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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

WITH respect to Spyridon, so great was his sanctity while a shepherd, that he was thought worthy of being made a Pastor of men: and having been assigned the bishopric of one of the cities in Cyprus named Trimithuntis, on account of his extreme humility he continued to feed his sheep during his prelacy. Many extraordinary things are related of him: I shall however record but one or two, lest I should seem to wander from my subject. Once about mid-night, thieves having clandestinely entered his sheep fold attempted to carry off the sheep. But God who protected the shepherd preserved his sheep also; for the thieves were by an invisible power bound to the folds. At day-break, when he came to the sheep and found the men with their hands tied behind them, he understood what was done: and after having prayed he liberated the thieves, earnestly admonishing and exhorting them to support themselves by honest labour, and not to take anything unjustly. He then gave them a ram, and sent them away, jocosely adding, “that ye may not appear to have watched all night in vain.” This is one of Spyridon’s miracles. Another was of this kind. He had a virgin daughter named Irene, who was a partaker of her father’s piety. An acquaintance entrusted to her keeping an ornament of considerable value: she, to guard it more securely, hid what had been deposited with her in the ground, and soon afterwards died. Subsequently the owner of the property came to claim it; and not finding the virgin, he implicated the father in the transaction, sometimes accusing him of an attempt to defraud him, and then again beseeching him to restore the deposit. The old man regarding this person’s loss as his own misfortune, went to the tomb of his daughter, and called upon God to show him anticipatively the promised resurrection. Nor was he disappointed in his hope: for the virgin again reviving appears to her father, and having pointed out to him the spot where she had hidden the ornament, she once more departed. Such characters as these adorned the church in the time of the emperor Constantine. These details were communicated to me by many of the inhabitants of Cyprus; and moreover I found them recorded in a treatise composed in Latin by the presbyter Rufinus, from which I have collected these and some other things which will be hereafter adduced.








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