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An Ecclesiastical History To The 20th Year Of The Reign Of Constantine by Eusebius

WORTHY of record, also, are the circumstances respecting Romanus, which occurred on the same day at Antioch. He was a native of Palestine, a deacon and exorcist of the church at Cæsarea, and was present at the demolition of the churches there; and as he saw many men with women and children approaching the idols in masses, and sacrificing, considering the sight intolerable, and stimulated by a zeal for religion, he cried out with a loud voice, and reproved them. But he was immediately seized for his boldness, and proved to be a most noble witness of the truth. When the judge had informed him that he was to die by the flames, with a cheerful countenance and a most ardent mind he received the sentence, and was led away. He was then tied to the stake, and when the wood was heaped up around him, and they were about kindling the pile, only awaiting the word from the expected emperor, he exclaimed, “Where then is the fire?” Saying this, he was summoned again before the emperor, to be subjected to new tortures, and therefore had his tongue cut out, which he bore with the greatest fortitude, as he proved in his actions to all, showing that the power of God is always present to the aid of those who are obliged to bear any hardship for the sake of religion, to lighten their labours, and to strengthen their ardour. When, therefore, he learned the novel mode of punishment, the heroic man, by no means alarmed, readily thrust out his tongue, and offered it with the greatest alacrity to those who cut it out. After this he was cast into bonds, and having suffered there a very long time, at length when the twentieth anniversary of the emperor was at hand, according to an established usage of granting liberty every where to those that were kept in prison, he alone had his feet stretched to the fifth hole in the stocks, and lying upon the very wood with a halter round his neck, was adorned with martyrdom, according to his earnest desire. This one, though he did not suffer in his own country, yet as a native of Palestine deserves to be ranked among the martyrs of Palestine. Such were the events of this description that occurred in the first year of the persecution, as it was then excited only against the prelates of the church.








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