, who was bishop of Jerusalem, had suffered martyrdom in the eighth year of his reign, being the second bishop of the church there after James who bore the name of brother of the Lord,2 Philip the apostle, going through the cities and regions of Lydia and Asia, preached to all the Gospel of Christ.

And having come to the city of Ophioryma, which is called Hierapolis of Asia, he was entertained by a certain believer, Stachys by name. And there was with him also Bartholomew, one of the seventy disciples of the Lord, and his sister Mariamme, and his disciples that followed him. All the men of the city therefore, having left their work, ran to the house of Stachys, hearing about the works which Philip did. And many men and women having assembled in the house of Stachys, Philip along with Bartholomew taught them the things of Jesus.

And Philip’s sister Mariamme, sitting in the entry of the house of Stachys, addressed herself to those coming, persuading them to listen to the apostles, saying to them: Our brethren, and sons of my Father in heaven, ye are the excellent riches, and the substance of the city above, the delight of the habitation which God has prepared for those that love Him. Trample under foot the snares of the enemy, the writhing serpent. For his path is crooked, since he is the son of the wicked one, and the poison of wickedness is in him; and his father is the devil, the author of death, and his mother corruption; rage in his eyes and destruction in his mouth, and his path is Hades. Wherefore flee from him that has no substance, the shapeless one that has no shape in all the creation, whether in the heaven or in the earth, whether in the flying creatures or the beasts. For everything is taken away from his shape; for among the beasts of the earth and the fowls of the heaven is the knowledge of him, that the serpent trails his belly and his breast; and Tartarus is his dwelling-place, and he goes in the darkness, since he has confidence in nothing.3 Flee therefore from him, that his poison may not be poured out into your mouth. But be rather believing. holy, of good works, having no deceit. Take away from yourselves the wicked disposition, that is, the evil desires through which the serpent, the wicked dragon, the prince of evil, has produced the pasture of destruction and death for the soul, since all the desire of the wicked has proceeded from him. And this is the root of iniquity, the maintenance of evils, the death of souls: for the desire of the enemy is armed against the believers, and comes forth from the darkness, and walks in the darkness, taking in hand to war with those who are in the light. For this is the beginning of concupiscence.4 Wherefore you who wish to come to us, and the rather that God has come through us to you as a father to his own children, wishing to have mercy upon you, and to deliver you from the wicked snare of the enemy, flee from the evil lusts of the enemy, and cast them completely out of your mind, hating openly the father of evils, and loving Jesus, who is light, and life, and truth, and the Saviour of all who desire Him. Having run, therefore, to Him, take hold of Him in love, that He may bring you up out of the pit of the wicked, and having cleansed you, set you blameless, living in truth, in the presence of His Father.

And all these things Philip said to the multitudes that had come together to worship as in old times the serpents and the viper, of which also they set up images and worshipped them. Wherefore also they called Hierapolis Ophioryma.5 And these things having been said by Philip, Bartholomew and Mariamme and his disciples, and Stachys being along with him, all the people gave ear, and a great multitude of them fleeing from the enemy were turned to Jesus, and were added to Philip and those about him. And the faithful were the more confirmed in the love of Christ.

And Nicanora, the wife of the proconsul, lying in bed under various diseases, especially of the eyes, having heard about the Apostle Philip and his teaching, believed in the Lord. For she had even before this heard about Him; and having called upon His name, she was released from the troubles that afflicted her. And rising up, she went forth out of her house through the side door, carried by her own slaves in a silver litter, and went into the house of Stachys, where the apostles were.

And when she came before the gate of the house, Mariamme, the sister of Philip the apostle, seeing her, spoke to her in the Hebrew tongue before Philip and Bartholomew, and all the multitude of those who had believed, saying: Alemakan, Ikasame, Marmare, Nachaman,6 Mastranan, Achaman; which is, Daughter of the father, thou art my mistress, thou hast been given as a pledge to the serpent; but Jesus our Redeemer has come to deliver thee through us, to break thy bands, and cut them, and to remove them from thee from their root, because thou art my sister, one mother brought us forth twins. Thou hast forsaken thy father, thou hast forsaken the path leading thee to the dwelling-place of thy mother, being in error; thou hast left the temple of that deception, and of the temporary glory, and hast come to us, fleeing from the enemy, because he is the dwelling-place of death. Behold, now thy Redeemer has come to redeem thee; Christ the Sun of righteousness has risen upon thee, to enlighten thee.7

And when Nicanora, standing before the door, heard these things, she took courage before all, crying out, and saying: I am a Hebrew, and a daughter of the Hebrews; speak with me in the language of my fathers. For, having heard the preaching of my fathers, I was straightway cured of the disease and the troubles that encompassed me. I therefore adore the goodness of God who has caused you to be spoiled even to this city, on account of His true stone8 held in honour, in order that through you we may receive the knowledge of Him, and may live with you, having believed in Him.

Nicanora having thus spoken, the Apostle Philip, along with Bartholomew and Mariamme and those with them, prayed for her to God, saying: Thou who bringest the dead to life, Christ Jesus the Lord, who hast freed us through baptism from the slavery of death,9 completely deliver also this woman from the error, the enemy; make her alive in Thy life, and perfect her in Thy perfection, in order that she may be found in the country of her fathers in freedom, having a portion in Thy goodness, O Lord Jesus.

And all having sent up the amen along with the Apostle Philip, behold, there came the tyrant, the husband of Nicanora, raging like an unbroken horse; and having laid hold of his wife’s garments, he cried out, saying: O Nicanora, did not I leave thee in bed? how hadst thou so much strength as to come to these magicians? And how hast thou been cured of the inflammation of thine eyes? Now, therefore, unless thou tell me who thy physician is, and what is his name, I shall punish thee with various punishments, and shall not have compassion upon thee. And she answering, says to him: O tyrant, cast out from thee this tyranny of thine, forsake this wickedness of thine; abandon this life lasting only for a season; run away from the brutality of thy worthless disposition; flee from the wicked dragon and his lusts; throw from thee the works and the dart of the man-slaying serpent; renounce the abominable and wicked sacrifices of the idols, which are the husbandry of the enemy, the hedge of darkness; make for thyself a life chaste and pure, that being in holiness thou mayst be able to know my Physician, and to get His name. If therefore thou wishest me to be beside thee, prepare thyself to live in chastity and self-restraint, and in fear of the true God, and I shall live with thee all my life; only cleanse thyself from the idols, and from all their filth.

And when the gloomy tyrant her husband heard these words of hers, he seized her by the hair of her head, and dragged her along, kicking her, and saying: It will be a fine thing for thee to be cut off by the sword, or to see thee from beside me committing fornication with these foreign magicians; for I see that thou hast fallen into the madness of these deceivers. Thee first of them, therefore, I shall cut off by an evil death; and then, not sparing them, I shall cut their sinews, and put them to a most cruel death. And having turned, he said to those about him: Bring out for me those impostors of magicians. And the public executioners having run into the house of Stachys, and laid hold of the Apostle Philip, and Bartholomew and Mariamme, dragged them along, leading them to where the proconsul was. And the most faithful Stachys followed, and all the faithful.

And the proconsul seeing them, gnashed his teeth, saying: Torture these deceivers that have deceived many women, and young men and girls, saying that they are worshippers of God, while they are an abomination. And he ordered thongs of raw hide to be brought, and Philip and Bartholomew and Mariamme to be beaten; and after they had been scourged with the thongs, he ordered their feet to be tied, and them to be dragged through the streets of the city as far as the gate of their temple. And a great crowd was assembled, so that scarcely any one stayed at home; and they all wondered at their patience, as they were being violently and inhumanly dragged along.

And the proconsul, having tortured the Apostle Philip and the saints who were with him, ordered them to be brought, and secured in the temple of the idol of the viper by its priests, until he should decide by what death he should destroy each of them. And many of the crowd believed in the grace of Christ, and were added to the Apostle Philip, and those with him, having renounced the idol of the viper, and were confirmed in the faith being magnified by the endurance of the saints; and all together with their voice glorified God, saying the amen.

And when they were shut up in the temple of the viper—both Philip the Apostle, and Bartholomew and Mariamme—the priests of the viper assembled in the same place, and a great crowd, about seven thousand men; and having run to the proconsul, they cried out, saying: Avenge us of the foreigners, and magicians, and corrupters and seducers of men. For ever since they came to us, our dry has been filled with every evil deed; and they have also killed the serpents, the sons of our goddess; and they have also shut the temple, and the altar has been desolated; and we have not found the wine which had been brought in order that the viper, having drunk of it, might go to sleep. But if thou wishest to know that they are really, magicians, look and see how they wish to bewitch us, saying, Live in chastity and piety, after believing in God; and how also they have come into the city; and bow also the dragons have not struck them blind, or even killed them; and how also they have not drunk their blood; but even they who keep our city from every foreigner have been cast down by these men.

And the proconsul, having heard these things, was the more inflamed with rage, and filled with wrath and threatening; and he was exceedingly enraged, and said to the priests: Why need you speak, when they have bewitched my own wife? And from that time she has spoken to me with strange words; and praying all the night through, she speaks in a strange tongue with a light shining round her; and groaning aloud, she says, Jesus the true light has come to me. And I, having gone forth from my chamber, wished to look down through the window and see Jesus, the light which she spoke of; and like lightning it came upon me, so that I was within a little of being blinded; and from that time forth I am afraid of my wife, on account of her luminous Jesus. Tell me, ye priests, what I am to do. And they said to him: O proconsul, assuredly we are no longer priests; for ever since thou didst shut them up, in consequence of them praying, not only has the temple been shaken from the foundations, but it is also assuredly falling down.

Then the proconsul ordered to bring Philip and those with him forth out of the temple, and to bring them up to the tribunal, saying to the public executioner: Strip Philip and Bartholomew and Mariamme, and search thoroughly to try to find their enchantments. Having therefore first stripped Philip, then Bartholomew, they came also to Mariamme; and dragging her along, they said: Let us strip her naked, that all may see her, how she follows men; for she especially deceives all the women. And the tyrant says to the priests: Proclaim throughout the whole city round about that all should come, men and women, that they may see her indecency, that she travels about with these magicians, and no doubt commits adultery with them. And he ordered Philip to be hanged, and his ankles to be pierced, and to bring also iron hooks, and his heels also to be driven through, and to be hanged head downwards, opposite the temple on a certain tree; and stretch out Bartholomew opposite Philip, having nailed his hands on the wall of the gate of the temple.

And both of them smiled, seeing each other, both Philip and Bartholomew; for they were as if they were not tortured: for their punishments were prizes and crowns. And when also they had stripped Mariamme, behold, straightway the semblance of her body was changed in the presence of all, and straightway there was about her a cloud of fire before all; and they could not longer look at all on the place in which the holy Mariamme was, but they all fled from her.

And Philip spoke with Bartholomew in the Hebrew tongue saying: Where is our brother John? for, behold, I am being released from the body; and who is he that has prayed for us? Because they have also laid hands on our sister Mariamme, contrary to what is meet; and, behold, they have set fire to the house of Stachys, sayings, Let us burn it, since he entertained them. Dost thou wish then, Bartholomew, fire to come from heaven, and that we should burn them up?

And as Philip was thus speaking, behold, also John entered into the city like one of their fellow-citizens; and moving about in the street, he asked: Who are these men, and why are they punished? And they say to him: It cannot be that thou art of our city, and askest about these men, who have wronged many: for they have shut up our gods, and by their magic have cut off both the serpents and the dragons; and they have also raised many of the dead, who have struck us with amazement, detailing many punishments against us, and they wish also, these strangers who are hanging, to pray for fire out of heaven, and to burn up us and our city.

Then says John: Let us go, and do you show me them. They led John, therefore, as their fellow-citizen, to where Philip was; and there was there a great crowd, and the proconsul, and the priests. And Philip, seeing John, said to Bartholomew in Hebrew: Brother, John has come, who was in Barek, where the living water is.10 And John saw Philip hanging head downwards both by the ankles and the heels;11 and he also saw Bartholomew stretched out on the wall of the temple; and he said to them: The mystery of him that was hanged between the heaven and the earth shall be with you.

And he said also to the men of that city: Ye men who dwell in Ophioryma Hierapolis, great is the ignorance which is among you, for you have erred in the path of error. The dragon breathing has breathed upon you, and blinded you in three ways; that is, he has made you blind in body, and blind in soul, and blind in spirit: and you have been struck by the destroyer. Look upon the whole creation, whether in the earth, or in the heaven, or in the waters, that the serpent has no resemblance to anything above;12 but he is of the stock of corruption, and has been brought to nothing by God; and on this account he is twisted and crooked, and there is no life in him; and anger, and rage, and darkness, and fire, and smoke are in all his members. And now, therefore, why do you punish these men because they have told you that the serpent is your enemy?

And when they heard these words from John, they raised their hands against him, saying: We thought thee to be a fellow-citizen, but now thou hast shown thyself that thou art their companion. Like them, so also thou shalt be put to death; for the priests have intended to squeeze out your blood, and having mixed it with wine, to bring it to the viper to drink it. When, therefore, the priests attempted to lay hold of John, their hands were paralyzed. And John said to Philip: Let us not at all render evil for evil. And Philip said to John: Behold now, where is my Lord Jesus, who told me not to avenge myself? But for my part, I shall not endure it longer; but I will accomplish upon them my threat, and will destroy them all13 .

And John and Bartholomew and Mariamme restrained him, saying: Our Master was beaten, was scourged, was extended on the cross, was made to drink gall and vinegar, and said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.14 And this He taught, saying: Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.15 Let us also therefore be patient. Philip says: Go away, and do not mollify me; for I will not bear that they have hanged me head down, and pierced my ankles and my heels with irons. And thou, John, beloved of God, how much hast thou reasoned with them, and thou hast not been listened to! Wherefore go away from me, and I will curse them, and they shall be destroyed utterly to a man. And he began to curse them, invoking, and crying out in Hebrew: Abalo, Aremun, Iduthael, Tharseleon, Nachoth, Aidunaph, Teletoloi:16 that is, O Father of Christ, the only and Almighty God; O God, whom all ages dread, powerful and impartial Judge, whose name is in Thy dynasty Sabaoth.17 blessed art Thou for everlasting: before Thee tremble dominions and powers of the celestials, and the fire-breathing threats of the cherubic living ones; the King, holy in majesty, whose name came upon the wild beasts of the desert, and they were tamed, and praised Thee with a rational voice; who lookest upon us, and readily grantest our requests; who knewest us before we were fashioned; the Overseer of all: now, I pray, let the great Hades open its mouth; let the great abyss swallow up these the ungodly, who have not been willing to receive the word of truth in this city. So let it be, Sabaoth. And, behold, suddenly the abyss was opened, and the whole of the place in which the proconsul was sitting was swallowed up, and the whole of the temple, and the viper which they worshipped, and great crowds, and the priests of the viper, about seven thousand men, besides women and children, except where the apostles were: they remained unshaken. And the proconsul was swallowed up into the abyss; and their voices came up from beneath, saying, with weeping: Have mercy upon us, O God of Thy glorious apostles, because we now see the judgments of those who have not confessed the crucified One: behold. the cross illumines us. O Jesus Christ, manifest Thyself to us, because we are all coming down alive into Hades, and are being scourged because we have unjustly crucified Thine apostles. And a voice was heard of one, saying: I shall be merciful to you in the cross of light.

And there remained both Stachys and all his house, and the wife of the proconsul, and fifty other women who had believed with her upon the Lord, and a multitude besides, both of men and women, and a hundred virgins who had not been swallowed up because of their chastity, having been sealed with the seal of Christ.

Then the Lord, having appeared unto Philip, said: O Philip, didst thou not hear: Thou shall not render evil for evil? and why hast thou inflicted such destruction? O Philip, whosoever putteth his hand to the plough, and looketh backwards,18 is his furrow well set? or who gives up his own lamp to another, and himself sits in darkness? or who forsakes his own dwelling-place, and dwells on a dunghill himself? And who, giving away his own garment in winter, goes naked? or what enemy rejoices in the joy of the man that hates him? and what soldier goes to war without a full suit of armour? and what slave who has fulfilled his master’s order will not be commended? and who in the race-coarse, having nobly run, does not receive the prize? and who that has washed his garments willingly defiles them? Behold, my bride chamber is ready; but blessed is he who has been found in it wearing the shining garment:19 he it is who receives the crown upon his head. Behold, the supper is ready; and blessed is he who is invited, and is ready to go to Him that has invited him. The harvest of the field is much,20 and blessed is the good labourer. Behold the lilies and all the flowers, and it is the good husbandman who is the first to get a share of them. And how hast thou become, O Philip, unmerciful, having cursed thine enemies in wrath?

Philip says: Why art Thou angry with me, Lord, because I have cursed mine enemies? for why dost Thou not tread them under foot, because they are yet alive in the abyss? And knowest Thou, Lord, that because of Thee I came into this city, and in Thy name I have persecuted all the error of the idols, and all the demons? The dragons have withered away, and the serpents. And since these men have not received Thy light, therefore have I cursed them, and they have gone down to Hades alive.

And the Saviour says to Philip: But since thou hast disobeyed me, and hast requited evil for evil, and hast not kept my commandment, on this account thou shalt finish thy course gloriously indeed, and shalt be led by the hand by my holy angels, and shalt come with them even to the paradise of delight; and they indeed shall come beside me into paradise, but thee will I order to be shut outside of paradise for forty days, in terror under the flaming and turning sword, and thou shall groan because thou hast done evil to those who have done evil to thee. And after forty days I shall send my archangel Michael; and he, having taken hold of the sword guarding paradise, shall bring thee into it, and thou shall see all the righteous who have walked in their innocence, and then thou shall worship the glory of my Father in the heavens. Nevertheless the sign of thy departure shall be glorified in my cross. And Bartholomew having gone away into Lycaonia, shall there also be himself crucified; and Mariamme shall lay her body in the river Jordan. But I, O Philip, will not endure thee, because thou hast swallowed up the men into the abyss; but, behold, my Spirit is in them, and I shall bring them up from the dead; and thus they, seeing thee, shall believe in the glory of Him that sent thee.

And the Saviour having turned, stretched up His hand, and marked a cross in the air coming down from above even to the abyss, and it was full of light, and had its form after the likeness of a ladder. And all the multitude that had gone down from the city into the abyss came up on the ladder of the luminous cross; but there remained below the proconsul, and the viper which they worshipped. And when the multitude had come up, having looked upon Philip hanging head downwards, they lamented with a great lamentation at the lawless action which they had done. And they also saw Bartholomew, and Mariamme having her former appearance. And. behold, the Lord went up into the heavens in the sight of Philip, and Bartholomew and Mariamme. and Stachys, and all the unbelieving people, and silently they glorified God in fear and trembling. And all the multitudes cried out, saying: He alone is God, whom these men proclaim in truth; He alone is God, who sent these men for our salvation. Let us therefore truly repent for our great error, because we are by no means worthy of everlasting life. Now we believe, because we have seen great wonders, because the Saviour has brought us up from the abyss. And they all fell upon their face, and adored Philip, and entreated him, ready to flee: Do not do another miracle, and again send us away into the abyss. And they prayed that they might become worthy of the appearing of Christ.

And Philip, yet hanging, addressed them, and said: Hear and learn how great are the powers of my God, remembering what you have seen below, and how your city has been overturned, with the exception of the house which received me; and now the sweetness of my God has brought you up out of the abyss, and I am obliged to walk round paradise for forty days on your account, because I was enraged against you into requiting you. And this commandment alone I have not kept, in that I did not give you good in return for evil. But I say unto you, From this time forth, in the goodness of God, reject the evil, that you may become worthy of the thanksgiving21 of the Lord.

And some of the faithful ran up to take down Philip, and take off him the iron grapnels, and the hooks out of his ankles. But Philip said: Do not, my children, do not come near me on account of this, for thus shall be my end. Listen to me, ye who have been enlightened in the Lord, that I came to this city, not to make any merchandise, or do any other thing; but I have been destined to go out of my body in this city in the case in which you see me. Grieve not, then, that I am hanging thus; for I bear the stamp22 of the first man, who was brought to the earth head downwards, and again, through the wood of the cross brought to life out of the death of the transgression. And now I accomplish that which hath been enjoined upon me; for the Lord said to me, Unless you shall make that of you which is down to be up, and that which is on the left to be on the right, you shall not enter into my kingdom. Be ye not therefore likened to the unchanged type, for all the world has been changed, and every soul dwelling in a body is in forgetfulness of heavenly things; but let not us possessing the glory of the heavenly seek that which is without, which is the body and the house of slavery. Be not unbelieving, but believing, and forgive each other’s faults. Behold, I hang six days, and I have blame from the true Judge, because I altogether requited you evil, and put a stumbling-block in the way of my rectitude. And now I am going up on high; be not sorrowful, but rather rejoice, because I am leaving this dwelling-place, my body, having escaped from the corruption of the dragon, who punishes every soul that is in sins.

And Philip, having looked round upon the multitudes, said: O ye who have come up out of the dead from Hades, and the swallowing up of the abyss,—and the luminous cross led you up on high, through the goodness of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost,—He being God became man, having been made flesh out of the Virgin Mary, immortal, abiding in flesh; and having died, He raised the dead, having had pity on mankind, having taken away the sting of sin. He was great, and became small for our sake, until He should enlarge the small, and bring them into His greatness. And He it is who has sweetness; and they spat upon Him, giving Him gall to drink, in order that He might make those who were bitter against Him to taste of His sweetness. Cleave then to Him, and do not forsake Him, for He is our life to everlasting.

And when Philip had finished this announcement, he says to them, Loose Bartholomew; and having gone up, they loosed him. And after loosing him, Philip says to him: Bartholomew, my brother in the Lord, thou knowest that the Lord has sent thee with me to this city, and thou hast shared with me in all the dangers with our sister Mariamme; but I know that the going forth from thy body has been appointed in Lycaonia, and it has been decreed to Mariamme to go forth from the body in the river Jordan. Now therefore I command you, that when I have gone forth from my body, you shall build a church in this place; and let the leopard and the kid of the goats23 come into the church, for a sign to those that believe; and tot Nicanora provide for them until they shall go forth from the body; and when they shall have gone forth, bury them by the gate of the church. And lay your peace upon the house of Stachys, as Christ laid His peace on this city. And let all the virgins who believe stand in that house each day, watching over the sick, walking two and two; but let them have no communication with young men, that Satan may not tempt them:24 for he is a creeping serpent, and he caused Adam by menus of Eve to slip into death. Let it not be so again in this time as in the case of Eve. But do thou, O Bartholomew, look to them well:25 and thou shalt give these injunctions to Stachys, and appoint him bishop. Do not entrust the place of the bishopric to a young man, that the Gospel of Christ may not he brought to shame; and let every one that teacheth have his works equal to his words. But I am going to the Lord, and take my body and prepare it for burial with Syriac sheets of paper; and do not put round me flaxen cloth, because the body of my Lord was wrapped in linen. And having prepared my body for burial in the sheets of paper, bind it tight with papyrus reeds, and bury it in the church; and pray for me26 forty days, in order that the Lord may forgive me the transgression wherein I transgressed, in requiting those who did evil to me. See, O Bartholomew, where my blood shall drop upon the earth, a plant shall spring up from my blood, and shall become a vine, and shall produce fruit of a bunch of grapes; and having taken the cluster, press it into the cup; and having partaken of it on the third day, send up on high the Amen, in order that the offering may be complete.

And Philip, having said these things, prayed thus: O Lord Jesus Christ, Father of the ages, King of the light, who hast made us wise in Thy wisdom, and hast given us Thine understanding, and hast bestowed upon us the counsel of Thy goodness, who hast never at any time left us, Thou art He who taketh away the disease of those who flee to Thee for refuge; Thou art the Son of the living God, who hast given us Thy presence of wisdom, who hast given us signs and wonders, and hast turned those who have gone astray; who crownest those who overcome the adversary, Thou excellent Judge.27 Come now, Jesus, and give me the everlasting crown of victory against every adverse dominion and power, and do not let their dark air hide me when I shall cross the waters of fire and all the abyss. O my Lord Jesus Christ, let not the enemy have ground to accuse me at Thy tribunal: but put on me Thy glorious robe, Thy seal of light that ever shines, until I shall pass by all the powers of the world, and the wicked dragon that lieth in wait for us. Now therefore, my Lord Jesus Christ, make me to meet Thee in the air, having forgiven me the recompense which I recompensed to my enemies; and transform the form of my body into angelic glory, and give me rest in Thy blessedness; and let me receive the promise from Thee which Thou hast promised to Thy saints to everlasting.

And having thus spoken, Philip gave up the ghost, while all the multitudes were looking upon him, and weeping, and saying: The life of this spirit has been accomplished in peace. And they said the Amen.

And Bartholomew and Mariamme took down his body, and did as Philip had commanded them, and buried it in that place. And there was straightway a voice out of the heavens: Philip the apostle has been crowned with an incorruptible crown by Jesus Christ, the Judge of the contest. And all shouted out the Amen.

And after the three days the plant of the vine sprouted up where the blood of the holy Philip had dropped. And they did all that had been commanded them by him, offering an offering for forty days, praying without ceasing. And they built the church in that place, having appointed Stachys bishop in the church. And Nicanora and all the faithful assembled, and did not cease, all of them, glorifying God on account of the wonders that had happened among them. And all the city believed in the name of Jesus. And Bartholomew commanded Stachys to baptize those who believed into the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

And after the forty days, the Saviour, having appeared in the form of Philip, said to Bartholomew and Mariamme: My beloved brethren, do you wish to rest in the rest of God? Paradise has been opened to me, and I have entered into the glory of Jesus. Go away to the place appointed for you; for the plant that has been set apart and planted in this city shall bear excellent fruit. Having therefore saluted the brethren, and prayed for each of them, they departed from the city of Ophioryma, the Hierapolis of Asia; and Bartholomew departed into Lycaonia, and Mariamme proceeded to the Jordan; and Stachys and those with him remained, maintaining the church in Christ Jesus our Lord, to whom be glory and strength for ever and ever. Amen.

Acts of Saint Philip the Apostle When He Went to Upper Hellas.


And it came to pass in those days, when Philip entered into the city of Athens called Hellas, there assembled to him three hundred philosophers, saying: Let us go and see what his wisdom is; for they say about the wise men of Asia, that their wisdom is great. For they thought that Philip was a philosopher, since he was travelling in the dress of a recluse; and they did not know that he was an apostle of Christ. For the dress which Jesus gave to His disciples was a mantle only, and a linen cloth.1 Thus, then, Philip was going about. On this account, therefore, when the philosophers of Hellas saw him, they were afraid. They assembled therefore into one place, and said to each other: Come, let us look into our books, lest somehow this stranger overcome us, and put us to shame.

And having done so, they came together to the same place, and say to Philip: We have doctrines of our fathers in which we are pleased, seeking after knowledge; but if thou hast anything new, O stranger, show it to us without envy boldly: for we have need of nothing else, but only to hear something new.2

And Philip answering, said to them: O philosophers of Hellas, if you wish to hear some new thing, and are desirous of something new, you ought to throw away from you the disposition of the old man; as my Lord said, It is impossible to put new wine into old bottles, since the bottle is burst, and the wine spilled, and the bottle destroyed.3 But they put new wine into fresh bottles, so that both may be preserved. And these things the Lord said in parables, teaching us in His holy wisdom, that many will love the new wine, not having a bottle fresh and new. And I love you, 0 men of Hellas, and I congratulate you for having said, We love something new. For instruction really new and fresh my Lord has brought into the world, in order that He might sweep away all worldly instruction.

The philosophers say: Who is it that thou callest thy Lord? Philip says: My Lord is Jesus in heaven. And they said to him: Show him to our comprehension without envy, that we also may believe in him. And Philip said: He with whom I am about to make you acquainted as Lord, is above every name; here is no other.4 And this only I say: As you have said, Do not refuse us through envy, let it not be that I should refuse you; but rather in great exultation and in great joy I have to reveal to you that name, for I have no other work in this world than this proclamation.5 For when my Lord came into this world, He chose us, being twelve in number, having filled us with the Holy Spirit; from His light He made us know who He was, and commanded us to preach all salvation through Him, because there is no other name named out of heaven than this.6 On this account I have come to you, to make you fully assured, not in word only, but also in the showing forth of wonderful works in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And when the philosophers heard this, they say to Philip: This name that has been heard of by us froth thee we have never found in the books of our fathers; now, therefore, how can we know about thy words? And moreover, in addition, they say to him: Allow us three days, that we may consult with each other about this name; for we lay no little stress upon this—to apostatize from our fathers’ religion. Philip therefore says to them: Consult as you wish; for there is no deceit in the matter.

And the three hundred philosophers having assembled, spoke with each other, saying: You know that this man has brought a strange philosophy, and the words spoken by him bring us to distraction. What, then, shall we do about him, or about the name of him who is called Jesus, the king of the ages, whom he speaks of? And moreover they say to each other: Assuredly we cannot reason with him, but the high priest of the Jews can. If therefore it seem good, let us send to him, in order that he may stand up to this stranger, and that we may learn accurately the name that is preached.

They wrote therefore to Jerusalem after this manner:—The philosophers of Hellas to Ananias, the great high priest of the Jews in Jerusalem. There being between thee and us at all times great7 …as thou knowest that we Athenians are searchers after truth. A certain foreigner has come to Hellas, Philip by name; and, in a word, he has disturbed us exceedingly, both by words and by extraordinary miracles, and he introduces a glorious name, Jesus, professing himself to be his disciple. And he does also wonders of which we write to you, in that he has cast out demons that have been long in men, and makes the deaf hear, the blind see; and what is more wonderful—which also we should have first mentioned—he has raised up men after they were dead, that have fairly completed the number of their days.8 And the fame of him has gone abroad into all Hellas and Macedonia; and there are many coming to him from the cities round about, bringing those who are ill with various diseases, and he heals them all through the name of Jesus. On this account, therefore, come to us without any reluctance, that thou thyself mayst announce to us what Jesus, this name which be teaches, means. For on this account also we have sent this letter to thee, O high priest.

And when he had read, he was filled with great wrath, and rent his clothes, and said: Has that deceiver gone even to Athens, among the philosophers, to lead them astray? And the Mansemat—that is, Satan—entered into Ananias unawares, and filled him with anger and rage; and he said: If I allow that Philip himself, and those with him, to live, the law will be entirely destroyed, and their teaching will likely fill the whole earth. And the high priest went into his own house, and the teachers of the law, and the Pharisees; and they consulted with each other, saying: What shall we do about these things?9 And they say to the high priest Ananias: Stand up and arm thyself, and five hundred able men out of the people, and go away to Athens, and by all means kill Philip, and thus thou shall overturn his teaching.

And having put on the high priest’s robe, he came to Hellas in great pomp, with the five hundred men. And Philip was in the house of a certain chief man of the city, with the brethren who had believed. And the high priest and those with him, and the three hundred philosophers, went up to the gateway of the house where Philip was; and it was told Philip that they were outside. And he rose up and went out. And when the high priest saw him, he says to him: 0 Philip, sorcerer and magician, for I know thee, that in Jerusalem thy master the deceiver called thee Son of Thunder.10 Was not the whole of Judaea sufficient for you, but you have come here also to deceive men who are searchers after wisdom? And Philip said: Would that, O Ananias, thy covering of unbelief were taken away from thy heart, that thou mightst know my words, and from them learn whether I am a deceiver, or thou!

Ananias having heard this, said to Philip: I shall give answer to all. And Philip said: Speak. The high priest says: O men of Hellas, this Philip believes in a man called Jesus, who was born among us, who also taught this heresy, and destroyed the law and the temple, and brought to nought the purification through Moses, and the new moons, because he says, These have not been commanded by God. And when we saw that he thus destroyed the law, we stood up against him, and crucified him, that his teaching might not be fulfilled. For many changes were brought in by him; and he gave an evil testimony, for he ate all things in common, and mixed with blood, after the manner of the Gentiles.11 And having given him up, we put him to death, and buried him in a tomb; and these disciples of his having stolen him, have proclaimed everywhere that he has risen from the dead, and have led astray a great multitude by professing that he is at the right hand of God in heaven.12 But now these men, themselves having the circumcision as we also have, have not followed it, since they began to do many deeds of power in Jerusalem through the name of Jesus; and having been cast out of Jerusalem, they go about the world, and deceive all men by the magic of that Jesus, as also now this Philip has come to you to deceive you by the same means. But I shall carry him away with myself to Jerusalem, because Archelaus the king is also searching for him to kill him.

And when the multitude standing round heard this, those indeed who had been confirmed in the faith were not shaken nor made to waver; for they knew that Philip would conquer in the glory of Jesus. Philip therefore stated his case in the power of Christ with great boldness, exulting and saying: I, O men of Athens, and those of you who are philosophers, have come to you, not to teach you with words, bat by the showing forth of miracles; and in part you have quickly seen13 the things that have come to pass through me, in that name by which the high priest himself is cast off.14 For, behold, I shall cry to my God, and teach you, and you will prove the words of both.

The high priest having heard this, ran to Philip, wishing to scourge him, and that same hour his whole hand was dried up, and his eyes were blinded; and in like manner also the five hundred who were with him were also themselves blinded. And they reviled and cursed the high priest, saying: Coming oat of Jerusalem we said to thee Refrain: for, being men, we cannot fight against God15 But we entreat thee, O Philip, apostle of the God Jesus, give us the light that is through him, that we also may truly be his slaves.

And Philip, having seen what had come to pass, said: O weak nature! which has thrown itself upon as, but straightway has been brought down low into itself; O bitter sea! which rouses its warts against us, and thinks to cast us out, bat which by itself lulls its waves to rest. Now therefore, O our good steward Jesus, the holy light, Thou hast not overlooked us who are all together crying up to Thee in all good works, but hast come to finish them through us. Now therefore come, Lord Jesus; reprove the folly of these men.

The high priest says to Philip: Dost thou then think to turn us away from the traditions of our fathers, and the God of the desert, and Moses; and dost thou imagine that thou wilt make us followers of Jesus the Nazarene? Then Philip says to him: Behold, I shall pray to my God to come and manifest Himself before thee and the five hundred, and before all here; for perhaps thou will change thy mind, and believe. But if even to the end thou remain in unbelief, there is coming upon thee an extraordinary thing. which shall be spoken of to generations of generations—that also thou shall go down alive, down into Hades, before the face of all seeing thee, because thou yet abidest in unbelief, because also thou seekest to turn away this multitude from the true life. And Philip prayed, saying: O holy Father of the holy Son Jesus Christ, who hast granted to me to believe in Him, send Thy beloved Son Jesus Christ to reprove the unbelieving high priest, that Thy name may be glorified in Christ the Beloved.

And while Philip was yet crying oat this, suddenly the heavens were opened, and Jesus appeared coming down in most excellent glory, and in lightning; and His face was shining sevenfold more than the sun, and His garments were whiter than snow, so that also all the idols of Athens fell suddenly to the ground. And the people fled in anguish; and the demons dwelling among them cried out: Behold, we also flee because of Him who has appeared to the city, Jesus the Son of God. Then Philip says to the high priest: Hearest thou the demons crying out because of Him who has been seen, and believest thou not in Him who is present that He is Lord of all? The high priest says: I have no other God than the one in the desert.

And as Jesus was going up into heaven there happened a very great earthquake, so that the place on which they stood was cleft; and the crowds ran and fell at the feet of the apostle, crying out: Have mercy upon us, O man of God! In like manner also the five hundred men cried out themselves also again: Have mercy upon us, O Philip, that we may know time, and through thee Jesus the light of life: for we said to this unbelieving high priest, Being sinful men, we cannot fight against God.

Then Philip says: There is no hatred in us, but the grace of Christ will make you receive your sight; but I will make the high priest receive his sight before you, that at this you may the more believe. And a voice out of heaven was brought to Philip: O Philip, son once of thunder, but now of meekness, whatever thou mayst ask of my Father, He shall do for thee. And all the crowd was terror-struck at the voice, for the sound of it was greater than that of thunder. Then Philip says to the high priest: In the name of the power of the voice of my Lord, receive thy sight, Ananias. And immediately he received his sight, and looked round, and said: What is there in the magic of Jesus, that this Philip within a short time has made me blind, and again within a short time has made me receive my sight? Dost thou then, said Philip, believe in Jesus? The high priest says: You do not think, do you, that you can bewitch me, and persuade me? And the five hundred who were with him, having heard that their high priest, having received his sight, was yet unbelieving, said to the bystanders to pray Philip that he should make them receive their sight, that, said they, we may cut off this unbelieving high priest.

And Philip said: Do not avenge yourselves upon the wicked. And he says to the high priest: There will be a certain great sign upon thee. He says to Philip: I know that thou art a sorcerer and a disciple of Jesus: thou dost not bewitch me. And the apostle said to Jesus: Sabarthan, Sabathabt, Bramanuch, come quickly. And immediately the earth was cleft in the place where Ananias was, and swallowed him up as far as the knees. And Ananias cried out: O great is the power of the true witchcraft, because it has cleft the earth, when Philip threatened it in Hebrew, and adjured it; and it holds me even to the knees, and by the heels some hooks as it were drag me downwards, that I may believe in Philip; but he cannot persuade me, for from Jerusalem I know his magic tricks.

And Philip, enraged, said: O earth, lay fast hold of him, even to the navel. And immediately it dragged him down. And he said: The one of my feet underneath is turned into ice, and the other is frightfully hot; but by thy magic, Philip, I will not be overcome. Except, therefore, that I am sore tortured underneath, I do not believe at all. And the crowds wished to stone him. And Philip says: Not so; for this has in the meantime happened, that he has been swallowed up as far as the navel, that the salvation of your souls may be effected, because he would almost have drawn you by his wicked words into unbelief. But if even he repented, I should bring him up out of the earth to the salvation of his soul; but assuredly he is not worthy of salvation. If, then, he remain in unbelief, you shall see him sunk down into the abyss, unless the Lord intends to raise those who are in Hades, that they may confess that Jesus is Lord. For in that day every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord,16 and that there is one glory of the Father, and the Son, with the Holy Spirit for evermore.

And Philip, having said this, extended his right band, stretching it through the air over the five hundred men in the name of Jesus. And their eyes were opened, and they all praised God with one mouth, saying: We bless Thee, O Christ Jesus, the God of Philip, that thou hast driven the blindness away from us, and hast given us Thy light, the Gospel. And Philip rejoiced exceedingly at their words, because they were thus confirmed in the faith. And after this, Philip, having turned to the high priest, said: Confess thou also in a pure heart that Jesus is Lord, that thou mayst be saved, like those with thee. But the high priest laughed at Philip, and remained in unbelief.

Philip then, seeing that he remained in unbelief, having looked at him, says to the earth: Open thy mouth, and swallow him up as far as his neck in the presence of those who have believed in Christ Jesus. And in the same hour the earth, having opened its mouth, received him as far as the neck. And the multitude communed with each other on account of the wonders that had happened.

A certain chief man of the city came crying out, and saying: O blessed apostle, a certain demon has assailed my son, and cried out, saying to me, Since thou hast allowed a foreigner to come into your city, thou who hast been the first to do away with17 our worship and our sacrifices, what shall I do for thee, except to kill this thine only begotten son? And after he said this, he strangled my son. Now therefore, I beseech thee, O apostle of Christ, do not allow my joy to be turned into sorrow, because I also have believed thy words.

And the apostle, having heard this, said: I wonder at the activity of the demons, that it is active in every place, and dares to assail those to whose help I have not been able to come,18 as now they have tried you, wishing to cause you to offend. And he says to the man: Bring me thy son, and I will give him to thee alive, through my Christ. And rejoicing, he ran to bring his son. And when he came near his house, he cried out, saying: My son, I have come to thee to carry thee to the apostle, so that he may present thee to me living. And he ordered his slaves to carry the bed; and his son was twenty-three years old. And when Philip saw him, he was moved; and he turned to the high priest, and said: This has happened as a chance for thee: if, therefore, I shall raise him up, wilt thou henceforth believe? And he says: I know your magic arts, that thou wilt raise him up; but I will not believe thee. And Philip, enraged, said: A curse upon thee! then go down altogether into the abyss before the face of all these. And at the same hour he went down into Hades alive, except that the high priest’s robe flew off from him; and because of this, from that day, no one knew what became of the priest’s robe. And the apostle turned round and prayed for the boy; and having driven the demon away from him, he raised him up, and set him beside his father alive.

And the multitude having beheld this, cried out: The God of Philip is the only God, who has punished the unbelief of the high priest, and driven away the demon front the young man, and raised him up from the dead. And the five hundred having seen the high priest swallowed up into the abyss, and the oilier miracles. besought Philip, and he gave them the seal in Christ. And Philip abode in Athens two years; and having founded a church, appointed a bishop and a presbyter, and so went away to Parthia, preaching Christ. To whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Addition to Acts of Philip

(from a Paris Ms.)1


And he taught them thus: My brethren, sons of my Father—for you are of my family as to Christ, substance of my city, the Jerusalem above, the delight of my dwelling-place—why have you been taken captive by your enemy the serpent, twisted, crooked, and perverse, to whom God has given neither hands nor feet? And crooked is his going, since he is the son of the wicked one; for his father is death, and his mother corruption, and ruin is in his body. Do not go then into his destruction; for you are in bondage by the unbelief and deception of his son, who is without order, and has no substance;2 formless, and has no form in the whole creation, either in the heaven or in the earth, or among the fishes that are in the waters. But if you see him, flee from him, since he has no resemblance to men: his dwelling is the abyss, and he walks in darkness. Flee, then, from him, that his venom may not be poured out upon you: if his venom be poured out upon your body, you walk in his wickedness. But remain rather in the true worship, being faithful, reverent, and good, without guile. Flee from Satan the dragon, and remove from you his wicked seed, namely desire, by which he begets disease in the soul, which is the venom of the serpent. For desire is of the serpent from the beginning, and she it is who arms herself against the faithful; for she came forth out of the darkness, and returns to the darkness. You ought therefore, after coming to us, or rather through us to God, to throw out the venom of the devil from your bodies.

And as the apostle was saying this, behold, Nicanora came forth from her house, and went with her slaves into the house of Stachys. And when she came near the door of the house, behold, Mariamme spoke to her in the Syriac language: Helikomaei, Kosma, Etaa, Mariacha. And she explained her words, saying: O daughter of the Spirit, thou art my lady, who hast been given in pledge to the serpent; but I have come to deliver thee: I shall break thy bonds, and cut them from their root. Behold, the Deliverer that frees thee has come: behold, the Sun of righteousness has risen to enlighten thee.

And when she was thus speaking, the gloomy tyrant came running and panting. And Nicanora, who was before the door, heard this, and took courage before them all, crying out and saying: I am a Hebrew, a daughter of the Hebrews; speak with me in the language of my fathers, because I have heard your preaching, and have been cured of this my disease. I reverence and glorify the goodness of God, in that He hath made you to be utterly spoiled in this earth.

And when she said this, the tyrant came, and took hold of her garments, and said: O Nicanora, did I not leave thee lying on the bed from thy disease? Whence, then, hast thou found this power and strength, so as to be able to come to these magicians? Unless, then, thou tell who is the healer, I shall punish thee most severely. And Nicanora answered, and said: O rearer of tyrants, cast away from thyself this tyranny, and forget thy wicked works, and abandon this temporary life, and put away vainglory, because it passes like a shadow: seek rather what is everlasting, and take away from thyself the beastly and impious work of base desire, and reject vain intercourse, which is the husbandry of death, the dark prison; and overturn the middle wall of corruption, and prepare for thyself a life chaste and spotless, that we may altogether live in sanctity. If, then, thou wishest me to remain with thee, I will live with thee in continence.

And when the tyrant heard these words, he seized her by the hair of the head, and dragged her along, kicking her, and saying: It would be better for thee to be put to death by my sword, than to be seen with these foreign magicians and deceivers. I will punish thee, therefore, and put to death those who have deceived thee. And he turned in a rage to the executioners who followed him, and said: Bring me these impostors. And the executioners ran to the house of Stachys, and laid hold of Philip, and Bartholomew, and Mariamme, with the leopard and the kid of the goats, and dragged them along, and brought them.

When the tyrant saw them, he gnashed his teeth against them, and said: Drag along these magicians and deceivers that have deceived many souls of women by saying, We are worshippers of God. And he caused thongs to be brought, and bound their feet. And he ordered them to be dragged along from the gate as far as the temple. And great multitudes came together to that place. And they wondered exceedingly at the leopard and the kid; for they were speaking like men, and some of the multitude believed the words of the apostles.

And the priests said to the tyrant: These men are magicians. And when he heard that, he burned with rage. and was filled with anger; and he ordered Philip, and Bartholomew, and Mariamne to be stripped, saying: Search them. Perhaps you will find their sorcery. And the executioners stripped them, and laid hold of Mariamne, and dragged her along, saying: Uncover her, that they may learn that it is a woman who follows them. And he ordered to bring clubs and strong cords; and after piercing Philip’s ankles they brought hooks, and put the cords through his ankles, and hung him head downwards on a tree that was before the door of the temple; and they fixed pegs into the temple wall, and left him. And after binding Bartholomew hand and foot, they extended him naked on the wall; and when they had stripped Mariamne, the appearance of her body was changed, and became a glass chest filled with light, and they could not come near her.

And Philip spoke with Bartholomew in Hebrew: Where is John to-day, in the day of our need? for behold, we are being delivered froth our bodies. And they have laid hands on Mariamne beyond what is seemly, and they have scourged the leopard and the kid of the goats, and have set fire to the house of Stachys, because he took us in. Let us therefore speak, that fire may come down from heaven and burn them up.

And as Philip was thus speaking, behold, John came into the city, and walked about the street, and asked those in the city: What is the commotion, and who are these men, and why are they punished? And they say to him: Art thou not of this city? And dost thou not know about these men, how they disturbed our houses, and the whole city? Moreover, they have even persuaded our wives to go away from us on the pretence of religion, proclaiming a foreign name, viz. Christ’s; and they have also shut our temples by the sorcery they have, and they have put to death the serpents that are in the city by foreign names that we have never known. And they have fixed their abode in the house of Stachys the blind man, whom they made to recover his sight through the spittle of a woman who accompanies them; and it is perhaps she who has all the sorcery: and there accompany them a leopard and a kid, speaking like men. But if ever you have seen such doings, you will not be put about by them. And John answered, and said to them: Show me them. And they brought him to the temple where Philip was hanging. And when Philip saw John, he said to Bartholomew: O my brother, behold the son of Barega—that is the living water—has come. And John saw Philip hanging head down, tied by his ankles; and saw Bartholomew also bound to the temple wall.

And he said to the men of the city: O children of the serpent, how great is your folly! for the way of deceit has deceived you, the wicked dragon breathing has breathed upon you: why do you punish these men for saying the serpent is your enemy?

And when they heard these words from John, they laid their hands union him, saying: We called thee our fellow-citizen, but now thy speech has made thee manifest that thou also art in communion with them. Thou also, therefore, shalt be put to the same death as they, for the priests have decided thus: Let us drain out their blood as they hang head downward, and mix it with wine, and offer it to the viper.

And when they were thus speaking, behold, Mariamne rose up from the place in which she was, and came back to her former appearance.

