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
 







A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

A WOMAN, by name Eusebia, who was a deaconess of the Macedonian sect, had a house and garden without the walls of Constantinople, in which she kept the holy remains of forty soldiers, who had suffered martyrdom under Licinius, at Sebaste, in Armenia. When she felt death approaching, she bequeathed the aforesaid property to some orthodox monks, and bound them by oath to place the relics of the martyrs in her coffin, above her head, without apprising any one of the circumstance. The monks fulfilled their promise; but in order to render due honour to the martyrs, and at the same time to keep the affair a secret, they formed a subterranean house of prayer beneath the spot where they had interred Eusebia; above this chapel they erected a small edifice, with the flooring so contrived as to furnish a secret means of access to the relics of the martyrs, which were preserved beneath. Soon after, Cæsar, a man of high rank, who had formerly been consul and prefect, lost his wife, and caused her to be interred near the tomb of Eusebia; for the two ladies had been knit together by the most tender friendship, and had been of one mind on all doctrinal and religious subjects. Cæsar was hence induced to purchase the whole of the adjacent spot of ground; for he desired to erect a sepulchre for himself close to that of his wife. After having disposed of the property, the monks went elsewhere, without divulging the concealment of the holy relics. Cæsar ordered the building to be demolished, and the ground to be cleared, in order to erect a magnificent temple in honour of Thrysus the martyr on the spot. It appears probable that God permitted the demolition of this building, in order that the discovery of the relics of the martyrs, after so long a period of concealment, might be regarded as a marvellous and auspicious event, and as a proof of the Divine favour towards the discoverer. The discoverer was, in fact, no other than Pulcheria, the sister of the emperor. Thrysus, the martyr, appeared to her three times, and revealed to her that the relics of the martyrs were concealed beneath the earth, and commanded that they should be deposited near his tomb, in order that the same honour might be rendered to them that was rendered to him. The forty martyrs themselves also appeared to her, arrayed in shining robes, and made the same communication to her. But the occurrence seemed too marvellous to be credible; for the aged of the clergy of that region, after having prosecuted numerous enquiries, had always failed in gathering any information concerning the relics of the martyrs. At length, when all further researches had been abandoned as futile, a certain presbyter, who had formerly been a servant in the household of Cæsar, was reminded by God, that the locality in question had once been inhabited by monks: he therefore went to the clergy of the Macedonian sect to enquire concerning them. All the monks were dead, with the exception of one, who seemed to have been preserved in life for the express purpose of pointing out the spot where the relics of the holy martyrs were concealed. Polychronius questioned him closely on the subject, and finding that, on account of the promise made to Eusebia, his answers were reserved and unintelligible, he made known to him the revelation that had been vouchsafed to Pulcheria, and her consequent anxiety for further information. The monk then confessed that he remembered that in his youth, when he was first entering on the course of monastic discipline under the instructions of the superiors of the monastery, the relics of the martyrs had been deposited near the tomb of Eusebia; but that the subsequent lapse of time, and the changes which had been carried on in that locality, deprived him of the power of recalling to his recollection whether the relics had been deposited beneath the church, or in any other spot. “I remember,” replied Polychronius, “that I was present at the interment of the wife of Cæsar, and as well as I can judge from the relative situation of the high road, I infer that she must have been buried beneath the pulpit, where the desk of the readers now stands.” “Then,” exclaimed the monk, “it must be near the remains of Cæsar’s wife that the tomb of Eusebia must be sought; for the two ladies lived on terms of the closest friendship and intimacy, and mutually agreed to be interred beside each other.” When it was intimated to the princess that the holy relies were deposited under ground, she commanded the work of disinterment to be forthwith commenced. On removing the earth near the pulpit of the church, the coffin of Cæsar’s wife was discovered according to the conjecture of Polychronius. At a short distance they found a pavement of bricks placed transversely, and a marble tomb of equal dimensions, in which was the coffin Of Eusebia; and close by was an elegant oratory constructed of white and purple marble. The upper part of the tomb was in the form of an altar, and at the summit, where the relics were deposited, a small orifice was visible. A man attached to the palace, who happened to be standing by, thrust a cane which he held in his hand into the orifice, and on withdrawing the cane, the most delightful fragrance was diffused around, which inspired the workmen and bystanders with fresh confidence When the coffin was opened, the remains of Eusebia were found, and near her head was discovered the coffer, firmly bound on each side with bars of iron and lead. A small aperture at the top of the coffer clearly revealed the fact of the relics being concealed within. As soon as the discovery was announced, the princess and the bishop ran to the church of the martyr, and sent for smiths to unfasten the iron bars and open the coffer. A great many perfumes were found within, and among the perfumes were two silver caskets, containing the holy relics. The princess returned thanks to God for the discovery of the relics, and for having accounted her worthy of being the discoverer. She then caused the relics to be deposited in a most splendid vase, and placed with the utmost pomp and ceremony beside the remains of St. Thrysus. I myself was present at this gorgeous spectacle; and others who were present can also bear testimony to the grandeur of the festival, for it occurred at no great distance of time, but during the period that Proclus governed the church of Constantinople.








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com