Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XI:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Works of Sulpitius Severus.: Chapter VI.
“I am enraged in heart, believe me, and, through vexation, I seem to lose my senses: do Christian men not believe in the miraculous powers of Martin, which the demons acknowledged?
“The monastery of the blessed man was at two miles distance from the city; but if, as often as he was to come to the church, he only had set his foot outside the threshold of his cell, one could perceive the possessed roaring through the whole church, and the bands of guilty 133 ones trembling as if their judge were coming, so that the groanings of the demons announced the approach of the bishop to the clerics, who were not previously aware that he was coming. I saw a certain man snatched up into the air on the approach of Martin, and suspended there with his hands stretched upwards, so that he could in no way touch the ground with his feet. But if at any time Martin undertook the duty of exorcising the demons, he touched no one with his hands, and reproached no one in words, as a multitude of expressions is generally rolled forth by the clerics; but the possessed, being brought up to p. 49 him, he ordered all others to depart, and the doors being bolted, clothed in sackcloth and sprinkled with ashes, he stretched himself on the ground in the midst of the church, and turned to prayer. Then truly might one behold the wretched beings tortured with various results—some hanging, as it were, from a cloud, with their feet turned upwards, and yet their garments did not fall down over their faces, lest the part of their body which was exposed should give rise to shame; while in another part of the church one could see them tortured without any question being addressed to them, and confessing their crimes. They revealed their names, too, of their own accord; one acknowledged that he was Jupiter, and another that he was Mercury. Finally, one could see all the servants of the devil suffering agony, along with their master, so that we could not help acknowledging that in Martin there was fulfilled that which is written that the saints shall judge angels.
Next: Chapter VII.
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