And the priests reached forth their hands towards John, wishing to lay hold of him, and they could not. Then Philip with Bartholomew said to John: Where is Jesus, who enjoins upon us not to take into our own hands vengeance on those that torture us? for after this I will not endure them. And Philip spoke in Hebrew, and said: My Father Uthael, i.e., O Christ, Father of majesty, whose name all the ages3 fear, who art powerful, and the power of the universe, whose name goes forth in lordship,4 Eloa: Blessed art Thou to the ages; Thou whom dominions and powers fear, trembling before Thy face; King of honour! Father of majesty! whose name has gone forth to the wild beasts of the desert, and they have become quiet because of Thee, and through Thee the serpents have departed from us: Hear us before we ask. Thou who seest us before we call, who knowest our thoughts, the All-surveyor5 of all, who sends forth from Himself unnumbered compassions; let the abyss open its mouth, and swallow up these godless persons who will not accept the word of Thy truth.

And in that very hour the abyss opened its mouth, and all that place was violently shaken, from the proconsul to all the multitude along with the priests; and they were all sunk down. And the places where the apostles and all who were with them were remained unshaken, and the house of Stachys, and Nicanora the tyrant’s wife, and the twenty-four wives who fled from their husbands, and the forty virgins who had not known men. These alone did not go down into the abyss, because they had become servants, and had received the word of God, and His seal; but all the rest of the city were swallowed down into the abyss.

And the Saviour having appeared at that hour, said to Philip: Who is it that has put his hand to the plough, and has turned back from making the furrow straight? or who gives his light to others, and himself remains sitting in darkness? or who dwells in the dirt, and leaves his dwelling-place to strangers? or who lays down his garment, and goes out in the days of winter naked? or what slave that has done his master’s service, shall not be called by him to supper? or who runs with zeal in the racecourse, and does not get the prize? Philip, behold my bridal chamber is ready, and blessed is he who has his own shining garment; for he it is who gets the crown of joy upon his head. Behold, the supper is ready, and blessed is he who is called by the bridegroom. Great is the harvest of the field; blessed is the able workman.

And when Philip heard these words from the Saviour, he answered and said to him: Thou didst give us leave, O Jesus of Nazareth, and dost Thou not enjoin us to smite those who do not wish Thee to reign over them? But this we know, that Thy name has not been proclaimed in all the world, and Thou hast sent us to this city. And I did not intend to come into this city, and Thou didst send me, after giving me Thy true commandment, that I should drive away all deceit, and bring to nothing every idol and demon, and all the power of the unclean one. And when I came here, the demons lied from our faces through Thy name, and the dragons and the serpents withered away, but these men did not take to themselves Thy true light; and for this reason I resolved to bring them low, according to their folly.

And the Saviour said: O Philip, since thou hast forsaken this commandment of mine, not to render evil for evil,6 for this reason thou shalt be debarred in the next world for forty years from being in tile place of my promise: besides, this is the end of thy departure from the body in this place; and Bartholomew has his lot in Lycaonia, and shall be crucified there; and Mariamne shall lay down her body in the river Jordan.

And the Saviour turned and stretched out His hand, and made the sign of the cross in the air; and it was full of light, and had its form after the likeness of a ladder. And all the multitude of the men of the city who had gone down into the abyss came up upon the ladder of the cross of light and none of them remained in the abyss, but only the tyrant and the priests, and the viper which they worshipped. And when the multitudes came up from the abyss, they looked and saw Philip hanging head down, and Bartholomew upon the wall of the temple, and they also found Mariamne in her first shape. And the Saviour went up into heaven in the sight of Philip and Bartholomew and Mariamne, and the leopard and the kid of the goats, and Nicanora and Stachys; and they all with a loud voice glorified God with fear and trembling, crying out: There is one God who has sent us His salvation, whose name these men proclaim: we repent therefore of the error in which we were before yesterday, not being worthy of eternal life; and we believe, having seen the wonderful things that have come to pass through us. And some of them threw themselves on their faces, and worshipped the apostles; and others made ready to flee, saying: There may be another earthquake like the one that has just happened.

And stretching out his hands, the Apostle Philip, hanging head down, said: Men of the city, hear these words which I am going to say to you, hanging head down. Ye have learned how great are the powers of God, and the wonders which you saw when your city was destroyed by the earthquake which came upon it. And this was manifest to you, that the house of Stachys was not destroyed and that he did not go down into the abyss, because he believed on the true God, and received us His servants. And I, having fulfilled all the will of my God, am His debtor for what I requited to him that did evil to me.

And some of those who had been baptized ran to loose Philip hanging head down. And he answered and said to them: My brethren, …7 those who are virgins in the members of their flesh and commit fornication in their hearts, and the fornication of their eyes, shall abound like the deluge. And they grow immoderate from listening to persuasive pleasures, forgetting the God of the knowledge of the Gospel; and their hearts are full of arrogance, eating and drinking in their worship, forgetting the holy commandment, and despising it. That generation is turned aside; but blessed is he that retires into his retreat, for he shall obtain rest in his departure. Knowest thou not, Bartholomew, that the word of our Lord is true life and knowledge? for the Lord said to us in His teaching, Every one who shall look upon a woman, and lust after her in his heart, has completed adultery.8 And on this account our brother Peter fled from every place in which a woman was, and yet there was scandal on account of his own daughter; and he prayed to the Lord, and she had paralysis of her side, that she might not be deceived. Thou seest, brother, that the sight of the eyes brings gainsaying, and the beginning of sin, as it is written,9 She looked, and saw the tree, that it was pleasing to her eyes, and good for food, and she was deceived. Let the hearing, then, of the virgins be holy; and in their going out let them walk two and two, for many are the wiles of the enemy. Let their walk and conversation be well ordered, that they may be saved; but if not, let their fruit be common.

My brother Bartholomew, give these promises to Stachys, and appoint him ruler and bishop in the Church, that he may be like thee, teaching well. Do not entrust the office to a man too young: appoint not such a one to the chair of the teachers, lest thou profane the witness of Christ. For he that teaches should have his works corresponding to his words, that the word may be ready on ever), occasion in its own glory. But I am being released from my body, hanging head down. Take, then, my body, and prepare it for burial in Syrian paper, and do not put about it linen cloth, since they put it upon the body of our Lord, and wrap it close in paper and papyrus, and put it in the vestibule of the holy church. And pray over me for forty days, that God may forgive the transgression which I did, in that I requited evil to him that did evil to me, and there may not be for me in the world to come the forty years.

And after thus speaking, Philip prayed, saying: My Lord Jesus Christ, Father of the ages, King of all light, who makest us wise in Thy wisdom, who hast given us the exalted knowledge, who hast graciously conferred upon us the counsel of Thy goodness, who hast never departed from us; Thou who takest away disease from those who take refuge in Thee; Thou who hast given us the Word, to turn unto Thee those who have been led astray; Thou who hast given us signs and wonders on behalf of those of little faith; Thou who presentest the crown to those who have conquered; Thou who art the judge of the games, who hast given us the crown of joy, who speakest with us, that we may be aide to withstand those that hurt us; Thou art He who sows and reaps, and completes, and increases, and vivifies all Thine own servants: reproaches and threats are to us help and power through those who turn to Thee through us, who are Thy servants. Come, Lord, and give me the crown of victory in the presence of men. Let not their dark air envelope me, nor their smoke burn the shape of my soul, that I may cross the waters of the abyss, and not sink in them. My Lord Jesus Christ, let not the enemy find anything that he can bring against me in the presence of Thee, the true Judge, but clothe me in Thy shining robe, and …(The rest is wanting.)

Acts and Martyrdom of the Holy Apostle Andrew


What we have all, both presbyters and deacons of the churches of Achaia, beheld with our eyes, we have written to all the churches established in the name of Christ Jesus, both in the east and west, north and south. Peace to you, and to all who believe in one God, perfect Trinity, true Father unbegotten, true Son only-begotten, true Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father, and abiding in the Son, in order that there may be shown one Holy Spirit subsisting in the Father and Son in precious Godhead. This faith we have learned from the blessed Andrew, the apostle of oar Lord Jesus Christ, whose passion also we, having seen it set forth before our eyes, have not hesitated to give an account of, according to the degree of ability we have.

Accordingly the proconsul Aegeates,1 having come into the city of Patras, began to compel those believing in Christ to worship the idols; to whom the blessed Andrew, running up, said: It behoved thee, being a judge of men, to acknowledge thy Judge who is in the heaven, and having acknowledged Him, to worship Him; and worshipping Him who is the true God, to turn away thy thoughts from those which are not true gods.

To whom Aegeates said: Art thou Andrew, who destroyest the temples of the gods, and persuadest men about the religion which, having lately made its appearance, the emperors of the Romans have given orders to suppress?

The blessed Andrew said: The emperors of the Romans have never recognised the truth. And this the Son of God, who came on account of the salvation of men, manifestly teaches—that these idols are not only not gods, but also most shameful demons,2 and hostile to the human race, teaching men to offend God, so that, by being offended, He turns away and will not hearken; that therefore, by His turning away and not hearkening, they may be held captive by the devil; and that they might work them to such a degree, that when they go out of the body they may be found deserted and naked, carrying nothing with them bat sins.

Aegeates said: These are superfluous and vain words: as for your Jesus, for proclaiming these things to the Jews they nailed him to the tree of the cross.

The blessed Andrew answering, said: Oh, if thou wouldst recognise the mystery of the cross, with what reasonable love the Author3 of the life of the human race for our restoration endured this tree of the cross, not unwillingly, but willingly!

Aegeates said: Seeing that, betrayed by his own disciple, and seized by the Jews, he was brought before the procurator, and according to their request was nailed up by the procurator’s soldiers, in what way dost thou say that he willingly endured the tree of the cross?

The holy Andrew said: For this reason I say willingly, since I was with Him when he was betrayed by His disciple. For before He was betrayed, He spoke to us to the effect that He should be betrayed and crucified for the salvation of men, and foretold that He should rise again on the third day. To whom my brother Peter said,4 Far be it from thee, Lord; let this by no means be. And so, being angry, He said to Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan; for thou art not disposed to the things of God. And in order that He might most fully explain that He willingly underwent the passion, He said to us,5 I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again. And, last of all, while He was supping with us, He said,6 One of you will betray me. At these words, therefore, all becoming exceedingly grieved, in order that the surmise might be free from doubt, He made it clear, saying, To whomsoever I shall give the piece of bread out of my hand, he it is who betrays me. When, therefore, He gave it to one of our fellow-disciples, and gave an account of things to come as if they were already present, He showed that He was to be willingly betrayed. For neither did He run away, and leave His betrayer at fault; but remaining in the place in

which He knew that he was, He awaited him

Aegeates said: I wonder that thou, being a sensible man, shouldst wish to uphold him on any terms whatever; for, whether willingly or unwillingly, all the same, thou admittest that he was fastened to the cross.

The blessed Andrew said: This is what I said, if now thou apprehendest, that great is the mystery of the cross, which, if thou wishest, as is likely, to hear, attend to me.7

Aegeates said: A mystery it cannot be called, but a punishment.

The blessed Andrew said: This punishment is the mystery of man’s restoration. If thou wilt listen with any attention, thou wilt prove it.

Aegeates said: I indeed will hear patiently; but thou, unless thou submissively obey me, shalt receive8 the mystery of the cross in thyself.

The blessed Andrew answered: If I had been afraid of the tree of the cross, I should not have proclaimed the glory of the cross.

Aegeates said: Thy speech is foolish, because thou proclaimest that the cross is not a punishment, and through thy foolhardiness thou art not afraid of the punishment of death.

The holy Andrew said: It is not through foolhardiness, but through faith, that I am not afraid of the punishment of death; for the death of sins9 is hard. And on this account I wish thee to hear the mystery of the cross, in order that thou perhaps, acknowledging it, mayst believe, and believing, mayst come somehow or other to the renewing of thy soul.

Aegeates said: That which is shown to have perished is for renewing. Do you mean that my soul has perished, that thou makest me come to the renewing of it through the faith, I know not what, of which thou hast spoken?

The blessed Andrew answered: This it is which I desired time to learn, which also I shall teach and make manifest, that though the souls of men are destroyed, they shall be renewed through the mystery of the cross. For the first man through the tree of transgression brought in death; and it was necessary for the human race, that through the suffering of the tree, death, which had come into the world, should be driven out. And since the first man, who brought death into the world through the transgression of the tree, had been produced from the spotless earth, it was necessary that the Son of God should be begotten a perfect man from the spotless virgin, that He should restore eternal life, which men had lost through Adam, and should cut off10 the tree of carnal appetite through the tree of thecross. Hanging upon the cross, He stretched out His blameless hands for the hands which had been incontinently stretched out; for the most sweet food of the forbidden tree He received gall for food; and taking our mortality upon Himself, He made a gift of His immortality to us.

Aegeates said: With these words thou shalt be able to lead away those who shall believe in thee; but unless thou hast come to grant me this, that thou offer sacrifices to the almighty gods, I shall order thee, after having been scourged, to be fastened to that very cross which thou commendest.

The blessed Andrew said: To God Almighty, who alone is true, I bring sacrifice day by day not the smoke of incense, nor the flesh of bellowing bulls, nor the blood of goats, but sacrificing a spotless lamb day by day on the altar of the cross; and though all the people of the I faithful partake of His body and drink His blood, the Lamb that has been sacrificed remains after this entire and alive. Truly, therefore, is He sacrificed, and truly is His body eaten by the people, and His blood is likewise drunk; nevertheless, as I have said, He remains entire, and spotless, and alive.

Aegeates said: How can this be?

The blessed Andrew said: If thou wouldest know, take the form of a disciple, that thou mayst learn what thou art inquiring after.

Aegeates said: I will exact of thee through tortures the gift of this knowledge.

The blessed Andrew declared: I wonder that thou, being an intelligent man, shouldest fall into11 the folly of thinking that thou mayst be able to persuade me, through thy tortures, to disclose to thee the sacred things of God. Thou hast heard the mystery of the cross, thou hast heard the mystery of the sacrifice. If thou be lievest in Christ the Son of God, who was crucified, I shall altogether disclose to thee in what manner the Lamb that has been slain may live, after having been sacrificed and eaten, remaining in His kingdom entire and spotless.

Aegeates said: And by what means does the lamb remain in his kingdom after he has been slain and eaten by all the people, as thou hast said?

The blessed Andrew said: If thou believest with all thy heart, thou shalt be able to learn: but if thou believest not, thou shalt not by any means attain to the idea of such truth.

Then Aegeates, enraged, ordered him to be shut up in prison, where, when he was shut up, a multitude of the people came together to him from almost all the province, so that they wished to kill Aegeates, and by breaking down the doors of the prison to set free the blessed Andrew the apostle.

Them the blessed Andrew admonished in these words, saying: Do not stir up the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ into seditious and devilish uproar. For my Lord, when He was betrayed, endured it with all patience; He did not strive, He did not cry out, nor in the streets did any one hear Him crying out.12 Therefore do ye also keep silence, quietness, and peace; and hinder not my martyrdom, but rather get yourselves also ready beforehand as athletes to the Lord, in order that you may overcome threatenings by a soul that has no fear of man, and that you may get the better of injuries through the endurance of the body. For this temporary fall is not to be feared; but that should be feared which has no end. The fear of men, then, is like smoke which, while it is raised and gathered together, disappears. And those torments ought to be feared which never have an end. For these torments, which happen to be somewhat light, any one can bear; but if they are heavy, they soon destroy life. But those torments are everlasting, where there are daily weepings, and mournings, and lamentations, and never-ending torture, to which the proconsul Aegeates is not afraid to go. Be ye therefore rather prepared for this, that through temporary afflictions ye may attain to everlasting rest, and may flourish for ever, and reign with Christ.13

The holy Apostle Andrew having admonished the people with these and such like words through the whole night, when the light of day dawned, Aegeates having sent for him, ordered the blessed Andrew to be brought to him; and having sat down upon the tribunal, he said: I have thought that thou, by thy reflection during the night, hast turned away thy thoughts from folly, and given up thy commendation of Christ that thou mightst be able to be with us, and not throw away the pleasures of life; for it is folly to come for any purpose to the suffering of the cross, and to give oneself up to most shameful punishments and burnings.

The holy Andrew answered: I shall be able to have joy with thee, if thou wilt believe in Christ, and throw away the worship of idols; for Christ has sent me to this province, in which I have acquired for Christ a people not the smallest.

Aegeates said: For this reason I compel thee to make a libation, that these people who have been deceived by thee may forsake the vanity of thy teaching, and may themselves offer grateful libations to the gods; for not even one city has remained in Achaia in which their temples14 have not been forsaken and deserted. And now, through thee, let them be again restored to the worship of the images, in order that the gods also, who have been enraged against thee, being pleased by this, may bring it about that thou mayst return to their friendship and ours. But if not, thou awaitest varied tortures, on account of the vengeance of the gods; and after these, fastened to the tree of the cross which thou commendest, thou shall die.

The holy Andrew said: Listen, O son of death and chaff made ready for eternal burnings,15 to me, the servant of God and apostle of Jesus Christ. Until now I have conversed with thee kindly about the perfection of the faith, in order that thou, receiving the exposition of the truth, being made perfect as its vindicator, mightst despise vain idols, and worship God, who is in the heavens; but since thou remainest in the same shamelessness at last, and thinkest me to be afraid because of thy threats, bring against me whatever may seem to thee greater in the way of tortures. For the more shall I be well pleasing to my King, the more I shall endure in tortures for the confession of His name.

Then the proconsul Aegeates, being enraged, ordered the apostle of Christ to be afflicted by tortures. Being stretched out, therefore, by seven times three16 soldiers, and beaten with violence, he was lifted up and brought before the impious Aegeates. And he spoke to him thus: Listen to me, Andrew, and withdraw thy thoughts from the outpouring of thy blood; but if thou wilt not hearken to me, I shall cause thee to perish on the tree of the cross.

The holy Andrew said: I am a slave of the cross of Christ, and I ought rather to pray to attain to the trophy of the cross than to be afraid; but for thee is laid up eternal torment, which, however, thou mayst escape after thou hast tested my endurance, if thou wilt believe in my Christ. For I am afflicted about thy destruction, and I am not disturbed about my own suffering. For my suffering takes up a space of one day, or two at most; but thy torment for endless ages shall never come to a close. Wherefore henceforward cease from adding to thy miseries, and lighting up everlasting fire for thyself.

Aegeates then being enraged, ordered the blessed Andrew to be fastened to the cross.17 And he having left them all, goes up to the cross, and says to it with a clear voice: Rejoice, O cross, which has been consecrated by the body of Christ, and adorned by His limbs as if with pearls. Assuredly before my Lord went up on thee, thou hadst much earthly fear; but now invested with heavenly longing, thou art fitted up18 according to my prayer. For I know, from those who believe, how many graces thou hast in Him, how many gifts prepared beforehand. Free from care, then, and with joy, I come to thee, that thou also exulting mayst receive me, the disciple of Him that was hanged upon thee; because thou hast been always faithful to me, and I have desired to embrace thee. O good cross, which hast received comeliness and beauty from the limbs of the Lord; O much longed for, and earnestly desired, and fervently sought after, and already prepared beforehand for my soul longing for thee, take me away from men, and restore me to my Master, in order that through thee He may accept me who through thee has redeemed me.

And having thus spoken, the blessed Andrew, standing on the ground, and looking earnestly upon the cross, stripped himself and gave his clothes to the executioners, having urged the brethren that the executioners should come and do what had been commanded them; for they were standing at some distance. And they having come up, lifted him on the cross; and having stretched his body across with ropes, they only bound his feet, but did not sever his joints,19 having received this order from the proconsul: for he wished him to be in distress while hanging, and in the night-time, as he was suspended, to be eaten up alive by dogs.20

And a great multitude of the brethren stood by, nearly twenty thousand; and having beheld the executioners standing off, and that they had done to the blessed one nothing of what those who were hanged up suffer, they thought that they would again hear something from him; for assuredly, as he was hanging, he moved his head smiling. And Stratocles inquired of him: Why art thou smiling, Andrew, servant of God? Thy laughter makes us mourn and weep, because we are deprived of thee. And the blessed Andrew answered him: Shall I not laugh at all, my son Stratocles, at the empty stratagem of Aegeates, through which he thinks to take vengeance upon us? We have nothing to do with him and his plans. He cannot hear; for if he could, he would be aware, having learned it by experience, that a man of Jesus is unpunished.21

And having thus spoken, he discoursed to them all in common, for the people ran together enraged at the unjust judgment of Aegeates: Ye men standing by me, and women, and children, and elders, bond and free, and as many as will hear; I beseech you, forsake all this life, ye who have for my sake assembled here; and hasten to take upon you my life, which leads to heavenly things, and once for all despise all temporary things, confirming the purposes of those who believe in Christ. And he exhorted them all, teaching that the sufferings of this transitory life are not worthy to be compared with the future recompense of the eternal life.

And the multitude hearing what was said by him, did not stand off from the place, and the blessed Andrew continued the rather to say to them more than he had spoken. And so much was said by him, that a space of three days and nights was taken up, and no one was tired and went away from him. And when also on the fourth day they beheld his nobleness, and the unweariedness of his intellect, and the multitude of his words, and the serviceableness of his exhortations, and the stedfastness of his soul, and the sobriety of his spirit, and the fixedness of his mind, and the perfection of his reason, they were enraged against Aegeates; and all with one accord hastened to the tribunal, and cried out against Aegeates, who was sitting, saying: What is thy judgment, O proconsul? Thou hast judged wickedly; thy awards are impious. In what has the man done wrong; what evil has he done? The city has been put in an uproar; thou grievest us all; do not betray Caesar’s city. Grant willingly to the Achaians a just man; grant willingly to us a God-fearing man; do not put to death a godly man. Four days he has been hanging, and is alive; having eaten nothing, he has filled us all. Take down the man from the cross, and we shall all seek after wisdom; release the man, and to all Achaia will mercy be shown. It is not necessary that he should suffer this, because, though hanging, he does not cease proclaiming the truth.

And when the proconsul refused to listen to them, at first indeed signing with his hand to the crowd to take themselves off, they began to be emboldened against him, being in number about twenty thousand. And the proconsul having beheld that they had somehow become maddened, afraid that something frightful would befall him, rose up from the tribunal and went away with them, having promised to set free the blessed Andrew. And some went on before to tell the apostle the cause for which they came to the place.

While all the crowd, therefore, was exulting that the blessed Andrew was going to be set free, the proconsul having come up, and all the brethren rejoicing along with Maximilla,22 the blessed Andrew, having heard this, said to the brethren standing by: What is it necessary for me to say to him, when I am departing to the Lord, that will I also say. For what reason hast thou again come to us, Aegeates? On what account dost thou, being a stranger to us,23 come to us? What wilt thou again dare to do, what to contrive? Tell us. Hast thou come to release us, as having changed thy mind? I would not agree with thee that thou hadst really changed thy mind. Nor would I believe thee, saying that thou art my friend. Dost thou, O proconsul, release him that has been bound? By no means. For I have One with whom I shall be for ever; I have One with whom I shall live to countless ages. To Him I go; to Him I hasten, who also having made thee known to me, has said to me, Let not that fearful man terrify thee; do not think that he will lay hold of thee, who art mine: for he is thine enemy. Therefore, having known thee through him who has turned towards me, I am delivered from thee. But if thou wishest to believe in Christ, there will be opened up for time, as I promised thee, a way of access; but if thou hast come only to release me, I shall not be able after this to be brought down from this cross alive in the body. For I and my kinsmen depart to our own, allowing thee to be what thou art, and what thou dost not know about thyself. For already I see my King, already I worship Him, already I stand before Him, where the fellowship24 of the angels is, where He reigns the only emperor, where there is light without night, where the flowers never fade, where trouble is never known, nor the name of grief heard, where there are cheerfulness and exultation that have no end. O blessed cross! without the longing for thee, no one enters into that place. But I am distressed, Aegeates, about thine own miseries, because eternal perdition is ready to receive thee. Run then, for thine own sake, O pitiable one, while yet thou canst, lest perchance thou shouldst wish then when thou canst not.

When, therefore, he attempted to come near the tree of the cross, so as to release the blessed Andrew, with all the city applauding him, the holy Andrew said with a loud voice: Do not suffer Andrew, bound upon Thy tree, to be released, O Lord; do not give me who am in Thy mystery to the shameless devil. O Jesus Christ, let not Thine adversary release me, who have been hanged by Thy favour; O Father, let this insignificant man no longer humble him who has known Thy greatness. The executioners, therefore, putting out their hands, were not able at all to touch him. Others, then, and others endeavoured to release him, and no one at all was able to come near him; for their arms were benumbed.

Then the blessed Andrew, having adjured the people, said: I entreat you earnestly, brethren, that I may first make one prayer to my Lord. So then set about releasing me. All the people therefore kept quiet because of the adjuration. Then the blessed Andrew, with a loud cry, said: Do not permit, O Lord, Thy servant at this time to be removed from Thee; for it is time that my body be committed to the earth, and Thou shalt order me to come to Thee. Thou who givest eternal life, my Teacher whom I have loved, whom on this cross I confess, whom I know, whom I possess, receive me, O Lord; and as I have confessed Thee and obeyed Thee, so now in this word hearken to me; and, before my body come down from the cross, receive me to Thyself, that through my departure there may be access to Thee of many of my kindred, finding rest for themselves in Thy majesty.

When, therefore, he had said this, he became in the sight of all glad and exulting; for an exceeding splendour like lightning coming forth out of heaven shone down upon him, and so encircled him, that in consequence of such brightness mortal eyes could not look upon him at all. And the dazzling light remained about the space of half an hour. And when he had thus spoken and glorified the Lord still more, the light withdrew itself, and he gave up the ghost, and along with the brightness itself he departed to the Lord in giving Him thanks.

And after the decease of the most blessed Andrew the apostle, Maximilla being the most powerful of the notable women,25 and continuing among those who had come, as soon as she learned that the apostle had departed to the Lord, came up and turned her attention to the cross, along with Stratocles, taking no heed at all of those standing by, and with reverence took down the body of the most blessed apostle from the cross. And when it was evening, bestowing upon him the necessary care, she prepared the body for burial with costly spices, and aid it in her own tomb. For she had been parted from Aegeates on account of his brutal disposition and lawless conduct, having chosen for herself a holy and quiet life; and having been united to the love of Christ, she spent her life blessedly along with the brethren.

Aegeates had been very importunate with her, and promised that he would make her mistress of his wealth; but not having been able to persuade her, he was greatly enraged, and was determined to make a public charge against all the people, and to send to Caesar an accusation against both Maximilla and all the people. And while he was arranging these things in the presence of his officers, at the dead of night he rose up, and unseen by all his people, having been tormented by the devil, he fell down from a great height, and rolling into the midst of the market-place of the city, breathed his last.

And this was reported to his brother Stratocles; and he sent his servants, having told them that they should bury him among those who had died a violent death. But he sought nothing of his substance, saying: Let not my Lord Jesus Christ, in whom I have believed, suffer me to touch anything whatever of the goods of my brother, that the condemnation of him who dared to cut off the apostle of the Lord may not disgrace me.

These things were done in the province of Achaia, in the city of Patras on the day before the kalends of December,26 where his good deeds are kept in mind even to this day, to the glory and praise of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.27

Acts of Andrew and Matthias1

In the City of the Man-Eaters


About that time all the apostles had come together to the same place, and shared among themselves the countries, casting lots, in order that each might go away into the part that had fallen to him. By lot, then, it fell to Matthias to set out to the country of the man-eaters. And the men of that city used neither to eat bread nor drink wine; but they ate the flesh of men, and drank their blood. Every man, therefore, who came into their city they laid hold of, and digging they thrust out his eyes, and gave him a drug to drink, prepared by sorcery and magic; and from drinking the drug his heart was altered and his mind deranged.

Matthias then having come into the gate of their city, the men of that city laid hold of him, and thrust out his eyes; and after putting them out they made him drink the drug of their magical deception, and led him away to the prison, and put beside him grass to eat, and he ate it not. For when he had partaken of their drug, his heart was not altered, nor his mind deranged; but he kept praying to God, weeping, and saying: Lord Jesus Christ, for whose sake we have forsaken all things and have followed Thee, knowing that Thou art the helper of all who hope in Thee, attend then and behold what they have done to Matthias Thy servant, how they have made me nigh to the brutes; for Thou art He who knowest all things. If, therefore, Thou hast ordained that the wicked men in this city should eat me up, I will not by any means flee from Thy dispensation. Afford to me then, O Lord, the light of mine eyes, that at least I may behold what the wicked men in this city have in hand for me; do not forsake me, O my Lord Jesus Christ, and do not give me up to this bitter death.

While Matthias was thus praying in the prison, a light shone, and there came forth out of the light a voice saying: Beloved Matthias, receive thy sight. And immediately he received his sight. And again there came forth a voice saying: Be of good courage, our Matthias, and be not dismayed; for I shall not by any means forsake thee, for I shall deliver thee from all danger; and not only thee, but also all thy brethren who are with thee: for I am with thee everywhere and at all times. But remain here twenty-seven days for the edification2 of many souls; and after that I shall send forth Andrew to thee, and he shall lead thee forth out of this prison; and not thee only, but also all who hear. Having said this, the Saviour said again to Matthias, Peace be to thee, our Matthias, and went into heaven. Then Matthias having beheld Him, said to the Lord: Let thy grace abide with me, O my Lord Jesus.

Then Matthias therefore3 sat down in the prison, and sang. And it came to pass that, when the executioners came into the prison to bring forth the men to eat them, Matthias also shut his eyes, that they might not behold that he saw. And the executioners having come to him, read the ticket in his hand, and said among themselves: Yet three days, and we shall bring out this one also from the prison, and slay him. Because in the case of every man whom they laid hold of, they noted that day on which they laid hold of him, and tied a ticket to his right hand, that they might know the completion of the thirty days.

And it came to pass when the twenty-seven days were fulfilled since Matthias was seized, the Lord appeared in the country where Andrew was teaching, and said to him: Rise up, and set out with thy disciples to the country of the man-eaters, and bring forth Matthias out of that place; for yet three days, and the men of the city will bring him forth and slay him for their food. And Andrew answered and said: My Lord, I shall not be able to accomplish the journey thither before the limited period of the three days; but send Thine angel quickly, that he may bring him out thence: for thou knowest, Lord, that I also am flesh, and shall not be able to go there quickly. And He says to Andrew: Obey Him who made thee, and Him who is able to say in a word, and that city shall be removed thence, and all that dwell in it. For I command the horns of the winds,4 and they drive it thence. But rise up early, and go down to the sea with thy disciples, and thou shalt find a boat upon the shore, and thou shalt go aboard with thy disciples. And having said this, the Saviour again said: Peace to thee, Andrew, along with those with thee! And He went into the heavens.

And Andrew having risen up early, proceeded to the sea along with his disciples; and having come down to the shore, he saw a little boat, and in the boat three men sitting. For the Lord by His own power had prepared a boat, and He it was in human shape a pilot in the boat; and He brought two angels whom He made to appear like men, and they were in the boat sitting.5 Andrew, therefore, having beheld the boat, and the three who were in it, rejoiced with exceeding great joy; and having gone to them, he said: Where are you going, brethren, with this little boat? And the Lord answered and said to him: We are going to the country of the man-eaters. And Andrew having beheld Jesus, did not recognise Him; for Jesus was hiding His Godhead, and He appeared to Andrew like a pilot. And Jesus having heard Andrew saying, I too am going to the country of the man-eaters, says to him: Every man avoids that city, and how are you going there? And Andrew answered and said: We have some small business to do there, and we must get through with it; but it thou canst, do us this kindness to convey us to the country of the man-eaters, to which also you intend to go. Jesus answered and said to them: Come on board.

And Andrew said: I wish to make some explanation to thee, young man, before we come on board thy boat. And Jesus said: Say what thou wilt. And Andrew said to Him: We have no passage-money to give thee; we have not even bread for our nourishment. And Jesus answered and said to him: How, then, are you going away without giving us the passage-money, and without having bread for your nourishment? And Andrew said to Jesus, Listen, brother; do not think that it is through masterfulness that we do not give thee our passage-money, but we are disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, the good God. For He chose for Himself us twelve, and gave us such a commandment, saying, When you go to preach, do not carry money in the journey, nor bread, nor bag, nor shoes, nor staff, nor two coats.6 If, therefore, thou wilt do us the kindness, brother, tell us at once; if not, let us know, and we shall go and seek another boat for ourselves. And Jesus answered and said to Andrew: If this is the commandment which you received, and you keep it, come on board my boat with all joy. For I really wish you, the disciples of Him who is called Jesus, to come on board my boat, rather than those who give me of their silver and gold; for I am altogether worthy that the apostle of the Lord should come on board my boat. And Andrew answered and said: Permit me, brother, may the Lord grant thee. glory and honour. And Andrew went on board the boat with his disciples.

And having gone on board, he sat down by the boat’s sail. And Jesus answered and said to one of the angels: Rise and go down to the hold of the boat, and bring up three loaves, that the men may eat, lest perchance they be hungry, from having come to us off a long journey. And he rose and went down to the hold of the boat, and brought up three loaves, as the Lord commanded him; and he gave them the loaves. Then Jesus said to Andrew: Rise up, brother, with thy friends; partake of food, that you may be strong to bear the tossing of the sea. And Andrew answered and said to his disciples: My children, we have found great kindness from this man. Stand up, then, and partake of the nourishment of bread, that you may be strong to bear the tossing of the sea. And his disciples were not able to answer him a word, for they were in distress because of the sea. Then Jesus forced Andrew to partake himself also of the nourishment of bread along with his disciples. And Andrew answered and said to Jesus, not knowing that it was Jesus: Brother, may the Lord give thee heavenly bread out of His kingdom. Allow me then brother; for thou seest the children, that they are distressed because of the sea. And Jesus answered and said to Andrew: Assuredly the brethren are without experience of the sea; but inquire of them whether they want to go to land, and thyself to remain, until thou shalt finish thy business, and again come back to them. Then Andrew said to his disciples: My children, do you wish to go to the land, and me to remain here until I shall finish my business for which I have been sent? And they answered and said to Andrew: If we go away from thee, may we become strangers to the good things which the Lord hath provided for us. Now, therefore, we are with thee, wherever thou mayst go.

Jesus answered and said to Andrew: If thou art truly a disciple of Him who is called Jesus, tell thy disciples the miracles which thy Teacher diet, that their soul may rejoice, and that they may forget the fear of the sea; for, behold, we are going to take the boat off from the land, And immediately Jesus said to one of the angels: Let go the boat; and he let go the boat from the land. And Jesus came and sat down beside the rudder, and steered the boat. Then Andrew exhorted and comforted his disciples, saying: My children, who have given up your life to the Lord, fear not; for the Lord will not at all forsake you for ever. For at that time when I was alone with our Lord, we went on board the boat with Him, and He lay down to sleep in the boat, trying us; for He was not7 fast asleep. And a great wind having arisen, and the sea being stormy, so that the waves were uplifted, and came under the sail of the boat, and when we were in great fear, the Lord stood up and rebuked the winds, and there was a calm in the sea; for all things feared Him, as being made by Him.8 Now, therefore, my children, fear not. For the Lord Jesus will not at all forsake us. And having said this, the holy Andrew prayed in his heart that his disciples might be led to sleep. And as Andrew was praying, his disciples fell asleep.

And Andrew, turning round to the Lord, not knowing that it was the Lord, said to Him: Tell me, O man, and show me the skill of thy steering; for I have never seen any man so steering in the sea as I now see thee. For sixteen years have I sailed the sea, and behold this is the seventeenth, and I have not seen such skill; for truly the boat is just as if on land. Show me then, young man, thy skill. Then Jesus answered and said to Andrew: We also have often sailed the sea, and been in danger; but since thou art a disciple of Him called Jesus, the sea has recognised thee that thou art righteous, and has become calm, and has not lifted its waves against the boat. Then Andrew cried out with a loud voice, saying: I thank Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, that I have met a man who glorifies Thy name.

And Jesus answered and said: O Andrew, tell me, thou disciple of Him called Jesus, wherefore the unbelieving Jews did not believe in Him, saying that He was not God, but man. Show me, O disciple of Him called Jesus; for I have heard that He showed His Godhead to His disciples. And Andrew answered and said: Truly, brother, He showed us that He was God. Do not think, then, that He is man. For He made the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and all that is in them. And Jesus answered and said: How then did the Jews not believe Him? Perhaps He did not do miracles before them? Andrew said: Hast thou not heard of the miracles which He did before them? He made the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear; He cleansed lepers, He changed water into wine; and having taken five loaves and two fishes, He made a crowd recline on the grass, and having blessed, He gave them to eat; and those that ate were five thousand men,9 and they were filled: and they took up what was over to them twelve baskets of fragments.10 And after all these things they did not believe Him.

And Jesus answered and said to Andrew: Perhaps He did these miracles before the people, and not before the chief priests, and because of this they did not believe Him.

And Andrew answered and said: Nay, brother, He did them also before the chief priests, not only openly, but also in secret, and they did not believe Him. Jesus answered and said: What are the miracles which He did in secret? Disclose them to me. And Andrew answered and said: O man, who hast the spirit of inquisitiveness, why dost thou put me to the test? And Jesus answered and said: I do not put thee to the test by saying this, O disciple of Him called Jesus; but my soul rejoices and exults, and not only mine, but also every soul that hears the wonders of Jesus.

And Andrew answered and said: O child, the Lord shall fill thy soul with all joy and all good, as thou hast persuaded me now to relate to thee the miracles which our Lord did in secret.

It came to pass as we, the twelve disciples. were going with our Lord into a temple of the Gentiles, that He might make known to us the ignorance of the devil, that the chief priests, having beheld us following Jesus, said to us, O wretches, why do you walk with him who says, I am the Son of God? Do you mean to say that God has a son? Which of you has ever at any time seen God associating with a woman? Is not this the son of Joseph the carpenter, and his mother is Mary, and his brothers James and Simon?11 And when we heard these words, our hearts were turned into weakness. And Jesus, having known that our hearts were giving way, took us into a desert place, and did great miracles before us, and displayed to us all His Godhead. And we spoke to the chief priests, saying, Come ye also, and see; for, behold, He has persuaded us.

And the chief priests having come, went with us; and when we had gone into the temple of the Gentiles, Jesus showed us the heaven,12 that we might know whether the things were true or not. And there went in along with us thirty men of the people, and four chief priests. And Jesus, having looked on the right hand and on the left of the temple, saw two sculptured sphinxes, one on the right and one on the left. And Jesus having turned to us, said, Behold the sign of the cross; for these are like the cherubim and the seraphim which are in heaven. Then Jesus, having looked to the right, where the sphinx was, said to it, I say unto thee, thou image of that which is in heaven, which the hands of craftsmen have sculptured, be separated from thy place, and come down, and answer and convict the chief priests, and show them whether I am God or man.

And immediately at that very time the sphinx removed from its place, and having assumed a human voice, said, O foolish sons of Israel, not only has the blinding of their own hearts not been enough for them, but they also wish others to be blind like themselves, saying that God is man, who in the beginning fashioned man, and put His breath into all, who gave motion to those things which moved not; He it is who called Abraham, who loved his son Isaac, who brought back his beloved Jacob into his land; He is the Judge of living and dead; He it is who prepareth great benefits for those who obey Him, and prepareth punishment for those who believe Him not. Heed not that I am an idol that can be handled; for I say unto you, that the sacred places of your synagogue are more excellent.13 For though we are stones, the priests have given us only the name of a god; and those priests who serve the temple purify themselves, being afraid of the demons: for if they have had intercourse with women, they purify themselves seven days, because of their fear; so that they do not come into the temple because of us, because of the name which they have given us, that we are a god. But you, if you have committed fornication, take up the law of God, and go into the synagogue of Cool, and purify, and read, and do not reverence the glorious words of God. Because of this, I say unto you, that the holy things purify your synagogues, so that they also become churches of His only begotten Son. The sphinx having said this, ceased speaking.

And we said to the chief priests, Now it is fitting that you should believe, because even the stones have convicted you. And the Jews answered and said, By magic these stones speak, and do not you think that it is a god? For if you have tested what has been said by the stone, you have ascertained its deception. For where did he find Abraham, or how did he see him? For Abraham died many years before he was born, and how floes he know him?

And Jesus, having again turned to the image, said to it, Because these believe not that I have spoken with Abraham, go away into the land of the Canaanites, and go away to the double14 cave in the field of Mamre, where the body of Abraham is, and cry outside of the tomb, saying, Abraham, Abraham, whose body is in the tomb, and whose soul is in paradise, thus speaks He who fashioned than, who made thee from the beginning his friend, Rise up, thou and thy son Isaac, and the son of thy son Jacob, and come to the temples of the Jebusites, that we may convict the chief priests, in order that they may know that I am acquainted with thee, and thou with me. And when the sphinx heard these words, immediately she walked about in the presence of us all, and set out for the land of the Canaanites to the field of Mature, and cried outside of the tomb, as God had commanded her. And straightway the twelve patriarchs15 came forth alive out of the tomb, and answered and said to her, To which of us hast thou been sent? And the sphinx answered and said; I have been sent to the three patriarchs for testimony; but do ye go in, and rest until the time of the resurrection. And having heard, they went into the tomb and fell asleep. And the three patriarchs set out along with the sphinx to Jesus, and convicted the chief priests. And Jesus said to them, Go away to your places; and they went away. And He said also to the image, Go up to thy place; and straightway she went up and stood in her place. And He did also many other miracles, and they did not believe Him; which miracles, if I shall recount, thou wilt not be able to bear. And Jesus answered and said to him: I can bear it; for I prudently listen to profitable words.

And when the boat was about to come near the land, Jesus bent down His head upon one of His angels, and was quiet. And Andrew ceased speaking; and he also, reclining his head upon one of his disciples, fell asleep. And Jesus said to His angels: Spread your hands under him, and carry Andrew and his disciples, and go and put them outside of the city of the man-eaters; and having laid them on the ground, return to me. And the angels did as Jesus commanded them, and the angels returned to Jesus: and He went up into the heavens with His angels.

And when it was morning, Andrew, having awakened and looked up, found himself sitting on the ground; and having looked,16 he saw his disciples sleeping on the ground: and he wakened them, and said to them: Rise up, my children, and know the great dispensation that has happened to us, and learn that the Lord was with us in the boat, and we knew Him not; for He transformed Himself as if He were a pilot in the boat, and humbled Himself, and appeared to us as a man, putting us to the test. And Andrew, recovering himself, said: Lord, I recognised Thy excellent words, but Thou didst not manifest Thyself to me, and because of this I did not know Thee. And his disciples answered and said to him: Father Andrew, do not think that we knew when thou wast speaking with Him in the boat, for we were weighed down by a most heavy sleep; and eagles came down out of the heavens, and lifted up our souls, and took them away into the paradise in heaven, and we saw great wonders. For we beheld our Lord Jesus sitting on a throne of glory, and all the angels round about Him. We beheld also Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the saints; and David praised Him with a song upon his harp. And we beheld there you the twelve apostles standing by in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, and outside of you twelve angels round about you, and each angel standing behind each of you, and they were like you in appearance. And we heard the Lord saying to the angels, Listen to the apostles in all things whatsoever they shall ask you. These are the things which we have seen, father Andrew, until thou didst awake us; and angels, who appeared like eagles, brought our souls into our bodies.

Then Andrew, having heard, rejoiced with great joy that his disciples had been deemed worthy to behold these wonderful things. And Andrew looked up into heaven, and said: Appear to me, Lord Jesus Christ; for I know that Thou art not far from Thy servants. Pardon me, Lord, for what I have done; for I have beheld Thee as a man in the boat, and I have conversed with Thee as with a man. Now therefore, Lord, manifest Thyself to me in this place.

And when Andrew had said this, Jesus appeared to him in the likeness of a most beautiful little child. And Jesus answered and said: Hail, our Andrew! And Andrew, having beheld Him, worshipped Him, saying: Pardon me, Lord Jesus Christ, for I saw Thee like a man on the sea, and conversed with Thee. What is there, then, wherein I have sinned, my Lord Jesus, that Thou didst not manifest Thyself to me on the sea? And Jesus answered and said to Andrew: Thou hast not sinned, but I did this to thee because thou saidst, I shall not be able to go to the city of the man-eaters in three days; and I have showed thee that I am able to do all things, and to appear to every one as I wish. Now therefore rise up, go into the city to Matthias, and bring him forth out of the prison, and all the strangers that are with him. For, behold, I show thee, Andrew, what thou must suffer before going into this city. They will heap upon thee tortures and insults, and scatter thy flesh in the ways and the streets, and thy blood shall flow to the ground, but they are not able to put thee to death; but endure, just as thou sawest me beaten, insulted, and crucified: for there are those who are destined to believe in this city. And having said this, the Saviour went into the heavens.

And Andrew went into the city along with his disciples, and no one beheld him. And when he came to the prison, he saw seven warders standing at the gate guarding, and he prayed within himself, and they fell down and expired; and he marked the gate with the sign of the cross, and it opened of its own accord. And having gone in with his disciples, he found Matthias sitting and singing; and seeing him, he stood up, and they saluted each other with a holy kiss; and he said to Matthias: Brother, how hast thou been found here? For yet three days, and they will bring thee out to be food for them. Where are the great mysteries which thou hast been taught, and the wonderful things which we have believed? And Matthias said to him: Didst thou not hear the Lord saying, I shall send you like sheep into the midst of wolves?17 They straightway brought me into the prison, and I prayed to the Lord; and He said to me, Remain here twenty-seven days, and I shall send thee Andrew, and he will bring thee forth out of the prison. And now, behold, it has come to pass as the Lord said.

Then Andrew, having looked, saw three men shut up eating grass naked; and he beat his breast, and said: Consider, O Lord, what the men suffer; how have they made them like the irrational brutes? And he says to Satan: Woe to thee, the devil, the enemy of God, and to thine angels, because the strangers here have done nothing to thee; and how hast thou brought upon them the punishment? how long dost thou war against the human race? Thou didst bring forth Adam out of paradise, and didst cause men to be mixed up with transgression; and the Lord was enraged, and brought on the deluge so as to sweep man away. And again hast thou made thy appearance in this city too, in order that thou mayst make those who are here eat men,18 that the end of them also may be in execration and destruction, thinking in thyself that God will sweep away the work of His hands. Hast thou not heard that God said, I will not bring a deluge upon the earth?19 but if there is any punishment prepared, it is for the sake of taking vengeance upon thee.

Then he stood up, and Andrew and Matthias prayed; and after the prayer Andrew laid his hands upon the faces of the blind men who were in the prison, and straightway they all received their sight. And again he laid his hand upon their hearts, and their minds were changed into human reason. Then Andrew answered them: Rise up, and go into the lower parts of the city, and you shall find in the way a great fig-tree, and sit under the fig-tree, and eat of its fruit, until I come to you; but if I delay coming there, you will find abundance of food for yourselves: for the fruit shall not fail from the fig-tree, but according as you eat it shall produce more fruit, and nourish you, as the Lord has said. And they answered and said to Andrew: Go along with us, O our master, lest perchance the wicked men of this city again see us, and shut us up, and inflict upon us greater and more dreadful tortures than they have inflicted upon us. And Andrew answered and said to them: Go; for in truth I sag to you, that as you go, not a dog shall bark with his tongue against you. And there were in all two hundred and seventy men and forty-nine women20 whom Andrew released from the prison. And the men went as the blessed Andrew said to them; and he made Matthias go along with his disciples out of the eastern gate of the city. And Andrew commanded a cloud, and the cloud took up Matthias and the disciples of Andrew; and the cloud set them down on the mountain where Peter was teaching,21 and they remained beside him.

