Antiochus Strategos part 14


This Spaniard had a brother at the king’s court, who was the chamberlain of the King of the Saracens. And when the governor who had sent them to prison came to court, both the Spaniard who had spoken to them in prison and the captain of the ship in which they had sailed from Cyprus came together in the presence of the Saracens’ king, whose name was Emir¬al-Mummenin. And when the conversation turned on their case, the Spaniard told his brother all that he had learned about them whilst speaking to them in the prison, and he asked his brother to pass this information on to the king and to help them.

Why should we punish them

So when, afterwards, all these three came to the king and mentioned their case, telling him all the details from first to last, the king asked whence they came; and they answered: “These men come from the West where the sun sets; we know nothing of their country except that beyond it lies notbing but water.” Then the king asked them, saying: ” Why should we punish them? They have done us no harm. Allow them to depart and go on their way.” The other prisoners who were in captivity had to pay a fine of three measures of corn, but they were let off scot¬free.

With this permission they at once set out and travelled a hundred miles to Damascus, in Syria, where the body of St. Ananias rests. They stayed there a week. About two miles distant stands a church on the spot where St. Paul was first converted and where our Lord said to him: ” Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me “, etc.

After praying in the church, they went on foot to Galilee, to the place where Gabriel first came to our Lady and said: ” Hail Mary.” There is a church there now, and the village where the church is is called Nazareth. The Christians have often had to come to terms with the pagan Saracens about tbis church, because they wished to destroy it. After commending themselves to the Lord there, they set out on foot and came to the town of Chana [Halsall: i.e. Cana], where our Lord changed water into wine.

A vast church stands there, and in the church one of the altars has on it one of the six water pots which our Lord ordered to be filled with water and then changed into wine; from it they drank some wine. They stayed for one day there. Departing thence, they reached Mount Thabor, [Halsall: i.e. Tabor] where our Lord was transfigured. At the moment there is a monastery of monks there, and the church is dedicated to our Lord Moses and Elias, and the place is called by those who live there Holy Mount. There they prayed.

Read More about War with the Scyths part 18


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