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E01225: Coptic Martyrdom of *Paese and his sister Thekla (martyrs of Alexandria, S00750) from Pousire in the Hermopolite nome and from Antinoopolis, both martyrs in Alexandria under the dux Armenios, but beheaded on their way south with Eutychianus, the dux of the Thebaid. The account preserved in a 9th c. manuscript includes: the martyrdom of *Viktor (son of Romanos, Egyptian martyr, S00749) at Alexandria; miracles performed by and on the saints through *Raphael (the Archangel, S00481); a visit of Paese to the heavenly Jerusalem; a boat trip on which Thekla meets *Mary (Mother of Christ, S00033) and Elizabeth (mother of John the Baptist), and the Archangels *Gabriel (S00192) and Raphael; an account of the benefits that will be gained by adherents of Paese and Thekla's cult.

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posted on 23.03.2016, 00:00 by Bryan
Martyrdom of Paese and Thekla

During the reign of Diocletian, when Armenius was dux (ⲇⲟⲩⲝ) in Alexandria and Euthychianus was dux in the Thebaid, a rich landowner named Paese, from Pousire in the Hermopolite nome, was very charitable to the orphans and the poor of his village. He desired to remain unmarried, caring for his widowed sister and her young son. During the Great Persecution, he would go to the prisons of Hermopolis and Antinoopolis and bring provisions for the imprisoned saints. His sister Thekla had married a man in Antinoopolis and bore a son named Apollonios who was a schoolboy when her husband died. Thekla was then a young widow and much admired for her beauty. She was very pious and gave large charitable gifts to the poor in Antinoopolis. During the persecution, she would cook for the saints in prison, feed them, and take care of their various wounds inflicted by torture. Though she had many marriage offers, she decided to dedicate herself to the service of the saints.

A relative of theirs named Paul was a very rich merchant in Hermopolis, equally charitable to the poor. One day when Paul the merchant went on business to Alexandria, he fell seriously ill there and sent for his servants and also for Paese. Paese took large amounts of supplies and money and travelled to Alexandria. Before going, he went to see his sister in Antinoopolis. He also visited the saints in the prison of Antinoopolis who told him that they would reunite with him shortly in the heavenly Jerusalem. Paese, however, did not understand their words and took a boat to go to Alexandria. In the meantime, Paul had recovered from his illness and both men met happily in Alexandria. Paese visited the saints in the prisons of Alexandria and they greeted him by name and enquired after his sister and her son. Paese then made a large meal for the saints in the prisons and brought it to them to eat, and fed them. He spent many days visiting and feeding the saints in prison, when a young man named *Viktor (ⲃⲓⲕⲧⲱⲣ), the son of a great general (stratelates), was brought into Alexandria bound and gagged (Viktor Stratelates, martyr of Alexandria, S00749). The dux read out a letter he had received and ordered the young man to be taken to prison.

The following day, the trial of Victor took place in the theatre of Alexandria. Large crowds gathered to see the son of the general. Paese was among them witnessing the tortures Viktor suffered for the name of Christ. Paese’s eyes were opened and he saw an angel of the Lord standing by Viktor so that he could endure the tortures. The angel unlocked his chains to free his hands and feet. This enraged the dux so much that he ordered Viktor to be beheaded. But since the crowds demanded not to have the son of a general killed in their city, he sent Viktor into exile to the Thebaid (where he will then be tried by Euthychianus dux in the Thebaid, see E05113). Paese feels inspired by the example of Viktor and discusses what he saw with Paul.

On the following morning, Paese gave his servant his last money and set him free. He himself went straight over to the praetorium (ⲡⲣⲉⲧⲟⲣⲓⲟⲛ) announcing his Christian faith. In confrontation with the dux Armenius, he is handed over to the torturers and a long series of tortures begin. Each time Paese prays while being tortured, the angel Raphael appears to him and interferes with the tormentors, by stiffening their hands, so that they are unable to strike, or by cooling the oil in the cooking pot in which the saint is sitting, or by turning the fire in the oven to a lovely breeze out of which the saint is then released unharmed. Any wounds the saint displays, the angel heals.

