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

IT is said that during this reign the Iberians, a large and warlike barbarian nation, were converted to Christianity. They dwelt to the north, beyond Armenia. A Christian woman, who had been taken captive, induced them to renounce the religion of their fathers. She was very faithful and godly, and did not, amongst foreigners, remit her accustomed routine of religious duty. To fast, to pray night and day, and to praise God, constituted her delight. The barbarians inquired as to the motives of her self-denial: she simply answered, that it was necessary in this way to worship the Son of God: but the name of Him who was to be worshipped, and the manner of worshipping, appeared strange to them. It happened that a boy of the country was taken ill, and his mother, according to the custom of the Iberians, took him from house to house, in hope that some one might be found capable of curing the disease, and of removing it easily and expeditiously. As no one capable of healing him could be found, the boy was brought to the captive, and she said, “As to medicines, have neither experience nor knowledge, nor am I acquainted with the mode of applying ointments or plaisters; but, O woman, I believe that Christ whom I worship, the true and great God, is the Saviour of thy child.” Then she prayed for him, and freed him from the disease, although just before it was believed that he was about to die. A little while after, the wife of the governor of the nation was, by an incurable disease, brought nigh unto death, yet she too was saved in the same manner; and thus did this captive make known Christ as the Dispenser of health, and as the Lord of life, of power, and of all things. The governor’s wife, convinced by her own personal experience, believed the words of the captive, held her in much honour, and embraced the Christian religion. The king, astonished at the celerity of the cure and the power of faith, sought an explanation of the occurrence from his wife, and commanded that the captive should be rewarded with gifts. “Of gifts,” said the queen, “her estimate is very low, whatever may be their value; nothing is valuable in her eyes but the services she renders to God. Therefore if we wish to gratify her, or desire to do what is safe and right, let us also worship God, who is mighty and a Saviour, and who, at His will, gives continuance unto kings, casts down the high, renders the illustrious abject, and delivers the oppressed from evil.” The queen continued to argue in this excellent manner, but the sovereign of Iberia remained in doubt and unconvinced, for he was not only prejudiced against the doctrines, on account of their novelty, but was also attached to the religion of his fathers. A little while after, he went into the woods with his attendants, on a hunting excursion; all of a sudden thick clouds arose, which dispersed themselves through the air, and concealed the heavens and the sun: profound darkness like unto night pervaded the wood. Each of the hunters, alarmed for his own safety, sought refuge in a different direction. The king, while thus wandering alone, thought of Christ, as men are wont to do in times of danger. He determined that if he should be delivered from his present emergency, he would walk before God and worship Him. At the very instant that these thoughts were upon his mind, the darkness was dissipated, the air became serene, the rays of the sun penetrated into the wood, and the king went out in safety. He informed his wife of the event that had befallen him, sent for the captive, and commanded her to teach him in what way he ought to worship Christ. After having received her instructions, he called together his subjects, and declared to them plainly the divine mercies which had been vouchsafed to himself and to his wife, and, although uninitiated, he declared to the rulers the doctrines of Christ. The whole nation was persuaded to embrace Christianity, the men being convinced by the representations of the king, and the women by those of the queen and the captive. The erection of a church was immediately commenced with the joyful consent of the whole nation. When the external walls were completed, machines were brought to raise up the columns, and fix them upon their pedestals. It is related, that when the first and second columns had been elevated by these means, great difficulty was found in fixing the third column, neither art nor physical strength being of any avail, although many were assembled to render assistance. When evening came on, the female captive remained alone on the spot, and she continued there throughout the night, interceding with God that the erection of the columns might be easily accomplished. The king and all the assistants had taken their departure, for they were distressed at the failure of their attempt; the column was only half raised, and one end of it was so imbedded in the earth that it was impossible to move it. It was God’s will that by this, as well as by the preceding miracle, the Iberians should be still further confirmed in the truth concerning Himself. Early in the morning, when they re-assembled at the church, they beheld a wonderful spectacle, which seemed to them as a dream. The column, which before had been immoveable, was now erect, and elevated a small space above its proper place. All present were struck with admiration, and confessed, with one consent, that Christ alone is the true God. Whilst they were all looking on, the column descended, and became fixed, as by machinery, on its proper foundation. The other columns were then erected with ease, and the Iberians completed the structure with great alacrity. The church having been thus speedily built, the Iberians, at the recommendation of the captive, sent ambassadors to the Emperor Constantine, bearing proposals for fellowship and friendship, and requesting that priests might be sent to their nation. On their arrival, the ambassadors related the events that had transpired, by which the whole nation had been led to worship Christ. The emperor of the Romans was delighted with the embassy, and after acceding to every request that was proffered, dismissed the ambassadors. Thus did the Iberians receive the knowledge of Christ, which they faithfully retain to the present day.








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com