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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

A LITTLE while after this, the celebrity of Paul bishop of the Novatians, as a man beloved of God, was greatly increased. For a terrible conflagration having broken out at Constantinople, such as had never happened before, by which the greater part of the city was destroyed; the fire consuming the public granaries, the Achillean bath, and everything else in its way, at length approached the church of the Novatians situated near Pelargus. When the bishop Paul saw the church endangered, he ran towards the altar, where he commended to God the preservation of the church and all that it contained; nor did he cease to pray not only for it, but also for the city. And God heard him, as the event clearly proved: for although the fire entered this oratory through all its doors and windows, it did no damage. And while many adjacent edifices fell a prey to the devouring element, the church itself was seen unscathed in the midst of the whole conflagration triumphing over its raging flames. The fire was not extinguished until after it had been in active operation for two days and nights, and had burnt down a great part of the city: but the church remained entire, and what is more marvellous still, there was not the slightest trace even of smoke to be observed either on its timbers or its walls. This occurred on the 16th of August, in the fourteenth consulate of Theodosius, which he bore together with Maximus. Since that time the Novatians annually celebrate the preservation of their church, on the 16th of August, by special thanksgivings to God. And both Christians and Pagans continue to regard that place with veneration as a peculiarly consecrated spot, because of the miracle which was wrought for its safeguard.








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