While the torturers' hands were still stiffened, they entreated the saint to heal their hands. He does so by making the sign of the cross on their hands, as the first of a number of healing miracles performed by the saint prior to death. For this, he is accused by the dux of being a magician, but the crowds are impressed by the power of the Christian God who strengthens those that believe in him. Paese is then thrown into prison where the other imprisoned saints receive him joyfully.

(Ed. Reymond–Barns, p. 44, lines 16–19):
ⲛⲧⲉⲣⲟⲩϫⲓⲧϥ ⲇⲉ ⲉⲡⲉϣⲧⲉⲕⲟ ⲁⲩⲛⲁⲩ ⲉⲣⲟϥ ⲛϭⲓ ⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲁⲩⲁⲥⲡⲁⲍⲉ ⲙⲙⲟϥ ⲉⲩϫⲱ ⲙⲙⲟⲥ ϫⲉ ⲕⲁⲗⲱⲥ ⲁⲕⲉⲓ ϣⲁⲣⲟⲛ ⲙⲡⲟⲟⲩ · ⲧⲛⲛⲁⲩ ⲉⲣⲟⲕ ⲙⲙⲏⲛⲉ ⲁⲗⲗⲁ ⲙⲡⲟⲟⲩ ⲛϩⲟⲩⲟ ⲧⲛⲣⲁϣⲉ ⲛⲙⲙⲁⲕ ϫⲉ ⲁⲕⲉⲓ ⲉϩⲟⲩⲛ ⲉⲡⲙⲁ ⲛϣⲉⲗⲉⲉⲧ ⲙⲡⲉⲭⲥ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉⲕϩⲏⲧ ⲧⲏⲣϥ

'When he was brought to the prison, the saints saw him and greeted him saying: "You have come to us today doing well. We see you daily, but today we rejoice with you even more, because you have entered the bridal chamber of Christ wholeheartedly."'


Paese’s former host Paul was worried about him and eventually found him in prison. He then brought provisions for the saints and ate with them and promised to send a message to Paese’s sister Thekla. The angel Raphael then visited Paese in prison, greeting all the saints and Paul, and informed Paese of his future trial and tortures which were to last for seven more months, and of the arrival of his sister in due course. Both their bodies and souls would be united and never separated from each other.

More tortures followed during the tribunal set in the theatre of Alexandria, where the dux would accuse the saint of magic, because the angel Raphael would get him out of any affliction unharmed, by descending down on him and speaking with him.

(ed. Reymond—Barns, p. 48, line 12–p. 49, line 1):
ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛⲧⲉⲩⲛⲟⲩ ⲁϥⲉⲓ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲛ ⲧⲡⲉ ⲛϭⲓ ϩⲣⲁⲫⲁⲏⲗ ⲡⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲟⲥ ⲁϥⲣ ϩⲁⲃⲥ ⲉⲣⲟϥ ϩⲛ ⲛⲉϥⲧⲛⲛϩ ⲛⲟⲩⲟⲉⲓⲛ ⲁϥϭⲱ ⲉϥϣⲁϫⲉ ⲛⲙⲙⲁϥ ϩⲛⲛ ⲙⲙⲏⲥⲧⲏⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲛⲧⲡⲉ

'And immediately the angel Raphael came down from heaven and hid him in his wings of light. He remained speaking with him through the mysteries of heaven.'


When the crowds saw Paese stepping out of the fire unharmed, twenty-four of them confessed their Christian faith and became martyrs, being beheaded outside of the city on the same day. More tortures and healings through Raphael followed for Paese who, saved from the fiery furnace by Raphael, then visited his former host Paul at night to tell him about the miracles God performs for his saints. Paul and Paese discuss these miracles over a festive meal and Paese declares that this is the time for him to become a martyr .

