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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

PRODIGIES also occurred, which indicated that the imperial power was destined to Maurice. As he was offering incense, at the dead of night, within the sanctuary of Mary, the holy and immaculate virgin and Mother of God, which is called by the Antiochenes the church of Justinian, the veil which surrounds the holy table became wrapt in flames; so that Maurice was seized with amazement and awe, and was terrified at the sight. Gregory, the archbishop of the city, who was standing by, said that it was a divine manifestation, betokening to him the highest fortune.

Christ our God also appeared to him, when in the East, calling upon him to avenge Him: which circumstance distinctly intimated the possession of sovereign power; for of what other person would He have made the demand than of an emperor, and one who manifested so much piety towards Him?

His parents also detailed to me circumstances remarkable and worthy of being recorded, when I was making inquiries on this point: for his father said that, about the time of his conception, he had seen in a dream a very large vine growing from his bed, on which hung great numbers of beautiful clusters of grapes: and his mother told me that, at the time of her delivery, the earth sent forth a strange odour of peculiar sweetness; and that Empusa, as she is called, had often carried off the child for the purpose of devouring him, but had been unable to injure him.

Simeon, too, who practised the station upon the pillar in the neighbourhood of Theopolis, a most energetic man, and distinguished by every divine virtue, both said and did many things which betokened his succession to the empire. The sequel of the history will relate respecting him whatever circumstances are suitable.








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