And Andrew, having gone forth from the prison, walked about in the city; and having seen a brazen pillar, and a statue standing upon it, he came and sat down behind that pillar until he should see what should happen. And it happened that the executioners went to the prison to bring out the men for their food,22 according to the custom; and they found the doors of the prison opened, and the guards that guarded it lying dead upon the ground. And straightway they went, and reported to the rulers of the city, saying: We found the prison opened, and having gone inside we found nobody;23 but we found the guards lying dead upon the ground. And the rulers having heard this, said among themselves: What, then, has happened? You do not mean to say that some persons have gone into the prison of the city, and have killed the warders, and taken away those that were shut up? And they spoke to the executioners, saying: Go to the prison, and bring the men that are dead, that we may eat them up to-day. And let us go to-morrow, and bring together all the old men of the city, that they may cast lots upon themselves, until the seven lots come, and we slay seven each day. And they shall be to us for food until we may choose young men, and put them in boats as sailors, that they may go away to the countries round about, and attack them, and bring some men here, that they may be for food to us.

And the executioners went to the prison, and brought the seven men that were dead; and there was an oven built in the midst of the city, and there lay in the oven a large trough in which they killed the men, and their blood ran down into the trough, and they drew out of the blood and drank it. And they brought the men, and. put them into the trough. And when the executioners were lifting their hands against them, Andrew heard a voice, saying: Behold, Andrew, what is happening in this city. And Andrew having beheld, prayed to the Lord, saying: Lord Jesus Christ, who didst order me to come into this city, do not suffer those in this city to do any evil, but let the knives go out of the hands of the wicked ones. And straightway the knives of the wicked men fell, and their hands were turned into stone. And the rulers, having seen what had happened, wept, saying: Woe unto us, for here are the magicians who have gone into the prison, and brought out the men; for, behold, they have bewitched these also. What, then, shall we do? Let us go now, and gather together the old men of the city, seeing that we are hungry.

And they went and gathered them together, and found two hundred and seventeen; and they brought them to the rulers, and they made them cast lots, and the lot came upon seven old men. And one of those taken by lot answered and said to the officers: I pray you, I have for myself one son; take him, and slay him instead of me, and let me go. And the officers answered and said to him: We cannot take thy son, unless we bring him first to our superiors. And the officers went and told the rulers. And the rulers answered and said to the officers: If he give us his son instead of himself, let him go. And the officers went and told the old man. And the old man answered and said to them: I have also a daughter along with my son; take them, and kill them, only let me go. And he gave his children to the officers, that they might kill them. And the children wept to each other, and prayed the officers, saying: We pray you do not kill us, as we are of so small a size; but let us complete our size, and so kill us. For it was a custom in that city, and they did not bury their dead, but ate them up. And the officers did not hearken to the children, nor take pity upon them, but carried them to the trough weeping and praying.

And it happened, as they were lending them away to kill them, that Andrew, having beheld what happened, shed tears; and weeping, he looked up to heaven and said: Lord Jesus Christ, as Thou didst hear me in the case of the dead men, and didst not suffer them to be eaten up, so also now hear me, that the executioners may not inflict death upon these children, but that the knives may be loosened out of the hands of the executioners.24 And straightway the knives were loosened, and fell out of the hands of the executioners. And when this came to pass, the executioners, having beheld what had happened, were exceedingly afraid. And Andrew, seeing what had happened, glorified the Lord because He had listened to him in every work.

And the rulers, having beheld what had happened, wept with a great weeping, saying: Woe unto us! what are we to do? And, behold, the devil appeared in the likeness of an old man, and began to say in the midst of all: Woe unto you! because you are now dying, having no food; what can sheep and oxen do for you? They will not at all be enough for you. But rise up, and make a search here for one who has come to the city, a stranger named Andrew, and kill him; for if you do not, he will not permit you to carry on this practice longer: for it was he who let loose the men out of the prison. Assuredly the man is in this city, and you have not seen25 him. Now, therefore, rise and make search for him, in order that henceforward you may be able to collect your food.

And Andrew saw the devil, how he was talking to the multitudes; but the devil did not see the blessed Andrew. Then Andrew answered the devil, and said: O Belial most fiendish, who art the foe of every creature;26 but my Lord Jesus Christ will bring thee down to the abyss. And the devil, having heard this, said: I hear thy voice indeed, and I know thy voice, but where thou art standing I know not. And Andrew answered and said to the devil: Why, then, hast thou been called Amael?27 is it not because thou art blind, not seeing all the saints? And the devil, having heard this, said to the citizens: Look round now for him speaking to me, for he is the man. And the citizens, having run in different directions, shut the gates of the city, and searched for the blessed one, and did not see him.28 Then the Lord showed Himself to Andrew, and said to him; Andrew, rise up and show thyself to them, that they may learn my power, and the powerlessness of the devil working in them.

Then Andrew rose up, and said in presence of all: Behold, I am Andrew whom you seek. And the multitudes ran upon him, and laid hold of him, saying: What thou hast done to us, we also will do to thee. And they reasoned among themselves, saying: By what death shall we kill him? And they said to each other: If we take off his head, his death is not torture; and if we burn him, he will not be for food to us. Then one of them, the devil having entered into him, answered and said to the multitudes: As he has done to us, so let us also do to him. Let us rise up, then, and fasten a rope to his neck, and drag him through all the streets and lanes of the city; and when he is dead, we shall share his body. And they did as he said to them; and having fastened a rope round his neck, they dragged him through the streets and lanes of the city, and the flesh of the blessed Andrew stuck to the ground, and his blood flowed to the ground like water. And when it was evening they cast him into the prison, having bound his hands behind him; and he was in sore distress.

And in the morning again they brought him out, and having fastened a rope round his neck, they dragged him about; and again his flesh stuck to the ground, and his blood flowed. And the blessed one wept and prayed, saying: Do not forsake me, my Lord Jesus Christ; for I know that Thou art not far from Thy servants. And as he was praying, the devil walked behind, and said to the multitudes: Strike him on the mouth, that he may not speak.29

And when it was evening they took him again to the prison, having bound his hands behind him, and left him till the morrow again. And the devil having taken with himself seven demons30 whom the blessed one had cast out of the countries round about, and having gone into the prison, they stood before him, wishing to kill him. And the demons answered and said to Andrew: Now hast thou fallen into our hands; where is thy glory and thy exultation, thou that raisest thyself up against us, and dishonourest us, and tellest our doings to the people in every place and country, and hast made our workshops and our temples to become desolate, in order that sacrifices may not be brought to them? Because of this, then, we shall also kill time, like thy teacher called Jesus, and John whom Herod beheaded.31

And they stood before Andrew, wishing to kill him; and having beheld the seal upon his forehead which the Lord gave him, they were afraid, and did not come near him, but fled. And the devil said to them: Why have you fled from him, my children, and not killed him? And the demons answered and said to the devil: We cannot kill him, but kill him if thou art able; for we knew him before he came into the distress of his humiliation. Then one of the demons answered and said: We cannot kill him, but come let us mock him in the distress of his humiliation. And the demons came and stood before him, and scoffed at him. And the blessed one hearing, wept; and there came to him a voice saying: Andrew, why weepest thou? And it was the voice of the devil changed. And Andrew answered and said: I am weeping because God commanded me, saying, Be patient toward them. And the devil said: If thou canst do anything, do it. And Andrew answered and said: Is it for this, then, that you do these things to me? But forbid it that I should disobey the commandment of my Lord; for if the Lord shall make for me a charge32 in this city, I shall chastise you as you deserve. And having heard this, they fled.

And when it was morning they brought him out again, and having fastened a rope about his neck, they dragged him; and again his flesh stuck to the ground, and his blood flowed to the ground like water. And the blessed one, as he was being dragged along, wept, saying: Lord Jesus Christ, be not displeased with me; for Thou knowest, Lord, what the fiend has inflicted upon me, along with his demons. These tortures are enough, my Lord; for, behold, I am dragged about for three days. But do Thou, Lord, remember that Thou wast three hours upon the cross, and didst cry out to the Father, My Father, why hast Thou forsaken me?33 Where are Thy words, Lord, which Thou spakest to us, confirming us, when we walked about with Thee, saying to us, Ye shall not lose one hair?34 Consider, then, Lord, what has become of my flesh, and the hairs of my head. Then Jesus said to Andrew: O our Andrew, the heaven and the earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.35 Turn thyself then, Andrew, and behold thy flesh that has fallen, and thy hair, what has become of them. And Andrew turned, and saw great trees springing up, bearing fruit; and he glorified God.

And when it was evening they took him up again, and cast him into the prison, having bound his hands behind him; and he was exceedingly exhausted. And the men of the city said among themselves: Perhaps he dies in the night, and we do not find him alive on the following day; for he was languid, and his flesh was spent.

And the Lord appeared in the prison, and having stretched oat His hand, said to Andrew: Give me thy hand, and rise up whole. And Andrew, having beheld the Lord Jesus, gave Him his hand, and rose up whole. And falling down, he worshipped Him, and said: I thank Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, that Thou hast speedily brought help to me. And Andrew, having looked into the middle of the prison, saw a pillar standing, and upon the pillar there stood an alabaster statue. And Andrew, having gone up to the statue, unfolded his hands seven times, and said to the pillar, and the statue upon it: Fear the sign of the cross, which the heaven and the earth dread; and let the statue set upon the pillar bring up much water through its mouth, until all who are in this city be punished. And say not, I am stone, and am not worthy to praise the Lord, for the Lord fashioned us from the earth; but you are pure, because that out of you He gave the tables of the law.36 When the blessed Andrew had said this, straightway the stone statue cast out of its mouth water in abundance, as if out of a canal. And the water stood high upon the earth; and it was exceedingly acrid, eating into the flesh of men.

And when it was morning, the men of the city saw it, and began to flee, saying in themselves: Woe to us! because we are now dying. And the water killed their cattle and their children; and they began to flee out of the city. Then Andrew prayed, saying: Lord Jesus Christ, in whom I have hoped that this miracle should come upon this city, forsake me not, but send Michael Thy archangel in a cloud of fire, and be a wall round the city, that no one may be able to escape out of the fire. And straightway a cloud of fire came down and encircled the city like a wall; and the water was as high as the neck of those men, and it was eating them up exceedingly. And they wept, saying: Woe to us! for all these things have come upon us because of the stranger who is in the prison. Let us go and release him, lest perchance we die.

And they went out, crying with a loud voice: God of the stranger, take away from us this water. And the apostle knew that they were in great affliction, and said to the alabaster statue: Stop the water, for they have repented. And I say to thee, that if the citizens of this city shall believe. I will build a church, and place thee in it, because thou hast done me this service. And the statue ceased flowing, and no longer brought forth water. And the men of the city, having come out to the doors of the prison, cried out, saying. Have pity upon us, God of the stranger, and do not according to our unbelief, and according to what we have done to this man, but take away from us this water. And Andrew came forth out of the prison; and the water ran this way and that from the feet of the blessed Andrew. Then all the multitude seeing him, all cried out: Have pity upon us.

And the old man having come who gave up his children that they should slay them instead of him, prayed at the feet of the blessed Andrew, saying: Have pity upon me. And the holy Andrew answered and said to the old man: I wonder how thou sayest, Have pity upon me; for thou hadst no pity upon thy children, but gavest them up to be slain instead of thee. Therefore I say unto thee, At what hour this water goes away, into the abyss shalt thou go, with the fourteen37 executioners who slay the men every day. And he came to the place of the trough, where they used to slay the men. And the blessed one, having looked up to heaven, prayed before all the multitude; and the earth was opened, and swallowed up the water, along with the old man. He was carried down into the abyss, with the executioners. And the men, having seen what bad happened, were exceedingly afraid, and began to say: Woe unto us because this man is from God; and now he will kill us because of the afflictions which we have caused him. For, behold, what he said to the executioners and the old man has befallen them. Now, therefore, he will command the fire, and it will burn us. And Andrew, having heard, said to them: Fear not, children; for I shall not send these also to Hades; but those have gone, that you may believe in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Then the holy Andrew ordered to be brought up all who had died in the water. And they were not able to bring them; for there had died a great multitude both of men, and women, and children, and cattle.

Then Andrew prayed, and they all came to life. And after these things he drew a plan of a church, and he caused the church to be built. And he baptized them, and gave them the ordinances of our Lord Jesus Christ, saying to them: Stand by these, in order that you may know the mysteries of our Lord Jesus Christ. And they all prayed him: We pray thee, stay with us a few days, that we may be filled with thy fountain, because we are newly planted.38 And he did not comply with their request, but said to them: I shall go first to my disciples. And the children followed after, weeping and praying, with the men; and they cast ashes39 upon their heads. And he did not comply with them, but said: I shall go to my disciples, and after that I shall come again to you. And he went his way.

And the Lord Jesus Christ came down, being like a comely little child, and met Andrew, and said: Andrew, why hast thou come out and left them without fruit, and hast not had compassion upon the children that followed after thee, and the men entreating thee, Stay with us a few days? For the cry of them and the weeping has come up to heaven. Now therefore return, and go into the city, and remain there seven days, until I shall confirm their souls in the faith; and then thou shalt go away into the country of the barbarians, thou and thy disciples. And after going into this city, thou shalt proclaim my Gospel, and bring up the men who are in the abyss. And thou shall do what I command thee.

Then Andrew turned and went into the city, saying: I thank Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ, who wishest to save every soul, that Thou hast not allowed me to go forth out of this city in mine anger. And when he had come into the city, they, seeing him, rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And he stayed there seven days, teaching and confirming them in the Lord Jesus Christ. And the seven days having been fulfilled, it came to pass, while the blessed Andrew was going out, all came together to him, from the child even to the elder, and sent him on his way, saying: There is one God, the God of Andrew, and one Lord Jesus Christ, who alone doeth wonders; to whom40 be glory and strength for ever. Amen.

Acts of the Holy Apostles Peter and Andrew.


From a Bodleian Ms.1

It came to pass when Andrew the apostle of Christ went forth from the city of the man-eaters, behold a luminous cloud snatched him up, and carried him away to the mountain where Peter and Matthew and Alexander were sitting. And when he saw them, they saluted him with great joy. Then Peter says to him: What has happened to thee, brother Andrew? Hast thou sown the word of truth in the country of the man-eaters or not? Andrew says to him: Yes, father Peter, through thy prayers; but the men of that city have done me many mischiefs, for they dragged me through their street three days, so that my blood stained the whole street. Peter says to him: Be a man in the Lord, brother Andrew, and come hither, and rest from thy labour. For if the good husbandman laboriously till the ground, it will also bear fruit, and straightway all his toil wilt be turned into joy; but if he toil, and his land bring forth no fruit, he has double toil.

And while he was thus speaking, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to them in the form of a child, and said to them: Hail, Peter, bishop of the whole of my Church! hail, Andrew! My co-heirs, be courageous, and struggle for mankind; for verily I say unto you, you shall endure toils in this world for mankind. But be bold; I will give you rest in one hour of repose in the kingdom of my Father. Arise, then, and go into the city of the barbarians, and preach in it; and I will be with you in the wonders that shall happen in it by your hands. And the Lord Jesus, after saluting them, went up into the heavens in glory.

And Peter, and Andrew, and Alexander, and Rufus, and Matthias, went into the city of the barbarians. And after they had come near the city, Andrew answered and said to Peter: Father Peter, bare we again to undergo toils in this city, as in the country of the man-eaters? Peter says to him: I do not know. But, behold, there is an old man before us sowing in his field: if we go up to him, let us say to him, Give us bread; and if he give us bread, we may know that we are not to suffer in this city; but if he say to us, We have no bread, on the other hand, we shall know that suffering again awaits us. And when they came up to the old man, Peter says to him: Hail, farmer! And the farmer says to them: Hail you too, merchants! Peter says to him: Have you bread to give to these children, for we have been in want? The old man says to them: Wait a little, and look after the oxen, and the plough, and the land, that I may go into the city, and get you loaves. Peter says to him: If you provide hospitality for us, we shall took after the cattle and the field. The old man says: So be it. Peter says to him: Are the oxen your own? The old man says: No; I have them on hire. Peter says to him: Go into the city. And the old man went into the city. And Peter arose, and girded up his cloak and his under-garment, and says to Andrew: It is not right for us to rest and be idle; above all, when the old man is working for us, having left his own work. Then Peter took hold of the plough, and sowed the wheat. And Andrew was behind the oxen, and says to Peter: Father Peter, why dost thou bring toil upon us, especially when we have work enough already! Then Andrew took the plough out of Peter’s hand, and sowed the wheat, saying: O seed cast into the ground in the field of the righteous, come up, and come to the light. Let the young men of the city therefore come forth, whom I found in the pit of destruction until to-day; for, behold, the apostles of Christ are coming into the city, pardoning the sins of those who believe in them, and healing every disease, and every sickness. Pray ye for me, that He may have mercy upon me, and that I may be delivered from this strait.

And many of the multitude believed in Christ, because of the saying of the woman;2 and they fell at the feet of the apostles, and adored them. And they laid their hands upon them. And they healed those in the city that were sick, and gave sight to the blind and, hearing to the deaf, and drove out the demons. All the multitude glorified the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

And there was a certain rich man in the city, by name Onesiphorus. He, having seen the miracles done by the apostles, says to them: If I believe in your God, can I also do a miracle like you? Andrew says to him: If thou wilt forsake all that belongs to thee, and thy wife and thy children, as we also have done, then thou also shalt do miracles. When Onesiphorus heard this, he was filled with rage, and took his scarf and threw it over Andrew’s neck, and struck him, and said to him: Thou art a sorcerer. How dost thou force me to abandon my wife, and my children, and my goods? Then Peter, having turned and seen him striking Andrew, says to him: Man, stop now striking Andrew. Onesiphorus says to him: I see that thou art more sensible than he. Do thou then tell me to leave my wife, and my children, and my goods. What dost thou say? Peter says to him: One thing I say unto thee: it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to go into the kingdom of heaven.3 When Onesiphorus heard this, he was even more filled with rage and anger, and took his scarf off the neck of Andrew, and threw it upon the neck of Peter; and so he dragged him along, saying: Verily thou art a great sorcerer, more than the other; for a camel cannot go through the eye of a needle. But if thou wilt show me this miracle, I will believe in thy God; and not only I, but also the whole city. But if not, thou shalt be grievously punished in the midst of the city. And when Peter heard this, he was exceedingly grieved, and stood and stretched forth his hands towards heaven, and prayed, saying: O Lord our God, listen to me at this time; for they will ensnare us from Thine own words: for no prophet has spoken to set forth this his explanation, and no patriarch that we might learn the interpretation of it; and now we seek for ourselves the explanation with boldness. Do Thou then, Lord, not overlook us: for thou art He who is praised by the cherubim.

And after he had said this, the Saviour appeared in the form of a child of twelve years old, wearing a linen garment; and He says to them: Be courageous, and tremble not, my chosen disciples; for I am with you always. Let the needle and the camel be brought. And after saying this, He went up into the heavens. And there was a certain merchant4 in the city who had believed in the Lord through the Apostle Philip; and when he heard of this, he ran and searched for a needle with a big eye, to do a favour to the apostles. When Peter learned this, he said: My son, do not search for a big needle; for nothing is impossible with God: rather bring us a small needle. And after the needle had been brought, and all the multitude of the city were standing by to see, Peter looked up and saw a camel coming. And he ordered her to be brought. Then he fixed the needle in the ground, and cried out with a loud voice, saying: In the name of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, I order thee, O camel, to go through the eye of the needle. Then the eye of the needle was opened like a gate, and the camel went through it, and all the multitude saw it. Again Peter says to the camel: Go again through the needle. And the camel went a second time. When Onesiphorus saw this, he said to Peter; Truly thou art a great sorcerer; but I do not believe unless I send and bring a camel and a needle. And he called one of his servants, and said to him privately: Go and bring me here a camel and a needle; find also a polluted woman, and force her to come here: for these men are sorcerers. And Peter having learned the mystery through the Spirit, says to Onesiphorus: Send and bring the camel, and the woman, and the needle. And when they brought them, Peter took the needle, and fixed it in the ground. And the woman was sitting on the camel. Then Peter says: In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ the crucified, I order thee, O camel, to go through this needle. And immediately the eye of the needle was opened, and became like a gate, and the camel went through it. Peter again says to the camel: Go through it again, that all may see the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, in order that some may believe on Him. Then the camel again went through the needle. And Onesiphorus seeing it, cried out, and said: Truly great is the God of Peter and Andrew, and I from this time forth believe in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now then, hear my words, O Peter. I have corn lands, vineyards, and fields; I have also twenty-seven pounds of gold, and fifty pounds of silver; and I have very many slaves. I give my possessions to the poor, that I also may do one miracle like you. And Peter was grieved lest the powers should not work in him, seeing that he had not received the seal in Christ. And while he was considering this, behold, a voice out of the heaven saying to him: Do to him what he wishes, because I will accomplish for him what he desires. Peter says to him: My son, come hither; do as we do. And Onesiphorus came up, and stood before the camel and the needle, and said: In the n … (Here the ms.ends.)

Acts and Martyrdom of St. Matthew the Apostle


About that time Matthew, the holy apostle and evangelist of Christ, was abiding in the mountain resting, and praying in his tunic and apostolic robes without sandals; and, behold, Jesus came to Matthew in the likeness of the infants who sing in paradise, and said to him: Peace to thee, Matthew! And Matthew having gazed upon Him, and not known who He was, said: Grace to thee, and peace, O child highly favoured! And why hast thou come hither to me, having left those who sing in paradise, and the delights there? Because here the place is desert; and what sort of a table I shall lay for thee, O child, I know not, because I have no bread nor oil in a jar. Moreover, even the winds are at rest, so as not to cast down from the trees to the ground anything for food; because, for the accomplishing of my fast of forty days, I, partaking only of the fruits falling by the movement of the winds, am glorifying my Jesus. Now, therefore, what shall I bring thee, beautiful boy? There is not even water near, that I may wash thy feet.

And the child said: Why sayest thou, O Matthew? Understand and know that good discourse is better than a calf, and words of meekness better than every herb of the field, and a sweet saying as the perfume of love, and cheerfulness of countenance better that feeding, and a pleasant look is as the appearance of sweetness. Understand, Matthew, and know that I am paradise, that I am the comforter, I am the power of the powers above, I the strength of those that restrain themselves, I the crown of the virgins, I the self-control of the once married, I the boast of the widowed, I the defence of the infants, I the foundation of the Church, I the kingdom of the bishops, I the glory of the presbyters, I the praise of the deacons. Be a man, and be strong, Matthew, in, these words.

And Matthew said: The sight of thee hast altogether delighted me, O child; moreover also, thy words are full of life. For assuredly thy face shines more than the lightning, and thy words are altogether most sweet. And that indeed I saw thee in paradise when thou didst sing with the other infants who were killed in Bethlehem, I know right well; but how thou hast suddenly come hither, this altogether astonishes me. But I shall ask thee one thing, O child: that impious Herod, where is he? The child says to him: Since thou hast asked, hear his dwelling-place. He dwells, indeed, in Hades; and there has been prepared for him fire unquenchable, Gehenna without end, bubbling mire, worm that sleeps not,1 because he cut off three2 thousand infants, wishing to slay the child Jesus, the ancient of the ages; but of all these ages I am father. Now therefore, O Matthew, take this rod of mine, and go down from the mountain, and go into Myrna, the city of the man-eaters, and plant it by the gate of the church which thou3 and Andrew founded; and as soon as thou hast planted it, it shall be a tree, great and lofty and with many branches, and its branches shall extend to thirty cubits, and of each single branch the fruit shall be different both to the sight and the eating,4 and from the top of the tree shall flow down much honey; and from its root there shall come forth a great fountain, giving drink to this country round about, and in it creatures that swim and creep; and in it the man-eaters shall wash themselves, and eat of the fruit of the trees of the vine and of the honey; and their bodies shall be changed, and their forms shall be altered so as to be like those of other men; and they shall be ashamed of the nakedness of their body, and they shall put on clothing of the rams of the sheep, and they shall no longer eat unclean things; and there shall be to them fire in superabundance, preparing the sacrifices for offerings, and they shall bake their bread with fire; and they shall see each other in the likeness of the rest of men, and they shall acknowledge me, and glorify my Father who is in the heavens. Now therefore make haste, Matthew, and go down hence, because the departure from thy body through fire is at hand, and the crown of thy endurance.

And the child having said this, and given him the rod, was taken up into the heavens. And Matthew went down from the mountain, hastening to the city. And as he was about to enter into the city, there met him Fulvana the wife of the king, and his son Fulvanus and his wife Erva, who were possessed by an unclean spirit, and cried out shouting: Who has brought thee here again, Matthew? or who has given thee the rod for our destruction? for we see also the child Jesus, the Son of God, who is with thee. Do not go then, O Matthew, to plant the rod for the food, and for the transformation of the man-eaters: for I bare found what I shall do to thee. For since thou didst drive me out of this city, and prevent me from fulfilling my wishes among the man-eaters, behold, I will raise up against thee the king of this city, and he will burn thee alive. And Matthew, having laid his hands on each one of the demoniacs, put the demons to flight, and made the people whole; and they followed him.

And thus the affair being made manifest, Plato the bishop, having heard of the presence of the holy Apostle Matthew, met him with all the clergy; and having fallen to the ground, they kissed his feet. And Matthew raised them, and went with them into the church, and the child Jesus was also with him. And Matthew, having come to the gate of the church, stood upon a certain lofty and immoveable stone; and when the whole city ran together, especially the brethren who had believed, began to say: Men and women who appear in our sight, heretofore believing in the universe,5 but now knowing Him who has upheld and made the universe; until now worshipping the Satyr, and mocked by ten thousand false gods, but now through Jesus Christ acknowledging the one and only God, Lord, Judge; who have laid aside the immeasurable greatness of evil, and put on love, which is of like nature with affectionateness, towards men; once strangers to Christ, but now confessing Him Lord and God; formerly without form, but now transformed through Christ;—behold, the staff which you see in my hand, which Jesus, in whom you have believed and will believe, gave me; perceive now what comes to pass through me, and acknowledge the riches of the greatness which He will this day make for you. For, behold, I shall plant this rod in this place, and it shall be a sign to your generations, and it shall become a tree, great and lofty and flourishing, and its fruit beautiful to the view and good to the sight; and the fragrance of perfumes shall come forth from it, and there shall be a vine twining round it, full of clusters; and from the top of it honey coming down, and every flying creature shall find covert in its branches; and a fountain of water shall come forth from the root of it, having swimming and creeping things, giving drink to all the country round about.

And having said this, and called upon the name of the Lord Jesus, he fixed his rod in the ground, and straightway it sprung up to one cubit; and the sight was strange and wonderful. For the rod having straightway shot up, increased in size, and grew into a great tree, as Matthew had said. And the apostle said: Go into the fountain and wash your bodies in it, and then thus partake both of the fruits of the tree, and of the vine and the honey, and drink of the fountain, and you shall be transformed in your likeness to that of men; and after that, having gone into the church, you will clearly recognise that you have believed in the living and true God. And having done all these things, they saw themselves changed into the likeness of Matthew; then, having thus gone into the church, they worshipped and glorified God. And when they had been changed, they knew that they were naked; and they ran in haste each to his own house to cover their nakedness, because they were ashamed.

And Matthew and Plato remained in the church spending the night, and glorifying God. And there remained also the king’s wife, and his son and his wife, and they prayed the apostle to give them the seal in Christ. And Matthew gave orders to Plato; and he, having gone forth, baptized them in the water of the fountain of the tree, in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. And so thereafter, having one into the church, they communicated in the holy mysteries of Christ;6 and they exulted and passed the night, they also along with the apostle, many others having also come with them; and all in the church sang the whole night, glorifying God.

And when the dawn had fully come, the blessed Matthew, having gone along with the bishop Plato, stood in the place in which the rod had been planted, and he sees the rod grown into a great tree, and near it a vine twined round it, and honey coming down from above even to its root; and that tree was at once beautiful and flourishing, like the plants in paradise, and a river proceeded from its root watering7 all the land of the city of Myrna.8 And all ran together, and ate of the fruit of the tree and the vine, just as any one wished.

And when what had come to pass was reported in the palace, the king Fulvanus, having learned what had been done by Matthew about his wife, and his son, and his daughter-in-law, rejoiced for a time at their purification; but seeing that they were inseparable from Matthew, he was seized with rage and anger, and endeavoured to put him to death by fire. And on that night9 in which the king intended to lay hands on Matthew, Matthew saw Jesus saying to him: I am with thee always to save thee, Matthew; be strong, and be a man.

And the blessed Matthew, having awoke, and sealed himself over all the body, rose up at dawn, and proceeded into the church; and having bent his knees, prayed earnestly. Then the bishop having come, and the clergy, they stood in common in prayer, glorifying God. And after they had ended the prayer, the bishop Plato said: Peace to thee, Matthew, apostle of Christ! And the blessed Matthew said to him: Peace to you! And when they had sat down, the apostle said to the bishop Plato, and to all the clergy: I wish you, children, to know, Jesus having declared it to me, that the king of this city is going to send soldiers against me, the devil having entered into him, and manifestly armed him against us. But let us give ourselves up to Jesus, and He will deliver us from every trial, and all who have believed in Him.

And the king, plotting against the blessed Matthew how he should lay hands on him, and seeing also that the believers were very many, was very much at fault, and was in great difficulty.

Therefore the wicked and unclean devil who had come forth from the king’s wife, and his son, and his daughter-in-law, put to flight by Matthew, having transformed himself into the likeness of a soldier, stood before the king, and said to him: O king, why art thou thus put to the worse by this stranger and sorcerer? Knowest thou not that he was a publican, but now he has been called an apostle10 by Jesus, who was crucified by the Jews? For, behold, thy wife, and thy son, and thy daughter-in-law, instructed by him, have believed in him, and along with him sing in the church. And now, behold, Matthew is going forth, and Plato with him, and they are going to the gate called Heavy; but make haste, and thou wilt find them, and thou shalt do to him all that may be pleasing in thine eyes.

The king having heard this, and being the more exasperated by the pretended soldier, sent against the blessed Matthew four soldiers, having threatened them, and said: Unless you bring Matthew to me, I shall burn you alive with fire; and the punishment which he is to undergo, you shall endure. And the soldiers, having been thus threatened by the king, go in arms to where the Apostle Matthew and the bishop Plato are. And when they came near them, they heard their speaking indeed, but saw no one. And having come, they said to the king: We pray thee, O king, we went and found no one, but only heard the voices of persons talking. And the king, being enraged, and having blazed up like fire, gave orders to send other ten soldiers—man-eaters—saying to them: Go stealthily to the place, and tear them in pieces alive, and eat up Matthew, and Plato, who is with him. And when they were about to come near the blessed Matthew, the Lord Jesus Christ, having come in the likeness of a most beautiful boy, holding a torch of fire, ran to meet them, burning out their eyes. And they, having cried out and thrown their arms from them, fled, and came to the king, being speechless.

And the demon who had before appeared to the king in the from of a soldier, being again transformed into the form of a soldier, stood before the king, and said to him: Thou seest, O king, this stranger has bewitched them all. Learn, then, how thou shall take him. The king says to him: Tell me first wherein his strength is, that I may know, and then I will draw up against him with a great force. And the demon, compelled by an angel, says to the king: Since thou wishest to hear accurately about him, O king, I will tell thee all the truth. Really, unless he shall be willing to be taken by thee of his own accord, thou labourest in vain, and thou wilt not be able to hurt him; but if thou wishest to lay hands on him, thou wilt be struck by him with blindness, and thou wilt be paralyzed. And if thou send a multitude of soldiers against him, they also will be struck with blindness, and will be paralyzed. And we shall go, even seven unclean demons, and immediately make away with thee and thy whole camp, and destroy all the city with lightning, except those naming that awful and holy name of Christ; for wherever a footstep of theirs has come, thence, pursued, we flee. And even if thou shall apply fire to him, to him the fire will be dew; and if thou shalt shut him up in a furnace, to him the furnace will be a church; and if thou shalt put him in chains in prison, and seal up the floors, the doors will open to him of their own accord, and all who believe in that name will go in, even they, and say, This prison is a church of the living God, and a holy habitation of those that live alone.11 Behold, O king, I have told thee all the truth. The king therefore says to the pretended soldier: Since I do not know Matthew, come with me, and point him out to me from a distance, and take from me gold, as much as thou mayst wish, or go thyself, and with thy sword kill him, and Plato his associate.12 The demon says to him: I cannot kill him. I dare not even look into his face, seeing that he has destroyed all our generation through the name of Christ, proclaimed through him.

The king says to him: And who art thou? And he says: I am the demon who dwelt in thy wife, and in thy son, and in thy daughter-in-law; and my name is Asmodaeus; and this Matthew drove me out of them. And now, behold, thy wife, and thy son, and thy daughter-in-law sing along with him in the church. And I know, O king, that thou also after this wilt believe in him. The king says to him: Whoever thou art, spirit of many shapes, I adjure thee by the God whom he whom thou callest Matthew proclaims, depart hence without doing hurt to any one. And straightway the demon, no longer like a soldier, but like smoke, became invisible; and as he fled he cried out: O secret name, armed against us, I pray thee, Matthew, servant of the holy God, pardon me, and I will no longer remain in this city. Keep thou thine own; but I go away into the fire everlasting.

Then the king, affected with great fear at the answer of the demon, remained quiet that day. And the night having come, and he not being able to sleep because lie was hungry,13 leaped up at dawn, and went into the church, with only two soldiers without arms, to take Matthew by craft, that he might kill him. And having summoned two friends of Matthew, he said to them: Show to Matthew, says he, that I wish to be his disciple. And Matthew hearing, and knowing the craft of the tyrant, and having been warned also by the vision of the Lord to him, went forth out of the church, led by the hand by Plato, and stood in the gate of the church.

And they say to the king: Behold Matthew in the gate! And he says: Who he is, or where he is, I see not. And they said to him: Behold, he is in sight of thee. And he says: All the while I see nobody. For he had been blinded by the power of God. And he began to cry out: Woe to me, miserable! what evil has come upon me, for my eyes have been blinded, and all my limbs paralyzed? O Asmodaeus Beelzebul Satan! all that thou hast said to me has come upon me. But I pray thee, Matthew, servant of God, forgive me as the herald of the good God; for assuredly the Jesus proclaimed by the three days ago through the night appeared to me altogether resplendent as with lightning, like a beautiful young man, and said to me, Since thou art entertaining evil counsels in the wickedness of thine heart in regard to my servant Matthew, know I have disclosed to him that through thee will be the release of his body. And straightway I saw him going up into heaven. If therefore he is thy God, and if he wishes thy body to be buried in our city for a testimony of the salvation of the generations after this, and for the banishing14 of the demons, I shall know the truth for myself by this, by thee laying on hands upon me, and I shall receive my sight. And the apostle having laid his hands upon his eyes, and saying Ephphatha, Jesus,15 he made him receive his sight instantly.

And straightway the king, laying hold of the apostle, and leading him by the right hand, brought him by craft into the palace; and Plato was on Matthew’s left hand, going along with him, and keeping hold of him.16 Then Matthew says: O crafty tyrant, how long dost thou not fulfil the works of thy father the devil? And he was enraged at what had been said; for he perceived that he would inflict upon him a more bitter death. For he resolved to put him to death by fire. And he commanded several executioners to come, and to lead him away to the place by the seashore, where the execution of malefactors was wont to take place, saying to the executioners: I hear, says he, that the God whom he proclaims delivers from fire those who believe in him. Having laid him, therefore, on the ground on his back, and stretched him out, pierce his hands and feet with iron nails, and cover him over with paper, having smeared it with dolphins’ oil, and cover him up with brimstone and asphalt and pitch, and put tow and brushwood above. Thus apply the fire to him; and if any of the same tribe with him rise up against you, he shall get the same punishment.

And the apostle exhorted the brethren to remain undismayed, and that they should rejoice, and accompany him with great meekness, singing and praising God, because they were deemed worthy to have the relics of the apostle. Having therefore come to the place, the executioners, like most evil wild beasts, pinned down to the ground Matthew’s hands and feet with long nails; and having done everything as they had been bid, applied the fire. And they indeed laboured17 closely, kindling it all round; but all the fire was changed into dew, so that the brethren, rejoicing, cried out: The only God is the Christians’, who assists Matthew, in whom also we have believed: the only God is the Christians’, who preserves His own apostle in the fire. And by the voice the city was shaken. And some of the executioners, having gone forth, said to the king: We indeed, O king, by every contrivance of vengeance, have kindled the fire; but the sorcerer by a certain name puts it out, calling upon Christ, and invoking his cross; and the Christians surrounding him play with the fire, and walking in it with naked feet, laugh at us,18 and we have fled ashamed.

Then he ordered a multitude to carry coals of fire from the furnace of the bath in the palace, and the twelve gods of gold and silver; and place them, says he, in a circle round the sorcerer, lest he may even somehow bewitch the fire from the furnace of the palace. And there being many executioners and soldiers, some carried the coals; and others, bearing the gods, brought them. And the king accompanied them, watching lest any of the Christians should steal one of his gods, or bewitch the fire. And when they came near the place where the apostle was nailed down, his face was looking towards heaven, and all his body was covered over with the paper, and much brushwood over his body to the height of ten cubits. And baring ordered the soldiers to set the gods in a circle round Matthew, five cubits off, securely fastened that they might not fall, again he ordered the coal to be thrown on, and to kindle the fire at all points.

And Matthew, having looked up to heaven, cried out, Adonai Eloi Sabaoth Marmari Marmunth; that is, O God the Father, O Lord Jesus Christ, deliver me, and burn down their gods which they worship; and let the fire also pursue the king even to his palace, but not to his destruction: for perhaps he will repent and be converted. And when he saw the fire to be monstrous in height, the king, thinking that Matthew was burnt up, laughed aloud, and said: Has thy magic been of any avail to thee, Matthew? Can thy Jesus now give thee any help?

And as he said this a dreadful wonder appeared; for all the fire along with the wood went away froth Matthew, and was poured round about their gods, so that nothing of the gold or the silver was any more seen; and the king fled, and said: Woe’s me, that my gods are destroyed by the rebuke of Matthew, of which the weight was a thousand talents of gold and a thousand talents of silver. Better are the gods of stone and of earthenware, in that they are neither melted nor stolen.19

And when the fire had thus utterly destroyed their gods, and burnt up many soldiers, there came to pass again another stranger wonder. For the fire, in the likeness of a great and dreadful dragon, chased the tyrant as far as the palace, and ran hither and thither round the king, not letting him go into the palace. And the king, chased by the fire, and not allowed to go into his palace, turned back to where Matthew was, and cried out, saying: I beseech thee, whoever thou art, O mail, whether magician or sorcerer or god, or angel of God, whom so great a pyre has not touched, remove from me this dreadful and fiery dragon; forget the evil I have done, as also when thou madest me receive my sight. And Matthew, having rebuked the fire, and the flames having been extinguished, and the dragon having become invisible, stretching his eyes to heaven, and praying in Hebrew, and commending his spirit to the Lord, said: Peace to you! And having glorified the Lord, he went to his rest about the sixth hour.

Then the king, having ordered more soldiers to come, and the bed to be brought from the palace, which had a great show of gold, he ordered the apostle to be laid on it, and carried to the palace. And the body of the apostle was lying as if in sleep, and his robe and his tunic unstained by the fire; and sometimes they saw him on the bed, and sometimes following, and sometimes going before the bed, and with his right hand put upon Plato’s head, and singing along with the multitude, so that both the king and the soldiers, with the crowd, were struck with astonishment. And many diseased persons and demoniacs, having only touched the bed, were made sound; and as many as were savage in appearance, in that same hour were changed into the likeness of other men.

And as the bed was going into the palace, we20 all saw Matthew rising up, as it were, from the bed, and going into heaven, led by the hand by a beautiful boy; and twelve men in shining garments came to meet him, having never-fading and golden crowns on their head; and we saw how that child crowned Matthew, so as to be like them, and in a flash of lightning they went away to heaven.

And the king stood at the gate of the palace, and ordered that no one should come in but the soldiers carrying the bed. And having shut the doors,21 he ordered an iron coffin to be made, put the body of Matthew into it, and sealed it up with lead; through the eastern gate of the palace at midnight put it into a boat, no one knowing of it, and threw it into the deep part of the sea.

And through the whole night the brethren remained before the gate of the palace, spending the night, and singing; and when the dawn rose there was a voice: O bishop Plato, carry the Gospel and the Psalter of David; go along with the multitude of the brethren to the east of the palace, and sing the Alleluia, and read the Gospel, and bring as an offering the holy bread; and having pressed three clusters from the vine into a cup, communicate with me, as the Lord Jesus showed us how to offer up when He rose from the dead on the third day.

And the bishop having run into the church, and taken the Gospel and the Psalter of David, and having assembled the presbyters and the multitude of the brethren, came to the east of the palace at the hour of sunrise; and having ordered the one who was singing to go upon a certain lofty stone, he began to praise in singing of a song to God: Precious in the sight of God is the death of His saints.22 And again: I laid me down and slept; I arose: because the Lord will sustain me.23 And they listened to the singing of a song of David: Shall he that is dead not rise again? Now I shall raise him up for myself, saith the Lord. And all shouted out the Alleluia. And the bishop read the Gospel, and all cried out: Glory to Thee, Thou who hast been glorified in heaven and on earth. And so then they offered the gift of the holy offering for Matthew; and having partaken for thanksgiving24 of the undefiled and life-giving mysteries of Christ, they all glorified God.

And it was about the sixth hour, and Plato sees the sea opposite about seven furlongs off; and, behold, Matthew was standing on the sea, and two men, one on each side, in shining garments, and the beautiful boy in front of them. And all the brethren saw these things, and they heard them saying Amen, Alleluia. And one could see the sea fixed like a stone of crystal, and the beautiful boy its front of them, when out of the depth of the sea a cross came up, and at the end of the cross the coffin going up in which was the body of Matthew; and in the hour of the piercing on the cross,25 the boy placed the coffin on the ground, behind the palace towards the east, where the bishop had offered the offering for Matthew.

And the king having seen these things from the upper part of the house, and being terror-struck, went forth from the palace, and ran and worshipped towards the east at the coffin, and fell down before the bishop, and the presbyters, and the deacons, in repentance and confession, saying:26 Truly I believe in the true God, Christ Jesus. I entreat, give me the seal in Christ, and I will give you my palace, in testimony of Matthew, and you shall put the coffin upon my golden bed, in the great dining-room; only, having baptized me in it, communicate to me the Eucharist of Christ. And the bishop having prayed, and ordered him to take off his clothes, and having examined him for a long time, and he having confessed and wept over what he had done, having sealed him, and anointed him with oil, put him down into the sea, in the name of Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost. And when he came up from the water he ordered him to put on himself splendid garments, and so then having given praise and thanks, communicating the holy bread and mixed cup, the bishop first gave them to the king, saying: Let this body of Christ, and this cup, His blood shed for us, be to thee for the remission of sins unto life. And a voice was heard from on high: Amen, amen, amen. And when he had thus communicated in fear and joy, the apostle appeared and said: King Fulvanus, thy name shall no longer be Fulvanus; but thou shall be called Matthew. And thou, the son of the king, shall no longer be called Fulvanus, but Matthew also; and thou Ziphagia, the wife of the king, shall be called Sophia;27 and Erva, the wife of your son, shall be called Synesis.28 And these names of yours shall be written in the heavens, and there shall not fail of your loins from generation to generation. And in that same hour Matthew appointed the king a presbyter, and he was thirty-seven years old; and the king’s son he appointed deacon, being seventeen years old; and the king’s wife he appointed a presbyteress; and his son’s wife he appointed a deaconess,29 and she also was seventeen years old. And then he thus blessed them, saying: The blessing and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ shall be with you to time everlasting.

Then the king, having awakened out of sleep, and rejoiced with all his house at the vision of the holy Apostle Matthew, praised God.

And the king, having gone into his palace, broke all the idols to pieces, and gave a decree to those in his kingdom, writing thus: King Matthew, to all those under my kingdom, greeting. Christ having appeared upon earth, and having saved the human race, the so-called gods nave been found to be deceivers, and soul-destroyers, and plotters against the human race. Whence, divine grace having shone abroad, and come even to us, and we having come to the knowledge of the deception of the idols, that it is vain and false, it has seemed good to our divinity that there should not be many gods, but one, and one only, the God in the heavens. And you, having received this our decree, keep to the purport of it, and break to pieces and destroy every idol; and if any one shall be detected from this time forth serving idols, or concealing them, let such an one be subjected to punishment by the sword. Farewell all, because we also are well.

And when this order was given out, all, rejoicing and exulting, broke their idols to pieces, crying out and saying: There is one only God, He who is in the heavens, who does good to men.

And after all these things had come to pass, Matthew the apostle of Christ appeared to the bishop Plato, and said to him: Plato, servant of God, and our brother, be it known unto thee, that after three years shall be thy rest in the Lord, and exultation to ages of ages. And the king himself, whom after my own name I have called Matthew, shall receive the throne of thy bishopric, and after him his son. And he, having said Peace to thee and all the saints, went to heaven.

And after three years the bishop Plato rested in the Lord. And King Matthew succeeded him, having given up his kingdom willingly to another, whence there was given him grace against unclean demons, and he cured every affliction. And he advanced his son to be a presbyter, and made him second to himself.

And Saint Matthew finished his course in the country of the man-eaters, in the city of Myrna, on the sixteenth of the month of November, our Lord Jesus Christ reigning, to whom be glory and strength, now and ever, and to ages of ages. Amen.30

Acts of the Holy Apostle Thomas


At that time we the apostles were all in Jerusalem—Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the tax-gatherer; James of Alphaeus and Simon the Cananaean; and Judas of James;1 —and we portioned out the regions of the world, in order that each one of us might go into the region that fell to him, and to the nation to which the Lord sent him. By lot, then, India fell to Judas Thomas,2 also called Didymus. And he did not wish to go, saying that he was not able to go on account of the weakness of the flesh; and how can I, being an Hebrew man, go among the Indians to proclaim the truth? And while he was thus reasoning and speaking, the Saviour appeared to him through the night, and said to him: Fear not, Thomas; go away to India, and proclaim the word; for my grace shall be with thee. But he did not obey, saying: Wherever Thou wishest to send me, send me elsewhere; for to the Indians I am not going.

And as he was thus speaking and growing angry, there happened to be there a certain merchant come from India, by name Abbanes, sent from the king Gundaphoros, and having received an order froth him to buy a carpenter and bring him to him. And the Lord, having seen him walking about in the market at noon, said to him: Dost thou wish to buy a carpenter? And he said to Him: Yes. And the Lord said to him: I have a slave a carpenter, and I wish to sell him. And having said this, He showed him Thomas at a distance, and agreed with him for three pounds of uncoined silver; and He wrote a bill of sale, saying: I Jesus, the son of Joseph the carpenter, declare that I have sold my slave, Judas by name, to thee Abbanes, a merchant of Gundaphoros, the king of the Indians. And the purchase3 being completed, the Saviour taking Judas, who also is Thomas, led him to Abbanes the merchant; and Abbanes seeing him, said to him: Is this thy master? And the apostle answered and said: Yes, He is my Lord. And he says: I have bought thee from him. And the apostle held his peace.