(ed. Reymond–Barns, p. 52, lines 14–15):
ⲁⲗⲗⲁ ⲡⲛⲁⲩ ⲡⲉ ⲡⲁ ⲛⲧⲁⲥⲣⲁⲛⲁϥ ⲙⲡⲁϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲓⲥ ⲡⲉⲭⲥ ⲁϥⲧⲁϩⲙⲉⲧ ⲉⲡⲉϥⲙⲁ ⲛϣⲉⲗⲉⲉⲧ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ

'But this is the time when it has pleased my Lord Jesus Christ to summon me to his holy bridal chamber.'


Paese returns to the other saints in prison. The prison guard as well as one of the torturers confess their Christian faith to Paese privately. The dux Armenius, however, threatens this Christian magician with more tortures. Raphael appears to Paese in prison announcing that he should shame the dux for a bit longer and that his sister Thekla will soon join him in this, performing great miracles and inspiring others to convert to Christianity. Raphael then announces that he will bring a great illness over the dux from which only Paese will be able to cure him.

The dux feeling very ill the next day, ordered that he should be taken to the temple of Apollo where he was placed next to the statue of Apollo. Incense was offered on the altar to Apollo and the dux vowed that should Apollo heal him from the magic of the Christians causing this illness, that he would bring great gifts to his temple. The dux slept in the temple of Apollo, but no healing took place. The wife of the dux encouraged him to sent for Paese to heal him, since Apollo was not forthcoming, but the dux refused. Instead, he asked her to sacrifice to Apollo too, so that he would receive healing from him, but she refused. Eventually, the dux asked his wife to sent for Paese. When she met him, she entreated him to heal the dux. So did the dux himself, and Paese laid his hands upon him in the name of Christ and the dux was healed. He sent a large present to Paese in prison, but the saints refused to eat it and gave it to other prisoners.

When the dux was healed, his wife demanded that he set the saints free, since the God of the Christians had healed him and was obviously more powerful than Apollo. But the dux did not listen. Instead, he offered Paese earthly riches and honours in his home village, remitting his taxes, if he would only sacrifice to the pagan gods.

Meanwhile, Thekla in Antinoopolis was worried for her brother in Alexandria and decided to enquire about him from the saints in the local prison. They informed her of the upcoming 'wedding' feast (ϩⲟⲟⲡ) of her brother in Alexandria, but she did not understand their meaning. She found a boat headed for Alexandria, said farewell to her only son, and boarded the ship.

On board she met the angels Gabriel and Raphael, thinking they were sailors, as well as two other women, the Virgin Mary and Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist), who each talked to her about the loss of their only son, but Thekla failed to understand who they were. They informed her that they were on their way to Alexandria to visit a man named Paul who was holding a 'wedding feast' for Paese of Pousire and she shared a large festive meal with them, since they appeared to be eating. Afterwards Mary anointed Thekla with a special oil.

