HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







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

IN the fourth year of the persecution, on the twelfth of the calends of December, which would be on the twentieth of the month of Dius, on the day before the Sabbath, Friday, in the same city of Cæsarea, occurred what was eminently worthy of record. This happened in the presence of the tyrant Maximinus, who was gratifying the multitudes with public shows, on the day that was called his birthday. As it was an ancient practice, when the emperors were present, to exhibit splendid shows then, if at any time, and for the greater amusement of the spectators, to collect new and strange sights, in place of those which were customary; either animals from some parts of India, Ethiopia, or elsewhere; or men who, by dexterity of the body, exhibited singular specimens of adroitness, and to complete the whole, as it was an emperor that exhibited the spectacles at this time, it was necessary to have something more than common in the preparation of these games; (and what then should this be?) one of our martyrs, therefore, was led forth into the arena to endure the contest for the one and only true religion. This was Agapius, who we have already said had been thrown, together with Thecla, to the wild beasts. After being paraded with malefactors, from the prison to the stadium, a third time and often, and after various threats from the judges, whether through compassion, or out of hope of changing his purpose, he had been deferred from time to time for other contests; at length, when the emperor was present he was led forth; as if he had been designedly reserved for that time, and that also the declaration of our Saviour might be fulfilled, which he declared to his disciples in his divine foreknowledge, that they would be led before kings, for the sake of confessing Him. He was brought, therefore, into the stadium, with a certain criminal, who they said was charged with killing his master. This latter one, the murderer, when cast to the beasts, was honoured with clemency and mercy, not unlike the manner in which Barabbas was in our Saviour’s time. Hence the whole theatre resounded with applauses, that the blood-stained homicide was so humanely saved by the emperor, and was moreover honoured with liberty and dignity. But this wrestler of piety was first summoned by the tyrant, then demanded to renounce his purpose with the promise of liberty. With a loud voice he declared, that he would cheerfully and with pleasure sustain whatever he might inflict on him; not indeed, for any wickedness, but for his veneration of the God of the universe. Saying this, he combined actions with his words, and rushing against a bear let loose upon him, he most readily offered himself to be devoured by the beast, after which he was taken up yet breathing, and carried to prison. Surviving yet one day, he had stones bound to his feet, and thus was plunged into the midst of the sea. Such was the martyrdom of Agapius.








Copyright ©1999-2016 e-Catholic2000.com