Erratis

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Narraverunt de abbate Milido, quia cum habitaret aliquando cum duobus discipulis in finibus Persarum, exierunt duo filii imperatoris secundum consuetudinem in venationem, et miserunt retia in longum per millia quadraginta, ut quodcunque intra retia inveniretur, occiderent. inventus est autem senex cum duobus discipulis intra retia. et cum vidissent eum pilosum et terribilem aspectu, admirati sunt, et dixerunt ei: “homo es, an spiritus aliquis? dic nobis.” et dixit eis: “homo sum peccator, et exivi flere peccata mea; et adoro Filium Dei vivi. illi autem dixerunt ei: non est alius Deus, nisi Sol, et Ignis, et Aqua; ipsos adora, et sacrifica eis. et ille respondit: “ista creaturae sunt, et erratis. sed obsecro vos, convertimini, et agnoscite verum Deum, qui et ista creavit, et cetera omnia.” illi autem deridentes, dixerunt: “condemnatum et crucifixum dicis esse verum Deum?” “etiam, inquit, ipsum qui crucifixit et occidit mortem, hunc dico esse verum Deum.” illi autem tam ipsi quam fratribus qui cum eo erant inferentes tormenta, cogebant eos sacrificare. et duos quidem fratres post plurima tormenta decapitaverunt, senem autem diebus multis torquebant. postea vero statuerunt eum in quodam loco, et sagittabant in ipso quasi ad signum: unus a dorso, et alter a pectore. dicit eis senex: “quoniam facti estis in consensu in unum, ut effundatis sanguinem innocentem, crastina in momento hac hora, quae modo est, sine filiis remanebit mater vestra, et privabitur affectu vestro, et propriis sagittis invicem sanguinem vestrum effundetis.” illi autem subsannantes verba eius exierunt in crastino ut venarentur. et contigit ut evaderet unus cervus de rete eorum, et ascenderunt equos, et currebant ut comprehenderent cervum: qui cum iactassent sagittas post ipsum, invicem sibi in cor dederunt, et mortui sunt iuxta verbum quod praedixerat senex.
(Vitae Patrum 5.7.12)

They said of Milidus, that while he was living on the frontiers of Persia with two disciples, two sons of the emperor came on their usual hunting expedition, and put nets around an area of forty miles, and speared whatever they trapped. They found the monk and his disciples within this area. When they saw his hairy and forbidding face, they were astonished and said, ‘Are you a man or a demon?’ He said, ‘I am a sinful man, and I have come out here to repent of my sins. I worship Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.’ They said to him, ‘There is no god but sun, fire and water. Worship them and sacrifice to them.’ He replied, ‘You are wrong, they are only creatures. I beg you, be converted and recognize the true God who made these and everything else.’ But they mocked him and said, ‘Are you saying that the true God is a condemned and crucified man?’ ‘Yes,’ said Milidus, ‘I say that the true God is He who crucified sin and killed death.’ So, they tortured Milidus and the two monks to force them to sacrifice. After many tortures they beheaded the two monks but they went on torturing Milidus day after day. Then, they fastened him in one place and fired arrows into him, one in front and one behind, so that he looked like a signpost. He said to them, ‘Because you have conspired to shed innocent blood, tomorrow, at this very moment of the day, your mother shall lose her children and your care for her, and you will spill each other’s blood with your own arrows.’ They thought his words were nonsense and the next day went out again to hunt. It happened that a stag escaped from their net, and they mounted their horses and chased him. Each fired an arrow which hit the heart of the other, and so they died as Milidus had foreseen. (tr. Benedicta Ward)

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