(ed. Reymond–Barns, p. 58, line 15–p. 59, line 7):
ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁⲧⲡⲁⲣⲑⲉⲛⲟⲥ ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ ⲉⲓⲛⲉ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲛⲟⲩⲥⲕⲉⲩⲥ ⲛⲁⲩⲁⲛ ⲛⲏϭⲉ ⲉϥⲙⲉϩ ⲛⲛⲉϩ ⲛⲥϯⲛⲟⲩⲃⲉ ⲉⲛⲁϣⲉ ⲥⲟⲩⲛⲧϥ ⲁⲥⲡⲁϩⲧϥ ⲉϩⲣⲁ ⲉϫⲛ ⲧⲁⲡⲉ ⲛⲑⲉⲕⲗⲁ ⲁⲥⲧⲱϩⲥ ⲙⲡⲉⲥⲥⲱⲙⲁ ⲧⲏⲣϥ ⲡⲉϫⲁⲥ ⲛⲁⲥ ⲛϭⲓ ⲧⲙⲁⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲑⲉⲕⲗⲁ ϫⲉ ⲕⲱ ⲛⲁ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲧⲁϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲙⲙⲁⲁⲩ ⲛϯⲙⲡϣⲁ ⲁⲛ ⲙⲡⲉⲛⲟϭ
ⲛⲧⲁⲟ ⲛⲧⲁⲣⲧⲁⲁϥ ⲛⲁ ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲧⲡⲁⲣⲑⲉⲛⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲛⲁⲥ ϫⲉ ⲉⲛⲉⲛⲧⲉⲉⲙⲡϣⲁ ⲙⲙⲟϥ ⲁⲛ ⲡⲉ ⲛⲉⲩⲛⲁⲡⲁϩⲧϥ ⲁⲛ ⲉϫⲱ ⲡⲉ · ⲡⲁ ⲅⲁⲣ ⲡⲉ
ⲡⲛⲉϩ ⲛⲧϣⲉⲗⲉⲉⲧ ⲙ

History

Evidence ID

E01225

Saint Name

Paese and Thekla from Pousire, martyred in Alexandria, ob. 303–311 : S00750 Viktor, son of Romanos, Egyptian martyr, ob. 303–311 : S00749 24 martyrs at Alexandria, inspired by Paese, ob. 303–311 : S00752 48 martyrs at Alexandria (forty from the cr

Saint Name in Source

ⲁⲡⲁ ⲡⲁⲏⲥⲉ

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Accounts of martyrdom Late antique original manuscripts - Parchment codex

Language

Coptic

Evidence not before

400

Evidence not after

900

Activity not before

404

Activity not after

900

Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica Egypt and Cyrenaica Egypt and Cyrenaica Egypt and Cyrenaica Egypt and Cyrenaica Egypt and Cyrenaica

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Alexandria Pousire Antinoopolis Hermopolis Tepot Thebaid

Place of evidence - City name in other Language(s)

Alexandria Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis Pousire Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis Antinoopolis Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis Hermopolis Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis Tepot Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis Thebaid Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Martyr shrine (martyrion, bet sāhedwātā, etc.)

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Composing and translating saint-related texts

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle during lifetime Miracle at martyrdom and death Miracles experienced by the saint Specialised miracle-working Punishing miracle Power over elements (fire, earthquakes, floods, weather) Bodily incorruptibility Healing diseases and disabilities Apparition, vision, dream, revelation Assumption/otherworldly journey

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Women Children Ecclesiastics - monks/nuns/hermits Relatives of the saint Soldiers Officials Other lay individuals/ people Crowds Torturers/Executioners

Source

Pierpont Morgan Codex 591, fol. 49r–88r. The parchment codex dates to the mid 9th century. This manuscript, as well as the other Pierpont Morgan codices were found at the site of the monastery of Saint Michael at Hamouli in the Fayum. At least four more fragmentary manuscripts of this text are known, one of them in the Bohairic dialect. The date of the original composition remains obscure, though it is frequently argued that the 'epic' hagiographic texts mentioning Julius of Kbahs/Aqfahs as the chronicler of the martyrs (the cycle of Julius of Aqfahs) can be dated to the 6th/7th century. Fragments of other manuscript of the same story can be found in Till 1935, 71-94.