And at dawn of the following day, the apostle having prayed and entreated the Lord, said: I go wherever Thou wishest, O Lord Jesus; Thy will be done. And he went to Abbanes the merchant, carrying nothing at all with him, but only his price. For the Lord had given it to him, saying: Let thy worth also be with thee along with my grace, wherever thou mayst go. And the apostle came up with Abbanes, who was carrying his effects into the boat. He began therefore also to carry them along with him. And when they had gone on board and sat down, Abbanes questioned the apostle, saying: What kind of work dost thou know? And he said: In wood, ploughs, and yokes, and balances,4 and boats, and boats’ oars, and masts, and blocks; in stone, slabs,5 and temples, and royal palaces. And Abbanes the merchant said to him: Of such a workman, to be sure, we have need. They began, therefore, to sail away. And they had a fair wind, and they sailed fist until they came to Andrapolis, a royal city.

And having gone out of the boat, they went into the city. And, behold, the voices of flute-players, and of water-organs, and trumpets, sounding round them; and the apostle inquired, saying: What festival is this in this city? And those who were there said to him: The gods have brought thee also, that thou mayst be feasted in this city. For the king has an only-begotten daughter, and he is now giving her to a husband in marriage: this festival, then, which thou seest to-day, is the rejoicing and public assembly for the marriage. And the king has sent forth heralds to proclaim everywhere that all are to come to the marriage, rich and poor, bond and free, strangers and citizens. And if any one shall refuse and not come to the marriage, he will be answerable to the king.6 And Abbanes having heard, said to the apostle: Let us also go, then, that we may not offend the king, and especially as we are strangers. And he said: Let us go. And having turned into the inn, and rested a little, they went to the marriage. And the apostle seeing them all reclining, reclined he also in the midst. And they all looked at him as a stranger, and coming from a foreign land. And Abbanes the merchant, as being a lord, reclined in another place.

And when they had dined and drunk, the apostle tasted nothing. Those, then, about him said to him: Why hast thou come hither, neither eating nor drinking? And he answered and said to them: For something greater than food or even drink have I come hither, even that I might accomplish the will of the King. For the heralds proclaim the wishes of the King, and whoever will not hear the heralds will be liable to the judgment of the King. When, therefore, they had dined and drunk, and crowns and perfumes had been brought, each took perfume, and one anointed his face, another his cheek,7 and one one part of his body, and another another. And the apostle anointed the crown of his head, and put a little of the ointment in his nostrils, and dropped it also into his ears, and applied it also to his teeth, and carefully anointed the parts round about his heart; and having taken the crown that was brought to him wreathed of myrtle and other flowers, he put it on his head, and took a branch of reed in his hand, and held it.

And the flute-girl, holding the flutes in her hand, went round them all; and when she came to the place where the apostle was, she stood over him, playing the flute over his head a long time. And that flute-girl was Hebrew by race.

And as the apostle looked away to the ground, a certain one of the wine-pourers8 stretched forth his hand and struck him. And the apostle, having raised his eyes, and regarded him who had struck him, said: My God will forgive thee this wrong in the world to come, but in this world He will show His wonders, and I shall soon see that hand that struck me dragged along by a dog. And having thus spoken, he began to sing and to repeat this song:—

Maiden, daughter of the light, in whom there exists and abides the majestic splendour of kings; and delightsome is the sight of her, resplendent with brilliant beauty. Her garments are like spring flowers, and the odour of a sweet smell is given forth from them; and on the crown of her head the king is seated, feeding with his own ambrosia those who are seated beside him; and truth rests upon her head, and she shows forth joy with her feet; and becomingly does she open her mouth; thirty-and-two are they who sing her praises, and their tongue is like a curtain of the door which is drawn for them who go in; and her neck is made in the likeness of the stairs which the first Creator created; and her two hands signify and represent the choral dance of the blessed ages, proclaiming it; and her fingers represent the gates of the city. Her chamber lighted up breathes forth scent from balsam and every perfume, and gives forth a sweet odour of myrrh and savoury herbs; and within are strewn myrtles and sweet-smelling flowers of all kinds; and the bridal chambers are adorned with calamus.9 And her groomsmen, of whom the number is seven, whom she has chosen for herself, surround her like a wall; and her bridesmaids are seven, who dance before her; and twelve are they in number who minister before her and are at her bidding, having their gaze and their sight upon the bridegroom, that through the sight of him they may be enlightened. And they shall be with him to everlasting in that everlasting joy, and they shall sit down in that wedding to which the great ones are gathered together, and they shall abide in the festivities of which the eternals are deemed worthy; and they shall be arrayed in royal raiment, and shall put on shining robes; and in joy and exultation both of them shall be, and they shall glorify the Father of the universe, whose majestic light they have received, and they have been enlightened by the sight of Him their Lord, whose ambrosial food they have received, of which there is no failing at all; and they have drunk also of the wine which brings to them no thirst, neither desire of the flesh; and they have with the living spirit glorified and praised the father of truth and the mother of wisdom.

And when he had sung and finished this song, all who were there present looked upon him and kept silence, and they also saw his form changed; and what had been said by him they did not understand, since he was a Hebrew, and what had been said by him had been said in Hebrew. But the flute-girl alone heard all, for she was Hebrew by race, and standing off from him she played the flute to the others; but at him she mostly turned her eyes and looked, for she altogether loved him as a man of the same nation with herself, and he was also beautiful in appearance above all who were there. And when the flute-girl had come to the end of all her flute-playing, she sat down opposite him, and looked and gazed upon him. But he looked at no one at all, neither did he regard any one, but only kept his eyes on the ground, waiting until he should depart thence. And that wine-pourer that struck him came down to the fountain to draw water; and there happened to be a lion there, and it came forth and killed him, and left him lying in the place, after tearing up his limbs; and dogs immediately seized his limbs, among which also one black dog, laying hold of his right hand in his mouth, brought it to the place of the banquet.

And all seeing were terror-struck, inquiring which of them had been taken off. And when it was clear that it was the hand of the wine-pourer who had struck the apostle, the flute-girl broke her flutes in pieces, and threw them away, and went and sat down at the feet of the apostle, saying: This man is either God or God’s apostle; for I heard him saying in Hebrew to the wine-pourer, I shall soon see the hand that struck me dragged about by dogs, which also you have now seen; for as he said, so also it has come to pass. And some believed her, and some not. And the king, having heard, came up and said to him: Rise up, and go with me, and pray for my daughter; for she is my only child, and today I give her away. And the apostle would not go with him; for his Lord had not at all been revealed to him there. And the king took him away against his will to the bridal-chamber, that he might pray for them.

And the apostle stood, and began to pray and speak thus: My Lord and my God, who accompanies His servants on their way, guiding and directing those who trust in Him, the refuge and the repose of the afflicted, the hope of the mourners, and the deliverer of the captives, the physician of the souls that are lying under disease, and Saviour of every creature, who gives life to the world, and invigorates our souls! Thou knowest what will come to pass, who also for our sakes makest these things perfect: Thou, Lord, who revealest hidden mysteries, and declarest unspeakable words; Thou, Lord, the planter of the good tree, also through the tree makest words to spring up; Thou, Lord, who art in all, and camest through all, and existest in all Thy works, and makest Thyself manifest through the working of them all; Jesus Christ, the Son of compassion, and perfect Saviour; Christ, Son of the living God, the undaunted Power which has overthrown the enemy; and the voice heard by the rulers,10 which shook all their powers; the ambassador who was sent to them from on high, and who wentest down even to Hades; who also, having opened the doors, didst bring out thence those that had been shut in for many ages by the controller of the world, and didst show them the way up that leads up on high: I beseech Thee, Lord Jesus Christ, I offer Thee supplication for these young persons, that Thou mayst make what happens and befalls them to be for their good. And having laid his hands on them, and said, The Lord will be with you, he left them in the place, and went away.11

And the king requested the groomsmen to go out of the bridal-chamber; and all having gone forth, and the doors having been shut, the bridegroom raised the curtain of the bridal-chamber, that he might bring the bride to himself. And he saw the Lord Jesus talking with the bride, and having the appearance of Judas Thomas, who shortly before had blessed them, and gone out from them; and he says to him: Didst thou not go out before them all? And how art thou found here? And the Lord said to him: I am not Judas, who also is Thomas; I am his brother. And the Lord sat down on the bed, and ordered them also to sit down on the seats;12 and He began to say to them:—

Keep in mind, my children, what my brother said to you, and to whom he commended you; and this know, that if you refrain from this filthy intercourse, you become temples holy and pure, being released from afflictions and troubles, known and unknown, and you will not be involved in the cares of life, and of children, whose end is destruction; but if you get many children, for their sakes you become grasping and avaricious, plundering orphans, coveting the property of widows, and by doing this you subject yourselves to most grievous punishments. For many children become unprofitable, being harassed by demons, some openly and others secretly: for they become either lunatics, or half-withered, or lame, or deaf, or dumb, or paralytics, or idiots; and even if they be in good health, they will be again good-for-nothing, doing unprofitable and abominable works: for they will be detected either in adultery, or in murder, or in theft, or in fornication, and by all these you will be afflicted. But if you will be persuaded, and preserve your souls pure to God, there will be born to you living children, whom these hurtful things do not touch; and you will be without care, spending an untroubled life, free from grief and care, looking forward to receive that marriage incorruptible and true; and you will be in it companions of the bridegroom, going in along with Him into that bridal-chamber full of immortality and light.13

And when the young people heard this, they believed the Lord, and gave themselves over into His keeping, and refrained from filthy lust, and remained thus spending the night in the place. And the Lord went out from before them, having spoken thus to them: The grace of the Lord shall be with you. And the dawn having come on, the king arrived, and having supplied the table, brought it in before the bridegroom and the bride; and he found them sitting opposite each other, and he found the face of the bride uncovered, and the bridegroom was quite cheerful. And the mother having come to the bride, said: Wherefore dost thou sit thus, child, and art not ashamed, but thus as if thou hadst for a long time lived with thine own husband? And her father said: Is it because of thy great love to thy husband that thou art uncovered?

And the bride answered and said: Truly, father, I am in great love, and I pray to my Lord to continue to me the love which I have experienced this night, and I shall beg for myself this husband whom I have experienced today. For this reason, then, I am no longer covered, since the mirror14 of shame has been taken away from me, and I am no longer ashamed nor abashed, since the work of shame and bashfulness has been removed far from me; and because I am not under any violent emotion, since violent emotion does not abide in me; and because I am in cheerfulness and joy, since the day of joy has not been disturbed; and because I hold of no account this husband, and these nuptials that have passed away from before mine eyes, since I have been joined in a different marriage; and because I have had no intercourse with a temporary husband, whose end is with lewdness and bitterness of soul, since I have been united to a true Husband.

And when the bride is saying yet more, the bridegroom answers and says: I thank Thee, Lord, who hast been proclaimed by the stranger and found by us;15 who hast put corruption far from me, and hast sown life in me; who hast delivered me from this disease, hard to heal, and hard to cure, and abiding for ever, and established in me sound health; who hast shown Thyself to me, and hast revealed to me all that concerns me, in which I am; who hast redeemed me from falling, and hast led me to something better, and who hast released me from things temporary, and hast deemed me worthy of things immortal and ever existing; who hast brought Thyself down even to me and to my littleness, in order that, having placed me beside Thy greatness, Thou mightest unite me to Thyself; who hast not withheld Thine own compassion from me lost, but hast shown me how to search myself, and to know what16 I was and what17 and how I am now, in order that I may again become as I was; whom I indeed did not know, but Thou Thyself whom I knew not hast sought me out and taken me to Thyself; whom I have experienced, and am not now able to forget, whose love is fervent in me; and speak indeed as I ought I cannot. But what I have time to say about Him is short, and altogether little, and not in proportion to His glory; but He does not find fault with me for not being ashamed to say to Him even what I do not know; because it is through the love of Him that I say even this.

And the king, having heard these things from the bridegroom and the bride, rent his garments, and said to those standing near him: Go out quickly, and go round the whole city, and seize and bring me that man, the sorcerer, who has come for evil into this city: for I led him with my own hands into my house, and I told him to play for my most unfortunate daughter; and whoever shall find him and bring him to me, whatever service be shall ask of me, I give him. They went away, therefore, and went round seeking him, and found him not; for he had sailed. They went, therefore, also into the inn where he had stayed, and found there the flute-girl weeping and in distress, because he had not taken her with him. And they having recounted what had happened in the case of the young people, she was altogether glad when she heard it, and dismissed her grief, and said: Now have I found, even I, repose here. And she arose and went to them, and was with them a long time, until they had instructed the king also. And many also of the brethren were gathered together there, until they heard word of the apostle, that he had gone down to the cities of India, and was teaching there. And they went away, and joined him.

Acts of the Holy Apostle Thomas

When He Came into India, and Built the Palace in the Heavens.


And when the apostle came into the cities of India, with Abbanes the merchant, Abbanes went away to salute Gundaphoros the king, and reported to him about the carpenter whom he bad brought with him; and the king was glad, and ordered him to come in to himself. And when he had come in, the king said to him: What trade knowest thou? The apostle says to him: The carpenter’s and house builder’s. The king says to him: What work in wood knowest thou, then, and what in stone? The apostle says: In wood, ploughs, yokes, balances, pulleys, and boats, and oars, and masts; and in stone, monuments, temples, royal palaces. And the king said: Wilt thou build me a palace? And he answered: Yes, I shall build it, and finish it; for because of this I came, to build houses, and to do carpenter’s work.

And the king having taken him, went forth out of the gates of the city, and began to talk with him on the way about the building of the palace, and about the foundations, how they should be laid, until they came to that place in which he wished the building to be. And he said: Here I wish the building to be. And the apostle says: Yes; for assuredly this place is convenient for the building. For the place was well wooded, and there was much water there. The king therefore says: Begin to build. And he said: I cannot begin to build at this time.

And the king says: When wilt thou be able? And he says: I shall begin in Dius and end in Xanthicus.1 And the king wondering, said: Every building is built in summer; but canst thou build and make a palace in winter itself? And the apostle said: Thus it must be, and otherwise it is impossible. And the king said: If, therefore, this be thy opinion, mark out for me how the work is to be, since I shall come here after some time. And the apostle, having taken a reed, measured the place, and marked it out; and he set the doors towards the rising of the sun, to look to the light, and the windows towards its setting, to the winds; and he made the bakehouse to be towards the south, and the water-tank, for abundance, towards the north. And the king seeing this, said to the apostle: Thou art a craftsman indeed, and it is fitting that thou shouldst serve kings. And having left many things for him, he went away.

And from time to time he also sent the money that was necessary, for the living both of him and the other workmen. And he taking it, dispenses it all, going about the cities and the places round, distributing and doing kindnesses to the poor and the afflicted, and gave them rest,2 saying: The king knows how to obtain royal recompense, and it is necessary for the poor to have repose for the present.

And after this, the king sent a messenger to the apostle, having written to him as follows: Show me what thou hast done, or what I am to send thee, or what thou needest. The apostle sends to him, saying: The palace is built, and only the roof remains to be done. And the king, having heard, sent him again gold and silver uncoined, and wrote to him: Let the palace, if it be done, be roofed. And the apostle said to the Lord: I thank Thee, Lord, as to all things, that Thou didst die for a short time, that I might live in Thee for ever; and hast sold me, so that Thou mayst deliver many through me. And he did not cease to teach and refresh the afflicted, saying: These things the Lord hath dispensed to us, and He gives to each his food; for He is the support of the orphans, and the provider of the widows, and to all that are afflicted He is rest and repose.

And when the king came into the city, he inquired of his friends about the palace which Judas, who also is Thomas, had built; and they said to him: He has neither built a palace, nor done anything else of what he promised to do; but he goes round the cities and the districts, and if he has anything he gives all to the poor, and teaches one new God,3 and heals the diseased, and drives out demons, and does many other extraordinary things; and we think that he is a magician. But his acts of compassion, and the cures done by him as a free gift, and still more, his single-mindedness, and gentleness, and fidelity, show that he is a just man, or an apostle of the new God whom he preaches; for he continually fasts and prays, and eats only bread with salt, and his drink is water, and he carries one coat, whether in warm weather or in cold, and he takes nothing from any one, but gives to others even what he has. The king having heard this, stroked his face with his hands, shaking his head for a long time.

And he sent for the merchant that had brought him, and for the apostle, and said to him: Hast thou built me the palace? And he said: Yes, I have built it. And the king said: When, then, are we to go and see it? And he answered and said: Now thou canst not see it; but when thou hast departed this life, thou shalt see it. And the king, quite enraged, ordered both the merchant, and Judas who also is Thomas, to be put in chains, and to be cast into prison, until he should examine, and learn to whom he had given the king’s property. And thus I shall destroy him along with the merchant. And the apostle went to prison rejoicing, and said to the merchant: Fear nothing at all, but only believe in the God proclaimed by me, and thou shalt be freed from this world, and thou shall obtain life in the world to come.

And the king considered by what death he should kill them; and when it seemed good to him to flay them, and burn them with fire, on that very night Gad the king’s brother fell ill, and through the grief and imposition which the king suffered he was grievously depressed; and having sent for the king, he said to him: My brother the king, I commend to thee my house and my children; for I, on account of the insult that has befallen thee, have been grieved, and am dying; and if thou do not come down with vengeance upon the head of that magician, thou wilt give my soul no rest in Hades. And the king said to his brother: During the whole night I have considered this, how I shall put him to death; and this has seemed good to me—to flay him and burn him up with fire, both him and with him the merchant that brought him.

And as they were talking together, the soul of Gad his brother departed. And the king mourned for Gad exceedingly, for he altogether loved him. And he ordered him to be prepared for burial in a royal and costly robe. And as this was being done, angels received the soul of Gad the king’s brother, and took it up into heaven, showing him the places and dwellings there, asking him: In what sort of a place dost thou wish to dwell? And when they came near the edifice of Thomas the apostle, which he had built for the king, Gad, seeing it, said to the angels, I entreat you, my lords, permit me to dwell in one of the underground chambers of this palace. And they said to him: Thou canst not dwell in this building.4 And he said: Wherefore? They say to him: This palace is the one which that Christian built for thy brother. And he said: I entreat you, my lords, permit me to go to thy brother, that I may buy this palace from him; for my brother does not know what it is like, and he will sell it to me.

Then the angels let the soul of Gad go. And as they were putting on him the burial robe, his soul came into him. And he said to those standing round him: Call my brother to me, that I may beg of him one request. Straightway, therefore, they sent the good news to their king, saying: Thy brother has come alive again. And the king started up, and along with a great multitude went to his brother, and went in and stood beside his bed as if thunderstruck, not being able to speak to him. And his brother said: I know and am persuaded, brother, that if any one asked of thee the haft of thy kingdom, thou wouldst give it for my sake; wherefore I entreat thee to grant me one favour, which I beg of thee to do me. And the king answered and said: And what is it that thou askest me to do for thee? And he said: Assure me by an oath that thou wilt grant it me. And the king swore to him: Of what belongs to me, whatever thou shalt ask, I will give thee. And he says to him: Sell me that palace which thou hast in the heavens. And the king said: Whence does a palace in the heavens belong to me? And he said: That which the Christian who is now in the prison, whom the merchant bought froth a certain Jesus, and brought to thee, built for thee. And as he was at a loss, he says to him again: I speak of that Hebrew slave whom thou didst wish to punish, as having suffered some imposition from him, on account of whom I also was grieved and died, and now have come alive again.

Then the king, having come to know, understood about the eternal benefits that were conferred upon him and destined for him, and said: That palace I cannot sell thee, but I pray thee to go into it, and dwell there, and become worthy to be of its inhabitants; but if thou really wishest to buy such a palace, behold, the man is alive, and will build thee a better than that.5 And having sent immediately, he brought out of the prison the apostle, and the merchant who had been shut up along with him, saying: I entreat thee, as a man entreating the servant of God, that thou wilt pray for me, and entreat him whose servant thou art, to pardon me, and overlook what I have done to thee, or even what I meant to do, and that I may be worthy to be an inhabitant of that house for which indeed I have laboured nothing, but which thou labouring alone hast built for me, the grace of thy God working with thee; and that I may become a servant, I also, and slave of this God whom thou proclaimest. And his brother, falling down before the apostle, said: I entreat thee, and supplicate before thy God, that I may become worthy of this ministry and service, and may be allotted to become worthy of those things which were shown me by his angels.

And the apostle, seized with joy, said: I make full confession6 to Thee, Lord Jesus, that Thou hast revealed Thy truth in these men: for Thou alone art a God of truth, and not another; and Thou art He who knowest all things that are unknown to many: Thou art He, Lord, who in all things showest compassion and mercy to men; for men, through the error that is in them, have overlooked Thee, but Thou hast not overlooked them. And now, when I am entreating and supplicating Thee, accept the king and his brother, and unite them into Thy fold, having cleansed them by Thy purification, and anointed them with Thy oil, from the error which encompasseth them; and protect them also from the wolves, bringing them into Thy meadows; and give them to drink of Thy ambrosial fountain, that is never muddy and never faileth: for they entreat Thee, and supplicate, and wish to become Thy ministers and servants; and on account of this they are well pleased even to be persecuted by Thine enemies, and for Thy sake to be hated by them, and insulted, and to die; as Thou also for our sakes didst suffer all these things, that Thou mightst gain us to Thyself, as being Lord, and truly a good shepherd. And do Thou grant them that they may have confidence in Thee alone, and aid from Thee, and hope of their salvation, which they obtain from Thee alone, and that they may be confirmed in Thy mysteries; and they shall receive the perfect benefits of Thy graces and gifts, and flourish in Thy service, and bear fruit to perfection in Thy Father.

King Gundaphoros, therefore, and Gad, having been altogether set apart by the apostle, followed him, not at all going back, they also providing for those that begged of them, giving to all, and relieving all. And they entreated him that they might also then receive the seal of baptism; and they said to him: As our souls are at ease, and as we are earnest about God, give us the seal; for we have heard thee saying that the God whom thou proclaimest recognises through his seal his own sheep. And the apostle said to them: And I am glad, and entreat you to receive this seal, and to communicate with me in this thanksgiving7 and blessing of God, and to be made perfect in it;8 for this Jesus Christ whom I proclaim is Lord and God of all, and He is the Father of truth, in whom I have taught you to believe. And he ordered to bring them oil, in order that through the oil they might receive the seal. They brought the oil, therefore, and lighted many lamps, for it was night.9

And the apostle arose, and sealed them; and the Lord was revealed to them, through a voice saying, Peace to you, brethren! And they heard His voice only, but His form they saw not; for they had not yet received the ratification10 of the seal. And the apostle, having taken oil, and poured it over their head, and salved and anointed them, began to say: Come, holy name of Christ, which is above every name; come, power of the Most High, and perfect compassion; come, grace most high; come, compassionate mother; come, thou that hast charge11 of the male child; come, thou who revealest secret mysteries; come, mother of the seven houses, that there may be rest for thee in the eighth house; come, thou presbyter of the five members—intelligence, thought, purpose, reflection, reasoning—communicate with these young persons; come, Holy Spirit, and purify their reins and heart, and seal them in the name of Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit. And when they had been sealed, there appeared to them a young man holding a burning torch, so that their lamps were even darkened by the approach12 of its light. And he went out, and disappeared from their sight. And the apostle said to the Lord: Thy light, Lord, is too great for us, and we cannot bear it; for it is too much for our sight. And when light came, and it was dawn, having broken bread, he made them partakers of the thanksgiving13 of Christ. And they rejoiced and exulted; and many others also believed, and were added, and came to the refuge of the Saviour.

And the apostle ceased not proclaiming, and saying to them: Men and women, boys and girls, young men and maidens, vigorous and aged, both bond and free, withhold yourselves from fornication, and covetousness, and the service of the belly; for under these three heads all wickedness comes. For fornication maims the mind, and darkens the eyes of the soul, and becomes a hindrance of the due regulation of the body, changing the whole man into feebleness, and throwing the whole body into disease. And insatiableness puts the soul into fear and shame, existing by what pertains to the body,14 and forcibly seizing what belongs to another; …and the service of the belly throws the soul into cares and troubles and griefs.… Since, therefore, you have been set free from these, you are without care, and without grief, and without fear; and there remains to you that which was said by the Saviour: Take no care for the morrow, for the morrow will take care of itself.15 Keep in mind also that saying before mentioned: Look upon the ravens, and behold the fowls of the heaven, that they neither sow nor reap, nor gather into barns, and God takes care of them; bow much more you, O ye of little faith!16 But look for His appearing, and have your hopes in Him, and believe in His name: for He is the Judge of living and dead, and He requites to each one according to his deeds; and at His coming and appearance at last no one will have as a ground of excuse, when he comes to be judged by Him, that he has not heard. For His heralds are proclaiming in the four quarters of the world. Repent, therefore, and believe the message,17 and accept the yoke of gentleness and the light burden,18 that you may live and not die. These things lay hold of, these things keep; come forth from the darkness, that the light may receive yen; come to Him who is truly good, that from Him you may receive grace, and place His sign upon your souls.

When he had thus said, some of the bystanders said to him: It is time for this debtor to receive his debt. And he said to them: The creditor,19 indeed, always wishes to receive more; but let us give him what is proper. And having blessed them, he took bread and oil, and herbs and salt, and gave them to eat. But he continued in his fasting, for the Lord’s day was about to dawn. And on the night following, while he was asleep, the Lord came and stood by his head, saying: Thomas, rise up early and bless them all; and after the prayer and service go along the eastern road two miles, and there I shall show in thee my glory. For because thou goest away, many shall flee to me for refuge, and thou shalt reprove the nature and the power of the enemy. And having risen up from sleep, he said to the brethren who were with him: Children and brethren, the Lord wishes to do something or other to-day through me; but let us pray and entreat Him that nothing may be a hindrance to us towards Him, but as at all times let it now also be done unto us according to His purpose and will. And having thus spoken, he laid his hands upon them and blessed them. And having broken the bread of the Eucharist, he gave it to them, saying: This Eucharist shall be20 to you for compassion, and mercy, and recompense, and not for judgment. And they said: Amen.

About the Dragon and the Young Man.

And the apostle went forth to go where the Lord had bidden him. And when he came near the second milestone he turned a little out of the way, and saw the body of a beautiful youth lying; and he said: Lord, was it for this that Thou broughtest me out to come here, that I might see this trial? Thy will therefore be done, as Thou purposest. And he began to pray, and to say: Lord, Judge of the living, and of those that are lying dead, and Lord of all, and Father—Father not only of the souls that are in bodies, but also of those that have gone out of them; for of the souls that are in pollutions Thou art Lord and Judge—come at this time, when I call upon Thee, and show Thy glory upon him that is lying down here. And he turned and said to those that followed him: This affair has not happened idly; but the enemy has wrought and effected this, that he might make an assault upon him; and you see that he has availed himself of no other form, and has wrought through no other living being, but through his subject.

And when the apostle had thus spoken, behold, a great dragon came forth from his den, knocking his head, and brandishing his tail down to the ground, and, using a loud voice, said to the apostle: I shall say before thee for what cause I have put him to death, since thou art here in order to reprove my works. And the apostle says: Yes, say on. And the dragon: There is a certain woman in this place exceedingly beautiful; and as she was once passing by, I saw her, and fell in love with her, and I followed and watched her; and I found this young man kissing her, and he also had intercourse with her, and did with her other shameful things. And to me indeed it was pleasant to tell thee this, for I know that thou art the twin-brother of Christ, and always bringest our race to nought. But, not wishing to harass her, I did not at this time put him to death; but I watched him passing by in the evening, and struck him, and killed him, and especially as he had dared to do this on the Lord’s day.21 And the apostle inquired of him, saying: Tell me, of what seed and of what race art thou?

And he said to him: I am the offspring of the race of the serpent, and hurtful of the hurtful; I am son of him who hurt and struck the four brothers that stood; I am son of him who sits on the throne of destruction, and takes his own from what he has lent;22 I am son of that apostate who encircles the globe; I am kinsman to him who is outside of the ocean, whose tail lies in his mouth; I am he who went into paradise through the hedge, and spoke with Eve what my father bade me speak to her; I am he who inflamed and fired Cain to kill his brother, and through me thorns and prickles sprang up in the ground; I am he who cast down the angels from above, and bound them down by the desires of women, that earth-born23 children might be produced froth them, and that I might work my will in them;24 I am he who hardened the heart of Pharaoh, that he should murder the children of Israel, and keep them down by the hard yoke of slavery; I am he who caused the multitude to err in the desert when they made the calf; I am he who inflamed Herod and incited Caiaphas to the lying tales of falsehood before Pilate, for this became me; I am he who inflamed Judas, and bought him, that he should betray Christ; I am he who inhabits and holds the abyss of Tartarus, and the Son of God has wronged me against my will, and has gathered his own out of me; I am the kinsman of him who is to come from the east, to whom also power has been given to do whatever he will upon the earth.

And that dragon having thus spoken in the hearing of all the multitude, the apostle raised his voice on high, and said: Cease henceforth, O thou most unabashed, and be ashamed and altogether put to death; for the end of thy destruction is at hand, and do not dare to say what thou hast done through thy dependants. And I order thee, in the name of that Jesus who even until now makes a struggle against you for the sake of His own human beings, to suck out the poison which thou hast put into this man, and to draw it forth, and take it out of him. And the dragon said: The time of our end is by no means at hand, as thou hast said. Why dost thou force me to take out what I have put into him, and to die before the time? Assuredly, when my father shall draw forth and suck out what he has put into the creation, then his end will come. And the apostle said to him: Show us, therefore, now the nature of thy father. And the dragon went up, and put his mouth upon the wound of the young man, and sucked the gall out of it. And in a short time the skin of the young man, which was like purple, grew white, and the dragon swelled. And when the dragon had drawn up all the gall into himself, the young man sprang up and stood, and ran and fell at the apostle’s feet. And the dragon, being swelled up, shrieked out and died, and his poison and gall were poured forth; and in the place where his poison was poured forth there was made a great chasm, and that dragon was swallowed up. And the apostle said to the king and his brother: Take workmen, and fill up the place in which the dragon has been swallowed up, and lay foundations, and build houses-above it, that it may be made a dwelling-place for the strangers.

And the young man said to the apostle, with many tears: I have sinned against the God proclaimed by thee, and against thee, but I ask pardon of thee; for thou art a man having two forms, and wherever thou wishest there art thou found, and thou art held in by no one, as I see. For I beheld that man, when I stood beside thee, who also said to thee, I have many wonders to show by means of thee, and I have great works to accomplish by means of thee, for which thou shall obtain a reward; and thou shall make many to live, and they shall be in repose and eternal light as the children of God: do thou therefore bring alive—he says, speaking to thee about me—this young man who has been cast down by the enemy, and in all time be the overseer of him. Thou hast, then, well come hither, and again thou shall well go away to him, he being not at all forsaken by thee. And I am without care and reproach, for the dawn has risen upon me from the care of the night, and I am at rest; and I have also been released from him who exasperated me to do these things: for I have sinned against Him who taught me the contrary, and I have destroyed him who is the kinsman of the night, who forced me to sin by his own practices; and I have found that kinsman of mine who is like the light. I have destroyed him who darkens and blinds those who are subject to him, lest they should know what they are doing, and, ashamed of their works, withdraw themselves from them, and their deeds have an end: and I have found Him whose works are light, and whose deeds are truth, of which whoever does them shall not repent. I have been set free also from him in whom falsehood abides, whom darkness as a covering goes before, and shame conducting herself impudently in idleness follows after. And I have found also Him who shows me what is beautiful, that I should lay hold of it, the Son of the truth, who is kinsman of concord, who, driving away the mist, enlightens His own creation, and heals its wounds, and overturns its enemies. But I entreat thee, O man of God, make me again to behold and see Him, now become hidden from me, that I may also hear His voice, the wonders of which I cannot declare: for it is not of the nature of this bodily organ.

And the apostle said to him: If, as thou hast also said, thou hast cast off the knowledge of those things which thou hast received, and if thou knowest who has wrought these things in thee, and if thou shalt become a disciple and hearer of Him of whom, through thy living love, thou now desirest the sight, thou shalt both see Him, and shalt be with Him for ever, and shalt rest in His rest, and shalt be in His joy. But if thou art rather carelessly disposed towards Him, and again returnest to thy former deeds, and lettest go that beauty and that beaming countenance which has now been displayed to thee, and if the splendour of the light of Him whom thou now desirest be forgotten by thee, thou shalt be deprived not only of this life, but also of that which is to come; and thou shalt go to him whom thou hast said thou hast destroyed, and shalt no longer behold Him whom thou hast said thou hast found.

And when the apostle had thus spoken, he went into the city, holding that young man by the hand, and saying to him: Those things which thou hast beheld, my child, are a few out of the many which God has: for it is not about these things that appear that the good news is brought to us, but greater things than these are promised to us; but inasmuch as we are in the body, we cannot tell and speak out what He will do for our souls. If we say that He affords us light, it is seen by us, and we have it; and if riches, they exist and appear in this world, and we name them, since it has been said, With difficulty will a rich man enter into the kingdom of the heavens.25 And if we speak of fine clothing, which they who delight in this life put on, it has been said, They that wear soft things are in kings’ palaces;26 and if costly dinners, about these we have received a commandment to keep away from them, not to be burdened by carousing and drunkenness and the cares of life;27 as also in the Gospel it has been said, Take no heed for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor for your body, what ye shall put on: because the life is more than food, and the body than clothing.28 And if we speak of this rest lasting only for a season, its judgment has also been ordained. But we speak about the upper world, about God and angels, about ambrosial food, about garments that last and become not old, about those things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath there come into the heart of sinful men what God has prepared for those that love Him.29 Do thou also therefore believe in Him, that thou mayst live; and have confidence in Him, and thou shall never die. For He is not persuaded by gifts, that thou shouldst offer them to Him; nor does He want sacrifices, that thou shouldst sacrifice to Him. But look to Him, and thou shalt not look in vain, for His comeliness and desirable beauty will make thee love Him; and neither will He allow thee to turn thyself away from Him.

And when the apostle was thus speaking to that young man, a great multitude joined them. And the apostle looked, and saw them lifting themselves up that they might see him; and they went up into elevated places. And the apostle said to them: Ye men who have come to the assembly of Christ, and who wish to believe in Jesus, take an example from this, and see that if you do not get high up, you cannot see me, who am small, and cannot get a look of me, who am like yourselves. If, then, you cannot see me, who am like yourselves, unless you raise yourselves a little from the earth, how can you see Him who lives above, and is now found below, unless you first raise yourselves out of your former behaviour, and unprofitable deeds, and troublesome desires, and the riches that are left behind here, and create things that are of the earth, and that grow old, and the garments that are destroyed, and the beauty that ages and vanishes away, yea, even out of the whole body in which all these have been stored past, and which grows old, and becomes dust, returning into its own nature? for all these things the body itself sets up.30 But rather believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we proclaim to you, in order that your hope may be upon Him, and that you may have life in Him to ages of ages, that He may be your fellow-traveller in this land, and may release you from error, and may become31 a haven for you in this troublous sea. And there shall be for yon also a fountain welling out in this thirsty land, and a fold full of food in the place of the hungry, and rest for your souls, and also a physician for your bodies.

Then the multitude of those assembled that heard, wept, and said to the apostle: O man of God, as for the God whom thou proclaimest, we dare not say that we are his, because our works which we have done are alien from him, not pleasing to him; but if he has compassion upon us, and pities us, and delivers us, overlooking our former doings; and if he set us free from the evil things which we did when we were in error, and shall not take into account nor keep the recollection of our former sins, we shall become his servants, and we shall do his will to the end. And the apostle answered and said to them: He does not reckon against you the sins which you did, being in error; but He overlooks your transgressions which you have done in ignorance.32

About the Demon that Dwelt in the Woman.

And the apostle went into the city, all the multitude accompanying him; and he thought of going to the parents of the young man whom, when killed by the dragon, he had brought to life; for they earnestly entreated him to come to them, and to enter into their house.

And a certain woman, exceedingly beautiful, suddenly uttered a loud cry, saying: O apostle of the new God, who hast come into India, and servant of that holy and only good God—for through thee he is proclaimed the Saviour of the souls that come unto him, and through thee he heals the bodies of those that are punished by the enemy, and thou hast become the cause of life to all who turn to him—order me to be brought before thee, that I may declare to thee what has happened to me, and that perhaps there may be hope to me from thee and those who stand beside thee may have more and more hope in the God whom thou proclaimest. For I am not a little tormented by the adversary, who has assailed me for now a period of five years. As a woman, I formerly sat down in peace. and peace encompassed me on all sides and I had nothing to trouble me, for of nothing else33 had I a care. And it happened on one of the days as I was coming forth from the bath, there met me one like a man troubled and disturbed; and his voice and utterance seemed to me to be indistinct and very weak And he said, standing over against me, Thou and I shall be in one love, and we shall have intercourse with each other, as a man is coupled with his wife: And I answered him, saying, To my betrothed I consented not, entreating him not to marry me; and to thee, wishing to have intercourse with me as it were in adultery, how shall I give myself up? And having thus spoken, went away from him. And to my maid I said, Hast thou seen the young man and his shamelessness, how shamelessly and boldly he talks to me? And she said to me, It was an old man I saw talking with thee. And when I was in my own house, and had supped, my mind suggested to me some suspicion, and especially because he had appeared to me in two forms. I fell asleep, having this same thing in my thoughts. And he came that night, and made me share in his filthy commerce. And I saw him when it was day, and fled from him; but, according to his wont, he came at night and abused me. And now, as thou seest me, I have been tormented by him five years, and he has not departed from me. But I know and am persuaded that even demons, and spirits, and avenging deities, are subject to thee, and tremble at thy prayer. Pray, then, for me, and drive away from me the demon that torments me, that I also may become free, and may be brought to my former nature, and I shall receive the gift34 that has been granted to my kindred.

And the apostle said: O irrepressible wickedness: O the shamelessness of the enemy! O the sorcerer that is never at rest! O the ill-favoured one, bring to subjection the well-favoured! O the many-formed one! He appears just as he may wish, but his essence cannot be changed. O offspring of the crafty and insatiable one! O bitter tree, which also his fruits are like! O thou who art of the devil, who fights over those who do not belong to him! O thou who art of the deceit that uses shamelessness! O thou who art of the wickedness that creeps like a serpent, and art thyself his kindred! And when the apostle had thus spoken the fiend stood before him, no one seeing him but the woman and the apostle, and with a very loud voice he said in the hearing of all: What have we to do with thee, O apostle of the Most High? What have we to do with thee, O servant of Jesus Christ? What have we to do with thee, O thou that sittest in council with the Holy Spirit. Wherefore dost thou wish to destroy us, when our time has not yet come? On what account dost thou wish to take away our power? for until the present hour we have had hope and time left us.35 What have we to do with thee? Thou hast power over thine own, and we over our own. Why dost thou wish to use tyranny against us, and especially thou who teachest others not to use tyranny? Why dost thou want those who do not belong to thee, as if thou wert not satisfied with thine own? Why dost thou liken thyself to the Son of God, who has done us hurt? For thou art like him altogether, just as if thou hadst been brought forth by him. For we thought to bring him also under the yoke, like the rest; but he turned, and held us under his hand. For we did not know him; but he deceived us by the form which he had put on, and his poverty and his want; for when we saw him such, we thought him to be a man clothed with flesh, not knowing that it was he who makes men live. And he gave us power over our own, and, in the time in which we live, not to let our own go, but to employ ourselves about them. But thou wishest to get more than is necessary, or than has been given thee, and to overpower us.

And having thus spoken, the demon wept, saying: I let thee go, my most lovely yoke-fellow,36 whom I found long ago and was at rest; I leave thee, my beloved and trusty sister, in whom I was well pleased. What I shall do I know not, or whom I shall call upon to hear me and protect me. I know what I shall do. I shall go to some place where the fame of this man has not been heard, and perhaps I shall call thee, my beloved, by a new name.37 And lifting up his voice, he said: Abide in peace, having received an asylum with a greater than I; but I, as I have said, will go away and seek thy like, and if I find her not I shall again return to thee: for I know that when thou art beside this man, thou hast an asylum in him; but when he has gone away, thou shalt be as thou wast before he made his appearance, and him indeed wilt thou forget, and to me there will again be opportunity and boldness; but now I am afraid of the name of him who has delivered thee. And having thus said, the demon disappeared. And just when he had disappeared, fire and smoke were seen there, and all there present were struck with amazement.

And the apostle seeing this, said to them: Nothing strange or unusual has that demon shown, but his own nature, in which also he shall be burnt up; for the fire shall consume him, and the smoke of him shall be scattered abroad. And he began to say: O Jesus Christ, the secret mystery which has been revealed to us, Thou art He who disclosest to us all manner of mysteries, who hast set me apart from all my companions, and who hast told me three words with which I am set on fire, and I cannot tell them to others; O Jesus, man slain, dead, buried; Jesus, God of God, and Saviour who bringest the dead to life, and healest those who are diseased; O Jesus, who appearest to be in want, and savest as if in want of nothing, catching the fishes for the morning and the evening meal, and establishing all in abundance with a little bread; Jesus, who didst rest from the toil of the journey as a man, and walk upon the waves as God;38 Jesus Most High, voice arising from perfect compassion, Saviour of all, the right hand of the light overthrowing him that is wicked in his own kind, and bringing all his kind into one place; Thou who art only begotten, the first-born of many brethren,39 God of God Most High, man despised until now; Jesus Christ, who overlookest us not when we call upon Thee; who hast been shown forth to all in Thy human life; who for our sakes hast been judged and kept in prison, and freest all that are in bonds; who hast been called a deceiver,40 and who deliverest Thine own from deception: I entreat Thee in behalf of those standing and entreating Thee, and those that believe in Thee; for they pray to obtain Thy gifts, being of good hope in Thine aid, occupying Thy place of refuge in Thy majesty; they give audience, so as to hear from us the words that have been spoken to them. Let Thy peace come and dwell in them, that they may be purified from their former deeds, and may put off the old man with his deeds, and put on the new now declared to them by me.41

And having laid his hands on them, he blessed them, saying: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon you for ever!42 And they said, Amen. And the woman begged of him, saying: Apostle of the Most High, give me the seal, that that foe may not come back upon me again. Then he made her come near him; and putting his hand upon her, he sealed her in the name of Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost. And many others also were sealed along with her. And the apostle ordered his servant43 to set out a table; and they set out a bench44 which they found there. And having spread a linen cloth upon it, he put on it the bread of the blessing. And the apostle standing by it, said: Jesus Christ, Son of God, who hast deemed us worthy to communicate of the Eucharist of Thy sacred body and honourable blood, behold, we are emboldened by the thanksgiving45 and invocation of Thy sacred name; come now, and communicate with us. And he began to say: Come, perfect compassion; come, communion with mankind; come, Thou that knowest the mysteries of the chosen one; come, Thou that communicatest in all the combats46 of the noble combatant; come, peace that revealest the great things of all greatness; come, Thou that disclosest secrets, and makest manifest things not to be spoken; the sacred dove which has brought forth twin young; come, thou secret mother; come, Thou who art manifest in Thy deeds, and givest joy and rest to those who are united to Thee; come and communicate with us in this Eucharist, which we make in The name, and in the love47 in which we are united in calling upon Thee.48 And having thus said, he made the sign of the cross upon the bread, and broke it, and began to distribute it. And first he gave it to the woman, saying: This shall be to thee for remission of sins, and the ransom of everlasting transgressions. And after her, he gave also to all the others who had received the seal.

About the Young Man Who Killed the Maiden.

And there was a certain young man who had done a nefarious deed; and having come to the apostle, he took the bread of the Eucharist into his mouth, and his two hands immediately withered, so that he could no longer bring them to his mouth. And those who were present and saw him told the apostle what had happened. And he, having summoned him, said: Tell me, my child, and be ashamed of nothing,49 what thou hast done, and why thou hast come hither; for the Eucharist of the Lord has convicted thee. For this gracious gift coming to many is especially healing to those who approach it through faith and love; but thee it has withered away, and what has happened has happened not without some working cause. And the young man who had been convicted by the Eucharist of the Lord came up, and fell at the apostle’s feet, and prayed him, saying: An evil deed has been done by me, yet I thought to do something good. I was in love with a certain woman living outside of the city in an inn, and she loved me. And I having heard from thee, and believed that thou proclaimest the living God, came and received the seal from thee along with the others; and thou saidst, Whoever shall indulge in filthy intercourse, and especially in adultery, shall not have life with the God whom I proclaim.50 Since, then, I altogether loved her, I begged of her, and persuaded her to live with me in chaste and pure intercourse, as thou thyself teachest; but she would not. When therefore she would not, I took a sword and killed her; for I could not see her living in adultery with another.

The apostle, having heard this, said: O maddening intercourse, into what shamelessness dost thou lead! O unrestrained lust, how hast thou brought him into subjection to do this! O work of the serpent, how dost thou rage in thine own! And the apostle ordered water to be brought him in a dish. And when the water had been brought, he said: Come waters from the living waters, existing from the existing, and sent to us; the fountain sent to us from repose, the power of salvation coming froth that power that subdues all things, and subjects them to its own will; come and dwell in these waters, that the gracious gift of the Holy Spirit may be fully perfected in them. And he said to the young man: Go, wash thy hands in these waters. And when he had washed, they were restored. And the apostle said to him: Dost thou believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, that He can do all things? And he said: Even though I am least of all, I believe; but this I did, thinking to do a good thing: for I implored her, as also I told thee; but she would not be persuaded by me to keep herself chaste.

And the apostle said to him: Come, let us go to the inn where thou didst this deed, and let us see what has happened. And the young man went before the apostle on the road; and when they came to the inn, they found her lying. And the apostle, seeing her, was disheartened, for she was a beautiful maiden; and he ordered her to be brought into the middle of the inn. And having put her on a Couch, they brought it, and set it in the midst of the court-yard of the inn. And the apostle laid his hand on her, and began to say: Jesus, who always appearest to us—for this Thou always wishest, that we should seek Thee—and Thou Thyself hast given us this power of asking and receiving;51 and not only hast Thou given us this, but hast also taught us how to pray;52 who art not seen by bodily eyes, but who art not altogether hidden from those of our soul, and who art hidden in Thy form, but manifested to us by Thy works; and by Thy many deeds we have recognised Thee as we go on, and Thou hast given us Thy gifts without measure, saying, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.53 We pray, therefore, having suspicion of our sins;54 and we ask of Thee not riches, nor gold, nor silver, nor possessions, nor any of those things that come from the earth and go into the earth again; but this we beg of Thee, and entreat that in Thy holy name Thou raise this woman lying here by Thy power, to the glory and faith of those standing by.

And when he had thus prayed, he sealed the young man, and said to him: Go, and take her by the hand, and say to her, I through my hands killed thee with the sword;55 and again I raise thee by my hands, in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. And the young man went and stood by her, saying: I have believed in Thee, O Christ Jesus. And looking upon Judas Thomas the apostle, he said to him: Pray for me, that my Lord, upon whom also I call, may come to my help. And having laid his hand on her hand, he said: Come, Lord Jesus Christ, giving this woman life, and me the earnest of Thy faith. And immediately, as he drew her hand, she sprang up, and sat, looking at the great multitude standing round. And she also saw the apostle standing opposite to her; and having left the couch, she sprang up, and fell at his feet, and took hold of his garments, saying: I pray thee, my lord, where is that other who is with thee, who has not left me to remain in that fearful and grievous place, but has given me up to thee, saying, Do thou take her, that she may be made perfect, and thereafter brought into her own place?

And the apostle says to her: Tell us where thou hast been. And she answered: Dost thou, who wast with me, to whom also I was entrusted, wish to hear? And she began to say: A certain man received me, hateful in appearance, all black, and his clothing exceedingly filthy; and he led me away to a place where there were many chasms, and a great stench and most hateful odour were given forth thence; and he made me bend down into each chasm, and I saw in the chasm blazing fire; and wheels of fire ran there, and souls were hung upon those wheels, and were dashed against each other. And there was there crying and great lamentation, and there was none released. And that man said to me, These souls are of thine own nation, and for a certain number of days56 they have been given over to punishment and torture; and then others are brought in instead of them; and likewise also these are again succeeded by others. These are they who have exchanged the intercourse of man and wife. And again I looked down, and saw infants heaped upon each other, and struggling and lying upon each other; and he answered and said to me, These are their children, and for this have they been placed here for a testimony against them.

And he brought me to another chasm, and I bent down and saw mud, and worms spouting forth, and souls wallowing there; and a great gnashing of teeth was heard thence from them. And that man said to me, These are the souls of women that left their own husbands, and went and committed adultery with others, and who have been brought to this torment. He showed me another chasm, into which I bent down and saw souls hung up, some by the tongue, some by the hair, some by the hands, some by the feet, head downwards, and smoked with smoke and sulphur; about whom that man who was with me answered me, These souls which are hung up by the tongue are slanderers, and such as have uttered false and disgraceful words; those that are hung up by the hair57 are those that are shameless, and that have gone about with uncovered heads in the world; these hung up by the hands are those who have taken what belongs to others, and have stolen, and who have never given anything to the poor, nor assisted the afflicted; but they so acted, wishing to get everything, and giving no heed at all to justice and the laws; and these hung up by the feet are those who lightly and eagerly ran in wicked ways, and disorderly wickedness, not looking after the sick, and not aiding those departing this life, and on account of this each individual soul is requited for what has been done by it.

Again leading me away, he showed me a cavern, exceedingly dark, exhaling a great stench; and many souls were peeping out thence, wishing to get some share of the air, but their keepers would not let them peep out. And he who was with me said, This is the prison of those souls which thou seest; for when they shall complete their punishments for those things which each one has done, afterwards again others succeed them—and there are some also quite used up—and are given up to other punishments. Those, then, who guarded the souls that were in the dark cave said to the man that had charge of me, Give her to us, that we may take her in beside the others, until the time comes for her to be given up to punishment. And he answered them, I will not give her to you, for I am afraid of him who gave her up to me; for I received no orders to leave her here, and I shall take her up with me until I get some injunction about her. And he took me and brought me to another place, in which were men who were bitterly tortured. And he that is like thee took me and gave me up to thee, having thus said to thee, Take her, since she is one of the creatures that have been led astray. And I was taken by thee, and am now before thee. I beg, therefore, and supplicate thee that I may not go into those places of punishment which I saw.

And the apostle said to the multitudes standing by: You have heard, brethren, what this woman has recounted; and these are not the only punishments, but there are others worse than these; and if you do not turn to this God whom I proclaim, and refrain from your former works and deeds which you have done without knowledge, in these punishments you shall have your end. Believe, therefore, in our Lord Jesus Christ, and He will forgive you the sins done by you heretofore, and will purify you from all the bodily desires that abide in the earth, and will heal you from the faults that follow after you, and go along with you, and are found before you. And let each of you put off the old man, and put on the new, and leave your former course of conduct and behaviour; and let those that steal steal no more, but let them live, labouring and working;58 and let the adulterers no more commit adultery, lest they give themselves up to everlasting punishment; for adultery is with God an evil altogether grievous above other evils. Put away also from yourselves covetousness, and lying, and drunkenness, and slandering, and requiting evil for evil: for all these are alien and strange to the God proclaimed by us; but rather live in faith, and meekness, and holiness, and hope, in which God rejoices, that ye may become His servants, having received from Him gracious gifts, which few or none receive.

All the people therefore believed, and presented their souls obedient to the living God and Christ Jesus, enjoying His blessed works, and His holy service. And they brought much money for the service of the widows; for he had them collected in the cities, and he sent to all of them by his own servants59 what was necessary, both clothing and food. But he did not cease proclaiming and saying to them, and showing that this is Jesus the Christ, concerning whom the Scriptures proclaimed that He should come, and be crucified, and be raised from the dead after three days. And he showed them a second time, beginning from the prophets, and explaining the things concerning Christ, and that it was necessary for Him to come, and for all things to be fulfilled that had been said to us beforehand concerning Him.60

And the report of him ran through all the cities and countries; and all who had persons sick or tormented by unclean spirits brought them, and they were healed. Some also they laid on the road by which he was to pass, and he healed them all by the power of the Lord.61 Then said all with one accord who had been healed by him, with one voice: Glory to Thee, Jesus, who givest Thy healing to all alike by means of Thy servant and apostle Thomas. And being in good health, and rejoicing, we pray Thee that we may be of Thy flock, and be numbered among Thy sheep; receive us, therefore, O Lord, and consider not our transgressions and former offences which we did, being in ignorance.

And the apostle said: Glory to the only-begotten from the Father;62 glory to the first-born of many brethren;63 Glory to Thee, the defender and helper of those who come to Thy place of refuge; Thou that sleepest not, and raisest those that are asleep; that livest and bringest to life those that are lying in death; O God Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, redeemer and helper, refuge and rest of all that labour in Thy work, who affordest health to those who for Thy name’s sake bear the burden of the day, and the icy coldness of the night; we give thanks for the gracious gifts that have been given us by Thee, and for the help from Thee bestowed upon us, and Thy providential care that has come upon us froth Thee. Perfect these things upon us, therefore, unto the end, that we may have confidence in Thee; look upon us, because for Thy sake we have left our homes, and for Thy sake have become strangers gladly and willingly; look upon us, O Lord, because for Thy sake we have abandoned our possessions, that we may have Thee for a possession that shall not be taken away; look upon us, O Lord, because we have left those related to us by ties of kindred in order that we may be united in relationship to Thee; look upon us, O Lord, who have left our fathers and mothers, and those that nourished us, that we may behold Thy Father, and be satisfied with His divine nourishment: look upon us, O Lord, because for Thy sake we have left our bodily yoke-fellows,64 and our earthly fruit, in order that we may share in that intercourse which is lasting and true, and bring forth true fruits, whose nature is from above, the enjoyment of which no one can take away from us, with which we abide, and they abide with us.

Consummation of Thomas the Apostle1


At the command of King Misdeus2 the blessed Apostle Thomas was cast into prison; and he said: I glorify God, and I shall preach the word to the prisoners, so that all rejoiced at his presence. When, therefore, Juzanes the king’s son, and Tertia his mother, and Mygdonia, and Markia, had become believers, but were not yet thought worthy of baptism, they took it exceedingly ill that the blessed one had been shut up. And having come to the prison, and given much money to the jailor,3 they went in to him. And he, seeing them, was glad, and glorified the Lord, and blessed them. And they entreated and begged the seal in the Lord, a beautiful young man having appeared to them in a dream, and ordered the apostle into the house of Juzanes.

And again the beautiful young man coming to them and Thomas, bade them do this on the coming night. And he ran before them, and gave them light on the way, and without noise opened the doors that had been secured, until all the mystery was completed. And having made them communicate in the Eucharist, and having talked much with them, and confirmed them in the faith, and commended them to the Lord, he went forth thence, leaving the women, and again went to be shut up.4 And they grieved and wept because Misdeus the king was to kill him.

And Thomas went and found the jailors fighting, and saying: What wrong have we done to that sorcerer, that, availing himself of his magic art, he has opened the doors of the prison, and wishes to set all the prisoners free? But let us go and let the king know about his wife and his son.5 And when he came they stripped him, and girded him with a girdle; and thus they stood before the king.

And Misdeus said to him: Art thou a slave, or a freeman? And Thomas answered and said to him: I am not6 a slave, and thou hast no power against me at all. And how, said Misdeus, hast thou run away and come to this country? And Thomas said: I came here that I might save many, and that I might by thy bands depart from this body. Misdeus says to him: Who is thy master? and what is his name? and of what country, and of whom is he? My Lord, says Thomas, is my Master and thine, being the Lord of heaven and earth. And Misdeus said: What is he called? And Thomas said: Thou canst not know His true name at this time; but I tell thee the name that has been given Him for a season—Jesus the Christ. And Misdeus said: I have not been in a hurry7 to destroy thee, but have restrained myself; but thou hast made a display of works, so that thy sorceries have been heard of in all the country. But now this will I do,8 that thy sorceries may also perish with thee, that our nation may be purified from them. And Thomas said: Dost thou call these things which will follow me sorceries? They shall never be removed from the people here.

And while these things were saying, Misdeus was considering in what manner he should put him to death; for he was afraid of the multitude standing round, many, even some of the chief men, having believed in him. And he arose, I and took Thomas outside of the city; and a few soldiers accompanied him with their arms. And the rest of the multitude thought that the king was wishing to learn something from him; and they stood and observed him closely. And when they had gone forth three stadia, he delivered him to four soldiers, and to one of the chief officers,9 and ordered them to take him up into the mountain and spear him; but he himself returned to the city.

And those present ran to Thomas, eager to rescue him; but he was led away by the soldiers who were with him. For there were two on each side having hold of him, because of sorcery, And the chief officer held him by the hand, and led him with honour. And at the same time the blessed apostle said: O the hidden mysteries of Thee, O Lord! for even to the close of life is fulfilled in us the riches of Thy grace, which does not allow us to be without feeling as to the body. For, behold, four have laid hold of me, and one leads me, since I belong to One, to whom I am going always invisibly. But now I learn that my Lord also, since He was a stranger, to whom I am going, who also is always present with me invisibly, was struck by one; but I am struck by four.10

And when they came to that place where they were to spear him, Thomas spoke thus to those spearing him: Hear me now, at least, when I am departing from my body; and let not your eyes be darkened in understanding, nor your ears shut up so as not to hear those things in which you have believed the God whom I preach, after being delivered in your souls from rashness; and behave in a manner becoming those who are free, being void of human glory, and live the life towards God. And he said to Juzanes: Son of an earthly king, but servant of Jesus Christ, give what is due to those who are to fulfil the command11 of Misdeus, in order that I may go apart from them and pray. And Juzanes having paid the soldiers, the apostle betook himself to prayer; and it was as follows:—

My Lord, and my God, and hope, and leader, and guide in all countries, I follow Thee along with all that serve Thee, and do Thou guide me this day on my way to Thee. Let no one take my sold, which Thou hast given to me. Let not publicans and beggars look upon me, nor let serpents slander me, and let not the children of the dragon hiss at me. Behold, I have fulfilled Thy work, and accomplished what Thou gavest me to do. I have become a slave, that I might receive freedom from Thee; do then give it to me, and make me perfect. And this I say not wavering, but that they may hear who need to hear. I glorify Thee in all, Lord and Master; for to Thee is due glory for ever. Amen.

And when he had prayed, he said to the soldiers: Come and finish the work of him that sent you. And the four struck him at once, and killed him. And all the brethren wept, and wrapped him up in beautiful shawls, and many linen cloths, and laid him in the tomb in which of old the kings used to be buried.

And Syphor and Juzanes did not go to the city, but spent the whole day there, and waited during the night. And Thomas appeared to them, and said: I am not there; why do you sit watching? for I have gone up, and received the things I hoped for; but rise up and walk, and after no long time you shall be brought beside me. And Misdeus and Charisius12 greatly afflicted Tertia and Mygdonia, but did not persuade them to abandon their opinions. And Thomas appeared, and said to them: Forget not the former things, for the holy and sanctifying Jesus Himself will aid you. And Misdeus and Charisius, when they could not persuade them not to be of this opinion, granted them their own will. And all the brethren assembled together For the blessed one had made Syphorus13 a presbyter in the mountain, and Juzanius14 a deacon, when he was led away to die. And the Lord helped them, and increased the faith by means of them.

And after a long time, it happened that one of the sons of Misdeus was a demoniac; and the demon being stubborn, no one was able to heal him. And Misdeus considered, and said I shall go and open the tomb, and take a bone of the apostle’s body, and touch my son with it, and I know that he will be healed. And he went to do what he had thought of. And the blessed apostle appeared to him, and said: Thou didst not believe in me when alive; how wilt thou believe in me when I am dead? Fear not. Jesus Christ is kindly disposed to thee, through His great clemency. And Misdeus, when he did not find the bones (for one of the brethren had taken them, and carried them into the regions of the West15 ), took some dust from where the bones had lain, and touched his son with it, and said: I believe in Thee, Jesus, now when he has left me who always afflicts men, that they may not look to Thy light which giveth understanding, O Lord, kind to men. And his son being healed in this manner, he met with the rest of the brethren who were under the rule of Syphorus, and entreated the brethren to pray for him, that he might obtain mercy from our Lord Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Martyrdom of the Holy and Glorious Apostle Bartholomew


Historians declare that India is divided into three parts; and the first is said to end at Ethiopia, and the second at Media, and the third completes the country; and the one portion of it ends in the dark, and the other in the ocean. To this India, then, the holy Bartholomew the apostle of Christ went, and took up his quarters in the temple of Astaruth, and lived there as one of the pilgrims and the poor. In this temple, then, there was an idol called Astaruth, which was supposed to heal the infirm, but rather the more injured all. And the people were in entire ignorance of the true God; and from want of knowledge, but rather from the difficulty of going to any other, they all fled for refuge to the false god. And he brought upon them troubles, infirmities, damage, violence, and much affliction; and when any one sacrificed to him, the demon, retiring, appeared to give a cure to the person in trouble; and the foolish people, seeing this, believed in him. But the demons retired, not because they wished to cure men, but that they might the more assail them, and rather have them altogether in their power; and thinking that they were cured bodily, those that sacrificed to them were the more diseased in soul.

And it came to pass, that while the holy apostle of Christ, Bartholomew, stayed there, Astaruth gave no response, and was not able for curing. And when the temple was full of sick persons, who sacrificed to him daily, Astaruth could give no response; and sick persons who had come from far countries were lying there. When, therefore, in that temple not even one of the idols was able to give a response, and was of benefit neither to those that sacrificed to them nor to those who were in the agonies of death on their account, they were compelled to go to another city, where there was a temple of idols, where their great and most eminent god was called Becher.1 And having there sacrificed, they demanded, asking why their god Astaruth had not responded to them. And the demon Becher answered and said to them: From the day and hour that the true God, who dwelleth in the heavens, sent his apostle Bartholomew into the regions here, your god Astaruth is held fast by chains of fire, and can no longer either speak or breathe. They said to him: And who is this Bartholomew? He answered: He is the friend of the Almighty God, and has just come into these parts, that he may take away all the worship of the idols in the name of his God. And the servants of the Greeks said to him: Tell us what he is like, that we may be able to find him.

And the demon answered and said: He has black hair, a shaggy head, a fair skin,2 large eyes, beautiful nostrils, his ears hidden by the hair of his head, with a yellow beard, a few grey hairs, of middle height, and neither tall nor stunted, but middling, clothed with a white undercloak bordered with purple, and upon his shoulders a very white cloak; and his clothes have been worn twenty-six years, but neither are they dirty, nor have they waxed old. Seven times3 a day he bends the knee to the Lord, and seven times4 a night does he pray to God. His voice is like the sonnet of a strong trumpet; there go along with him angels of God, who allow him neither to be weary, nor to hunger, nor to thirst; his face, and his soul, and his heart are always glad and rejoicing; he foresees everything, he knows and speaks every tongue of every nation. And behold now, as soon as you ask me, and I answer you about him, behold, he knows; for the angels of the Lord tell him; and if you wish to seek him, if he is willing he will appear to you; but if he shall not be willing, you will not be able to find him. I entreat you, therefore, if you shall find him, entreat him not to come here, lest his angels do to me as they have done to my brother Astaruth.

And when the demon had said this, he held his peace. And they returned, and set to work to look into every face of the pilgrims and poor men, and for two days they could find him nowhere. And it came to pass, that one who was a demoniac set to work to cry out: Apostle of the Lord, Bartholomew, thy prayers are burning me up. Then said the apostle to him: Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And that very hour, the man who had suffered from the demon for many years was set free.

And Polymius, the king of that country, happened to be standing opposite the apostle; and he had a daughter a demoniac, that is to say, a lunatic. And he heard about the demoniac that had been healed, and sent messengers to the apostle, saying: My daughter is grievously torn; I implore thee, therefore, as thou hast delivered him5 who suffered for many years, so also to order my daughter to be set free. And the apostle rose up, and went with them. And he sees the king’s daughter bound with chains, for she used to tear in pieces all her limbs; and if any one came near her, she used to bite, and no one dared to come near her. The servants say to him: And who is it that dares to touch her? The apostle answered them: Loose her, and let her go. They say to him again: We have her in our power when she is bound with all our force, and dost thou bid us loose her? The apostle says to them: Behold, I keep her enemy bound, and are you even now afraid of her? Go and loose her; and when she has partaken of food, let her rest, and early to-morrow bring her to me. And they went and did as the apostle had commanded them; and thereafter the demon was not able to come near her.

Then the king loaded camels with gold and silver, precious stones, pearls, and clothing, and sought to see the apostle; and having made many efforts, and not found him, he brought everything back to his palace.

And it happened, when the night had passed, and the following day was dawning, the sun having risen, the apostle appeared alone with the king in his bed-chamber, and said to him: Why didst thou seek me yesterday the whole day with gold and silver, and precious stones, pearls, and raiment? For these gifts those persons long for who seek earthly things; but I seek nothing earthly, nothing carnal. Wherefore I wish to teach thee that the Son of God deigned to be born as a man out of a virgin’s womb. He was conceived in the womb of the virgin; He took to Himself her who was always a virgin, having within herself Him who made the heaven and the earth, the sea, and all that therein is. He, born of a virgin, like mankind, took to Himself a beginning in time, He who has a beginning neither of times nor days; but He Himself made every beginning, and everything created, whether in things visible or invisible. And as this virgin did not know man, so she, preserving her virginity, vowed a vow6 to the Lord God. And she was the first who did so. For, from the time that man existed from the beginning of the world, no woman made a vow of this mode of life; but she, as she was the first among women who loved this in her heart, said, I offer to Thee, O Lord, my virginity. And, as I have said to thee, none of mankind dared to speak this word; but she being called for the salvation of many, observed this—that she might remain a virgin through the love of God, pure and undefiled. And suddenly, when she was shut up in her chamber, the archangel Gabriel appeared, gleaming like the sun; and when she was terrified at the sight, the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favour in the sight of the Lord, and thou shall conceive. And she cast off fear, and stood up, and said, How shall this be to me, since I know not man? The angel answered her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; wherefore also that holy thing which is born of thee shall be called Son of God.7 Thus, therefore, when the angel had departed from her, she escaped the temptation of the devil, who deceived the first man when at rest. For, having tasted of the tree of disobedience, when the woman said to him, Eat, he ate; and thus the first man was cast out of paradise, and banished to this life. From him have been horn the whole human race. Then the Son of God having been born of the virgin, and having become perfect man, and having been baptized, and after His baptism having fasted forty days, the tempter came and said to Him: If thou art the Son of God, tell these stones to become loaves. And He answered: Not on bread alone shall man live, but by every word of God.8 Thus therefore the devil, who through eating bad conquered the first man, was conquered through the fasting of the second man; and as he through want of self-restraint had conquered the first man, the son of the virgin earth, so we shall conquer through the fasting of the second Adam, the Son of the Virgin Mary.

The king says to him: And how is it that thou saidst just now that she was the first virgin of whom was born God and man? And the apostle answered: I give thanks to the Lord that thou hearest me gladly. The first man, then, was called Adam; he was formed out of the earth. And the earth, his mother out of which he was, was virgin, because it had neither been polluted by the blood of man nor opened for the burial of any one. The earth, then, was like the virgin, in order that he who conquered the son of the virgin earth might be conquered by the Son of the Virgin Mary. And, behold, he did conquer; for his wicked craft, through the eating of the tree by which man, being deceived, came forth from paradise, kept paradise shut. Thereafter this Son of the virgin conquered all the craft of the devil. And his craft was such, that when he saw the Son of the virgin fasting forty days, he knew in truth that He was the true God. The true God and man, therefore, hath not given Himself out to be known, except to those who are pure in heart,9 and who serve Him by good works. The devil himself, therefore, when he saw that after the forty days He was again hungry, was deceived into thinking that He was not God, and said to Him, Why hast thou been hungry? tell these stones to become loaves, and eat. And the Lord answered him, Listen, devil; although thou mayst lord it over man, because he has not kept the commandment of God. I have fulfilled the righteousness of God in having fasted, and shall destroy thy power, so that thou shalt no longer lord it over man. And when he saw himself conquered, he again takes Jesus to an exceeding high mountain, and shows Him all the kingdoms of the world, and says, All these will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. The Lord says to him, Get thee behind me, Satan; for it is written, Thou shall worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shall thou serve. And there was a third temptation for the Lord; for he takes Him up to the pinnacle of the temple, and says, If thou art the Son of God, cast thyself down. The Lord says to him, Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God. And the devil disappeared. And he indeed that once conquered Adam, the son of the virgin earth, was thrice conquered by Christ, the Son of the Virgin Mary.

And when the Lord had conquered the tyrant, He sent His apostles into all the world, that He might redeem His people from the deception of the devil; and one of these I am, an apostle of Christ. On this account we seek not after gold and silver, but rather despise them, because we labour to be rich in that place where the kingdom of Him alone endureth10 for ever, where neither trouble, nor grief, nor groaning, nor death, has place; where there is eternal blessedness, and ineffable joy, and everlasting exultation, and perpetual repose. Wherefore also the demon sitting in your temple, who makes responses to you, is kept in chains through the angel of the Lord who has sent me. Because if thou shall be baptized, and wishest thyself to be enlightened, I will make thee behold Him, and learn from how great evils thou hast been redeemed. At the same time hear also by what means he injures all those who are lying sick in the temple. The devil himself by his own art causes the men to be sick, and again to be healed, in order that they may the more believe in the idols, and in order that he may have place the more in their souls, in order that they may say to the stock and the stone, Thou art our God.11 But that demon who dwells in the idol is held in subjection, conquered by me, and is able to give no response to those who sacrifice and pray there. And if thou wishest to prove that it is so, I order him to return into the idol, and I will make him confess with his own mouth that he is bound, and able to give no response.

The king says to him: To-morrow, at the first hour of the day, the priests are ready to sacrifice in the temple, and I shall come there, and shall be able to see this wonderful work.

And it came to pass on the following day, as they were sacrificing, the devil began to cry out: Refrain, ye wretched ones, from sacrificing to me, lest ye suffer worse for my sake; because I am bound in fiery chains, and kept in subjection by an angel of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whom the Jews crucified: for, being afraid of him, they condemned him to death. And he put to death Death himself, our king, and he bound our prince in chains of fire; and on the third day, having conquered death and the devil, rose in glory, and gave the sign of the cross to his apostles, and sent them out into the four quarters of the world; and one of them is here just now, who has bound me, and keeps me in subjection. I implore you, therefore, supplicate him on my account, that he may set me free to go into other habitations.

Then the apostle answered: Confess, unclean demon, who is it that has injured all those that are lying here from heavy diseases? The demon answered: The devil, our ruler, he who is bound, he sends us against men, that, having first injured their bodies, we may thus also make an assault upon their souls when they sacrifice to us. Fort then we have complete power over them, when they believe in us and sacrifice to us. And when, on account of the mischief done to them, we retire, we appear curing them, and are worshipped by them as gods; but in truth we are demons, and the servants of him who was crucified, the Son of the virgin, have bound us. For from that day on which the Apostle Bartholomew came I am punished, kept hound in chains of fire. And for this reason I speak, because he has commanded me. At the same time, I dare not utter more when the apostle is present, neither I nor our rulers.

The apostle says to him: Why dost thou not save all that have come to thee? The demon says to him: When we injure their bodies, unless we first injure their souls, we do not let their bodies go. The apostle says to him: And how do you injure their souls? The demon answered him: When they believe that we are gods, and sacrifice to us, God withdraws from those who sacrifice, and we do not take away the sufferings of their bodies, but retire into their souls.

Then the apostle says to the people: Behold, the god whom you thought to cure you, does the more mischief to your souls and bodies. Hear even now your Maker who dwells in the heavens, and do not believe in lifeless stones and stocks. And if you wish that I should pray for you, and that all these may receive health, take down this idol, and break it to pieces; and when you have done this, I will sanctify this temple in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; and having baptized all of you who are in it in the baptism of the Lord, and sanctified you, I will save all.

Then the king gave orders, and all the people brought ropes and crowbars, and were not at all aide to take down the idol. Then the apostle says to them: Unfasten the ropes. And when they had unfastened them, he said to the demon dwelling in it: In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, come out of this idol, and go into a desert place, where neither winged creature utters a cry, nor voice of man has ever been heard. And straightway he arose at the word of the apostle, and lifted it up from its foundations; and in that same hour all the idols that were in that place were broken to pieces.

Then all cried out with one voice, saying: He alone is God Almighty whom Bartholomew the apostle proclaims. Then the holy Bartholomew, having spread forth his hands to heaven, said: God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, who for the salvation of men hast sent forth Thine only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in order that He might redeem by His own blood all of us enslaved by sin, and declare us to be Thy sons, that we may know Thee, the true God, that Thou existest always to eternity God without end: one God, the Father, acknowledged in Son and Holy Spirit; one God, the Son, glorified in Father and Holy Spirit; one God, the Holy Spirit, worshipped in Father and Son; and acknowledged to be truly one,12 the Father unbegotten, the Son begotten, the Holy Spirit proceeding; and in Thee the Father, and in the Holy Spirit, Thine only begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ is, in whose name Thou hast given us power to heal the sick, to cure paralytics, to expel demons, and raise the dead: for He said to us, Verily I say unto you, that whatever ye shall ask in my name ye shall receive.13 I entreat, then, that in His name all this multitude may be saved, that all may know that Thou alone art God in heaven, and in the earth, and in the sea, who seekest the salvation of men through that same Jesus Christ our Lord, with whom Thou livest and reignest in unity of the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.

And when all responded to the Amen, suddenly there appeared an angel of the Lord, shining brighter than the sun, winged, and other four angels holding up the four corners of the temple; and with his finger the one sealed the temple and the people, and said: Thus saith the Lord who hath sent me, As you have all been purified from all your infirmity, so also this temple shall be purified from all uncleanness, and from the demons dwelling in it, whom the apostle of God has ordered to go into a desert place; for so hath God commanded me, that I may manifest Him to you. And when ye behold Him, fear nothing; but when I make the sign of the cross, so also do ye with your finger seal your faces, and these evil things will flee from you. Then he showed them the demon who dwelt in the temple, like an Ethiopian, black as soot; his face sharp like a dog’s, thin-cheeked, with hair down to his feet, eves like fire, sparks coming out of his mouth; and out of his nostrils came forth smoke like sulphur, with wings spined like a porcupine; and his hands were bound with fiery chains, and he was firmly kept in. And the angel of the Lord said to him: As also the apostle hath commanded, I let thee go; go where voice of man is not heard, and be there until the great day of judgment. And when he let him go, he flew away, groaning and weeping, and disappeared. And the angel of the Lord went up into heaven in the sight of all.

Then the king, and also the queen, with their two sons, and with all his people, and with all the multitude of the city, and every city round about, and country, and whatever land his kingdom ruled over, were saved, and believed, and were baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And the king laid aside his diadem, and followed Bartholomew the apostle of Christ.

And after these things the unbelievers of the Greeks, having come together to Astreges14 the king, who was the eider brother of the king who had been baptized, say to him: O king, thy brother Polymius has become disciple to a certain magician, who has taken down our temples, and broken our gods to pieces. And while they were thus speaking and weeping, behold, again there came also some others from the cities round about, both priests15 and people; and they set about weeping and making accusations16 before the king. Then King Astreges in a rage sent a thousand armed men along with those priests, in order that, wherever they should find the apostle, they might bring him to him bound. And when they bad done so, and found him, and brought him, he says to him: Art thou he who has perverted my brother from the gods? To whom the apostle answered: I have not perverted him, but have converted him to God. The king says to him: Art thou he who caused our gods to be broken in pieces? The apostle says to him: I gave power to the demons who were in them, and they broke in pieces the dumb and senseless idols, that all men might believe in God Almighty, who dwelleth in the heavens. The king says to him: As thou hast made my brother deny his gods, and believe in thy God, so I also will make you reject thy God and believe in my gods. The apostle says to him: If I have bound and kept in subjection the god which thy brother worshipped, and at my order the idols were broken in pieces, if thou also art able to do the same to my God, thou canst persuade me also to sacrifice to thy gods; but if thou canst do nothing to my God, I will break all thy gods in pieces; but do thou believe in my God.

And when he had thus spoken, the king was informed that this god Baldad17 and all the other idols had fallen down, and were broken in pieces. Then the king rent the purple in which he was clothed, and ordered the holy apostle Bartholomew to be beaten with rods; and after having been thus scourged, to be beheaded.

And innumerable multitudes came from all the cities, to the number of twelve thousand, who had believed in him along with the king; and they took up the remains of the apostle with singing of praise and with all glory, and they laid them in the royal tomb, and glorified God. And the king Astreges having heard of this, ordered him to be thrown into the sea; and his remains were carried into the island of Liparis.

And it came to pass on the thirtieth day after the apostle was carried away, that the king Astreges was overpowered by a demon and miserably strangled; and all the priests were strangled by demons, and perished on account of their rising against18 the apostle, and thus died by an evil fate.

And there was great fear and trembling, and all came to the Lord, and were baptized by the presbyters who had been ordained by the holy apostle Bartholomew. And according to the commandment of the apostle, all the clergy of the people made King Polymius bishop; and in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ he received the grace of healing, and began to do signs. And he remained in the bishopric twenty years; and having prospered in all things, and governed the church well, and guided it in right opinions,19 he fell asleep in peace, and went to the Lord: to whom be glory and strength for ever and ever. Amen.

Acts of the Holy Apostle Thaddaeus, One of the Twelve1


Lebbaeus, who also is Thaddaeus, was of the city of Edessa—and it is the metropolis of Osroene, in the interior of the Armenosyrians—an Hebrew by race, accomplished and most learned in the divine writings. He came to Jerusalem to worship in the days of John the Baptist; and having heard his preaching and seen his angelic life, he was baptized, and his name was called Thaddaeus. And having seen the appearing of Christ, and His teaching, and His wonderful works, he followed Him, and became His disciple; and He chose him as one of the twelve, the tenth apostle according to the Evangelists Matthew and Mark.

In those times there was a governor of the city of Edessa, Abgarus by name. And there having gone abroad the fame of Christ, of the wonders which He did, and of His teaching, Abgarus having heard of it, was astonished, and desired to see Christ, and could not leave his city and government. And about the days of the Passion and the plots of the Jews, Abgarus, being seized by an incurable disease, sent a letter to Christ by Ananias the courier,2 to the following effect:—To Jesus3 called Christ, Abgarus the governor of the country of the Edessenes, an unworthy slave. The multitude of the wonders done by thee has been heard of by me, that thou healest the blind, the lame, and the paralytic, and curest all the demoniacs; and on this account I entreat thy goodness to come even to us, and escape from the plottings of the wicked Jews, which through envy they set in motion against thee. My city is small, but large enough for both. Abgarus enjoined Ananias to take accurate account of Christ, of what appearance He was, and His stature, and His hair, and in a word everything.

And Ananias, having gone and given the letter, was carefully looking at Christ, but was unable to fix Him in his mind. And He knew as knowing the heart, and asked to wash Himself; and a towel4 was given Him; and when He had washed Himself, He wiped His face with it. And His image having been imprinted upon the linen, He gave it to Ananias, saying: Give this, and take back this message, to him that sent thee: Peace to thee and thy city! For because of this I am come, to suffer for the world, and to rise again, and to raise up the forefathers. And after I have been taken up into the heavens I shall send thee my disciple Thaddaeus, who shall enlighten thee, and guide thee into all the truth, both thee and thy city.

And having received Ananias, and fallen down and adored the likeness, Abgarus was cured of his disease before Thaddaeus came.

And after the passion, and the resurrection, and the ascension, Thaddaeus went to Abgarus; and having found him in health, he gave him an account of the incarnation of Christ, and baptized him, with all his house. And having instructed great multitudes, both of Hebrews and Greeks. Syrians and Armenians, he baptized them in the name of the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, having anointed them with the holy perfume; and he communicated to them of the undefiled mysteries of the sacred body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and delivered to them to keep and observe the law of Moses, and to give close heed to the things that had been said by the apostles in Jerusalem. For year by year they came together to the passover, and again he imparted to them the Holy Spirit.

And Thaddaeus along with Abgarus destroyed idol-temples and built churches; ordained as bishop one of his disciples, and presbyters, and deacons, and gave them the rule of the psalmody and the holy liturgy. And having left them, he went to the city of Amis, great metropolis of the Mesechaldeans and Syrians, that is, of Mesopotamia-Syria, beside the river Tigris. And he having gone into the synagogue of the Jews along with his disciples on the Sabbath-day, after the reading of the law the high priest said to Thaddaeus and his disciples: Men, whence are you? and why are you here?

And Thaddaeus said: No doubt you have heard of what has taken place in Jerusalem about Jesus Christ, and we are His disciples, and witnesses of the wonderful things which He did and taught, and how through hatred the chief priests delivered Him to Pilate the procurator of Judaea. And Pilate, having examined Him and found no case,5 wished to let Him go; but they cried out, If thou let him go, thou art not Caesar’s friend, because he proclaims himself king. And he being afraid, washed his hands in the sight of the multitude, and said, I am innocent of the blood of this man; see ye to it. And the chief priests answered and said, His blood be upon us and our children. And Pilate gave him up to them. And they took Him, and spit upon Him, with the soldiers, and made a great mock of Him, and crucified Him, and laid Him in the tomb, and secured it well, having also set guards upon Him. And on the third day before dawn He rose, leaving His burial-clothes in the tomb. And He was seen first by His mother and other women, and by Peter and John first of my fellow disciples, and thereafter to us the twelve, who ate and drank with Him after His resurrection for many days. And He sent us in His name to proclaim repentance and remission of sins to all the nations, that those who were baptized, having had the kingdom of the heavens preached to them, would rise up incorruptible at the end of this age; and He gave us power to expel demons, and heal every disease and every malady, and raise the dead.

And the multitudes having heard this, brought together their sick and demoniacs. And Thaddaeus, having gone forth along with his disciples, laid his hand upon each one of them, and healed them all by calling upon the name of Christ. And the demoniacs were healed before Thaddaeus came near them, the spirits going out of them. And for many days the people ran together from different places, and beheld what was done by Thaddaeus. And hearing his teaching, many believed, and were baptized, confessing their sins.

Having therefore remained with them for five years, he built a church; and having appointed as bishop one of his disciples, and presbyters, and deacons, and prayed for them, he went away, going round the cities of Syria, and teaching, and healing all the sick; whence he brought many cities and countries to Christ through His teaching. Teaching, therefore, and evangelizing along with the disciples, and healing the sick, he went to Berytus, a city of Phoenicia by the sea;6 and there, having taught and enlightened many, he fell asleep on the twenty-first7 of the month of August. And the disciples having come together, buried him with great honour; and many sick were healed, and they gave glory to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.

Acts of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian

About His Exile and Departure.


When Agrippa, whom, on account of his plotting against Peace, they stoned and put to death, was king of the Jews, Vespasian Caesar, coming with a great army, invested Jerusalem; and some prisoners of war he took and slew, others he destroyed by famine in the siege, and most he banished, and at length scattered up and down. And having destroyed the temple, and put the holy vessels on board a ship, he sent them to Rome, to make for himself a temple of peace, and adorned it with the spoils of war.

And when Vespasian was dead, his son Domitian, having got possession of the kingdom. along with his other wrongful acts, set himself also to make a persecution against the righteous men. For, having learned that the city was filled with Jews, remembering the orders given by his father about them, he purposed casting them all out of the city of the Romans. And some of the Jews took courage, and gave Domitian a book, in which was written as follows:—

O Domitian, Caesar and king of all the world, as many of us as are Jews entreat thee, as suppliants we beseech of thy power not to banish us from thy divine and benignant countenance; for we are obedient to thee, and the customs, and laws, and practices, and policy, doing wrong in nothing, but being of the same mind with the Romans. But there is a new and strange nation, neither agreeing with other nations nor consenting to the religious observances of the Jews, uncircumcised, inhuman, lawless, subverting whole houses, proclaiming a man as God, all assembling together1 under a strange name, that of Christian. These men reject God, paying no heed to the law given by Him, and proclaim to be the Son of God a man born of ourselves, Jesus by name, whose parents and brothers and all his family have been connected with the Hebrews; whom on account of his great blasphemy and his wicked fooleries we gave up to the cross. And they add another blasphemous lie to their first one: him that was nailed up and buried, they glorify as having risen from the dead; and, more than this, they falsely assert that he has been taken up by2 clouds into the heavens.

At all this the king, being affected with rage. ordered the senate to publish a decree that they should put to death all who confessed themselves to be Christians. Those, then, who were found in the time of his rage, and who reaped the fruit of patience, and were crowned in the triumphant contest against the works of the devil, received the repose of incorruption.

And the fame of the teaching of John was spread abroad in Rome; and it came to the ears of Domitian that there was a certain Hebrew in Ephesus, John by name, who spread a report about the seat of empire of the Romans, saying that it would quickly be rooted out, and that the kingdom of the Romans would be given over to another. And Domitian, troubled by what was said, sent a centurion with soldiers to seize John, and bring him. And having gone to Ephesus, they asked where John lived. And having come up to his gate, they found him standing before the door; and, thinking that he was the porter, they inquired of him where John lived. And he answered and said: I am he. And they, despising his common, and low, and poor appearance, were filled with threats, and said: Tell us the truth. And when he declared again that he was the man they sought, the neighbours moreover bearing witness to it, they said that he was to go with them at once to the king in Rome. And, urging them to take provisions for the journey, he turned and took a few dates, and straightway went forth.

And the soldiers, having taken the public conveyances, travelled fast, having seated him in the midst of them. And when they came to the first change, it being the hour of breakfast, they entreated him to be of good courage, and to take bread, and eat with them. And John said: I rejoice in soul indeed, but in the meantime I do not wish to take any food. And they started, and were carried along quickly. And when it was evening they stopped at a certain inn; and as, besides, it was the hour of supper, the centurion and the soldiers being most kindly disposed, entreated John to make use of what was set before them. But he said that he was very tired, and in want of sleep more than any food. And as he did this each day, all the soldiers were struck with amazement, and were afraid lest John should die, and involve them in danger. But the Holy Spirit showed him to them as more cheerful. And on the seventh day, it being the Lord’s day, he said to them: Now it is time for me also to partake of food. And having washed his hands and face, he prayed, and brought out the linen cloth, and took one of the dates, and ate it in the sight of all.

And when they had ridden a long time they came to the end of their journey, John thus fasting. And they brought him before the king, and said: Worshipful king, we bring to thee John, a god, not a man; for, from the hour in which we apprehended him, to the present, he has not tasted bread. At this Domitian being amazed, stretched out his mouth on account of the wonder, wishing to salute him with a kiss; but John bent down his head, and kissed his breast. And Domitian said: Why hast thou done this? Didst thou not think me worthy to kiss thee? And John said to him: It is right to adore the hand of God first of all, and in this way to kiss the mouth of the king; for it is written in the holy books, The heart of a king is in the hand of God.3

And the king said to him: Art thou John, who said that my kingdom would speedily be uprooted, and that another king, Jesus, was going to reign instead of me? And John answered and said to him: Thou also shalt reign for many years given thee by God, and after thee very many others; and when the times of the things upon earth have been fulfilled, out of heaven shall come a King, eternal, true, Judge of living and dead, to whom every nation and tribe shall confess, through whom every earthly power and dominion shall be brought to nothing, and every mouth speaking great things shall be shut. This is the mighty Lord and King of everything that hath breath and flesh,4 the Word and Son of the living One, who is Jesus Christ.

At this Domitian said to him: What is the proof of these things? I am not persuaded by words only; words are a sight of the unseen.5 What canst thou show in earth or heaven by the power of him who is destined to reign, as thou sayest? For he will do it, if he is the Son of God. And immediately John asked for a deadly poison. And the king having ordered poison to be given to him, they brought it on the instant. John therefore, having taken it. put it into a large cup, and filled it with water, and mixed it, and cried out with a loud voice, and said: In Thy name, Jesus Christ, Son of God, I drink the cup which Thou wilt sweeten; and the poison in it do Thou mingle with Thy Holy Spirit, and make it become a draught of life and salvation, for the healing of soul and body, for digestion and harmless assimilation, for faith not to be repented of, for an undeniable testimony of death as the cup of thanksgiving.6 And when he had drunk the cup, those standing beside Domitian expected that he was going to fall to the ground in convulsions. And when John stood, cheerful, and talked with them safe, Domitian was enraged against those who had given the poison, as having spared John. But they swore by the fortune and health of the king, and said that there could not be a stronger poison than this. And John, understanding what they were whispering to one another, said to the king: Do not take it ill, O king, but let a trial be made,7 and thou shalt learn the power of the poison. Make some condemned criminal be brought from the prison. And when he had come, John put water into the cup, and swirled it round, and gave it with all the dregs to the condemned criminal. And he, having taken it and drunk, immediately fell down and died.

And when all wondered at the signs that had been done, and when Domitian had retired and gone to his palace, John said to him: O Domitian, king of the Romans, didst thou contrive this, that, thou being present and bearing witness, I might to-day become a murderer? What is to be done about the dead body which is lying? And he ordered it to be taken and thrown away. But John, going up to the dead body, said: O God, Maker of the heavens, Lord and Master of angels, of glories, of powers, in the name of Jesus Christ, Thine only begotten Son, give to this man who has died for this occasion a renewal of life, and restore him his soul, that Domitian may learn that the Word is much more powerful than poison, and is the ruler of life. And having taken him by the hand, he raised him up alive.

And when all were glorifying God, and wondering at the faith of John, Domitian said to him: I have put forth a decree of the senate, that all such persons should be summarily dealt with, without trial; but since I find from thee that they are innocent, and that their religion is rather beneficial, I banish thee to an island, that I may not seem myself to do away with my own decrees. He asked then that the condemned criminal should be let go; and when he was let go, John said: Depart, give thanks to God, who has this day delivered thee from prison and from death.

And while they were standing, a certain home-born slave of Domitian’s, of those in the bed-chamber, was suddenly seized by the unclean demon, and lay dead; and word was brought to the king. And the king was moved, and entreated John to help her. And John said: It is not in man to do this; but since thou knowest how to reign, but dost not know from whom thou hast received it, learn who has the power over both thee and thy kingdom. And he prayed thus: O Lord, the God of every kingdom, and master of every creature, give to this maiden the breath of life. And having prayed, he raised her up. And Domitian, astonished at all the wonders, sent him away to an island, appointing for him a set time.

And straightway John sailed to Patmos, where also he was deemed worthy to see the revelation of the end. And when Domitian was dead, Nerva succeeded to the kingdom, and recalled all who had been banished; and having kept the kingdom for a year, he made Trajan his successor in the kingdom. And when he was king over the Romans, John went to Ephesus, and regulated all the teaching of the church, holding many conferences, and reminding them of what the Lord had said to them, and what duty he had assigned to each. And when he was old and changed, he ordered Polycarp to be bishop over the church.

And what like his end was, or his departure from men, who cannot give an account of? For on the following day, which was the Lord’s day, and in the presence of the brethren, he began to say to them: Brethren, and fellow-servants, and co-heirs, and copartners of the kingdom of the Lord, know the Lord what miracles He hath shown you through me, what wonders, what cures, what signs, what gracious gifts, teachings, rulings, rests, services, glories, graces, gifts, faiths, communions; how many things you have seen with your eyes, that ear hath not heard. Be strong, therefore, in Him, remembering Him in all your doings, knowing the mystery of the dispensation that has come to men, for the sake of which the Lord has worked. He then, through me, exhorts you: Brethren, I wish to remain without grief, without insult, without treachery, without punishment. For He also knows insult from you, He knows also dishonour, He knows also treachery, He knows also punishment from those that disobey His commandments. Let not therefore our God be grieved, the good, the compassionate, the merciful, the holy, the pure, the undefiled, the only, the one, the immutable, the sincere, the guileless, the slow to anger, He that is higher and more exalted than every name that we speak or think of—our God, Jesus Christ. Let Him rejoice along with us because we conduct ourselves well; let Him be glad because we live in purity; let Him rest because we behave reverently; let Him be pleased because we live in fellowship; let Him smile because we are sober-minded; let Him be delighted because we love. These things, brethren, I communicate to you, pressing on to the work set before me, already perfected for me by the Lord. For what else have I to say to you? Keep the sureties of your God; keep His presence, that shall not be taken away from you. And if then ye sin no more, He will forgive you what ye have done in ignorance; but if, after ye have known Him, and He has had compassion upon you, you return to the like courses, even your former offences will be laid to your charge, and ye shall have no portion or compassion before His face.8

And when he had said this to them, he thus prayed: Jesus, who didst wreathe this crown by Thy twining, who hast inserted these many flowers into the everlasting flower of Thy countenance, who hast sown these words among them, be Thou Thyself the protector and healer of Thy people. Thou alone art benignant and not haughty, alone merciful and kind, alone a Saviour, and just; Thou who always seest what belongs to all, and art in all, and everywhere present, God Lord Jesus Christ; who with Thy gifts and Thy compassion coverest those that hope in Thee; who knowest intimately those that everywhere speak against us, and blaspheme Thy holy name, do Thou alone, O Lord, help Thy servants with Thy watchful care. So be it, Lord.

And having asked bread, he gave thanks thus, saying: What praise, or what sort of offering, or what thanksgiving, shall we, breaking the bread, invoke, but Thee only? We glorify the name by which Thou hast been called by the Father; we glorify the name by which Thou hast been called through the Son; we glorify the resurrection which has been manifested to us through Thee; of Thee we glorify the seed,9 the word, the grace, the true pearl, the treasure, the plough, the net,10 the majesty, the diadem, Him called Son of man for our sakes, the truth, the rest, the knowledge, the freedom, the place of refuge in Thee. For Thou alone art Lord, the root of immortality, and the fountain of incorruption, and the seat of the ages; Thou who hast been called all these for our sakes, that now we, calling upon Thee through these, may recognise Thine illimitable majesty, presented to us by Thy presence, that can be seen only by the pure, seen in Thine only Son.

