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S. Marcelin was pope of Rome by the space of nine years and four months. In his time reigned Diocletian and Maximian, emperors of Rome. The which commanded that he should be taken and brought into the temple for to do scarifice to the idols; and when he would not assent, the ministers of the emperors menaced him that they would make him die by diverse torments. And when he heard that, he had so great dread that he
put in their sacrifice two grams of incense only, whereof the paynims had great joy, and the christian men had right great sorrow, and reprehended him greatly of that he had such a thing done against the christian faith, and anon he repented him and put himself to the judgment of the bishops. But the bishops answered: God forbid that it never fall that the pope of the christian people, which is sovereign, be judged of any man, but be he judged of himself, and anon he deposed himself. And after, the christian men chose him again to be pope as he was tofore. And when this came to the knowledge of the emperors, then they did do take him and, because that he would in no wise do sacrifice to the idols, they made to smite off his head. And then the persecution and woodness was so great of the paynims against the christian people, that within a month after were put to death for the name of Jesu Christ and for to sustain the christian faith, well a seventeen thousand christian people. Marcelin, in the hour that he should be beheaded, said tofore all the people that he was not worthy to be buried among christian people, and therefore he commanded upon pain of cursing that none should bury his body. And so the body of him abode above the earth thirty-five days without burying.
After, S. Peter the apostle appeared to Marcel, which was pope after Marcelin, and said to him in this manner: Marcel, fair father, why buriest thou not me? And he answered: Sir, be ye not long sith buried? And S. Peter said: I hold me not buried as long as I see Marcelin not buried, and the pope answered: How, sir! know ye not how he accursed all them that should bury him? And S. Peter said: Is it not written that he that meeketh himself shall be enhanced? This shouldest thou have thought; go then and bury him at my feet. And anon the pope did his commandment and buried the body of S. Marcelin hastily, which was martyred the year of our Lord two hundred and eighty. Then pray we to him that he pray for us.
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