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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XI:
The Works of Sulpitius Severus.: Chapter VI. The Devil throws himself in the Way of Martin.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter VI.

The Devil throws himself in the Way of Martin.

Martin, then, having gone on from thence, after he had passed Milan, the devil met him in the way, having assumed the form of a man. The devil first asked him to what place he was going. Martin having answered him to the effect that he was minded to go whithersoever the Lord called him, the devil said to him, “Wherever you go, or whatever you attempt, the devil will resist you.” Then Martin, replying to him in the prophetical word, said, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear what man can do unto me.” 15 Upon this, his enemy immediately vanished out of his sight; and thus, as he had intended in his heart and mind, he set free his mother from the errors of heathenism, though his father continued to cleave to its evils. However, he saved many by his example.

After this, when the Arian heresy had spread through the whole world, and was especially powerful in Illyria, and when he, almost single-handed, was fighting most strenuously against the treachery of the priests, and had been subjected to many punishments (for he was publicly scourged, and at last was compelled to leave the city), again betaking himself to Italy, and having found the Church in the two divisions of Gaul in a distracted condition through the departure also of the holy Hilarius, whom the violence of the heretics had driven into exile, he established a monastery for himself at Milan. There, too, Auxentius, the originator and leader of the Arians, bitterly persecuted him; and, after he had assailed him with many injuries, violently expelled him from the city. Thinking, therefore, that it was necessary to yield to circumstances, he withdrew to the island Gallinaria, 16 with a certain presbyter as his companion, a man of distinguished excellences. Here he subsisted for some time on the roots of plants; and, while doing so, he took for food hellebore, which is, as people say, a poisonous kind of grass. But when he perceived the strength of the poison increasing within him, and death now nearly at hand, he warded off the imminent danger by means of prayer, and immediately all his pains were put to flight. And not long after having discovered that, through penitence on the part of the king, permission to return had been granted to holy Hilarius, he made an effort to meet him at Rome, and, with this view, set out for that city.



Comp. Ps. cxviii. 6.


An island near Albium Ingaunum—the modern Allenga, on the gulf of Genoa. The island was so named from abounding in fowls in a half tamed state. It still bears the name of Gallinaria.

Next: Chapter VII. Martin restores a Catechumen to Life.

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