And having broken the bread, he gave it to us, praying for each of the brethren, that he might be worthy of the Eucharist of the Lord. He also therefore, having likewise tasted it, said: To me also let there be a portion with you, and peace, O beloved. And having thus spoken, and confirmed the brethren, he said to Eutyches, also named Verus: Behold, I appoint thee a minister11 of the Church of Christ, and I entrust to thee the flock of Christ. Be mindful, therefore, of the commandments of the Lord; and if thou shouldst fall into trails or dangers, he not afraid: for thou shall fall under many troubles, and thou shalt be shown to be an eminent witness12 of the Lord. Thus, then, Verus, attend to the flock as a servant of God, until the time appointed for thy testimony.

And when John had spoken this, and more than this, having entrusted to him the flock of Christ, he says to him: Take some brethren, with baskets and vessels, and follow me. And Eutyches, without considering,13 did what he was bid. And the blessed John having gone forth from the house, went outside of the gates, having told the multitude to stand off from him. And having come to the tomb of one of our brethren, he told them to dig. And they dug. And he says: Let the trench he deeper. And as they dug, he conversed with those who bad come out of the house with him, building them up, and furnishing them thoroughly into the majesty of the Lord. And when the young men had finished the trench, as he had wished, while we knew14 nothing, he takes off the clothes he had on, and throws them, as if they were some bedding, into the depth of the trench; and, standing in only his drawers,15 stretched forth his hands, and prayed.

O God, who hast chosen us for the mission16 of the Gentiles, whet hast sent us out into the world, who hast declared Thyself through the apostles; who hast never rested, but always savest from the foundation of the world; who hast made Thyself known through all nature; who hast made our wild and savage nature quiet and peaceable; who hast given Thyself to it when thirsting after knowledge;17 who hast put to death its adversary, when it took refuge in Thee; who hast given it Thy hand, and raised it from the things done in Hades; who hast shown it its own enemy; who hast in purity turned its thoughts upon Thee, O Christ Jesus, Lord of things in heaven, and law of things on earth, the course of things aerial, and guardian of things etherial, the fear of those under the earth, and grace of Thine own people, receive also the soul of Thy John, which has been certainly deemed worthy by Thee, Thou who hast preserved me also till the present hour pure to Thyself, and free from intercourse with woman; who, when I wished in my youth to marry, didst appear to me, and say, I am in need of thee, John; who didst strengthen for me beforehand my bodily weakness; who, when a third time I wished to marry, didst say to me at the third hour, in the sea, John, if thou wert not mine, I would let thee marry; who hast opened up the sight of my mind, and hast favoured my bodily18 eyes; who, when I was looking about me, didst call even the gazing upon a woman hateful; who didst deliver me from temporary show, and preserve me for that which endureth for ever; who didst separate me from the filthy madness of the flesh; who didst stop up19 the secret disease of the soul, and cut out its open actions; who didst afflict and banish him who rebelled in me; who didst establish my love to Thee spotless and unimpaired; who didst give me undoubting faith in Thee; who hast drawn out for me pure thoughts towards Thee; who hast given me the due reward of my works; who bast set it in my soul to have no other possession than Thee alone: for what is more precious than Thou? Now, O Lord, when I have accomplished Thy stewardship with which I was entrusted, make me worthy of Thy repose, having wrought that which is perfect in Thee, which is ineffable salvation. And as I go to Thee, let the fire withdraw, let darkness be overcome, let the furnace be slackened, let Gehenna be extinguished, let the angels follow, let the demons be afraid let the princes be broken in pieces, let the powers of darkness fall, let the places on the right hand stand firm, let those on the left abide not, let the devil be muzzled, let Satan be laughed to scorn, let his madness be tamed, let his wrath be broken, let his children be trodden under foot, and let all his root he uprooted; and grant to me to accomplish the journey to Thee, not insulted, not despitefully treated, and to receive what Thou hast promised to those that live in purity, and that have loved a holy life.

And gazing towards heaven, he glorified God; and having sealed himself altogether, he stood and said to us, Peace and grace be with you, brethren! and sent the brethren away. And when they went on the morrow they did not find him, but his sandals, and a fountain welling up. And after that they remembered what had been said to Peter by the Lord about him: For what does it concern thee if I should wish him to remain until I come?20 And they glorified God for the miracle that had happened. And having thus believed, they retired praising and blessing the benignant God; because to Him is due glory now and ever, and to ages of ages. Amen.

Revelation of Moses


Account and life of Adam and Eve, the first-created, revealed by God to His servant Moses, when he received from the hand of the Lord the tables of the law of the covenant, instructed by the archangel Michael.

This is the account of Adam and Eve. After they went forth out of paradise, Adam took Eve his wife, and went up into the east. And he remained there eighteen years and two months; and Eve conceived and brought forth two sons, Diaphotus called Cain, and Amilabes1 called Abel.

And after this, Adam and Eve were with one another; and when they lay down, Eve said to Adam her lord: My lord, I have seen in a dream this night the blood of my son Amilabes, who is called Abel, thrown into the mouth of Cain his brother, and he drank it without pity. And he entreated him to grant him a little of it, but he did not listen to him, but drank it all up; and it did not remain in his belly, but came forth out of his mouth. And Adam said to Eve: Let us arise, and go and see what has happened to them, lest perchance the enemy should be in any way warring against them.

And having both gone, they found Abel killed by the hand of Cain his brother. And God says to the archangel Michael: Say to Adam, Do not relate the mystery which thou knowest to thy son Cain, for he is a son of wrath. But grieve thyself not; for I will give thee instead of him another son, who shall show thee all things, as many as thou shalt do to him; but do thou tell him nothing. This God said to His angel; and Adam kept the word in his heart, and with him Eve also, having grief about Abel their son.

And after this, Adam knew his wife Eve, and she conceived and brought forth Seth. And Adam says to Eve: Behold, we have brought forth a son instead of Abel whom Cain slew; let us give glory and sacrifice to God.

And Adam had2 thirty sons and thirty daughters.3 And he fell into disease, and cried with a loud voice, and said: Let all my sons come to me, that I may see them before I die. And they were all brought together, for the earth was inhabited in three parts; and they all came to the door of the house into which he had entered to pray to God. And his son Seth said: Father Adam, what is thy disease? And he says: My children, great trouble has hold of me. And they say: What is the trouble and disease? And Seth answered and said to him: Is it that thou rememberest the fruits of paradise of which thou didst eat, and grievest thyself because of the desire of them? If it is so, tell me, and I will go and bring thee fruit from paradise. For I will put dung upon my head, and weep and pray, and the Lord will hearken to me, and send his angel; and I Shall bring it to thee,4 that thy trouble may cease from thee. Adam says to him: No, my son Seth; but I have disease and trouble. Seth says to him: And how have they come upon thee? Adam said to him: When God made us, me and your mother, for whose sake also I die, He gave us every plant in paradise; but about one he commanded us not to eat of it, because on account of it we should die. And the hour was at hand for the angels who guarded your mother to go up and worship the Lord; and the enemy gave to her, and she ate of the tree, knowing that I was not near her, nor the holy angels; then she gave me also to eat. And when we had both eaten, God was angry with us. And the Lord, coming into paradise, set His throne, and called with a dreadful voice, saying, Adam, where art thou? and why art thou hidden from my face? shall the house be hidden from him that built it? And He says, Since thou hast forsaken my covenant, I have brought upon thy body seventy strokes.5 The trouble of the first stroke is the injury of the eyes; the trouble of the second stroke, of the hearing; and so in succession, all the strokes shall overtake thee.

And Adam thus speaking to his sons, groaned out loud, and said: What shall I do? I am in great grief. And Eve also wept, saying: My lord Adam, arise, give me the half of thy disease, and let me bear it, because through me this has happened to thee; through me thou art in distresses and troubles. And Adam said to Eve: Arise, and go with our son Seth near paradise, and put earth upon your heads, and weep, beseeching the Lord that He may have compassion upon me, and send His angel to paradise, and give me of the tree in which flows the oil out of it, and that thou mayest bring it to me; and I shall anoint myself, and have rest, and show thee the manner in which we were deceived at first.

And Seth and Eve went into the regions of paradise. And as they were going along, Eve saw her son, and a wild beast fighting with him. And Eye wept, saying: Woe’s me, woe’s me; for if I come to the day of the resurrection, all who have sinned will curse me, saying, Eve did not keep the commandment of God. And Eve cried out to the wild beast, saying: O thou evil wild beast, wilt thou not be afraid to fight with the image of God? How has thy mouth been opened? how have thy teeth been strengthened? how hast thou not been mindful of thy subjection, that thou wast formerly subject to the image of God? Then the wild beast cried out, saying: O Eve, not against: us thy upbraiding nor thy weeping, but against thyself, since the beginning of the wild beasts was from thee. How was thy mouth opened to eat of the tree about which God had commanded thee not to eat of it? For this reason also our nature has been changed. Now, therefore, thou shall not be able to bear up, if I begin to reproach thee. And Seth says to the wild beast: Shut thy mouth and be silent, and stand off from the image of God till the day of judgment. Then the wild beast says to Seth: Behold, I stand off, Seth, from the image of God. Then the wild beast fled, and left him wounded, and went to his covert.

And Seth went with his mother Eve near paradise: and they wept there, beseeching God to send His angel, to give6 them the oil of compassion. And God sent to them the archangel Michael, and he said to them these words: Seth, man of God, do not weary thyself praying in this supplication about the tree in which flows the oil to anoint thy father Adam; for it will not happen to thee now, but at the last times. Then shall arise all flesh from Adam even to that great day, as many as shall be a holy people; then shall be given to them all the delight of paradise, and God shall be in the midst of them; and there shall not any more be sinners before Him, because the wicked heart shall be taken from them, and there shall be given to them a heart made to understand what is good, and to worship God only. Do thou again go to thy father, since the measure of his life has been fulfilled, equal to7 three days. And when his soul goes out, thou wilt behold its dreadful passage.

And the angel, having said this, went away from them. And Seth and Eve came to the tent where Adam was lying. And Adam says to Eve: Why didst thou work mischief against us, and bring upon us great wrath, which is death, holding sway over all our race? And he says to her: Call all our children, and our children’s children, and relate to them the manner of our transgression.

Then Eve says to them: Listen, all my children, and my children’s children, and I shall relate to you how our enemy deceived us. It came to pass, while we were keeping paradise, that we kept each the portion allotted to him by God. And I was keeping in my lot the south and west. And the devil went into the lot of Adam where were the male wild beasts; since God parted to us the wild beasts, and had given all the males to your father, and all the females He gave to me, and each of us watched his own. And the devil spoke to the serpent, saying, Arise, come to me, and I shall tell you a thing in which thou mayst be of service. Then the serpent came to him, and the devil says to him, I hear that thou art more sagacious than all the wild beasts, and I have come to make thy acquaintance;8 and I have found thee greater than all the wild beasts, and they associate with thee; notwithstanding, thou doest reverence to one far inferior. Why eatest thou of the tares9 of Adam and his wife, and not of the fruit of paradise? Arise and come hither, and we shall make him be cast out of paradise through his wife, as we also were cast out through him. The serpent says to him, I am afraid test the Lord be angry with me. The devil says to him, Be not afraid; only become my instrument, and I will speak through thy mouth a word by which thou shalt be able to deceive him. Then straightway he hung by the walls of paradise about the hour when the angels of God went up to worship. Then Satan came in the form of an angel, and praised God as did the angels; and looking out from the wall, I saw him like an angel. And says he to me, Art thou Eve? And I said to him, I am. And says he to me, What doest thou in paradise? And I said to him, God has set us to keep it, and to eat of it. The devil answered me through the mouth of the serpent, Ye do well, but you do not eat of every plant. And I say to him, Yes, of every plant we eat, but one only which is in the midst of paradise, about which God has commanded us not to eat of it, since you will die the death. Then says the serpent to me, As God liveth, I am grieved for you, because you are like cattle. For I do not wish you to be ignorant of this; but rise, come hither, listen to me, and eat, and perceive the value of the tree, as He told us. But I said to him, I am afraid lest God be angry with me. And he says to me, Be not afraid; for as soon as thou eatest, thine eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods in knowing what is good and what is evil. And God, knowing this, that ye shall be like Him, has had a grudge against you, and said, Ye shall not eat of it. But do thou observe the plant, and thou shalt see great glory about it. And I observed the plant, and saw great glory about it, And I said to him, It is beautiful to the eyes to perceive; and I was afraid to take of the fruit. And he says to me, Come, I will give to thee: follow me. And I opened to him, and he came inside into paradise, and went through it before me. And having walked a little, he turned, and says to me, I have changed my mind, and will not give thee to eat. And this he said, wishing at last to entice and destroy me. And he says to me, Swear to me that thou wilt give also to thy husband. And I said to him. I know not by what oath I shall swear to thee; but what I know I say to thee, By the throne of the Lord, and the cherubim, and the tree of life, I will give also to my husband to eat. And when he had taken the oath from me, then he went and ascended upon it. And he put upon the fruit which he gave me to eat the poison of his wickedness, that is, of his desire; for desire is the head10 of all sin. And I bent down the branch to the ground, and took of the fruit, and ate. And in that very hour mine eyes were opened. and I knew that I was stripped11 of the righteousness with which I had been clothed; and I wept, saying, What is this thou hast done to me, because I have been deprived of the glory with which I was clothed? And I wept too about the oath. And he came down out of the tree, and went out of sight. And I sought leaves in my portion,12 that I might cover my shame; and I did not find them from the plants of paradise, since, at the time that I ate, the leaves of all the plants in my portion fell, except of the fig alone. And having taken leaves off it, I made myself a girdle, and it is from those plants of which I ate. And I cried out with a loud voice, saying, Adam, Adam, where art thou? Arise, come to me, and I shall show thee a great mystery. And when your father came, I said to him words of wickedness, which brought us down from great glory. For as soon as he came I opened my mouth, and the devil spoke; and I began to advise him, saying, Come hither, my lord Adam, listen to me, and eat of the fruit of the tree of which God said to us not to eat of it, and thou shalt be as God. And your father answered and said, I am afraid lest God be angry with me. And I said to him, Be not afraid, for as soon as thou shalt eat thou shalt know good and evil. And then I quickly persuaded him, and he ate; and his eyes were opened, and he was aware, he also, of his nakedness. And he says to me, O wicked woman, why hast thou wrought mischief in us? Thou hast alienated me from the glory of God. And that same hour we heard the archangel Michael sounding his trumpet, calling the angels, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Come with me to paradise, and hear the word in which I judge Adam. And when we heard the archangel sounding, we said, Behold, God is coming into paradise to judge us. And we were afraid, and hid ourselves. And God came up into paradise, riding upon a chariot of cherubim, and the angels praising Him. When God came into paradise, the plants both of Adam’s lot and of my lot bloomed, and all lifted themselves up; and the throne of God was made ready where the tree of life was. And God called Adam, saying. Adam, where art thou hidden, thinking that I shall not find thee? Shall the house be bidden from him that built it? Then your father answered and said, Not, Lord, did we hide ourselves as thinking that we should not be found by Thee; but I am afraid, because I am naked, and stand in awe of Thy power, O Lord. God says to him, Who hath shown thee that thou art naked, unless it be that thou hast forsaken my commandment which I thee to keep it? Then Adam remembered the word which I spake to him when I wished to deceive him, I will put thee out of danger from God. And he turned and said to me, Why hast thou done this? And I also remembered the word of the serpent, and said, The serpent deceived me. God says to Adam, Since thou hast disobeyed my commandment, and obeyed thy wife, cursed is the ground in thy labours. For whenever thou labourest it, and it will not give its strength, thorns and thistles shall it raise for thee; and in the sweat of thy face shall thou eat thy bread. And thou shall be in distresses of many kinds. Thou shall weary thyself, and rest not; thou shalt be afflicted by bitterness, and shall not taste of sweetness; thou shalt be afflicted by heat, and oppressed by cold; and thou shalt toil much, and not grow rich; and thou shalt make haste,13 and not attain thine end; and the wild beasts, of which thou wast lord, shall rise up against thee in rebellion, because thou hast not kept my commandment. And having turned to me, the Lord says to me, Since thou hast obeyed the serpent, and disobeyed my commandment, thou shall be in distresses14 and unbearable pains; thou shall bring forth children with great tremblings; and in one hour shale thou come to bring them forth,15 and lose thy life in consequence of thy great straits and pangs. And thou shale confess, and say, Lord, Lord, save me; and I shall not return to the sin of the flesh. And on this account in thine own words I shall judge thee, on account of the enmity which the enemy hath put in thee; and thou shale turn again to thy husband, and he shall be thy lord.16 And after speaking thus to me, He spoke to the serpent in great wrath, saying to him, Since thou hast done this, and hast become an ungracious instrument until thou shouldst deceive those that were remiss in heart, cursed art thou of all the beasts. Thou shale be deprived of the food which thou eatest; and dust shale thou eat all the days of thy life; upon thy breast and belly shale thou go, and thou shalt be deprived both of thy hands and feet; there shall not be granted thee ear, nor wing, nor one limb of all which those have whom thou hast enticed by thy wickedness, and hast caused them to be cast out of paradise. And I shall put enmity between thee and between his seed. He shall lie in wait for17 thy head, and thou for his heel, until the day of judgment. And having thus said, He commands His angels that we be cast out of paradise. And as we were being driven along, and were lamenting, your father Adam entreated the angels, saying, Allow me a little, that I may entreat God, and that He may have compassion upon me, and pity me, for I only have sinned. And they stopped driving him. And Adam cried out with weeping, saying, Pardon me, Lord, what I have done. Then says the Lord to His angels, Why have you stopped driving Adam out of paradise? It is not that the sin is mine, or that I have judged ill? Then the angels, failing to the ground, worshipped the Lord, saying, Just art Thou, Lord, and judgest what is right. And turning to Adam, the Lord said, I will not permit thee henceforth to be in paradise. And Adam answered and said, Lord, give me of the tree of life, that I may eat before I am cast out. Then the Lord said to Adam, Thou shalt not now take of it, for it has been assigned to the cherubim and the flaming sword, which turneth to guard it on account of thee, that thou mayst not taste of it and be free from death for ever, but that thou mayst have the war which the enemy has set in thee. But when thou art gone out of paradise, if thou shalt keep thyself from all evil, as being destined to die, I will again raise thee up when the resurrection comes, and then there shall be given thee of the tree of life, and thou shalt be free from death for ever. And having thus said, the Lord commanded us to be cast out of paradise. And your father wept before the angels over against paradise. And the angels say to him, What dost thou wish that we should do for thee, Adam? And your father answered and said to the angels, Behold, you cast me out. I beseech you, allow me to take sweet odours out of paradise, in order that, after I go out, I may offer sacrifice to God, that God may listen to me. And the angels, advancing, said to God, Jael, eternal King, order to be given to Adam sacrifices18 of sweet odour out of paradise. And God ordered Adam to go, that he might take perfumes of sweet odour out of paradise for his food. And the angels let him go, and he gathered both kinds—saffron and spikenard, and calamus19 and cinnamon, and other seeds for his food; and having taken them, he went forth out of paradise. And we came to the earth.20

Now, then, my children, I have shown you the manner in which we were deceived. But do ye watch over yourselves, so as not to forsake what is good.

And when she had thus spoken in the midst of her sons, and Adam was lying in his disease, and he had one other day before going out of the body, Eve says to Adam: Why is it that thou diest, and I live? or how long time have I to spend after thou diest? tell me. Then says Adam to Eve: Do not trouble thyself about matters; for thou wilt not be long after me, but we shall both die alike, and thou wilt be laid into my place.21 And when I am dead you will leave22 me, and let no one touch me, until the angel of the Lord shall say something about me; for God will not forget me, but will seek His own vessel which He fashioned. Arise, rather, pray to God until I restore my spirit into the hands of Him who has given it; because we know not how we shall meet Him who made us, whether He shall be angry with us, or turn and have mercy upon us. Then arose Eve, and went outside; and falling to the ground, she said: I have sinned, O God; I have sinned, O Father of all; I have sinned to Thee, I have sinned against Thy chosen angels, I have sinned against the cherubim, I have sinned against Thine unshaken throne; I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned much, I have sinned before Thee, and every sin23 through me has come upon the creation. And while Eve was still praying, being on her knees, behold, there came to her the angel of humanity, and raised her up, saying: Arise, Eve, from thy repentance; for, behold, Adam thy husband has gone forth from his body; arise and see his spirit carried up to Him that made24 it, to meet Him.

And Eve arose, and covered her face with her hand; and the angel says to her: Raise thyself from the things of earth. And Eve gazed up into heaven, and she saw a chariot of light going along under four shining eagles—and it was not possible for any one born of woman25 to tell the glory of them, or to see the face of them—and angels going before the chariot. And when they I came to the place where your father Adam was lying, the chariot stood still, and the seraphim between your father and the chariot. And I saw golden censers, and three vials; and, behold, all the angels with incense, and the censers, and the vials, came to the altar, and blew them up, and the smoke of the incense covered the firmaments. And the angels fell down and worshipped God, crying out and saying: Holy Jael, forgive; for he is Thine image, and the work of Thine holy hands.

And again, I Eve saw two great and awful mysteries standing before God. And I wept for fear, and cried out to my son Seth, saying: Arise, Seth, from the body of thy father Adam, and come to me, that thou mayst see what the eye of no one bath ever seen; and they are praying for thy father Adam.26

Then Seth arose and went to his mother, and said to her: What has befallen thee? and why weepest thou? She says to him: Look up with thine eyes, and see the seven firmaments opened, and see with thine eyes how the body of thy, father lies upon its face, and all the holy angels with him, praying for him, and saying: Pardon him, O Father of the universe; for he is Thine image. What then, my child Seth, will this be? and when will he be delivered into the hands of our invisible Father and God? And who are the two dark-faced ones who stand by at the prayer of thy father? And Seth says to his mother: These are the sun and the moon, and they are falling down and praying for my father Adam. Eve says to him: And where is their light, and why have they become black-looking? And Seth says to her: They cannot shine in the presence of the Light of the universe,27 and for this reason the light from them has been hidden.

And while Seth was speaking to his mother, the angels lying upon their faces sounded their trumpets, and cried out with an awful voice, saying, Blessed be the glory of the Lord upon what He has made, for He has had compassion upon Adam, the work of His hands. When the angels had sounded this forth, there came one of the six-winged seraphim, and hurried Adam to the Acherusian lake, and washed him in presence of God. And he spent three hours28 lying, and thus the Lord of the universe, sitting upon His holy throne, stretched forth His hands, and raised Adam, and delivered him to the archangel Michael, saying to him: Raise him into paradise, even to the third heaven, and let him be there until that great and dreadful day which I am to bring upon the world. And the archangel Michael, having taken Adam, led him away, and anointed him, as God said to him at the pardoning of Adam.

After all these things, therefore, the archangel asked about the funeral rites of the remains; and God commanded that all the angels should come together into His presence, each according to his rank. And all the angels were assembled, some with censers, some with trumpets. And the Lord of Hosts went up,29 and the winds drew Him, and cherubim riding upon the winds, and the angels of heaven went before Him; and they came to where the body of Adam was, and took it. And they came to paradise, and all the trees of paradise were moved so that all begotten from Adam hung their heads in sleep at the sweet smell, except Seth, because he had been begotten according to the appointment of God.

The body of Adam, then, was lying on the ground in paradise, and Seth was grieved exceedingly about him. And the Lord God says: Adam, why hast thou done this? If thou hadst kept my commandment, those that brought thee down to this place would not have rejoiced. Nevertheless I say unto thee, that I will turn their joy into grief, but I will turn thy grief into joy; and having turned, I will set thee in thy kingdom, on the throne of him that deceived thee; and he shall be cast into this place, that thou mayst sit upon him. Then shall be condemned, he and those who hear him; and they shall be much grieved, and shall weep, seeing thee sitting upon his glorious throne.

And then He said to the archangel Michael: Go into paradise, into the third heaven, and bring me three cloths of fine linen and silk. And God said to Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael:30 Cover Adam’s body with the cloths, and bring olive oil of sweet odour, and pour upon him. And having thus done, they prepared his body for burial. And the Lord said: Let also the body of Abel be brought. And having brought other cloths, they prepared it also for burial, since it had not been prepared for burial since the day on which his brother Cain slew him. For the wicked Cain, having taken great pains to hide it, had not been able; for the earth did not receive it, saying: I will not receive a body into companionship31 until that dust which was taken up and fashioned upon me come to me. And then the angels took it up, and laid it on the rock until his father died. And both were buried, according to the commandment of God, in the regions of paradise, in the place in which God found the dust.32 And God sent seven angels into paradise, and they brought many sweet-smelling herbs, and laid them in the earth; and thus they took the two bodies, and buried them in the place which they had dug and built.

And God called Adam, and said: Adam, Adam. And the body answered out of the ground, and said: Here am I, Lord. And the Lord says to him: I said to thee, Dust33 thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return. Again I promise thee the resurrection. I will raise thee up in the last day in the resurrection, with every man who is of thy seed.

And after these words God made a three-cornered seal, and sealed the tomb, that no one should do anything to him in the six days, until his rib should return to him. And the beneficent God and the holy angels having laid him in his place, after the six days Eve also died. And while she lived she wept about her falling asleep, because she knew not where her body was to be laid. For when the Lord was present in paradise when they buried Adam, both she and her children fell asleep, except Seth, as I said. And Eve, in the hour of her death, besought that she might be buried where Adam her husband was, saying thus: My Lord, Lord and God of all virtue, do not separate me, Thy servant, from the body of Adam, for of his members Thou madest me; but grant to me, even me, the unworthy and the sinner, to be buried by his body. And as I was along with him in paradise, and not separated from him after the transgression, so also let no one separate us. After having prayed, therefore, she looked up into heaven, and stood up, and said, beating her breast: God of all, receive my spirit. And straightway she gave up her spirit to God.

And when she was dead, the archangel Michael stood beside her; and there came three angels, and took her body, and buried it where the body of Abel was. And the archangel Michael said to Seth: Thus bury every man that dies, until the day of the resurrection. And after having given this law, he said to him: Do not mourn beyond six days. And on the seventh day, rest, and rejoice in it, because in it God and we the angels rejoice in the righteous soul that has departed from earth. Having thus spoken, the archangel Michael went up into heaven, glorifying, and saying the Alleluia:34 Holy, holy, holy Lord, to the glory of God the Father, because to Him is due glory, honour, and adoration, with His unbeginning and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and to ages of ages. Amen.

Word and Revelation of Esdras

The Holy Prophet and Beloved of God.

It came to pass in the thirtieth year, on the twenty-second of the month, I was in my house. And I cried out and said to the Most High: Lord, give the glory,1 in order that I may see Thy mysteries. And when it was night, there came an angel, Michael the archangel, and says to me: O Prophet Esdras, refrain from bread for seventy weeks.2 And I fasted as he told me. And there came Raphael the commander of the host, and gave me a storax rod. And I fasted twice sixty3 weeks. And I saw the mysteries of God and His angels. And I said to them: I wish to plead before God about the race of the Christians. It is good for a man not to be born rather than to come into the world. I was therefore taken up into heaven, and I saw in the first heaven a great army of angels; and they took me to the judgments. And I heard a voice saying to me: Have mercy on us, O thou chosen of God, Esdras. Then began I to say: Woe to sinners when they see one who is just more than the angels, and they themselves are in the Gehenna of fire! And Esdras said: Have mercy on the works of Thine hands, Thou who art compassionate, and of great mercy. Judge me rather than the souls of the sinners; for it is better that one soul should he punished, and that the whole world should not come to destruction. And God said: I will give rest in paradise to the righteous, and I have become4 merciful. And Esdras said: Lord, why dost Thou confer benefits on the righteous? for just as one who has been hired out, and has served out his time, goes and again works as a slave when he come to his masters, so also the righteous has received his reward in the heavens. But have mercy on the sinners, for we know that Thou art merciful. And God said: I do not see how I can have mercy upon them. And Esdras said: They cannot endure Thy wrath. And God said: This is the fate of such. And God said: I wish to have thee like Paul and John, as thou hast given me uncorrupted the treasure that cannot be stolen, the treasure of virginity, the bulwark5 of men. And Esdras said: It is good for a man not to be born. It is good not to be in life. The irrational creatures are better than man, because they have no punishment; but Thou hast taken us, and given us up to judgment. Woe to the sinners in the world to come! because their judgment is endless, and the flame unquenchable. And while I was thus speaking to him, there came Michael and Gabriel, and all the apostles; and they said: Rejoice, O faithful man of God! And Esdras said:6 Arise, and come hither with me, O Lord, to judgment. And the Lord said: Behold, I give thee my covenant between me and thee, that you may receive it. And Esdras said: Let us plead in Thy hearing.7 And God said: Ask Abraham your father how a son pleads with his father,8 and come plead with us. And Esdras said: As the Lord liveth, I will not cease pleading with Thee in behalf of the race of the Christians. Where are Thine ancient compassions, O Lord? Where is Thy long-suffering? And God said: As I have made night and day, I have made the righteous and the sinner; and he should have lived like the righteous. And the prophet said: Who made Adam the first-formed? And God said: My undefiled hands. And I put him in paradise to guard the food of the tree of life; and thereafter he became disobedient. and did this in transgression. And the prophet said: Was he not protected by an angel? and was not his life guarded by the cherubim to endless ages? and how was he deceived who was guarded by angels? for Thou didst command all to be present, and to attend to what was said by Thee.9 But if Thou hadst not given him Eve, the serpent would not have deceived her;10 but whom Thou wilt Thou savest, and whom Thou wilt Thou destroyest.11 And the prophet said: Let us come, my Lord, to a second judgment. And God said: I cast fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah. And the prophet said: Lord, Thou dealest with us according to our deserts. And God said: Your sins transcend my clemency. And the prophet said: Call to mind the Scriptures, my Father, who hast measured out Jerusalem, and set her up again. Have mercy, O Lord, upon sinners; have mercy upon Thine own creatures;12 have pity upon Thy works. Then God remembered those whom He had made, and said to the prophet: How can I have mercy upon them? Vinegar and gall did they give me to drink,13 and not even then did they repent. And the prophet said: Reveal Thy cherubim, and let us go together to judgment; and show me the day of judgment, what like it is. And God said: Thou hast been deceived, Esdras; for such is the day of judgment as that in which there is no rain upon the earth; for it is a merciful tribunal as compared with that day. And the prophet said: I will not cease to plead with Thee, unless I see the day of the consummation. And God said:14 Number the stars and the sand of the sea; and if thou shalt be able to number this, thou art also able to plead with me. And the prophet said: Lord, Thou knowest that I wear human flesh; and how can I count the stars of the heaven, and the sand of the sea? And God said: My chosen prophet, no man will know that great day and the appearing15 that comes to judge the world. For thy sake, my prophet, I have told thee the day; but the hour have I not told thee. And the prophet said: Lord, tell me also the years. And God said: If I see the righteousness of the world, that it has abounded, I will have patience with them; but if not, I will stretch forth my hand, and lay hold of the world by the four quarters, and bring them all together into the valley of Jehoshaphat,16 and I will wipe out the race of men, so that the world shall be no more. And the prophet said: And how can Thy right hand be glorified? And God said: I shall be glorified by my angels. And the prophet said: Lord, if Thou hast resolved to do this, why didst Thou make man? Thou didst say to our father Abraham,17 Multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand that is by the sea-shore;18 and where is Thy promise? And God said: First will I make an earthquake for the fall of four-footed beasts and of men; and when you see that brother gives up brother to death, and that children shall rise up against their parents, and that a woman forsakes her own husband, and when nation shall rise up against nation in war, then will you know that the end is near.19

For then neither brother pities brother, nor man wife, nor children parents, nor friends friends, nor a slave his master; for he who is the adversary of men shall come up from Tartarus, and shall show men many things. What shall I make of thee, Esdras? and wilt thou yet plead with me? And the prophet said: Lord, I shall not cease to plead with Thee. And God said: Number the flowers of the earth. If thou shalt be able to number them, thou art able also to plead with me. And the prophet said: Lord, I cannot number them. I wear human flesh; but I shall not cease to plead with Thee. I wish, Lord, to see also the under parts of Tartarus. And God said: Come down and see. And He gave me Michael, and Gabriel, and other thirty-four angels; and I went down eighty-five steps, and they brought me down five hundred steps, and I saw a fiery throne, and an old man sitting upon it; and his judgment was merciless. And I said to the angels: Who is this? and what is his sin? And they said to me: This is Herod, who for a time was a king, and ordered to put to death the children from two years old and under.20 And I said: Woe to his soul! And again they took me down thirty steps, and I there saw boilings up of fire, and in them there was a multitude of sinners; and I heard their voice, but saw not their forms. And they took me down lower many steps, which I could not measure. And I there saw old men, and fiery pivots turning in their ears. And I said: Who are these? and what is their sin? And they said to me: These are they who would not listen.21 And they took me down again other five hundred steps, and I there saw the worm that sleeps not, and fire burning up the sinners. And they took me down to the lowest part of destruction, and I saw there the twelve plagues of the abyss. And they took me away to the south, and I saw there a man hanging by the eyelids; and the angels kept scourging him. And I asked: Who is this? and what is his sin? And Michael the commander said to me: This is one who lay with his mother; for having put into practice a small wish, he has been ordered to be hanged. And they took me away to the north, and I saw there a man bound with iron chains. And I asked: Who is this? And he said to me: This is he who said, I am the Son of God, that made stones bread, and water wine. And the prophet said: My lord, let me know what is his form, and I shall tell the race of men, that they may not believe in him. And he said to me: The form of his countenance is like that of a wild beast; his right eye like the star that rises in the morning, and the other without motion; his mouth one cubit; his teeth span long; his fingers like scythes; the track of his feet of two spans; and in his face an inscription, Antichrist. He has been exalted to heaven; he shall go down to Hades.22 At one time he shall become a child; at another, an old man. And the prophet said: Lord, and how dost Thou permit him, and he deceives the race of men? And God said: Listen, my prophet. He becomes both child and old man, and no one believes him that he is my beloved Son. And after this a trumpet, and the tombs shall be opened, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible.23 Then the adversary, hearing the dreadful threatening, shall be hidden in outer darkness. Then the heaven, and the earth, and the sea shall be destroyed. Then shall I burn the heaven eighty cubits, and the earth eight hundred cubits. And the prophet said: And how has the heaven sinned? And God said: Since24 …there is evil. And the prophet said: Lord, and the earth, how has it sinned? And God said: Since the adversary, having heard the dreadful threatening, shall be hidden, even on account of this will I melt the earth, and with it the opponent of the race of men. And the prophet said: Have mercy, Lord, upon the race of the Christians. And I saw a woman hanging, and four wild beasts sucking her breasts. And the angels said to me: She grudged to give her milk, but even threw her infants into the rivers. And I saw a dreadful darkness, and a night that had no stars nor moon; nor is there there young or old, nor brother with brother, nor mother with child, nor wife with husband. And I wept, and said: O Lord God, have mercy upon the sinners. And as I said this, there came a cloud and snatched me up, and carried me away again into the heavens. And I saw there many judgments; and I wept bitterly, and said: It is good for a man not to have come out of his mother’s womb. And those who were in torment cried out, saying: Since thou hast come hither, O holy one of God, we have found a little remission. And the prophet said: Blessed are they that weep for their sins. And God said: Hear, O beloved Esdras. As a husbandman casts the seed of the corn into the ground, so also the man casts his seed into the parts of the woman. The first month it is all together; the second it increases in size; the third it gets hair; the fourth it gets nails; the fifth it is turned into milk;25 and the sixth it is made ready, and receives life;26 the seventh it is completely furnished; the ninth the barriers of the gate of the woman are opened; and it is born safe and sound into the earth. And the prophet said: Lord, it is good for man not to have been born. Woe to the human race then, when Thou shall come to judgment! And I said to the Lord: Lord, why hast Thou created man, and delivered him up to judgment? And God said, with a lofty proclamation: I will not by any means have mercy on those who transgress my covenant. And the prophet said Lord, where is Thy goodness? And God said: I have prepared all things for man’s sake, and man does not keep my commandments. And the prophet said: Lord, reveal to me the judgments and paradise. And the angels took me away towards the east, and I saw the tree of life. And I saw there Enoch, and Elias, and Moses, and Peter, and Paul, and Luke, and Matthias, and all the righteous, and the patriarchs. And I saw there the keeping of the air within bounds, and the blowing of the winds, and the storehouses of the ice, and the eternal judgments. And I saw there a man hanging by the skull. And they said to me: This man removed landmarks. And I saw there great judgments.27 And I said to the Lord: O Lord God, and what man, then, who has been born has not sinned? And they took me lower down into Tartarus, and I saw all the sinners lamenting and weeping and mourning bitterly. And I also wept, seeing the race of men thus tormented. Then God says to me: Knowest thou, Esdras, the names of the angels at the end of the world? Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Gabuthelon, Aker, Arphugitonos, Beburos, Zebuleon.

Then there came a voice to me: Come hither and die, Esdras, my beloved; give that which hath been entrusted to thee.28 And the prophet said: And whence can you bring forth my soul? And the angels said: We can put it forth through the mouth. And the prophet said: Mouth to mouth have I spoken with God,29 and it comes not forth thence. And the angels said: Let us bring it out through thy nostrils. And the prophet said: My nostrils have smelled the sweet savour of the glory of God. And the angels said: We can bring it out through thine eyes. And the prophet said: Mine eyes have seen the back parts of God.30 And the angels said: We can bring it out through the crown of thy head. And the prophet said: I walked about with Moses also on the mountain, and it comes not forth thence. And the angels said: We can put it forth through the points of thy nails. And the prophet said: My feet also have walked about on the altar. And the angels went away without having done anything, saying: Lord, we cannot get his soul. Then He says to His only begotten Son: Go down, my beloved Son, with a great host of angels, and take the soul of my beloved Esdras. For the Lord, having taken a great host of angels, says to the prophet: Give me the trust which I entrusted to thee; the crown has been prepared for thee.31 And the prophet said: Lord, if Thou take my soul from me, who will be left to plead with Thee for the race of men And God said: As thou art mortal, and of the earth, do not plead with me. And the prophet said: I will not cease to plead. And God said: Give up just now the trust; the crown has been prepared for thee. Come and die, that thou mayst obtain it. Then the prophet began to say with tears: O Lord, what good have I done pleading with Thee, and I am going to fall down into the earth? Woe’s me, woe’s me, that I am going to be eaten up by worms! Weep, all ye saints and ye righteous, for me, who have pleaded much, and who am delivered up to death. Weep for me, all ye saints and ye righteous, because I have gone to the pit of Hades. And God said to him: Hear, Esdras, my beloved. I, who am immortal, endured a cross; I tasted vinegar and gall; I was laid in a tomb, and I raised up my chosen ones; I called Adam up out of Hades, that I might save32 the race of men. Do not therefore be afraid of death: for that which is from me—that is to say, the soul—goes to heaven; and that which is from the earth—that is to say, the body—goes to the earth, from which it was taken.33 And the prophet said: Woe’s me! woe’s me! what shall I set about? what shall I do? I know not. And then the blessed Esdras began to say: O eternal God, the Maker of the whole creation, who hast measured the heaven with a span, and who holdest the earth as a handful,34 who ridest upon the cherubim, who didst take the prophet Elias to the heavens in a chariot of fire,35 who givest food to all flesh, whom all things dread and tremble at from the face of Thy power,—listen to me, who have pleaded much, and give to all who transcribe this book, and have it, and remember my name, and honour my memory, give them a blessing from heaven; and bless him36 in all things, as Thou didst bless Joseph at last, and remember not his former wickedness in the day of his judgment. And as many as have not believed this book shall be burnt up like Sodom and Gomorrah. And there came to him a voice, saying: Esdras, my beloved, all things whatever thou hast asked will I give to each one. And immediately he gave up his precious soul with much honour, in the month of October, on the twenty-eighth. And they prepared him for burial with incense and psalms; and his precious and sacred body dispenses strength of soul and body perpetually to those who have recourse to him from a longing desire. To whom is due glory, strength, honour, and adoration,—to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to ages of ages. Amen.

Revelation of Paul


Revelation of the holy Apostle Paul: the things which were revealed to him when he went up even to the third heaven, and was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words.1

There dwelt a certain nobleman in the city of Tarsus, in the house of St. Paul the apostle, in the government of Theodosius the worshipful king, and of the most illustrious Gratianus;2 and there was revealed to him an angel of the Lord, saying: Upturn the foundation of this house, and lift up what thou shalt find. But he thought that he had had a dream. And the angel having persisted even to a third vision, the nobleman was compelled to upturn the foundation; and having dug, he found a marble3 box containing this revelation; and having taken it, he showed it to the ruler of the city. And the ruler, seeing it sealed up with lead, sent it to the King Theodosius, thinking that it was something else.4 And the king baring received it, and transcribed it, sent the original writing to Jerusalem. And there was written in it thus:—

The word of the Lord came to me, saying: Say to this people, Till when do you sin, and add to your sin, and provoke to anger the God who made you, saying that you are children to Abraham,5 but doing the works of Satan, going on in speaking against God, boasting only in your addressing of God, but poor on account of the substance of sin? Know, ye sons of men, that the whole creation has been made subject to God; but the human race alone, by sinning, provokes God to anger. For often the great light, the sun, has come before God, saying against men: Lord God Almighty, how long dost Thou endure all the sin of men? Command me, and I will burn them up. And there came a voice to him: My long-suffering endures them all, that they may repent; but if not, they shall come to me, and I will judge them. And often also the moon and the stars have come before God, saying: Lord God Almighty, Thou hast given us the dominion of the night, and we no longer cover the thefts, and adulteries, and blood-sheddings of men; command us, and we shall do marvels against them. And there came a voice: My long-suffering bears with them, that they may turn to me; but if not, they shall come to me, and I will judge them. And in like manner also the sea cried out, saying: Lord God Almighty, the sons of men have profaned Thy holy name; command me, and I shall rise up and cover the earth, and wipe out from it6 the sons of men. And there came a voice, saying: My long-suffering bears with them, that they may repent; but if not, they shall come to me, and I will judge them. You see, ye sons of men, that the whole creation has been made subject to God, but the human race alone sins before God. On account of all these things, bless God without ceasing, and yet more when the sun is setting. For at this hour all the angels come to God to adore Him, and they bring before Him the works of men, of each what he has done from morning even to evening, whether good or evil. And one angel goes rejoicing on account of man when he behaves well, and another goes with a sad countenance. All the angels at the appointed hour meet for the worship of God, to bring each day’s works of men. But do ye men bless God without ceasing Whenever, therefore, at the appointed hour the angels of pious men come, rejoicing and singing psalms, they meet for the worship of the Lord; and, behold, the Spirit of God says to them: Whence do ye come rejoicing? And they answered and said: We are here from the pious men, who in all piety spend their life, fearing the name of God. Command them, Lord, to abide even to the end in Thy righteousness. And there came to them a voice: I have both kept and will keep them void of offence in my kingdom. And when it came to pass that they went away, there came other angels with a cheerful countenance, shining like the sun. And behold a voice to them: Whence have ye come? And they answered and said: We have come from those who have held themselves aloof from the world and the things in the world for Thy holy name’s sake, who in deserts, and mountains, and caves, and the dens of the earth, in beds on the ground, and in fastings, spend their life.7 Command us to be with them. And there came a voice: Go with them in peace, guarding them. Moreover, when they went away, behold, there came other angels to worship before God, mourning and weeping. And the Spirit went forth to meet them, and there came a voice to them: Whence have ye come? And they answered and said: We have come from those who have been called by Thy name, and are slaves to the matter of sin.8 Why, then, is it necessary to minister unto them? And there came a voice to them: Do not cease to minister unto them; perhaps they will turn; but if not, they shall come to me, and I will judge them. Know, sons of men, that all that is done by you day by day, the angels write in the heavens. Do you therefore cease not to bless God.

And I was in the Holy Spirit, and an angel says to me: Come, follow me, that I may show thee the place of the just, where they go after their end. And I went along with the angel, and he brought me up into the heavens under the firmament; and I perceived and saw powers great and dreadful, full of wrath, and through the mouth of them a flame of fire coming out, and clothed in garments of fire. And I asked the angel: Who are these? And he said to me: These are they who are sent away to the souls of the sinners in the hour of necessity; for they have not believed that there is judgment and retribution. And I looked up into the heaven, and saw angels, whose faces shone like the sun, girded with golden girdles, having in their hands prizes, on which the name of the Lord was inscribed, full of all meekness and compassion. And I asked the angel: Who are these? And he answered and said to me: These are they who are sent forth in the day of the resurrection to bring the souls of the righteous,9 who intrepidly walk according to God.10 And I said to the angel: I wish to see the souls of the righteous and of the sinners, how they go out of the world. And the angel said to me: Look to the earth. And I looked, and saw the whole world as nothing disappearing before me. And I said to the angel: is this the greatness of men? And he said to me: Yes; for thus every unjust man disappears. And I looked, and saw a cloud of fire wrapped over all the world; and I said: What is this, my lord? And he said to me: This is the unrighteousness mingled with the destruction of the sinners. And I wept, and said to the angel: I wished to see the departures of the righteous and of the sinners, in what manner they go out of the world. And the angel says to me: Paul, look down, and see what thou hast asked. And I looked, and saw one of the sons of men falling near death. And the angel says to me: This is a righteous man, and, behold, all his works stand beside him in the hour of his necessity.11 And there were beside him good angels, and along with them also evil angels. And the evil angels indeed found no place in him, but the good took possession of12 the soul of the righteous man, and said to it: Take note of the body whence thou art coming out; for it is necessary for thee again to return to it in the day of the resurrection, that thou mayst receive what God hath promised to the righteous. And the good angels who had received the soul of the righteous man, saluted it, as being well known to them. And it went with them; and the Spirit came forth to meet them, saying: Come, soul, enter into the place of the resurrection, which God hath prepared for His righteous ones. And the angel said to me: Look down to the earth, and behold the soul of the impious, how it goes forth from its tabernacle, which has provoked God to anger, saying, Let us eat and drink;13 for who is it that has gone down to Hades, and come up and announced that there is judgment and retribution? And take heed, and see all his works which he has done standing before him. And the evil angels came and the good. The good therefore found no place of rest in it, but the evil took possession of it, saying: O wretched soul, pay heed to thy flesh; take note of that whence thou art coming forth, for thou must return into thy flesh in the day of the resurrection, that thou mayst receive the recompense of thy sins. And when it had gone forth from its tabernacle, the angel who had lived along with it ran up to it, saying to it: O wretched soul, whither goest thou? I am he who each day wrote down thy sins. Thou hast destroyed the time of repentance; be exceedingly ashamed. And when it came, all the angels saw it, and cried out with one voice, saying: Woe to thee, wretched soul! what excuse hast thou come to give to God? And the angel of that soul said: Weep for it, all of you, along with me. And the angel came up, and worshipped the Lord, saying: Lord, behold the soul which has dwelt in wickedness in its time, and in its temporary life; do to it according to Thy decision. And there came a voice to that soul, saying: Where is the fruit of thy righteousness? And it was silent,14 not being able to give an answer. And again there came a voice to it: He who has shown mercy will have mercy shown to him;15 he who has not shown mercy will not have mercy shown to him. Let this soul be delivered to the merciless angel Temeluch, and let it be cast into outer darkness, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. And there was a voice as of tens of thousands, saying: Righteous art Thou, O Lord, and righteous is Thy judgment.16 And moreover I saw, and, behold, another soul was led by an angel; and it wept, saying: Have mercy upon me, O righteous Judge, and deliver me from the hand of this angel, because he is dreadful and merciless. And a voice came to it. saying: Thou wast altogether merciless, and for this reason thou hast been delivered up to such an angel. Confess thy sins which thou hast done in the world. And that soul said: I have not sinned, O righteous Judge. And the Lord said to that soul: Verily thou seemest as if thou wert in the world, and weft hiding thy deeds from men. Knowest thou not that whensoever any one dies, his deeds run before him, whether they are good or evil? And when it heard this, it was silent. And I heard the Judge saying: Let the angel come, having in his hands the record of thy sins. And the Judge says to the angel: I say to thee the angel, Disclose all. Say what he has done five years before his death. By myself I swear to thee, that in the first period of his life there was forgetfulness of all his former sins. And the angel answered and said: Lord, command the souls to stand beside their angels; and that same hour they stood beside them. And the lord of that soul said: Take note of these souls, and whether thou hast in any way sinned against them. And it answered and said: Lord, a year has not been completed since I killed the one and lived with the other. And not only this, but I also wronged it. And the Lord said to it: Knowest thou not that he who wrongs any one in the world is kept, as soon as he dies, in the place until he whom he has wronged come, and both shall be judged before me, and each receive according to his works? And I heard a voice saying: Let this soul be delivered to the angel Tartaruch, and guarded till the great day of judgment. And I heard a voice as of tens of thousands saying: Righteous art Thou, O Lord, and righteous Thy judgment.

