Annibale Carracci, Domine quo vadis? (1602)

Ὡς δὲ ταῦτα ἐσκέπτοντο, γνοῦσα ἡ Ξαντίππη τοῦ ἀνδρὸς τὴν συμβουλίαν τὴν πρὸς τὸν Ἀγρίππαν, πέμψασα ἐδήλωσεν τῷ Πέτρῳ, ὅπως ἐξέλθῃ ἀπὸ τῆς Ῥώμης. καὶ οἱ λοιποὶ  δελφοὶ ἅμα τῷ Μαρκέλλῳ παρεκάλουν αὐτὸν ἐξελθεῖν. ὁ δὲ Πέτρος εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· “δραπετεύωμεν, ἀδελφοί;” οἱ δὲ ἔλεγον αὐτῷ· “οὔ, ἀλλ’ ὡς ἕτι σου δυναμένου ὑπηρετεῖν τῷ Κυρίῳ.” πεισθεὶς δὲ τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ἐξῆλθεν μόνος, εἰπών· “μηδεὶς ὑμῶν ἐξερχέσθω σὺν ἐμοί, ἀλλ’ ἐξέρχομαι μόνος, μεταμφιάσας τὸ σχῆμά μου.” ὡς δὲ ἐξῄει τὴν πύλην, εἶδεν τὸν Κύριον εἰσερχόμενον εἰς τὴν Ῥώμην. καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν εἶπεν· “Κύριε, ποῦ ὧδε;” καὶ ὁ Κύριος αὐτῷ εἶπεν· “εἰσέρχομαι εἰς τὴν ῾Ρώμην σταυρωθῆναι.” καὶ ὁ Πέτρος εἶπεν αὐτῷ· “Κύριε, πάλιν σταυροῦσαι;” εἶπεν αὐτῷ· “ναί, Πέτρε, πάλιν σταυροῦμαι.” καὶ ἐλθὼν εἰς ἑαυτὸν ὁ Πέτρος καὶ θεασάμενος τὸν Κύριον εἰς οὐρανὸν ἀνελθόντα, ὑπέστρεψεν εἰς τὴν Ῥώμην
ἀγαλλιώμενος καὶ δοξάζων τὸν Κύριον, ὅτι αὐτὸς εἶπεν “σταυροῦμαι”· ὃ εἰς τὸν Πέτρον ἤμελλεν γίνεσθαι. ἀναβὰς οὖν πάλιν πρὸς τοὺς ἀδελφοὺς ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς τὸ ὁραθὲν αὐτῷ· κἀκεῖνοι ἐπένθουν τῇ ψυχῇ, κλαίοντες καὶ λέγοντες· “παρακαλοῦμέν σε, Πέτρε· ἡμῶν τῶν νεωτέρων φρόντισον.” καὶ ὁ Πέτρος αὐτοῖς ὅτι· “ἐὰν ᾖ τοῦ Κυρίου τὸ θέλημα, γίνεται, καὶ ἐὰν ἡμεῖς μὴ θέλωμεν. ὑμᾶς δὲ ὁ Κύριος στηρίξαι δυνατός ἐστιν εἰς τὴν πίστιν αὐτοῦ, καὶ θεμελιώσει ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ πλατυνεῖ ἐν αὐτῷ, οὓς αὐτὸς ἐφύτευσεν, ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς ἄλλους φυτεύσητε δι’ αὐτοῦ. ἐγὼ δέ, μέχρις με θέλει ὁ Κύριος ἐν σαρκὶ εἶναι, οὐκ ἀντιλέγω· καὶ πάλιν θέλοντος λαβεῖν με, ἀγαλλιῶμαι καὶ εὐφραίνομαι.”
(Actus Petri cum Simone: Marturion tou Hagiou Apostolou Petrou 6-7)

And as they made plans together, Xanthippe* heard of the conspiracy which her husband had with Agrippa, and she sent word to Peter and asked him to leave Rome. And the other brethren, together with Marcellus, requested him to leave. But Peter said to them, ‘Shall we act like deserters, brethren?’ And they said, ‘No; but by going you can still serve the Lord.’ He obeyed the brethren, and went away alone, saying, ‘Let none of you go with me, I will go alone in disguise.’ When he went out of the gate he saw the Lord come into Rome. And when he saw him he said, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ And the Lord said to him, ‘I go to Rome to be crucified.’ And Peter said to him, ‘Lord, are you being crucified again?’ And he said, ‘Yes, Peter, again I shall be crucified.’ And Peter came to himself; and he saw the Lord ascending to heaven. Then he returned to Rome, rejoicing and praising the Lord because he had said, ‘I am being crucified.’ This was to happen to Peter. He went again to the brethren and told them of the vision which he had. And their souls were sorrowing, and they wept and said, ‘We entreat you, Peter, have regard for us, the young ones.’ And Peter said, ‘If it be the Lord’s wish it will be, even if we would not have it so. The Lord is able to strengthen you in his faith, and he will establish you in it and increase it in you whom he has planted, so that you may also plant others through him. I will not object so long as the Lord will keep me alive; and again if he will take me away I shall be glad and rejoice.’

* The wife of Albinus, who was a friend of the emperor Nero.

(tr. James Keith Elliott)

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