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

S. Symphorien

Here followeth of S. Symphorien.

Symphorien was born in the city of Augustidinense. And he being a young child shone in so great abundance of virtues, that he surmounted the life of the ancients. And as the paynims hallowed the feast of Venus, Symphorien was there and would not worship the image tofore Heraclius the provost. And then he was long beaten, and after set in prison. And they would have constrained him to do sacrifice, and promised to him many gifts. He answered and said: Our Lord can well reward the merits, and also he can well punish the sins. Then the life that we owe to God of debt, let us pay with goodwill. Slow penance is to understand, sinners enhardened be anointed with the sweetness of honey which engendereth venom and thoughts evil believing. Your covetise tofore all things possesseth nothing, for it is bounden to the arts of the devil, and shall be withholden in the bounds of the cursed and evil winning. And your joys, when they begin to shine, shall be broken like glass. And then the judge, fulfilled with wrath, gave sentence, and commanded that Symphorien should be slain. And as he was led to the place of his martyrdom, his mother cried from the wall of her house, and said: Son! son ! remember thee of the life perdurable, look upward and behold him that reigneth

in heaven. The life shall not be taken away from thee, but it shall be changed into a better. And then he was anon beheaded, and his body taken of christian men and was honourably buried. And so many miracles were showed at his tomb that it was held in great honour of the paynims. Gregory of Tours rehearseth of the place where his blood was shed: A christian man bare away three stones which were besprent with his blood, and put them in a case of silver, and tables of tree enclosed about it, and bare them into a castle, which castle was all burnt with fire. And that case was found whole and safe in the middle of the fire. And he suffered death about the year of our Lord two hundred and seventy.

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