And the angel says to me: Hast thou seen all these things? And I answered: Yes my lord. And again he said to me: Come, follow me, and I shall show thee the place of the righteous. And I followed him, and he set me before the doors of the city. And I saw a golden gate, and two golden pillars before it, and two golden plates upon it full of inscriptions. And the angel said to me: Blessed is he who shall enter into these doors; because not every one goeth in, but only those who have single-mindedness, and guiltlessness, and a pure heart.17 And I asked the angel: For what purpose have the inscriptions been graven on these plates? And he said to me: These are the names of the righteous, and of those who serve God. And I said to him: Is it so that their names have been inscribed in heaven itself while they are yet alive? And the angel said to me: …18 of the angels, such as serve Him well are acknowledged by God. And straightway the gate was opened, and there came forth a hoary-headed man to meet us; and he said to me: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God! and, with a joyful countenance, he kissed me with tears. And I said to him: Father, why weepest thou? And he said to me: Because God hath prepared many good things for men, and they do not His will in order that they may enjoy them. And I asked the angel: My lord, who is this? And he said to me: This is Enoch, the witness of the last day.19 And the angel says to me: See that whatever I show thee in this place thou do not announce, except what I tell thee. And he set me upon20 the river whose source springs up in the circle of heaven; and it is this river which encircleth the whole earth. And he says to me: This river is Ocean. And there was then a great light. And I said: My lord, what is this? And he said to me: This is the land of the meek. Knowest thou not that it is written, Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth?21 The souls of the righteous, therefore, are kept in this place. And I said to the angel: When, then, will they be made manifest? And he said to me: When the Judge shall come in the day of the resurrection, and sit down. Then, accordingly, shall he command, and shall reveal the earth, and it shall be lighted up; and the saints shall appear in it, and shall delight themselves in the good22 that have been reserved from the foundation of the world. And there were by the bank of the river, trees planted, full of different fruits. And I looked towards the rising of the sun, and I saw there trees of great size full of fruits; and that land was more brilliant than silver and gold; and there were vines growing on those date-palms, and myriads of shoots, and myriads of clusters on each branch. And I said to the archangel: What is this, my lord? And he says to me: This is the Acherusian lake, and within it the city of God. All are not permitted to enter into it, except whosoever shall repent of his sins; and as soon as he shall repent, and alter his life, he is delivered to Michael, and they cast him into the Acherusian lake, and then he brings him in the city of God, near the righteous. And I wondered and blessed God at all that I saw. And the angel said to me: Follow me, that I may bring thee into the city of God, and into its light. And its light was greater than the light of the world, and greater than gold, and walls encircled it. And the length and the breadth of it were a hundred stadia. And I saw twelve gates, exceedingly ornamented, leading into the city; and four rivers encircled it, flowing with milk, and honey, and oil, and wine. And I said to the angel: My lord, what are these rivers? And he said to me: These are the righteous who, when in the world, did not make use of these things, but humbled themselves for the sake of God; and here they receive a recompense ten thousand fold.

And I, going into the city, saw a very lofty tree before the doors of the city, having no fruit, and a few men under it; and they wept exceedingly, and the trees bent down to them. And I, seeing them, wept, and asked the angel: Who are these, that they have not turned to go into the city? And he said to me: Yes, the root of all evils is vainglory. And I said: And these trees, why have they thus humbled themselves? And the angel answered and said to me: For this reason the trees are not fruit-bearing, because they have not withheld themselves from vaunting. And I asked the angel: My lord, for what reason have they been put aside before the doors of the city? And he answered and said to me: On account of the great goodness of God, since by this way Christ is going to come into the city, and that those who go along with Him may plead for these men, and that they may be brought in along with them. And I was going along, guided by the angel, and he set me upon the river. And I saw there all the prophets; and they came and saluted me, saying: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God. And I said to the angel: My lord, who are these? And he said to me: These are all the prophets, and these are the songs of all the prophecies,23 and of whoever hath grieved his soul, not doing its will, for God’s sake. Having departed, then, he comes here, and the prophets salute him. And the angel brought me to the south of the city, where the river of milk is. And I saw there all the infants that King Herod slew for the Lord’s name’s sake. And the angel took me again to the east of the city, and I saw there Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. And I asked the angel: My lord, what place is this? And he said to me: Every one who is hospitable to men comes hither when he comes out of the world, and they salute him as a friend of God on account of his love to strangers. And again he took me away to another place, and I saw there a river like oil on the north of the city, and I saw people there rejoicing and singing praises. And I asked: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are they who have given themselves up to God; for they are brought into this city. And I looked, and saw in the midst of the city an altar, great and very lofty; and there was one standing near the altar, whose face shone like the sun, and he had in his hands a psaltery and a harp, and he sung the Alleluia delightfully, and his voice filled all the city. And all with one consent accompanied him, so that the city was shaken by their shouting. And I asked the angel: Who is this that singeth delightfully, whom all accompany? And he said to me: This is the prophet David; this is the heavenly Jerusalem. When, therefore, Christ shall come in His second appearing, David himself goes forth with all the saints. For as it is in the heavens, so also upon earth: for it is not permitted without David to offer sacrifice even in the day of the sacrifice of the precious body and blood of Christ; but it is necessary for David to sing the Alleluia. And I asked the angel: My lord, what is the meaning of Alleluia? It is called in Hebrew, Thebel, Marematha—speech to God who founded all things: let us glorify Him in the same. So that every one who sings the Alleluia glorifies God.

When these things, therefore, had been thus said to me by the angel, he led me outside of the city, and the Acherusian lake, and the good land, and set me upon the river of the ocean that supports the firmament of the heaven, and said to me: Knowest thou where I am going? And I said: No, my lord. And he said to me: Follow me, that I may show thee where the souls of the impious and the sinners are. And he took me to the setting of the sun, and where the beginning of the heaven had been founded upon the river of the ocean. And I saw beyond the river, and there was no light there, but darkness, and grief, and groaning; and I saw a bubbling river, and a great multitude both of men and women who had been cast into it, some up to the knees, others up to the navel, and many even up to the crown of the head. And I asked: Who are these? And he said to me: These are they who lived unrepenting in fornications and adulteries. And I saw at the south-west of the river another river, where there flowed a river of fire, and there was there a multitude of many souls. And I asked the angel: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are the thieves, and slanderers, and flatterers, who did not set up God as their help, but hoped in the vanity of their riches. And I said to him: What is the depth of this river? And he said to me: Its depth has no measure, but it is immeasurable. And I groaned and wept because of mankind. And the angel said to me: Why weepest thou? Art thou more merciful than God? for, being holy, God, repenting over men, waits for their conversion and repentance; but they, deceived by their own will, come here, and are eternally punished. And I looked into the fiery river, and saw an old man dragged along by two, and they pulled him in up to the knee. And the angel Temeluch coming, laid hold of an iron with his hand, and with it drew up the entrails of that old man through his mouth. And I asked the angel: My lord, who is this that suffers this punishment? And he said to me: This old man whom thou seest was a presbyter; and when he had eaten and drunk, then he performed the service of God. And I saw there another old man carried in haste by four angels; and they threw him into the fiery river up to the girdle, and he was frightfully burnt by the lightnings. And I said to the angel: Who is this, my lord? And he said to me: This whom thou seest was a bishop, and that name indeed he was well pleased to have; but in the goodness of God he did not walk, righteous judgment he did not judge, the widow and the orphan he did not pity, he was neither affectionate nor hospitable;24 but now he has been recompensed according to his works. And I looked, and saw in the middle of the river another man up to the navel, having his hands all bloody, and worms were coming up through his mouth. And I asked the angel: Who is this, my lord? And he said to me: This whom thou seest was a deacon, who ate and drank, and ministered to God. And I looked to another place where there was a brazen wall in flames, and within it men and women eating up their own tongues, dreadfully judged. And I asked the angel: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are they who in the church speak against their neighbours, and do not attend to the word of God. And I looked, and saw a bloody pit. And I said: What is this pit? And he said to me: This is the place where are cast the wizards, and sorcerers, and the whoremongers, and the adulterers, and those that oppress widows and orphans. And I saw in another place women wearing black, and led away into a dark place. And I asked: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are they who did not listen to their parents, but before their marriage defiled their virginity. And I saw women wearing white robes, being blind, and standing upon obelisks of fire; and an angel was mercilessly beating them, saying: Now you know where you are; you did not attend when the Scriptures were read to you. And the angel said to me: These are they who corrupted themselves and killed their infants. Their infants therefore came crying out: Avenge us of our mothers. And they were given to an angel to be carried away into a spacious place, but their parents into everlasting fire.

And the angel took me up from these torments, and set me above a well, which had seven seals upon its mouth. And the angel who was with me said to the angel at the well of that place: Open the well, that Paul the beloved of God may see, because there has been given to him authority to see the torments. And the angel of the place said to me: Stand afar off, until I open the seals. And when he had opened them, there came forth a stench which it was impossible to bear. And having come near the place, I saw that well filled with darkness and gloom, and great narrowness of space in it. And the angel who was with me said to me: This place of the well which thou seest is cast off from the glory of God, and none of the angels is importunate in behalf of them; and as many as have professed that the holy Mary is not the mother of God, and that the Lord did not become man out of her, and that the bread of the thanksgiving and the cup of blessing are not His flesh and blood,25 are cast into this well: and as I said before no angel is importunate in their behalf. And I saw towards the setting of the sun, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, many men and women there tormented. And I said to the angel: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are they who say that there is no resurrection of the dead; and to them mercy never comes.

Having heard this, I wept bitterly; and looking up into the firmament, I saw the heaven opened, and the archangel Gabriel coming down with hosts of angels, who were going round about all the torments. And they who were judged in the torments seeing them, all cried out with one loud voice: Have mercy upon us, Gabriel, who standest in the presence of God; for we heard that there was a judgment: behold, we know it. And the archangel Gabriel answered and said: As the Lord liveth, beside whom I stand, night and day without ceasing I plead in behalf of the race of men; but they did not do any good when in life, but spent the period of their life in vanity. And now I shall weep, even I, along with the beloved Paul; perhaps the good Lord may have compassion, and grant you remission. And they assented with one voice: Have mercy upon us, O Lord. And they fell down before God, and supplicated, saying: Have mercy, O Lord, upon the sons of men whom Thou hast made after Thine image. And the heaven was shaken like a leaf, and I saw the four and twenty elders lying on their face; and I saw the altar, and the throne, and the veil; and all of them entreated the glory of God;26 and I saw the Son of God with glory and great power coming down to the earth.27 And when the sound of the trumpet took place, all who were in the torments cried out, saying: Have mercy upon us Son of God; for to Thee has been given power over things in heaven, and things on earth, and things trader the earth. And there came a voice saying: What good work have you done, that you are asking for rest? For you have done as you wished, and have not repented, but you have spent your life in profligacy. But now for the sake of Gabriel, the angel of my righteousness and for the sake of Paul my beloved, I give you a night and the day of the holy Lord’s day, on which I rose from the dead, for rest. And all who were in the torments cried out, saying: We bless Thee, O Son of the living God; better for us is such rest than the life which we lived when spending our time in the world.

And after these things the angel says to me: Behold, thou hast seen all the torments: come, follow me, that I may lead thee away to paradise, and that thou mayst change thy soul by the sight of the righteous; for many desire to salute thee. And he took me by an impulse of the Spirit, and brought me into paradise. And he says to me: This is paradise, where Adam and Eve transgressed. And I saw there a beautiful tree of great size, on which the Holy Spirit, rested; and from the root of it there came forth all manner of most sweet-smelling water, parting into four channels. And I said to the angel: My lord, what is this tree, that there comes forth from it a great abundance of this water, and where does it go? And he answered and said to me: Before the heaven and the earth existed, He divided them into four kingdoms and heads, of which the names are Phison, Gehon, Tigris, Euphrates. And having again taken hold of me by the hand, he led me near the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And he says to me: This is the tree by means of which death came into the world, and Adam took of the fruit of it from his wife, and ate; and thereafter they were cast out hence. And he showed me another, the tree of life, and said to me: This the cherubim and the flaming sword guard. And when I was closely observing the tree, and wondering, I saw a woman coming from afar off, and a multitude of angels singing praises to her. And I asked the angel: Who is this, my lord, who is in so great honour and beauty? And the angel says to me: This is the holy Mary, the mother of the Lord. And she came and saluted me, saying: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God, and angels, and men; thou hast proclaimed the word of God in the world, and established churches, and all bear testimony to thee who have been saved by means of thee: for, having been delivered from the deception of idols through thy teaching, they come here.

While they were yet speaking to me, I gazed, and saw other three men coming. And I asked the angel: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the righteous forefathers. And they came and saluted me, saying: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God.… God did not grieve us. But we know thee in the flesh, before thou camest forth out of the world. And in succession they told me their names from Abraham to Manasseh. And one of them, Joseph who was sold in Egypt, says to me: Hear me, Paul, friend of God: I did not requite my brethren who cursed me. For blessed is he who is able to endure trial, because the Lord will give him in requital sevenfold reward in the world to come.28 And while he was yet speaking with me, I saw another coming afar off, and the appearance of him was as the appearance of an angel. And I asked the angel, saying: My lord, who is this? And he said to me: This is Moses the lawgiver, by whom God led forth the children of Israel out of the slavery of Egypt. And when he came near me, he saluted me weeping. And I said to him: Father, why weepest thou, being righteous and meek?29 And he answered and said to me: I must weep for every man, because I brought trouble upon a people that does not understand, and they have not borne fruit; and I see the sheep of which I was shepherd scattered, and the toil which I toiled for the children of Israel has been counted for nothing; and they saw powers30 and hosts in the midst of them, and they did not understand; and I see the Gentiles worshipping, and believing through thy word, and being converted, and coming here, and out of my people that was so great not one has understood. For, when the Jews hanged the Son of God upon the cross, all the angels and archangels, and the righteous, and the whole creation of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth, lamented and mourned with a great lamentation, but the impious and insensate Jews did not understand; wherefore there has been prepared for them the fire everlasting, and the worm that dies not.

While he was yet speaking, there came other three, and saluted me, saying: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God, the boast of the churches, and model of angels. And I asked: Who are you? And the first said: I am Isaiah, whom Manasseh sawed with a wood saw.31 And the second said: I am Jeremiah, whom the Jews stoned, but they remained burnt up with everlasting fire. And the third said: I am Ezekiel, whom the slayers of the Messiah pierced; all these things have we endured, and we have not been able to turn the stony heart of the Jews. And I threw myself on my face, entreating the goodness of God, because He had had mercy upon me, and had delivered me from the race of the Hebrews. And there came a voice saying: Blessed art thou, Paul, beloved of God; and blessed are those who through thee have believed in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, because for them has been prepared everlasting life.

While this voice was yet speaking, there came another, crying: Blessed art thou, Paul. And I asked the angel: Who is this, my lord? And he said to me: This is Noah, who lived in the time of the deluge. And when we had saluted each other, I asked him: Who art thou? And he said to me: I am Noah, who in a hundred years built the ark, and without putting off the coat which I wore, or shaving my head; moreover, I practised continence, and did not come near my wife; and in the hundred years my coat was not dirtied, and the hair of my head was not diminished. And I ceased not to proclaim to men, Repent, for, behold, a deluge is coming. And no one paid heed; but all derided me, not refraining from their lawless deeds, until the water of the deluge came and destroyed them all.

And looking away, I saw other two from afar off. And I asked the angel: Who are these, my lord? And he said to me: These are Enoch and Elias. And they came and saluted me, saying: Welcome, Paul, beloved of God! And I said to them: Who are you? And Elias the prophet answered and said to me: I am Elias the prophet, who prayed to God, and He caused that no rain should come down upon the earth for three years and six months, on account of the unrighteousness of the sons of men. For often, of a truth, even the angel besought God on account of the rain; and I heard, Be patient until Elias my beloved shall pray, and I send rain upon the earth.32

Revelation of Saint John the Theologian.


After the taking up of our Lord Jesus Christ, I John was alone upon Mount Tabor,1 where also He showed us His undefiled Godhead; and as I was not able to stand, I fell upon the ground, and prayed to the Lord, and said: O Lord my God, who hast deemed me worthy to be Thy servant, hear my voice, and teach me about Thy coming. When Thou shall come to the earth, what will happen? The heaven and the earth, and the sun and the moon, what will happen to them in those times? Reveal to me all; for I am emboldened, because Thou listenest to Thy servant.

And I spent seven days praying; and after this a cloud of light caught me up from the mountain, and set me before the face of the heaven. And I heard a voice saying to me: Look up, John, servant of God, and know. And having looked up, I saw the heaven opened, and there came forth from within the heaven a smell of perfumes of much sweet odour; and I saw an exceeding great flood of light, more resplendent than the sun. And again I heard a voice saying to me: Behold, righteous John. And I directed my sight, and saw a book lying, of the thickness, methought, of seven mountains;2 and the length of it the mind of man cannot comprehend, having seven seals. And I said: O Lord my God, reveal to me what is written in this book. And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. In this book which thou seest there have been written the things in the heaven, and the things in the earth, and the things in the abyss, and the judgments and righteousness of all the human race.3 And I said: Lord, when shall these things come to pass? and what do those times bring? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John.4 There shall be in that time abundance of corn and wine, such as there hath never been upon the earth, nor shall ever be until those times come. Then the ear of corn shall produce a half choenix,5 and the bend of the branch shall produce a thousand clusters, and the cluster shall produce a half jar of wine; and in the following year there shall not be found upon the face of all the earth a half choenix of corn or a half jar of wine.

And again I said: Lord, thereafter what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then shall appear the denier, and he who is set apart in the darkness, who is called Antichrist. And again I said: Lord, reveal to me what he is like. And I heard a voice saying to me: The appearance of his face is dusky;6 the hairs of his head are sharp, like darts; his eyebrows like a wild beast’s; his right eye like the star which rises in the morning, and the other like a lion’s; his mouth about one cubit; his teeth span long; his fingers like scythes; the print of his feet of two spans; and on his face an inscription, Antichrist; he shall be exalted even to heaven, and shall be cast down even to Hades, making false displays.7 And then will I make the heaven brazen, so that it shall not give moisture8 upon the earth; and I will hide the clouds in secret places, so that they shall not bring moisture upon the earth; and I will command the horns of the wind, so that the wind shall not blow upon the earth.9 And again I said: Lord, and how many years will he do this upon the earth? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Three years shall those times be; and I will make the three years like three months, and the three months like three weeks, and the three weeks like three days, and the three days like three hours, and the three hours like three seconds, as said the prophet David, His throne hast Thou broken down to the ground; Thou hast shortened the days of his time; Thou hast poured shame upon him.10 And then I shall send forth Enoch and Elias to convict him; and they shall show him to be a liar and a deceiver; and he shall kill them at the altar, as said the prophet, Then shall they offer calves upon Thine altar.11

And again I said: Lord, and after that what will come to pass? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then all the human race shall die, and there shall not be a living man upon all the earth. And again I said: Lord, after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then will I send forth mine angels, and they shall take the ram’s horns that lie upon the cloud; and Michael and Gabriel shall go forth out of the heaven and sound with those horns, as the prophet David foretold, With the voice of a trumpet of horn.12 And the voice of the trumpet shall be heard from the one quarter of the world to the other;13 and from the voice of that trumpet all the earth shall be shaken, as the prophet foretold, And at the voice of the bird every plant shall arise;14 that is, at the voice of the archangel all the human race shall arise.15

And again I said: Lord, those who are dead froth Adam even to this day, and who dwell in Hades from the beginning of the world, and who die at the last ages, what like shall they arise? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. All the human race shall arise thirty years old.

And again I said: Lord, they die male and female, and some old, and some young, and some infants. In the resurrection what like shall they arise? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Just as the bees are, and differ not one from another, but are all of one appearance and one size, so also shall every man be in the resurrection. There is neither fair, nor ruddy, nor black, neither Ethiopian nor different countenances; but they shall all arise of one appearance and one stature. All the human race shall arise without bodies, as I told you that in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God.16

And again I said: Lord, is it possible in that world to recognise each other, a brother his brother, or a friend his friend, or a father his own children, or the children their own parents? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, John. To the righteous there is recognition, but to the sinners not at all; they cannot in the resurrection recognise each other. And again I John said: Lord, is there there recollection of the things that are here, either fields or vineyards, or other things here? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. The prophet David speaks, saying, I remembered that we are dust: as for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he shall flourish: for a wind hath passed over it, and it shall be no more, and it shall not any longer know its place.17 And again the same said: His spirit18 shall go forth, and he returns to his earth; in that day all his thoughts shall perish.19

And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then will I send forth mine angels over the face of all the earth, and they shall lift off the earth everything honourable, and everything precious, and the venerable and holy images, and the glorious and precious crosses, and the sacred vessels of the churches, and the divine and sacred books; and all the precious and holy things shall be lifted up by clouds into the air. And then will I order to be lifted up the great and venerable sceptre,20 on which I stretched forth my hands, and all the orders of my angels shall do reverence to it. And then shall be lifted up all the race of men upon clouds, as the Apostle Paul foretold.21 Along with them we shall be snatched up in22 clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And then shall come forth every evil spirit, both in the earth and in the abyss, wherever they are on the face of all the earth, from the rising of the sun even to the setting, and they shall be united to him that is served by the devil, that is, Antichrist, and they shall be lifted up upon the clouds.

And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then shall I send forth mine angels over the face of all the earth, and they shall burn up the earth eight thousand five hundred23 cubits, and the great mountains shall be burnt up, and all the rocks shall be melted and shall become as dust, and every tree shall be burnt up, and every beast, and every creeping thing creeping upon the earth, and every thing moving upon the face of the earth, and every flying thing flying in the air; and there shall no longer be upon the face of all the earth anything moving, and the earth shall be without motion.

And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then shall I uncover the four parts of the east, and there shall come forth four great winds, and they shall sweep24 all the face of the earth from the one end of the earth to the other; and the Lord shall sweep sin from off the earth, and the earth shall be made white like snow, and it shall become as a leaf of paper, without cave, or mountain, or hill, or rock; but the face of the earth from the rising even to the setting of the sun shall be like a table, and white as snow; and the reins of the earth shall be consumed by fire, and it shall cry unto me, saying, I am a virgin before thee, O Lord, and there is no sin in me; as the prophet David said aforetime, Thou shall sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be made pure; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow.25 And again he26 said: Every chasm shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill brought low, and the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough ways into smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.27

And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then shall the earth be cleansed from sin, and all the earth shall be filled with a sweet smell, because I am about to come down upon the earth; and then shall come forth the great and venerable sceptre, with thousands of angels worshipping it, as I said before; and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man from the heaven with power and great glory.28 And then the worker of iniquity with his servants shall behold it, and gnash his teeth exceedingly, and all the unclean spirits shall be turned to flight. And then, seized by invisible power, having no means of flight, they shall gnash their teeth against him, saying to him: Where is thy power? How hast thou led us astray? and we have fled away, and have fallen away from the glory which we had beside Him who is coming to judge us, and the whole human race. Woe to us! because He banishes us into outer darkness.

And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Then will I send an angel out of heaven, and he shall cry with a loud voice, saying, Hear, O earth, and be strong, saith the Lord; for I am coming down to thee. And the voice of the angel shall be heard from the one end of the world even to the other, and even to the remotest part of the abyss. And then shall be shaken all the power of the angels and of the many-eyed ones, and there shall be a great noise in the heavens, and the nine regions of the heaven shall be shaken, and there shall be fear and astonishment upon all the angels. And then the heavens shall be rent from the rising of the sun even to the setting, and an innumerable multitude of angels shall come down to the earth; and then the treasures of the heavens shall be opened, and they shall bring down every precious thing, and the perfume of incense, and they shall bring down to the earth Jerusalem robed like a bride.29 And then there shall go before me myriads of angels and archangels, bearing my throne, crying out, Holy, holy, holy, Lord of Sabaoth; heaven and earth are full of Thy glory.30 And then will I come forth with power and great glory, and every eye in31 the clouds shall see me; and then every knee shall bend, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth.32 And then the heaven shall remain empty; and I will come down upon the earth, and all that is in the air shall be brought down upon the earth, and all the human race and every evil spirit along with Antichrist, and they shall all be set before me naked, and chained by the neck.

And again I said: Lord, what will become of the heavens, and the sun, and the moon, along with the stars? And I heard a voice saying to me: Behold, righteous John. And I looked, and saw a Lamb having seven eyes and seven horns.33 And again I heard a voice saying to me: I will bid the Lamb come before me, and will say, Who will open this book? And all the multitudes of the angels will answer, Give this book to the Lamb to open it. And then will l order the book to be opened. And when He shall open the first seal, the stars of the heaven shall fall, from the one end of it to the other. And when He shall open the second seal, the moon shall be hidden, and there shall be no light in her. And when He shall open the third seal, the light of the sun shall be withheld, and there shall not be light upon the earth. And when He shall open the fourth seal, the heavens shall be dissolved, and the air shall be thrown into utter confusion, as saith the prophet: And the heavens are the works of Thy hands; they shall perish, but Thou endurest, and they shall all wax old as a garment.34 And when He shall open the fifth seal, the earth shall be rent, and all the tribunals upon the face of all the earth shall be revealed. And when He shall open the sixth seal, the half of the sea shall disappear. And when He shall open the seventh seal, Hades shall be uncovered.

And I said: Lord, who will be the first to be questioned, and to receive judgment? And I heard a voice saying to me, The unclean spirits, along with the adversary. I bid them go into outer darkness, where the depths35 are. And I said: Lord, and in what place does it lie? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. As big a stone as a man of thirty years old can roll, and let go down into the depth, even falling down for twenty years will not arrive at the bottom of Hades; as the prophet David said before, And He made darkness His secret place.36

And I said: Lord, and after them what nation37 will be questioned? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. There will be questioned of Adam’s race those nations, both the Greek and those who have believed in idols, and in the sun, and in the stars, and those who have defiled the faith by heresy, and who have not believed the holy38 resurrection, and who have not confessed the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost: then will I send them away into Hades, as the prophet David foretold, Let the sinners be turned into Hades, and all the nations that forget God.39 And again he said: They were put in Hades like sheep; death shall be their shepherd.40

And again I said: Lord, and after them whom wilt Thou judge? And I heard a voice saying tome: Hear, righteous John. Then the race of the Hebrews shall be examined, who nailed me to the tree like a malefactor. And I said: And what punishment will these get, and in what place, seeing that they did such things to Thee? And I heard a voice saying to me: They shall go away into Tartarus, as the prophet David foretold, They cried out, and there was none to save; to the Lord, and He did not hearken to them.41 And again the Apostle Paul said: As many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in law shall be judged by means of law.42

And again I said: Lord, and what of those who have received baptism? And I heard a voice saying to me: Then the race of the Christians shall be examined, who have received baptism; and then the righteous shall come at my command, and the angels shall go and collect43 them from among the sinners, as the prophet David foretold: The Lord will not suffer the rod of the sinners in the lot of the righteous;44 and all the righteous shall be placed on my right hand,45 and shall shine like the sun.46 As thou seest, John, the stars of heaven, that they were all made together, but differ in light,47 so shall it be with the righteous and the sinners; for the righteous shall shine as lights and as the sun, but the sinners shall stand in darkness.

And again I said: Lord, and do all the Christians go into one punishment?—kings, high priests, priests, patriarchs, rich and poor, bond and free? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. As the prophet David foretold, The expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.48 Now about kings: they shall be driven like slaves, and shall weep like infants; and about patriarchs, and priests, and Levites, of those that have sinned, they shall be separated in their punishments, according to the nature49 of the peculiar transgression of each,—some in the river of fire, and some to the worm that dieth not, and others in the seven-mouthed pit of punishment. To these punishments the sinners will be apportioned.

And again I said: Lord, and where will the righteous dwell? And I heard a voice saying to me: Then shall paradise be revealed; and the whole world and paradise shall be made one, and the righteous shall be on the face of all the earth with my angels, as the Holy Spirit foretold through the prophet David: The righteous shall inherit the earth, and dwell therein for ever and ever.50

And again I said: Lord, how great is the multitude of the angels? and which is the greater, that of angels or of men? And I heard a voice saying to me: As great as is the multitude of the angels, so great is the race of men, as the prophet has said, He set bounds to the nations according to the number of the angels of God.51 And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? and what is to become of the world? Reveal to me all. And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. After that there is no pain, there is no grief, there is no groaning; there is no recollection of evils, there are no tears, there is no envy, there is no hatred of brethren, there is no unrighteousness, there is no arrogance, there is no slander, there is no bitterness, there are none of the cares of life, there is no pain from parents or children, there is no pain from gold, there are no wicked thoughts, there is no devil, there is no death, there is no night, but all is day.52 As I said before, And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, that is, men who have been made like the angels through their excellent course of life; them also must I bring, and they will hear my voice, and there shall be one fold, one shepherd.53

And again I heard a voice saying to me: Behold, thou hast heard all these things, righteous John; deliver them to faithful men, that they also may teach others, and not think lightly of them,54 nor cast our pearls before swine, lest perchance they should trample them with their feet.55

And while I was still hearing this voice, the cloud brought me down, and put me on Mount Thabor. And there came a voice to me, saying: Blessed are those who keep judgment and do righteousness in all time.56 And blessed is the house where this description lies, as the Lord said, He that loveth me keepeth my sayings57 in Christ Jesus our Lord; to Him be glory for ever. Amen.58

The Account of St. John the Theologian1

of the Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God.


As the all-holy glorious mother of God and ever-virgin Mary, as was her wont, was going to the holy tomb of our Lord to burn incense, and bending her holy knees, she was importunate that Christ our God who had been born of her should return to her. And the Jews, seeing her lingering by the divine sepulchre, came to the chief priests, saying: Mary goes every day to the tomb. And the chief priests, having summoned the guards set by them not to allow any one to pray at the holy sepulchre, inquired about her, whether in truth it were so. And the guards answered and said that they had seen no such thing, God having not allowed them to see her when there. And on one of the days, it being the preparation, the holy Mary, as was her wont, came to the sepulchre; and while she was praying, it came to pass that the heavens were opened, and the archangel Gabriel came down to her and said: Hail, thou that didst bring forth Christ our God! Thy prayer having come through to the heavens to Him who was born of thee, has been accepted; and from this time, according to thy request, thou having left the world, shall go to the heavenly places to thy Son, into the true and everlasting life.

And having heard this from the holy archangel, she returned to holy Bethlehem, having along with her three virgins who ministered unto her. And after having rested a short time, she sat up and said to the virgins: Bring me a censer, that I may pray. And they brought it, as they had been commanded. And she prayed, saying: My Lord Jesus Christ, who didst deign through Thy supreme goodness to be born of me, hear my voice, and send me Thy apostle John, in order that, seeing him, I may partake of joy; and send me also the rest of Thy apostles, both those who have already gone to Thee, and those in the world that now is, in whatever country they may be, through Thy holy commandment, in order that, having beheld them, I may bless Thy name much to be praised; for I am confident that Thou hearest Thy servant in everything.

And while she was praying, I John came, the Holy Spirit having snatched me up by a cloud from Ephesus, and set me in the place where the mother of my Lord was lying. And having gone in beside her, and glorified Him who had been born of her, I said: Hail, mother of my Lord, who didst bring forth Christ our God, rejoice that in great glory thou art going out of this life. And the holy mother of God glorified God, because I John had come to her, remembering the voice of the Lord, saying: Behold thy mother, and, Behold thy son.2 And the three virgins came and worshipped. And the holy mother of God says to me: Pray, and cast incense. And I prayed thus: Lord Jesus Christ, who hast done wonderful things, now also do wonderful things before her who brought Thee forth; and let Thy mother depart from this life; and let those who crucified Thee, and who have not believed in Thee, be confounded. And after I had ended the prayer, holy Mary said to me: Bring me the censer. And having cast incense, she said, Glory to Thee, my God and my Lord, because there has been fulfilled in me whatsoever Thou didst promise to me before thou didst ascend into the heavens, that when I should depart from this world Thou wouldst come to me, and the multitude of Thine angels, with glory. And I John say to her: Jesus Christ our Lord and our God is coming, and thou seest3 Him, as He promised to thee. And the holy mother of God answered and said to me: The Jews have sworn that after I have died they will burn my body. And I answered and said to her: Thy holy and precious body will by no means see corruption. And she answered and said to me: Bring a censer, and cast incense, and pray. And there came a voice out of the heavens saying the Amen. And I John heard this voice; and the Holy Spirit said to me: John, hast thou heard this voice that spoke in the heaven after the prayer was ended? And I answered and said: Yes, I heard. And the Holy Spirit said to me: This voice which thou didst hear denotes that the appearance of thy brethren the apostles is at hand, and of the holy powers that they are coming hither to-day.

And at this I John prayed.

And the Holy Spirit said to the apostles: Let all of you together, having come by the clouds from the ends of the world, be assembled to holy Bethlehem by a whirlwind, on account of the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ; Peter from Rome, Paul from Tiberia,4 Thomas from Hither India, James from Jerusalem. Andrew, Peter’s brother, and Philip, Luke, and Simon the Cananaean, and Thaddaeus who had fallen asleep, were raised by the Holy Spirit out of their tombs; to whom the Holy Spirit said: Do not think that it is now the resurrection; but on this account you have risen out of your tombs, that you may go to give greeting to the honour and wonder-working of the mother of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, because the day of her departure is at hand, of her going up into the heavens. And Mark likewise coming round, was present from Alexandria; he also with the rest, as has been said before, from each country. And Peter being lifted up by a cloud, stood between heaven and earth, the Holy Spirit keeping him steady. And at the same time, the rest of the apostles also, having been snatched up in clouds, were found along with Peter. And thus by the Holy Spirit, as has been said, they all came together.

And having gone in beside the mother of our Lord and God, and having adored, we said: Fear not, nor grieve; God the Lord, who was born of thee, will take thee out of this world with glory. And rejoicing in God her Saviour, she sat up in the bed, and says to the apostles: Now have I believed that our Master and God is coming from heaven, and I shall behold Him, and thus depart from this life, as I have seen that you have come. And I wish you to tell me how you knew that I was departing and came to me, and from what countries and through what distance you have come hither, that you have thus made haste to visit me. For neither has He who was born of me, our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of the universe, concealed it; for I am persuaded even now that He is the Son of the Most High.

And Peter answered and said to the apostles: Let us each, according to what the Holy Spirit announced and commanded us, give full information to the mother of our Lord. And I John answered and said: Just as I was going in to the holy altar in Ephesus to perform divine service, the Holy Spirit says to me, The time of the departure of the mother of thy Lord is at hand; go to Bethlehem to salute her. And a cloud of light snatched me up, and set me down in the door where thou art lying. Peter also answered: And I, living in Rome, about dawn heard a voice through the Holy Spirit saying to me, The mother of thy Lord is to depart, as the time is at hand; go to Bethlehem to salute her. And, behold, a cloud of light snatched me up; and I beheld also the other apostles coming to me on clouds, and a voice saying to me, Go all to Bethlehem. And Paul also answered and said: And I, living in a city at no great distance from Rome, called the country of Tiberia, heard the Holy Spirit saying to me, The mother of thy Lord, having left this world, is making her course to the celestial regions through her departure;5 but go thou also to Bethlehem to salute her. And, behold, a cloud of light having snatched me up, set me down in the same place as you. And Thomas also answered and said: And I, traversing the country of the Indians, when the preaching was prevailing by the grace of Christ, and the king’s sister’s son Labdanus by name, was about to be sealed by me in the palace, on a sudden the Holy Spirit says to me, Do thou also, Thomas, go to Bethlehem to salute the mother of thy Lord, because she is taking her departure to the heavens. And a cloud of light having snatched me up, set me down beside you. And Mark also answered and said: And when I was finishing the canon6 of the third day in the city of Alexandria, just as I was praying, the Holy Spirit snatched me up, and brought me to you. And James also answered and said: While I was in Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit commanded me, saying, Go to Bethlehem, because the mother of thy Lord is taking her departure. And, behold, a cloud of light having snatched me up, set me beside you. And Matthew also answered and said: I have glorified and do glorify God, because when I was in a boat and overtaken by a storm, the sea raging with its waves, on a sudden a cloud of light overshadowing the stormy billow, changed it to a calm, and having snatched me up, set me down beside you. And those who had come before likewise answered, and gave an account of how they had come. And Bartholomew said: I was in the Thebais proclaiming the word, and behold the Holy Spirit says to me, The mother of thy Lord is taking her departure; go, then, to salute her in Bethlehem. And, behold, a cloud of light having snatched me up, brought me to you.

The apostles said all these things to the holy mother of God, why they had come, and in what way; and she stretched her hands to heaven and prayed, saying: I adore, and praise, and glorify Thy much to he praised name, O Lord, because Thou hast looked upon the lowliness of Thine handmaiden, and because Thou that art mighty hast done great things for me; and, behold, all generations shall count me blessed.7 And after the prayer she said to the apostles: Cast incense, and pray. And when they had prayed, there was thunder from heaven, and there came a fearful voice, as if of chariots; and, behold, a multitude of a host of angels and powers, and a voice, as if of the Son of man, was heard, and the seraphim in a circle round the house where the holy, spotless mother of God and virgin was lying, so that all who were in Bethlehem beheld all the wonderful things, and came to Jerusalem and reported all the wonderful things that had come to pass. And it came to pass, when the voice was heard, that the sun and the moon suddenly appeared about the house; and an assembly8 of the first-born saints stood beside the house where the mother of the Lord was lying, for her honour and glory. And I beheld also that many signs came to pass, the blind seeing, the deaf hearing, the lame walking, lepers cleansed, and those possessed by unclean spirits cured; and every one who was under disease and sickness, touching the outside of the wall of the house where she was lying, cried out: Holy Mary, who didst bring forth Christ our God, have mercy upon us. And they were straightway cured. And great multitudes out of every country living in Jerusalem for the sake of prayer, having heard of the signs that had come to pass in Bethlehem through the mother of the Lord, came to the place seeking the cure of various diseases, which also they obtained. And there was joy unspeakable on that day among the multitude of those who had been cured, as well as of those who looked on, glorifying Christ our God and His mother. And all Jerusalem from Bethlehem kept festival with psalms and spiritual songs.

And the priests of the Jews, along with their people, were astonished at the things which had come to pass; and being moved9 with the heaviest hatred, and again with frivolous reasoning, having made an assembly, they determine to send against the holy mother of God and the holy apostles who were there in Bethlehem. And accordingly the multitude of the Jews, having directed their course to Bethlehem, when at the distance of one mile it came to pass that they beheld a frightful vision, and their feet were held fast; and after this they returned to their fellow-countrymen, and reported all the frightful vision to the chief priests. And they, still more boiling with rage, go to the procurator, crying out and saying: The nation of the Jews has been ruined by this woman; chase her from Bethlehem and the province of Jerusalem. And the procurator, astonished at the wonderful things, said to them: I will chase her neither from Bethlehem nor from any other place. And the Jews continued crying out, and adjuring him by the health of Tiberius Caesar to bring the apostles out of Bethlehem. And if you do not do so, we shall report it to the Caesar. Accordingly, being compelled, he sends a tribune of the soldiers10 against the apostles to Bethlehem. And the Holy Spirit says to the apostles and the mother of the Lord: Behold, the procurator has sent a tribune against you, the Jews having made an uproar. Go forth therefore from Bethlehem, and fear not: for, behold, by a cloud I shall bring you to Jerusalem; for the power of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit is with you. The apostles therefore rose up immediately, and went forth from the house, carrying the bed of the Lady the mother of God, and directed their course to Jerusalem; and immediately, as the Holy Spirit had said, being lifted up by a cloud, they were found in Jerusalem in the horse of the Lady. And they stood up, and for five days made an unceasing singing of praise. And when the tribune came to Bethlehem, and found there neither the mother of the Lord nor the apostles, he laid hold of the Bethlehemites, saying to them: Did you not come telling the procurator and the priests all the signs and wonders that had come to pass, and how the apostles had come out of every country? Where are they, then? Come, go to the procurator at Jerusalem. For the tribune did not know of the departure of the apostles and the Lord’s mother to Jerusalem. The tribune then, having taken the Bethlehemites, went in to the procurator, saying that he had found no one. And after five days it was known to the procurator, and the priests. and all the city, that the Lord’s mother was in her own house in Jerusalem, along with the apostles, from the signs and wonders that came to pass there. And a multitude of men and women and virgins came together, and cried out: Holy virgin, that didst bring forth Christ our God, do not forget the generation of men. And when these things came to pass, the people of the Jews, with the priests also, being the more moved with hatred, took wood and fire, and came up, wishing to burn the house where the Lord’s mother was living with the apostles. And the procurator stood looking at the sight from afar off. And when the people of the Jews came to the door of the house, behold, suddenly a power of fire coming forth from within, by means of an angel, burnt up a great multitude of the Jews. And there was great fear throughout all the city; and they glorified God, who had been born of her. And when the procurator saw what had come to pass, he cried out to all the people, saying: Truly he who was born of the virgin, whom you have thought of driving away, is the Son of God; for these signs are those of the true God. And there was a division among the Jews; and many believed in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, in consequence of the signs that had come to pass.

And after all these wonderful things had come to pass through the mother of God, and ever-virgin Mary the mother of the Lord, while we the apostles were with her in Jerusalem, the Holy Spirit said to us: You know that on the Lord’s day the good news was brought to the Virgin Mary by the archangel Gabriel; and on the Lord’s day the Saviour was born in Bethlehem; and on the Lord’s day the children of Jerusalem came forth with palm branches to meet him, saying, Hosanna in the highest, blessed is11 He that cometh in the name of the Lord;12 and on the Lord’s day He rose from the dead; and on the Lord’s day He will come to judge the living and the dead; and on the Lord’s day He will come out of heaven, to the glory and honour of the departure of the holy glorious virgin who brought Him forth. And on the same13 Lord’s day the mother of the Lord says to the apostles: Cast incense, because Christ is coming with a host of angels; and, behold, Christ is at hand, sitting on a throne of cherubim. And while we were all praying, there appeared innumerable multitudes of angels, and the Lord mounted upon cherubim in great power; and, behold, a stream of light14 coming to the holy virgin, because of the presence of her only-begotten Son, and all the powers of the heavens fell down and adored Him. And the Lord, speaking to His mother, said: Mary. And she answered and said: Here am I, Lord. And the Lord said to her: Grieve not, but let thy heart rejoice and be glad; for thou hast found grace to behold the glory given to me by my Father. And the holy mother of God looked up, and saw in Him a glory which it is impossible for the mouth of man to speak of, or to apprehend. And the Lord remained beside her, saying: Behold, from the present time thy precious body will be transferred to paradise, and thy holy soul to the heavens to the treasures of my Father in exceeding brightness, where there is peace and joy of the holy angels,—and other things besides.15 And the mother of the Lord answered and said to him: Lay Thy right hand upon me, O Lord, and bless me. And the Lord stretched forth His undefiled right hand, and blessed her. And she laid hold of His undefiled right hand, and kissed it, saying: I adore this right hand, which created the heaven and the earth; and I call upon Thy much to be praised name Christ, O God, the King of the ages, the only-begotten of the Father, to receive Thine handmaid, Thou who didst deign to be brought forth by me, in a low estate, to save the race of men through Thine ineffable dispensation; do Thou bestow Thine aid upon every man calling upon, or praying to, or naming the the name of, Thine handmaid. And while she is saying this, the apostles, having gone up to her feet and adored, say: O mother of the Lord, leave a blessing to the world, since thou art going away from it. For thou hast blessed it, and raised it up when it was ruined, by bringing forth the Light of the world. And the mother of the Lord prayed, and in her prayer spoke thus: O God, who through Thy great goodness hast sent from the heavens Thine only-begotten Son to dwell in my humble body, who hast deigned to be born of me, humble as I am, have mercy upon the world, and every soul that calls upon Thy name. And again she prayed, and said: O Lord, King of the heavens, Son of the living God, accept every man who calls upon Thy name, that Thy birth may be glorified. And again she prayed, and said: O Lord Jesus Christ, who art all-powerful in heaven and on earth, in this appeal I implore Thy holy name; in every time and place where there is made mention of my name, make that place holy, and glorify those that glorify Thee through my name, accepting of such persons all their offering, and all their supplication, and all their prayer. And when she had thus prayed, the Lord said to His mother: Let thy heart rejoice and be glad; for every favour16 and every gift has been given to thee from my Father in heaven, and from me, and from the Holy Spirit: every soul that calls upon thy name shall not be ashamed, but shall find mercy, and comfort, and support, and confidence, both in the world that now is, and in that which is to come, in the presence of my Father in the heavens. And the Lord turned and said to Peter: The time has come to begin the singing of the hymn. And Peter having begun the singing of the hymn, all the powers of the heavens responded with the Alleluiah. And then the face of the mother of the Lord shone brighter than the light, and she rose up and blessed each of the apostles with her own hand, and all gave glory to God; and the Lord stretched forth His undefiled hands, and received her holy and blameless soul. And with the departure of her blameless soul the place was filled with perfume and ineffable light; and, behold, a voice out of the heaven was heard, saying: Blessed art thou among women. And Peter, and I John, and Paul, and Thomas, ran and wrapped up her precious feet for the consecration; and the twelve apostles put her precious and holy body upon a couch, and carried it. And, behold, while they were carrying her, a certain well-born Hebrew, Jephonias by name, running against the body, put his hands upon the couch; and, behold, an angel of the Lord by invisible power, with a sword of fire, cut off his two hands from his shoulders, and made them hang about the couch, lifted up in the air. And at this miracle which had come to pass all the people of the Jews who beheld it cried out: Verily, He that was brought forth by thee is the true God, O mother of God, ever-virgin Mary. And Jephonias himself, when Peter ordered him, that the wonderful things of God might be showed forth, stood up behind the couch, and cried out: Holy Mary, who broughtest forth Christ who is God, have mercy upon me. And Peter turned and said to him: In the name of Him who was born of her, thy hands which have been taken away from thee, will be fixed on again. And immediately, at the word of Peter, the hands hanging by the couch of the Lady came, and were fixed on Jephonias. And he believed, and glorified Christ, God who had been born of her.

