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CYRIACUS:  text is taken from Caxton's English version of the Golden Legend (Ellis edition)

Life of S. Ciriacus, Martyr

Here beginneth the Life of S. Ciriacus, Martyr.

Ciriacus was ordained deacon of Marcellus, the pope, and was taken and brought to Maximian the emperor, and was commanded that he and his fellows should delve the earth and should bear it on their shoulders unto the place that he made. And there was S. Saturninus whom Ciriacus and Sisinnius helped for to bear. And after, Ciriacus was put and enclosed in prison, and at the last was presented tofore the provost. And as Apronianus led him, suddenly came a voice with light from heaven which said: Come ye blessed of my Father, etc. And then Apronianus believed, and made himself to be baptized, and came to the provost confessing Jesu Christ. To whom the provost said: Art not thou made christian? Which answered: Alas! for I have lost my days. The provost answered: Truly now thou losest thy days, and commanded to smite off his head. And when Saturninus and Sisinnius would not make sacrifice, they were tormented with divers torments and at the last were beheaded. And the daughter of Diocletian, named Arthemia, was tormented of the devil, and the devil cried within her and said: I shall not go out tofore that Ciriacus the deacon come; and then was Ciriacus brought to her, and then said the devil: If thou wilt that I issue and go out, give me a vessel where I may enter in, and then answered Ciriacus: Lo! here is my body, enter therein if thou mayst, and he said: Into thy vessel I may not enter, for it is signed and closed on all sides, but if thou cast me out here I shall make thee soon come into Babylon. And when he was constrained to go out, Arthemia cried and said: I see the God that Ciriacus preacheth, and when he had baptized her, and had grace of Diocletian and of Serena his wife, he dwelled and lived surely in a house that he gave him. Then came there a message from the king of Persia to Diocletian, praying him that he would send him Ciriacus, for his daughter was tormented of a devil. And then, by the prayers of Diocletian, Ciriacus went gladly with largo and smaragdo, with all things necessary in the ship, in to Babylon. And when they came to the daughter, the devil cried to him through the mouth of the maiden: O Ciriacus, thou art weary of travel, and he said: I am not weary, but am governed overall by the help of God. And the devil said: Nevertheless, I have brought thee thereas I would have thee. And Ciriacus said: Jesu Christ commandeth thee that thou go out. And then the devil issued out and said: O name terrible that constraineth me; and the maid was then made whole, and was baptized with father and mother, and much other people. And they offered to him many gifts, but he would take none, and abode there forty-five days, fasting on bread and water, and at the last he came to Rome. And after two months Diocletian was dead, and Maximian succeeded to the empire, and was wroth with Arthemia his sister, and took Ciriacus and bound him with chains, and commanded to draw him tofore his chair. This Maximian may be called and said the son of Diocletian, because he succeeded him, and had his daughter to wife, which was called Valeriana; and after, he commanded to Carpasius his vicar, to constrain Ciriacus and his fellows to do sacrifice, or else slay them bv divers torments. And he took Ciriacus and threw pitch molten and burning hot on his head, and hung him in the torment named eculee, and after, he did do smite off the head of Ciriacus, and also beheaded his fellows, about the year of our Lord three hundred. And Carpasius gat the house of S. Ciriacus, and in despite of christian men he made a bath in the same place where Ciriacus baptized, and there bathed, and made banquets in eating and drinking. And suddenly he with nineteen fellows died there, and therefore the bath was closed up. And the paynims began to dread and honour christian men.

© The segmented texts, annotations and audio files at are copyrighted by Laura Gibbs, 2006. No copyright is claimed for any images.