And when this miracle had been done, the apostles carried17 the couch, and laid down her precious and holy body in Gethsemane in a new tomb. And, behold, a perfume of sweet savour came forth out of the holy sepulchre of our Lady the mother of God; and for three days the voices of invisible angels were heard glorifying Christ our God, who had been born of her. And when the third day was ended, the voices were no longer heard; and from that time forth all knew that her spotless and precious body had been transferred to paradise.

And after it had been transferred, behold, we see Elisabeth the mother of St. John the Baptist, and Anna the mother of the Lady, and Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and David, singing the Alleluiah, and all the choirs of the saints adoring the holy relics of the mother of the Lord, and the place full of light, than which light nothing could be more brilliant, and an abundance of perfume in that place to which her precious and holy body had been transferred in paradise, and the melody of those praising Him who had been born of her—sweet melody, of which there is no satiety, such as is given to virgins, and them only, to hear. We apostles, therefore, having beheld the sudden precious translation of her holy body, glorified God, who had shown us His wonders at the departure of the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, whose18 prayers and good offices may we all be deemed worthy to receive.19 under her shelter, and support, and protection, both in the world that now is and in that which is to come, glorifying in every time and place her only-begotten Son, along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Passing of Mary


First Latin Form.


Concerning the Passing1 Of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In that time before the Lord came to His passion, and among many words which the mother asked of the Son, she began to ask Him about her own departure, addressing Him as follows:—O most dear Son, I pray Thy holiness, that when my soul goes out of my body, Thou let me know on the third day before; and do Thou, beloved Son, with Thy angels, receive it.2 Then He received the prayer of His beloved mother, and said to her: O palace and temple of the living God, O blessed mother,3 O queen of all saints, and blessed above all women, before thou carriedst me in thy womb, I always guarded thee, and caused thee to be fed daily with my angelic food,4 as thou knowest: how can I desert thee, after thou hast carried me, and nourished me, and brought me down in flight into Egypt, and endured many hardships for me? Know, then, that my angels have always guarded thee, and will guard thee even until thy departure. But after I undergo suffering for men, as it is written, and rise again on the third day, and after forty days ascend into heaven, when thou shall see me coming to thee5 with angels and archangels, with saints and with virgins, and with my disciples, know for certain that thy soul will be separated from the body, and I shall carry it into heaven, where it shall never at all have tribulation or anguish. Then she joyed and gloried, and kissed the knees of her Son, and blessed the Creator of heaven and earth, who gave her such a gift through Jesus Christ her Son.

In the second year, therefore, after the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ, the most blessed Virgin Mary continued always in prayer day and night. And on the third day before she passed away, an angel of the Lord came to her, and saluted her, saying: Hail, Mary, full of grace! the Lord be with thee. And she answered, saying: Thanks to God. Again he said to her: Receive this palm which the Lord promised to thee. And she, giving thanks to God, with great joy received from the hand of the angel the palm sent to her. The angel of the Lord said to her: Thy assumption will be after three days. And she answered: Thanks to God.6

Then she called Joseph of the city of Arimathaea, and the other7 disciples of the Lord; and when they, both relations and acquaintances, were assembled, she announced her departure to all standing there. Then the blessed Mary washed8 herself, and dressed herself like a queen, and waited the advent of her Son, as He had promised to her. And she asked all her relations to keep beside9 her, and give her comfort. And she had along with her three virgins, Sepphora, Abigea, and Zaël; but the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ had been already dispersed throughout the whole world to preach to the people of God.

Then at the third hour10 there were great thunders, and rains, and lightnings, and tribulation, and an earthquake,11 while queen Mary was standing in her chamber. John the evangelist and apostle was suddenly brought from Ephesus, and entered the chamber of the blessed Mary, and saluted her, and said to her: Hail, Mary, full of grace! the Lord be with thee. And she answered: Thanks to God. And raising herself up, she kissed Saint John. And the blessed Mary said to him: O my dearest son, why hast thou left me at such a time, and hast not paid heed to the commands of thy Master, to take care of me, as He commanded thee while He was hanging on the cross? And he asked pardon with bended knee. Then the blessed Mary gave him her benediction, and again kissed him. And when she meant to ask him whence he came, and for what reason he had come to Jerusalem, behold, all the disciples of the Lord, except Thomas who is called Didymus, were brought by a cloud to the door of the chamber of the blessed Mary. They stood and went in, and saluted the queen with the following words, and adored her: Hail, Mary, full of grace! the Lord be with thee. And she eagerly rose quickly, and bowed herself, and kissed them, and gave thanks to God. These are the names of the disciples of the Lord who were brought thither in the cloud: John the evangelist and James his brother, Peter and Paul, Andrew, Philip, Luke, Barnabas, Bartholomew and Matthew, Matthias who is called Justus,12 Simon the Chananaean, Judas and his brother, Nicodemus and Maximianus, and many others who cannot be numbered. Then the blessed Mary said to her brethren: What is this, that you have all come to Jerusalem? Peter, answering, said to her: We had need to ask this of thee, and dost thou question us? Certainly, as I think, none of us knows why we have come here to-day with such rapidity. I was at Antioch, and now I am here. All declared plainly the place where they had been that day. And they all wondered that they were there when they heard these things. The blessed Mary said to them: I asked my Son, before He endured the passion, that He and you should be at my death; and He granted me this gift. Whence you may know that my departure will be to-morrow.13 Watch and pray with me, that when the Lord comes to receive my soul, He may find you watching. Then all promised that they would watch. And they watched and prayed the whole night, with psalms and chants, with great illuminations.

And when the Lord’s day came, at the third hour, just as the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles in a cloud,14 so Christ descended with a multitude of angels, and received the soul of His beloved mother. For there was such splendour and perfume of sweetness, and angels singing the songs of songs, where the Lord says, As a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters,15 that all who were there present fell on their faces, as the apostles fell when Christ transfigured Himself before them on Mount Thabor, and for a whole hour and a half no one was able to rise. But when the light went away, and at the same time with the light itself, the soul of the blessed virgin Mary was taken up into heaven with psalms, and hymns, and songs of songs. And as the cloud went up the whole earth shook, and in one moment all the inhabitants of Jerusalem openly saw the departure of St. Mary.

And that same hour Satan entered into them, and they began to consider what they were to do with her body. And they took up weapons, that they might burn her body and kill the apostles, because from her had gone forth the dispersions of Israel, on account of their sins and the gathering together of the Gentiles. But they were struck with blindness, striking their heads against the walls, and striking each other.16 Then the apostles, alarmed by so much brightness, arose, and with psalms carried the holy body down from Mount Zion to the valley of Jehoshaphat. But as they were going in the middle of the road, behold, a certain Jew,17 Reuben by name, wishing to throw to the ground the holy bier with the body of the blessed Mary. But his hands dried up, even to the elbow; whether he would or not, he went down even to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, weeping and lamenting because his hands were raised to the bier, and he was not able to draw back his hands to himself. And he began to ask the apostles18 that by their prayer he might be saved and made a Christian. Then the apostles, bending their knees, asked the Lord to let him loose. And he, being healed that same hour, giving thanks to God and kissing the feet of the queen of all the saints and apostles, was baptized in that same place, and began to preach the name of our God Jesus Christ.

Then the apostles with great honour laid the body in the tomb, weeping and singing through exceeding love and sweetness. And suddenly there shone round them a light from heaven, and they fell to the ground, and the holy body was taken up by angels into heaven.

Then the most blessed Thomas was suddenly brought to the Mount of Olivet, and saw the most blessed body going up to heaven, and began to cry out and say: O holy mother, blessed mother, spotless mother, if I have now found grace because I see thee, make thy servant joyful through thy compassion, because thou art going to heaven. Then the girdle with which the apostles had encircled the most holy body was thrown down from heaven to the blessed Thomas. And taking it, and kissing it, and giving thanks to God, he came again into the Valley of Jehoshaphat. He found all the apostles and another great crowd there beating their breasts on account of the brightness which they had seen. And seeing and kissing each other, the blessed Peter said to him: Truly thou hast always been obdurate and unbelieving, because for thine unbelief it was not pleasing to God that thou shouldst be along with us at the burial of the mother of the Saviour. And he, beating his breast, said: I know and firmly believe that I have always been a bad and an unbelieving man; therefore I ask pardon of all of you for my obduracy and unbelief. And they. all prayed for him. Then the blessed Thomas said: Where have you laid her body? And they pointed out the sepulchre with their finger. And he said: The body which is called most holy is not there. Then the blessed Peter said to him: Already on another occasion thou wouldst not believe the resurrection of our Master and Lord at our word, unless thou went to touch Him with thy fingers, and see Him; how wilt thou believe us that the holy body is here? Still he persists saying: It is not here. Then, as it were in a rage, they went to the sepulchre, which was a new one hollowed out in the rock, and took up the stone; but they did not find the body, not knowing what to say, because they had been convicted by the words of Thomas. Then the blessed Thomas told them how he was singing mass in India—he still had on his sacerdotal robes. He, not knowing the word of God, had been brought to the Mount of Olivet, and saw the most holy body of the blessed Mary going up into heaven, and prayed her to give him a blessing. She heard his prayer, and threw him her girdle which she had about her. And the apostles seeing the belt which they had put about her, glorifying God, all asked pardon of the blessed Thomas, on account of the benediction which the blessed Mary had given him, and because he had seen the most holy body going up into heaven. And the blessed Thomas gave them his benediction, and said: Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!19

And the same cloud by which they had been brought carried them back each to his own place, just like Philip when he baptized the eunuch, as is read in the Acts of the Apostles;20 and as Habakkuk the prophet carried food to Daniel, who was in the lions’ den, and quickly returned to Judaea.21 And so also the apostles quickly returned to where they had at first been, to preach to the people of God. Nor is it to be wondered at that He should do such things, who went into the virgin and came out of her though her womb was closed; who, though the gates were shut, went in to His disciples;22 who made the deaf to hear, raised the dead, cleansed the lepers, gave sight to the blind,23 and did many other wonderful things. To believe this is no doubtful matter.

I am Joseph who laid the Lord’s body in my sepulchre, and saw Him rising again; and who, before the ascension and after the ascension of the Lord, always kept his most sacred temple the blessed ever-virgin Mary, and who have kept in writing and in my breast the things which came forth from the mouth of God, and how the things mentioned above were done by the judgment of God. And I have made known to all, Jews and Gentiles, those things which I saw with my eyes, and heard with my ears; and as long as I live I shall not cease to declare them. And her, whose assumption is at this day venerated and worshipped throughout the whole world, let us assiduously entreat that she be mindful of us in the presence of her most pious Son in heaven, to whom is praise and glory through endless ages of ages. Amen.24

Second Latin Form.


Here Beginneth the Passing of the Blessed Mary.

1.1 Therefore, when the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was hanging on the tree fastened by the nails of the cross for the life of the whole world, He saw about the cross His mother standing, and John the evangelist, whom He peculiarly loved above the rest of the apostles, because he alone of them was a virgin in the body. He gave him, therefore, the charge of holy Mary, saying to him: Behold thy mother! and saying, to her: Behold thy son!2 From that hour the! holy mother of God remained specially in the care of John, as long as she had her habitation in this life. And when the apostles had divided the world by lot for preaching, she settled in the house of his parents near Mount Olivet.

2. In the second year, therefore, after Christ had vanquished death, and ascended up into heaven, on a certain day, Mary, burning with a longing for Christ, began to weep alone, within the shelter of her abode. And, behold, an angel, shining in a dress of great light, stood before her and gave utterance to3 the words of salutation saying: Hail! thou blessed by the Lord, receive the salutation of Him who commanded safety to Jacob by His prophets. Behold, said He a palm branch—I have brought it to thee from the paradise of the Lord—which thou wilt cause to be carried before thy bier, when on the third day thou shalt be taken up from the body. For, lo, thy Son awaits thee with thrones and angels, and all the powers of heaven. Then Mary said to the angel: I beg that all the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ he assembled to me. To whom the angel said: Behold, to-day, by the power of my Lord Jesus Christ, all the apostles will come to thee. And Mary says to him: I ask that thou send upon me thy blessing, that no power of the lower world may withstand me in that hour in which my soul shall go out of my body, and that I may not see the prince of darkness. And the angel said: No power indeed of the lower world will hurt thee; and thy Lord God, whose servant and messenger I am, hath given thee eternal blessing; but do not think that the privilege of not seeing the prince of darkness is to be given thee by me, but by Him whom thou hast carried in thy womb; for to Him belongeth power over all for ever and ever. Thus saying, the angel departed with great splendour. And that palm shone with exceeding great light. Then Mary, undressing herself, put on better garments. And, taking the palm which she had received from the hands of the angel, she went out to the mount of Olivet, and began to pray, and say: I had not been worthy, O Lord, to bear Thee, unless Thou hadst had compassion on me; but nevertheless I have kept the treasure which Thou entrustedst to me. Therefore I ask of Thee, O King of glory, that the power of Gehenna hurt me not. For if the heavens and the angels daily tremble before Thee, how much more man who is made from the ground, who possesses no good thing, except as much as he has received from Thy benignant bounty! Thou art, O Lord, God always blessed for ever. And thus saying, she went back to her dwelling.

3. And, behold, suddenly, while St. John was preaching in Ephesus, on the Lord’s day, at the third hour of the day, there was a great earthquake, and a cloud raised him and took him up from the eyes of all, and brought him before the door of the house where Mary was. And knocking at the door, he immediately went in. And when Mary saw him, she exulted in joy, and said: I beg of thee, my son John, be mindful of the words of my Lord Jesus Christ, in which He entrusted me to thee. For, behold, on the third day, when I am to depart from the body,4 I have heard the plans of the Jews, saying, Let us wait for the day when she who bore that seducer shall die, and let us burn her booty with fire. She therefore called St. John, and led him into the secret chamber of the house, and showed him the robe of her burial, and that palm of light which she had received from the angel, instructing him that he should cause it to be carried before her couch when she was going to her tomb.

4. And St. John said to her: How shall I alone perform thy funeral rites, unless my brethren and fellow-apostles of my Lord Jesus Christ come to pay honour to thy body? And, behold, on a sudden, by the command of God, all the apostles were snatched up, raised on a cloud, from the places in which they were preaching the word of God, and set down before the door of the house in which Mary dwelt. And, saluting each other, they wondered, saying: What is the cause for which the Lord hath assembled us here?5

5. Then all the apostles, rejoicing6 with one mind, finished their prayer. And when they had said the Amen, behold, on a sudden, there came the blessed John, and told them all these things. The apostles then, having entered the house, found Mary, and saluted her, saying: Blessed art thou by the Lord, who hath made heaven and earth. And she said to them: Peace be with you, most beloved brethren! How have you come hither? And they recounted to her how they had come, each one raised on a cloud by the Spirit of God, and set down in the same place. And she said to them: God hath not deprived me of the sight of you. Behold, I shall go the way of all the earth, and I doubt not that the Lord hath now conducted you hither to bring me consolation for the anguish which is just coming upon me. Now therefore I implore you, that without intermission you all with one mind watch, even till that hour in which the Lord will come, and I shall depart from the body.

6. And when they had sat down in a circle consoling her, when they had spent three days in the praises of God, behold, on the third day, about the third hour of the day, a deep sleep seized upon all who were in that house, and no one was at all able to keep awake but the apostles alone, and only the three virgins who were there. And, behold, suddenly the Lord Jesus Christ came with a great multitude of angels; and a great brightness came down upon that place, and the angels were singing a hymn, and praising God together. Then the Saviour spoke, saying: Come, most precious pearl, within the receptacle of life eternal.

7. Then Mary prostrated herself on the pavement, adoring God, and said: Blessed be the name of Thy glory, O Lord my God, who hast deigned to choose me Thine handmaid, and to entrust to me Thy hidden mystery. Be mindful of me, therefore, O King of glory, for Thou knowest that I have loved Thee with all my heart, and kept the treasure committed to me. Therefore receive me, Thy servant, and free me from the power of darkness, that no onset of Satan may oppose me, and that I may not see filthy spirits standing in my way. And the Saviour answered her: When I, sent by my Father for the salvation of the world, was hanging on the cross, the prince of darkness came to me; but when he was able to find in me no trace of his work,7 he went off vanquished and trodden under foot. But when thou shall see him, thou shall see him indeed by the law of the human race, in accordance with which thou hast come to the end of thy life; but he cannot hurt thee, because I am with thee to help thee. Go in security, because the heavenly host is waiting for thee to lead thee in to the joys of paradise. And when the Lord had thus spoken, Mary, rising from the pavement, reclined upon her couch, and giving thanks to God, gave up the ghost. And the apostles saw that her soul was of such whiteness, that no tongue of mortals can worthily utter it; for it surpassed all the whiteness of snow, and of every metal, and of gleaming silver, by the great brightness of its light.

8. Then the Saviour spoke, saying: Rise, Peter, and take the body of Mary, and send it to the right hand side of the city towards the east, and thou wilt find there a new tomb, in which you will lay her, and wait until I come to you. And thus saying, the Lord delivered the soul of St. Mary to Michael, who was the ruler of paradise, and the prince of the nation of the Jews;8 and Gabriel went with them. And immediately the Saviour was received up into heaven along with the angels.

9. And the three virgins, who were in the same place, and were watching, took up the body of the blessed Mary, that they might wash it after the manner of funeral rites. And when they had taken off her clothes, that sacred body shone with so much brightness, that it could be touched indeed for preparation for burial, but the form of it could not be seen for the excessive flashing light: except that the splendour of the Lord appeared great, and nothing was perceived, the body, when it was washed, was perfectly clean, and stained by no moisture of filth.9 And when they had put the dead-clothes on her, that light was gradually obscured. And the body of the blessed Mary was like lily flowers; and an odour of great sweetness came forth from it, so that no sweetness could be found like it.

10. Then, accordingly, the apostles laid the holy body on the bier, and said to each other: Who is to carry this palm before her bier? Then John said to Peter: Thou, who hast precedence of us in the apostleship, shouldst carry this palm before her couch. And Peter answered him: Thou wast the only virgin among us chosen by the Lord, and thou didst find so great favour that thou didst recline upon His breast.10 And He, when for our salvation He was hanging upon the stem of the cross, entrusted her to thee with His own mouth. Thou therefore oughtest to carry this palm, and let us take up that body to carry it even to the place of sepulture.11 After this, Peter, raising it, and saying, Take the body, began to sing and say: Israel hath gone forth out of Egypt. Alleluiah. And the other apostles along with him carried the booty of the blessed Mary, and John bore the palm of light before the bier. And the other apostles sang with a most sweet voice.

11. And, behold, a new miracle. There appeared above the bier a cloud exceeding great, like the great circle which is wont to appear beside the splendour of the moon; and there was in the clouds an army of angels sending forth a sweet song,12 and from the sound of the great sweetness the earth resounded. Then the people, baring gone forth from the city, about fifteen thousand, wondered, saying; What is that sound of so great sweetness? Then there stood up one who said to them: Mary has departed from the body, and the disciples of Jesus are singing13 praises around her. And looking, they saw the couch crowned with great glory, and the apostles singing with a loud voice. And, behold, one of them, who was chief of the priests of the Jews in his rank, filled with fury and rage, said to the rest: Behold, the tabernacle of him who disturbed us and all our race, what glory has it received? And going up, he wished to overturn the bier, and throw the body down to the ground. And immediately his hands dried up from his elbows, and stuck to the couch. And when the apostles raised the bier, part of him hung, and part of him adhered to the couch; and he was vehemently tormented with pain, while the apostles were walking and singing. And the angels who were in the clouds smote the people with blindness.

12. Then that chief cried out, saying: I implore thee, Saint Peter, do not despise me, I beseech thee, in so great an extremity, because I am exceedingly tortured by great torments. Bear in mind that when, in the praetorium, the maid that kept the door14 recognised thee, and told the others to revile thee, then I spoke good words in thy behalf. Then Peter answering, said: It is not for me to give other to thee; but if thou believest with thy whole heart on the Lord Jesus Christ, whom she carried in her womb, and remained a virgin after the birth, the compassion of the Lord, which with profuse benignity saves15 the unworthy, will give thee salvation.16

To this he replied: Do we not believe? But what shall we do? The enemy of the human race has blinded our hearts, and confusion has covered our face, lest we should confess the great things of God, especially when we ourselves uttered maledictions against Christ, shouting: His blood be upon us, and upon our children.17 Then Peter said: Behold, this malediction will hurt him who has remained unfaithful to Him; but to those who turn themselves to God mercy is not denied. And he said: I believe all that thou sayest to me; only I implore, have mercy upon me, lest I die.

13. Then Peter made the couch stand still, and said to him: If thou believest with all thy heart upon the Lord Jesus Christ, thy hands will be released from the bier. And when he had said this18 his hands were immediately released from the bier, and he began to stand on his feet; but his arms were dried up, and the torture did not go away from him. Then Peter said to him: Go up to the body, and kiss the couch, and say: I believe in God, and in the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom she bore, and I believe all whatsoever Peter the apostle of God has said to me. And going up, he kissed the couch, and immediately all pain went away from him, and his hands were healed. Then he began greatly to bless God, and from the books of Moses to render testimony to the praises of Christ, so that even the apostles themselves wondered, and wept for joy, praising the name of the Lord.

14. And Peter said to him: Take this palm from the hand of our brother John, and going into the city thou wilt find much people blinded, and declare to them the great things of God; and whosoever shall believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, thou shalt put this palm upon their eyes, and they shall see; but those who will not believe shall remain blind. And when he had done so, he found much people blinded, lamenting thus: Woe unto us, because we have been made like the Sodomites struck with blindness.19 Nothing now is left to us but to perish. But when they heard the words of the chief who had been cured speaking, they believed in the Lord Jesus Christ; and when he put the palm over their eyes, they recovered sight. Five of them remaining in hardness of heart died. And the chief of the priests going forth, carried back the palm to the apostles, reporting all things whatsoever had been done.

15. And the apostles, carrying Mary, came to the place of the Valley of Jehoshaphat which the Lord had showed them; and they laid her in a new tomb, and closed the sepulchre. And they themselves sat down at the door of the tomb, as the Lord had commanded them; and, behold, suddenly the Lord Jesus Christ came with a great multitude of angels, with a halo of great brightness gleaming, and said to the apostles: Peace be with you! And they answered and said: Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, as we have hoped in Thee.20 Then the Saviour spoke to them, saying: Before I ascended to my Father I promised to you, saying that you who have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of His majesty, will sit, you also, upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.21 Her, therefore, did I choose out of the tribes of Israel by the command of my Father, that I should dwell in her. What, therefore, do you wish that I should do to her? Then Peter and the other apostles said: Lord, Thou didst choose beforehand this Thine handmaid to become a spotless chamber for Thyself, and us Thy servants to minister unto Thee. Before the ages Thou didst foreknow all things along with the Father, with whom to Thee and the Holy Spirit there is one Godhead, equal and infinite power. If, therefore, it were possible to be done in the presence of the power of Thy grace, it had seemed to us Thy servants to be right that, just as Thou, having vanquished death, reignest in glory, so, raising up again the body of Thy mother, Thou shouldst take her with Thee in joy into heaven.

16. Then the Saviour said: Let it be according to your opinion. And He ordered the archangel Michael to bring the soul of St. Mary. And, behold, the archangel Michael22 rolled back the stone from the door of the tomb; and the Lord said: Arise, my beloved and my nearest relation; thou who hast not put an corruption by intercourse with man, suffer not destruction of the body in the sepulchre. And immediately Mary rose from the tomb, and blessed the Lord, and falling forward at the feet of the Lord, adored Him, saying: I cannot render sufficient thanks to Thee, O Lord, for Thy boundless benefits which Thou hast deigned to bestow upon me Thine handmaiden. May Thy name, O Redeemer of the world, God of Israel, be blessed for ever.

17. And kissing her, the Lord went back, and delivered her soul to the angels, that they should carry it into paradise. And He said to the apostles: Come up to me. And when they had come up He kissed them, and said: Peace be to you! as I have always been with you, so will I be even to the end of the world. And immediately, when the Lord had said this, He was lifted up on a cloud, and taken back into heaven, and the angels along with Him, carrying the blessed Mary into the paradise of God. And the apostles being taken up in the clouds, returned each into the place allotted23 for his preaching, telling the great things of God, and praising our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with the Father and the Holy Spirit, in perfect unity, and in one substance of Godhead, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Decretals

[Translated by the Rev. S.D.f. Salmond.]


Introductory Notice to the Decretals

The learned editors of the Edinburgh series have given us only a specimen of these frauds, which, pretending to be a series of “papal edicts” from Clement and his successors during the ante-Nicene ages, are, in fact, the manufactured product of the ninth century,—the most stupendous imposture of the world’s history, the most successful and the most stubborn in its hold upon enlightened nations. Like the mason’s framework of lath and scantlings, on which he turns an arch of massive stone, the Decretals served their purpose, enabling Nicholas I. to found the Papacy by their insignificant aid. That swelling arch of vanity once reared, the framework might be knocked out; but the fabric stood, and has borne up every weight imposed upon it for ages. Its strong abutments have been ignorance and despotism. Nicholas produced his flimsy framework of imposture, and amazed the whole Church by the audacity of the claims he founded upon it. The age, however, was unlearned and uncritical; and, in spite of remonstrances from France under lead of Hincmar, bishop of Rheims, the West patiently submitted to the overthrow of the ancient Canons and the Nicene Constitutions, and bowed to the yoke of a new canon-law, of which these frauds were not only made an integral, but the essential, part. The East never accepted them for a moment: her great patriarchates retain the Nicene System to this day. But, as the established religion of the “Holy Roman Empire,” the national churches of Western Europe, one by one, succumbed to this revolt from historic Catholicity. The Eastern churches were the more numerous. They stood by the Constitutions confirmed by all the Oecumenical Synods; they altered not a word of the Nicene Creed; they stood up for the great Catholic law, “Let the ancient customs prevail; ”and they were, and are to this day, the grand historic stem of Christendom. The Papacy created the Western schism, and contrived to call it “the schism of the Greeks.” The Decretals had created the Papacy, and they enabled the first Pope to assume that communion with himself was the test of Catholic communion: hence his excommunication of the Easterns, which, after brief intervals of relaxation, settled into the chronic schism of the Papacy, and produced the awful history of the mediaeval Church in Western Europe.

In naming Nicholas I. as the founder of the Papacy, and the first Pope, I merely reach the logical consequence of admitted facts and demonstrated truths. I merely apply the recognised principles of modern thought and scientific law to the science of history, and dismiss the technology of empiricism in this science, as our age has abolished similar empiricisms in the exact sciences. For ages after Copernicus, even those who basked in the light of the true system of the universe went on in the old ruts, talking as if the Ptolemaic theory were yet a reality: and so the very historians whose lucid pages explode the whole fabric of the Papal communion, still go on, in the language of fable, giving to the early Bishops of Rome the title of “Popes; ”counting St. Peter as the first Pope; bewildering the student by many confusions of fact with fable; and conceding to the modern fabric of Romanism the name of “the Catholic Church,” with all the immense advantages that accrue to falsehood by such a surrender of truth, and the consequent endowment of imposture with the raiment and the domain of Apostolic antiquity.

The student of this series must have noted the following fundamental facts:—

1. That the name papa was common to all bishops, and signified no pre-eminence in those who bore it.

2. That the Apostolic Sees were all equally accounted matrices of unity, and the roots of other Catholic churches.

3. That, down to the Council of Nicaea, the whole system of the Church was framed on this principle, and that these were the “ancient customs” which that council ordained to be perpetual.

4. That “because it was the old capital of the empire,” and for no other reason (the Petrine idea never once mentioned), the primacy of honour was conceded to Old Rome, and equal honour to New Rome, because it was the new capital.1 It was to be named second on the list of patriarchates, but to be in no wise inferior to Old Rome; while the ancient and all-commanding patriarchate of Alexandria yielded this credit to the parvenu of Byzantium only on the principle of the Gospel, “in honour preferring one another,” and only because the imperial capital must be the centre of Catholic concourse.

Now, the rest of the story must be sought in post-Nicene history. The salient points are as follows:—

1. The mighty centralization about Constantinople; the three councils held within its walls; the virtual session of the other councils under its eaves; the inconsiderable figure of “Old Rome” in strictly ecclesiastical history; her barrenness of literature, and of great heroic sons, like Athanasius and Chrysostom in the East, and Cyprian and Augustine in the West; and her decadence as a capital,—had led Leo I., and others after him, to dwell much upon “St. Peter,” and to-favour new ideas of his personal greatness, and of a transmitted grandeur as the inheritance of his successors. As yet, these were but “great swelling words of vanity; ”but they led to the formulated fraud of the Decretals.

2. Ambition once entering the pale of Catholicity, we find a counter idea to that of the councils at the root of the first usurpation of unscriptural dignity. John “the Faster,” bishop of New Rome, conceived himself not merely equal (as the councils had decreed) to the bishop of Old Rome, but his superior, in view of the decrepitude of the latter, and its occupation by the Goths, while the imperial dignity of Constantinople was now matured. He called himself “Oecumenical Bishop.”

3. Gregory was then bishop of “Old Rome,” and that was the time to assert the principle of the Decretals, had any such idea ever been heard of. How did he meet his brother’s arrogance? Not appealing to decretals, not by asserting that such was his own dignity derived from St. Peter, but by protesting against such abasement of all the other patriarchs and all other bishops (who were all equals), and by pronouncing the impious assumption of such a nefarious title to denote a “forerunner of Antichrist.” Plainly, then, there was no “Pope” known to Christendom at the close of the sixth century.

4. But hardly was Gregory in his grave when court policy led the Emperor Phocas (one of the most infamous of men) to gratify the wicked ambition of the new Bishop of Rome by giving to him the titular honour of being a “forerunner of Antichrist.” Boniface III. (607 a.d.) assumed the daring title of “Universal Bishop.” But it was a mere court-title: the Church never recognised it; and so it went down to his successors as mere “sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal” till the days of Charlemagne.

5. In his times the Petrine fable had grown upon the Western mind. All Western Europe had but one Apostolic See. As “the Apostolic See” it was known throughout the West, just as “the Post-Office” means that which is nearest to one’s own dwelling. What was geographically true, had grown to be theologically false, however; and the Bishop of Rome began to consider himself the only inheritor of Apostolic precedency, if not of all Apostolic authority and power.

6. The formation of the Western Empire favoured this assumption: but it did not take definite shape while Charlemagne lived, for he regarded himself, like Constantine, the “head of the Church; ”2 and in his day he acted as supreme pontiff, called the Council of Frankfort, overruled the Roman bishop, and, in short, was a lay-Pope throughout his empire. That nobody refused him all he claimed, that Adrian “couched like a strong ass” under the burden of his rebukes, and that Leo paid him bodily “homage,” demonstrated that no such character as a “Pope” was yet in existence. Leo III. had personally “adored” Charlemagne with the homage afterwards rendered to the pontiffs, and Adrian had set him the example of personal submission.

7. But, Charlemagne’s feeble sons and successors proving incapable of exercising his power, the West only waited for an ambitious and original genius to come to the See of Rome, to yield him all that Charlemagne had claimed, and to invest him with the more sacred character of the Apostolic head to the whole Church.

8. Such a character arose in Nicholas I. He found the Decretals made to his hand by some impostor, and he saw a benighted age ready to accept his assumptions. He therefore used them, and passed them into the organic canon-law of the West. The “Holy Roman Empire” reluctantly received the impious frauds3 the East contemptuously resisted. Thus the Papacy was formed on the base of the “Holy Roman Empire,” and arrogated to itself the right to cut off and anathematize the greater part of Christendom, with the old patriarchal Sees. So we have in Nicholas the first figure in history in whose person is concentrated what Rome means by the Papacy. No “Pope” ever existed previously, in the sense of her canon-law; and it was not till two centuries longer that even a “Pope” presumed to pronounce that title peculiar to the Bishop of Rome.4

Such, then, are the historical facts, which render vastly important some study of the Decretals. I shall give what follows exclusively from “Roman-Catholic” sources. Says the learned Dupin:5

1. All these Decretals were unknown to all the ancient Fathers, to all the Popes and all the ecclesiastical authors that wrote before the ninth century. Now, what rational man can believe that so vast a number of letters, composed by so many holy Popes, containing so many important points in relation to the discipline of the Church, could be unknown to Eusebius, to St. Jerome, to St. Augustine, to St. Basil, and, in short, to all those authors that have spoken of their writings, or who have written upon the discipline of the Church? Could it possibly happen that the Popes, to whom these epistles are so very favourable, would never have cited and alleged them to aggrandize their own reputation? Who could ever imagine that the decisions of these Decretals should be never so much as quoted in any council or in any canon? He that will seriously consider with himself, that, since these Decretals have been imposed upon the world, they have been cited in an infinite number of places by Popes, by councils, and as often by canonists, will be readily convinced that they would have acquired immense credit, and been very often quoted by antiquity, if they had been genuine and true.

Here I must direct attention to the all-important fact, that whatever may have been the authorship of these forgeries, the Roman pontiffs, and the “Roman Catholic” communion as such, have committed themselves over and over again to the fraud, as Dupin remarks above, and that, long after the imposture was demonstrated and exposed; in proof of which I cite the following, from one whose eyes were opened by his patient investigation of such facts, but who, while a member of the Roman communion, wrote to his co-religionist Cardinal Manning as follows :6

Is it credible that the Papacy should have so often appealed to these forgeries for its extended claims, had it any better authorities—distinctive authorities—to fall back upon? Every disputant on the Latin side finds in these forgeries a convincing argument against the Greeks. ‘To prove this, ’the universal jurisdiction of the Pope, said Abbot Barlaam, himself converted by them from the Greek Church, to convert his countrymen, ‘one need only look through the decretal epistles of the Roman pontiffs from St. Clement to St. Sylvester.’ In the twenty-fifth session of the Council of Florence the provincial of the Dominicans is ordered to address the Greeks on the rights of the Pope, the Pope being present. Twice he argues from the pseudo-decretal of St. Anacletus, at another time from a synodical letter of St. Athanasius to Felix, at another time from a letter of Julius to the Easterns, all forgeries. Afterwards, in reply to objections taken by Bessarion, in conference, to their authority, apart from any question of their authenticity, his position in another speech is, ‘that those decretal epistles of the Popes, being synodical epistles in each case, are entitled to the same authority as the Canons themselves.’ Can we need further evidence of the weight attached to them on the Latin side?

“Popes appealed to them in their official capacity, as well as private doctors; (1) Leo IX., for instance, to the pseudo-donation in the prolix epistle written by him, or in his name, to Michael Cerularius, patriarch of Constantinople, on the eve of the schism. (2) Eugenius IV. to the pseudo-decretals of St. Alexander and Julius, during the negotiations for healing it, in his instructions to the Armenians. (3) But why, my lord, need I travel any further for proofs, when in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, that has been for three. centuries the accredited instructor of the clergy themselves, recommended authoritatively by so many Popes, notwithstanding the real value of these miserable impostures had been for three centuries before the world, I find these words:7 ‘On the primacy of the Supreme Pontiff, see the third epistle (that is, pseudo-decretal) of Anacletus’! Such is, actually, the authority to which the clergy of our own days are referred, in the first instance, for sound and true views on the primacy. (4) Afterwards, when they have mastered what is said there, they may turn to three more authorities, all culled likewise from Gratian, which they will not fail to interpret in accordance with the ideas they have already imbibed. Nor can I refrain from calling attention to a much more flagrant case. On the sacrament of confirmation there had been many questions raised by the Reformers, calculated to set people thinking, and anxious to know the strict truth respecting it. On this the Catechism proceeds as follows:8

“‘Since it has been already shown how necessary it would be to teach generally respecting all the sacraments, by whom they were instituted, so there is need of similar instruction respecting confirmation, that the faithful may be the more attracted by the holiness of this sacrament. Pastors must therefore explain that not only was Christ our Lord the author of it, but that, on the authority of the Roman pontiff St. Fabian (i.e., the pseudo-decretal attributed to him), He instituted the rite of the chrism, and the words used by the Catholic Church in its administration.’

“Strange phenomenon, indeed, that the asseverations of such authorities should be still ordered to be taught as Gospel from our pulpits in these days, when everybody that is acquainted with the merest rudiments of ecclesiastical history knows how absolutely unauthenticated they are in point of fact, and how unquestionably the authorities cited to prove them are forgeries.

“Absolutely, my lord, with such evidence before me, I am unable to resist the inference that truthfulness is not one of the strongest characteristics of the teaching of even the modern Church of Rome; for is not this a case palpably where its highest living authorities are both indifferent to having possible untruths preached from the pulpit, and something more than indifferent to having forgeries, after their detection as such, adduced from the pulpit to authenticate facts?

“This, again, strongly reminds me of a conversation I had with the excellent French priest who received me into the Roman-Catholic Church, some time subsequently to that event. I had, as an Anglican, inquired very laboriously into the genuineness of the Santa Casa: and having visited Nazareth and Loretto since, and plunged into the question anew at each place, came back more thoroughly convinced than ever of its utterly fictitious character, notwithstanding the privileges bestowed upon it by so many Popes. On stating my convictions to him, his only reply was: ‘There are many things in the Breviary which I do not believe, myself.’ Oh the stumbling-blocks of a system in the construction of which forgeries have been so largely used, in which it is still thought possible for the clergy to derive edification from legends which they cannot believe, and the people instruction from works of acknowledged imposture!

Further, Dupin remarks:9

The first man that published them, if we may believe Hincmar, was one Riculphus, bishop of Mentz, who died about the ninth century. It is commonly believed, seeing the collection bears the name of Isidore, that he brought them from Spain. But it never could have been composed by the great Archbishop of Seville; and there is great reason to believe that no Spaniard, but rather some German or Frenchman, began this imposture,

“It likewise seems probable that some of these Decretals have been foisted in since the time of Riculphus. Benedict, a deacon of the church of Mentz, who made a collection of canons for the successors of Riculphus, may have put the last hand to this collection of false Decretals attributed to one Isidore, a different person from the famous Bishop of Seville, and surnamed Peccator, or Mercator. About his time a certain Isidore did come from Spain, along with some merchants, and then withdrew to Mentz. Not improbably, therefore, this man’s name was given to the collection, and it was naturally believed that it was brought from Spain.

“And since these letters first appeared in an unlearned, dark age, what wonder is it that they were received with very little opposition? And yet Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims, with other French bishops, made great difficulty in accepting them, even in that time. soon after, however, they acquired some authority, owing to the support of the court of Rome, the pretensions of which they mightily favoured.

On the twin imposture of the “Donation of Constantine,” it may be well to cite the same learned authority. But this shall be found elsewhere.10

Let me now recur to the same candid Gallican doctor, Dupin, who remarks as follows:—

2. The imposture of these letters is invincibly proved from hence: because they are made up of a contexture of passages out of Fathers, councils, papal epistles, and imperial ordinances, which have appeared after the third century, down to the middle of the ninth.

“ 3. The citations of Scripture in all these letters follow the Vulgate of St. Jerome, which demonstrates that they are since his time (a.d. 420), and consequently do not proceed from Popes who lived long before St. Jerome.

“ 4. The matter of these letters is not at all in keeping with the ages when those to whom they are attributed were living.

“ 5. These Decretals are full of anachronisms. The consulships and names of consuls mentioned in them are confused and out of order; and, moreover, the true dates of the writers themselves, as Bishops of Rome, do not agree with those assumed in these letters.

“6 Their style is extremely barbarous, full of solecisms; and in them we often meet with certain words never used till the latter ages. Also, they are all of one style! How does it happen that so many different Popes, living in divers centuries, should all write in the same manner?

Dupin then goes on to examine the whole series with learning and candour, showing that every single one of them “carries with it unequivocal signs of lying and imposture.” To his pages let the student recur, therefore. I follow him in the following enumeration of the frauds he calmly exposes with searching logic and demonstration:—

1. St. Clement to St. James the Lord’s Brother.—Plainly spurious.

2. The Second Epistle of Clement to the Same.—Equally so.

3. St. Clement to all Suffragan Bishops, Priests, Deacons, and Others of the Clergy: to all Princes Great and small, and to all the Faithful.

Dupin remarks: “This very title suffices to prove the forgery, as, in the days of St. Clement, there were no “princes great or small” in the Church.” He adds that it speaks of “subdeacons,” an order not then existing, and that it is patched up from scraps of the apocryphal Recognitions.

4. A Fourth Letter of the Same. It is self-refuted by “the same reasons.”

5. The Fifth Letter to St. James of St. Clement, Bishop of Rome and Successor of St. Peter.

“But,” says Dupin, “as St. James died before St. Peter, it necessarily follows, that this epistle cannot have been written by St. Clement.” Further, “We have one genuine epistle of St. Clement, the style of which is wholly different from that of these Decretals.”

6. The Epistle of Anacletus.—Barbarous, full of solecisms and falsehoods.

7. A Second Epistle of Anacletus.—Filled with passages out of authors who lived long after the times of Anacletus.

8. A Third Letter, etc..—Spurious for the same reasons.

9. An Epistle of Evaristus.—Patched up out of writings of Innocent in the fifth century, dated under consuls not contemporaries of the alleged writer.

10. A Second Epistle of the Same.—Stuffed with patchwork of later centuries.

11. An Epistle of Alexander.—Contains passages from at least one author of the eighth century.

12. A Second Epistle of the Same.—Refers to the Council of Laodicea, which was held (a.d. 365) after Alexander was dead.

13. A Third Epistle, etc..—Quotes an author of the fifth century.

14. An Epistle of Xystus.—Dated under a consul that lived in another age, and quotes authors of centuries later than his own day.

15. A Second epistle of the Same.—Subject to the same objections. anachronisms. etc.

16. An Epistle of Telesphorus.—False dates, patched from subsequent authors, etc.

17. An Epistle of Hyginus.—Anachronisms etc.

18. A Second of the Same.—Stuffed with anachronisms, and falsely dated by consuls not of his age.

19. An Epistle of Pius I.—Full of absurdities, and quotes “the Theodosian Code”!

20. A Second.—It is addressed to Justus, etc. Bad Latin, and wholly unknown to antiquity, though Baronius has tried to sustain it.

21. A Third Letter, etc..—Addressed to Justus, bishop of Vienna. False for the same reasons.

22. An Epistle of Anicetus.—Full of blunders as to dates, etc. Mentions names, titles, and the like, unheard of till later ages.

23. An Epistle of Soter.—Dated under consuls who lived before Soter was bishop of Rome.

24. A Second Letter, etc..—Speaks of “monks,” “palls,” and other things of later times; is patched out of writings of subsequent ages, and dated under consuls not his contemporaries.

25. An Epistle of Eleutherus.—Subject to like objections.

26. A Second Letter, etc..—Anachronisms.

27. A Third Letter, etc..—Addressed to “Desiderius, bishop of Vienna.” There was no such bishop till the sixth century.

28. A Fourth Letter, etc..—Quotes later authors, and is disproved by its style.

29. An Epistle of Zephyrinus.—Little importance to be attached to anything from such a source; but Dupin (who lived before his bad character came to light in the writings of Hippolytus) convicts it of ignorance, and shows that it is a patchwork of later ideas and writers.

30. A Second Letter.—“Yet more plainly an imposture,” says Dupin.

31. An Epistle of St. Callistus.—What sort of a “saint” he was, our readers are already informed. This epistle is like the preceding ones of Zephyrinus.

32. A Second Epistle, etc..—Quotes from writings of the eighth century.

33. An Epistle of Urban.—Quotes the Vulgate, the Theodosian Code, and Gregory the Fourth.

34. An Epistle of Pontianus.—Anachronisms.

35. A Second Epistle, etc..—Barbarous and impossible.

36. An Epistle of Anterus.—Equally impossible; stuffed with anachronisms.

37. An Epistle of Fabianus.—Contradicts the facts of history touching Cyprian, Cornelius, and Novatus.

38. A Second Epistle, etc..—Self-refuted by its monstrous details of mistake and the like.

39. A Third Epistle, etc..—Quotes authors of the sixth century.

40. An Epistle of Cornelius.—Contradicts historical facts, etc.

41. A Second Epistle, etc..—Equally full of blunders. “But nothing,” says Dupin, “shows the imposture of these two letters more palpably than the difference of style from those truly ascribed to Cornelius in Cyprian’s works.”

42. A Third Letter, etc..—Equally false on its face. Dupin, with his usual candour, remarks: “We find in it the word ‘Mass, ’which was unknown to the contemporaries of Cornelius.”

43. An Epistle of Lucius.—It is dated six months before he became Bishop of Rome, and quotes authors who lived ages after he was dead.

44. An Epistle of Stephen.—“Filled with citations out of subsequent authors.”

45. A Second Epistle, etc..—Open to the like objection; it does not harmonize with the times to which it is referred.

Here Dupin grows weary, and winds up his review as follows:—

For like reasons, we must pass judgment, in like manner, on the two Epistles of Sixtus II.; the two of Dionysius; the three of St. Felix L; the two of Eutychianus; one of Caius; two of Marcellinus and those of Marcellus; the three of Eusebius; those of Miltiades, and the rest of Isidore’s collection: they are full of passages out of Fathers, Popes, and councils, more modern than the very Popes by whom they are pretended to be written. In them are many things that clash with the known history of those times, and were purposely framed to favour the court of Rome and to sustain her pretensions against the rights of bishops and the liberties of churches. But it would take up too much time to show the gross falsehood of these monuments. They are now rejected by common consent, and even by those authors who are most favourable to the court of Rome, who are obliged to abandon the patronage of these epistles, though they have done a great deal of service in developing the greatness of the court of Rome, and ruining the ancient discipline of the Church, especially with reference to the rights of bishops and ecclesiastical decisions.

The following is the Translator’s Preface to these frauds:—

In regard to these Decretals, Dean Milman says: “Up to this period the Decretals, the letters or edicts of the Bishops of Rome, according to the authorized or common collection of Dionsysius, commenced with Pope Siricius, towards the close of the fourth century. To the collection of Dionysius was added that of the authentic councils, which bore the name of Isidore of Seville. On a sudden was promulgated, unannounced, without preparation, not absolutely unquestioned, but apparently overawing at once all doubt, a new code, which to the former authentic documents added fifty-nine letters and decrees of the twenty oldest popes from Clement to Melchiades,11 and the donation of Constantine;12 and in the third part, among the decrees of the popes and of the councils from Sylvester to Gregory II., thirty-nine false decrees, and the acts of several unauthentic councils.”13

In regard to the authorship and date of the False Decretals, Dean Milman says: “The author or authors of this most audacious and elaborate of pious frauds are unknown; the date and place of its compilation are driven into such narrow limits that they may be determined within a few years, and within a very circumscribed region. The False Decretals came not from Rome; the time of their arrival at Rome, after they were known beyond the Alps, appears almost certain. In one year Nicholas I. is apparently ignorant of their existence; the next he speaks of them with full knowledge. They contain words manifestly used at the Council of Paris, a.d.829, consequently are of later date. They were known to the Levite Benedict of Mentz, who composed a supplement to the collection of capitularies-by Ansegise, between a.d.840–847. The city of Mentz is designated with nearly equal certainty as the place in which, if not actually composed, they were first promulgated as the canon law of Christendom.”14

The Epistles of Zephyrinus1


The First Epistle

to All the Bishops of Sicily.


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