Discussion

An interesting feature of the text is its inclusion into the narrative of the martyrdom of Viktor, and of the vision in which Paese sees that Viktor's house in heaven will be larger than his own. Possibly Viktor (who was a major saint) was built into the narrative to lend verisimilitude to the story of the less well known Paese, though he is also used to express a hierarchy amongst the martyrs, with Viktor's heavenly superiority closely echoing his secular superiority as the son of a general. The saints, especially Thekla, are decidedly 'unchristian' by modern standards, attacking the dux verbally on various occasions, with Thekla comparing him to a harlot and a dog. Some of the terminology in this text gives a distinct Gnostic impression, the term 'bridal chamber' in particular (for this see also E1220) which is used first by the saints in prison when they welcome Paese after his combat with the following words (ed. Reymond–Barns, p. 44, lines 16–19): ⲛⲧⲉⲣⲟⲩϫⲓⲧϥ ⲇⲉ ⲉⲡⲉϣⲧⲉⲕⲟ ⲁⲩⲛⲁⲩ ⲉⲣⲟϥ ⲛϭⲓ ⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲁⲩⲁⲥⲡⲁⲍⲉ ⲙⲙⲟϥ ⲉⲩϫⲱ ⲙⲙⲟⲥ ϫⲉ ⲕⲁⲗⲱⲥ ⲁⲕⲉⲓ ϣⲁⲣⲟⲛ ⲙⲡⲟⲟⲩ · ⲧⲛⲛⲁⲩ ⲉⲣⲟⲕ ⲙⲙⲏⲛⲉ ⲁⲗⲗⲁ ⲙⲡⲟⲟⲩ ⲛϩⲟⲩⲟ ⲧⲛⲣⲁϣⲉ ⲛⲙⲙⲁⲕ ϫⲉ ⲁⲕⲉⲓ ⲉϩⲟⲩⲛ ⲉⲡⲙⲁ ⲛϣⲉⲗⲉⲉⲧ ⲙⲡⲉⲭⲥ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉⲕϩⲏⲧ ⲧⲏⲣϥ 'When he was brought to the prison, the saints saw him and greeted him saying: "You have come to us today doing well. We see you daily, but today we rejoice with you even more, because you have entered the bridal chamber of Christ wholeheartedly."' The same term 'bridal chamber' is then used by Paese himself, when he talks to his friend Paul explaining why he is now taking the step towards martyrdom (ed. Reymond–Barns, p. 52, lines 14–15): ⲁⲗⲗⲁ ⲡⲛⲁⲩ ⲡⲉ ⲡⲁ ⲛⲧⲁⲥⲣⲁⲛⲁϥ ⲙⲡⲁϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲓⲥ ⲡⲉⲭⲥ ⲁϥⲧⲁϩⲙⲉⲧ ⲉⲡⲉϥⲙⲁ ⲛϣⲉⲗⲉⲉⲧ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ 'But this is the time when it has pleased my Lord Jesus Christ to summon me to his holy bridal chamber.' Mary too, when she is anointing Thekla, uses the term 'bridal chamber': (ed. Reymond–Barns, p. 58, line 15–p. 59, line 7): ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁⲧⲡⲁⲣⲑⲉⲛⲟⲥ ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ ⲉⲓⲛⲉ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲛⲟⲩⲥⲕⲉⲩⲥ ⲛⲁⲩⲁⲛ ⲛⲏϭⲉ ⲉϥⲙⲉϩ ⲛⲛⲉϩ ⲛⲥϯⲛⲟⲩⲃⲉ ⲉⲛⲁϣⲉ ⲥⲟⲩⲛⲧϥ ⲁⲥⲡⲁϩⲧϥ ⲉϩⲣⲁ ⲉϫⲛ ⲧⲁⲡⲉ ⲛⲑⲉⲕⲗⲁ ⲁⲥⲧⲱϩⲥ ⲙⲡⲉⲥⲥⲱⲙⲁ ⲧⲏⲣϥ ⲡⲉϫⲁⲥ ⲛⲁⲥ ⲛϭⲓ ⲧⲙⲁⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲑⲉⲕⲗⲁ ϫⲉ ⲕⲱ ⲛⲁ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲧⲁϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲙⲙⲁⲁⲩ ⲛϯⲙⲡϣⲁ ⲁⲛ ⲙⲡⲉⲛⲟϭ ⲛⲧⲁⲟ ⲛⲧⲁⲣⲧⲁⲁϥ ⲛⲁ ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲧⲡⲁⲣⲑⲉⲛⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲛⲁⲥ ϫⲉ ⲉⲛⲉⲛⲧⲉⲉⲙⲡϣⲁ ⲙⲙⲟϥ ⲁⲛ ⲡⲉ ⲛⲉⲩⲛⲁⲡⲁϩⲧϥ ⲁⲛ ⲉϫⲱ ⲡⲉ · ⲡⲁ ⲅⲁⲣ ⲡⲉ ⲡⲛⲉϩ ⲛⲧϣⲉⲗⲉⲉⲧ ⲙⲡⲁϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲛⲧⲁⲛⲧϥ ⲉⲧϣⲉⲗⲉⲉⲧ ⲙⲡⲟⲩⲥⲟⲛ ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲑⲉⲕⲗⲁ ϫⲉ ⲛⲧⲁⲣϯⲟⲩ ⲉⲡⲉⲛⲉϩ ⲁⲗⲏⲑⲱⲥ ⲙⲡⲉⲛⲁⲩ ⲉⲟⲩⲟⲛ ⲉⲛⲉϩ ⲛⲑⲉ ⲙⲡⲁ ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲧⲡⲁⲣⲑⲉⲛⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲛⲁⲥ ϫⲉ ⲙⲛ ⲗⲁⲁⲩ ⲛⲁϩⲉ ⲉⲡⲉ ⲉⲛⲉϩ ⲛⲥⲁ ⲛⲉⲧⲙⲡϣⲁ ⲙⲡⲙⲁ ⲛϣⲉⲗⲉⲉⲧ ⲙⲡⲁϣⲏⲣⲉ 'The Virgin Mary brought forth a leek-coloured bowl filled with sweet-smelling and very expensive oil. She poured it over Thekla’s head and anointed her whole body. The pious Thekla said to her: "Forgive me, my motherly Lady, I am not worth this great honour which you have bestowed upon me." The holy Virgin said to her: "If you would not be worthy of it, it would not be poured over you. For this is the oil for the bride of my son which I have brought for the bride of your brother." Thekla said: "What have you given to this oil? Truly I have not seen any such oil before." The holy Virgin said to her: "No one will ever find such oil except those who are worthy of the bridal chamber of my son."' In each case the term describes a restrictive place accessible only to a few elected ones. This reminds one of Logion 75 of the Gospel of Thomas where it says: ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲓⲥ ⟨ϫⲉ⟩ ⲟⲩⲛ ϩⲁϩ ⲁϩⲉⲣⲁⲧⲟⲩ ϩⲓⲣⲙ ⲡⲣⲟ ⲁⲗⲗⲁ ⲙⲙⲟⲛⲁⲭⲟⲥ ⲛⲉⲧⲛⲁⲃⲱⲕ ⲉϩⲟⲩⲛ ⲉⲡⲙⲁ ⲛϣⲉⲗⲉⲉⲧ 'Jesus said: "There are many standing at the door, but it is the solitary who will enter the bridal chamber."' The term itself referring to the kingdom of God, is used in Gnostic literature, particularly in Valentinian Gnosticism, such as in the Gospel of Philip 67c, 68, 76abc, and 122a. The 'bridal chamber' is one of the five sacraments in Valentinian Gnosticism. (For a short discussion of this logion and the term ⲙⲁ ⲛϣⲉⲗⲉⲉⲧ 'bridal chamber' cf. e.g. Plisch 2008, 178–179.) Of particular interest is also the excursion of Paese to the heavenly Jerusalem to see and hear the judgement of the souls. This reminds one of the visit in the Testament of Abraham, when the patriarch is taken up to heaven by Michael on a cloud to witness the selection of the souls at the two gates leading either to eternal life or death (ed. Guidi 1900, 14–19). Similarities of heavenly travel can also be seen in the Apocalypse of Paul (NHC V,2), a Gnostic text, where Paul is take up into heaven, making his way from the third heaven to the fourth in which the judgement of the soul takes place, and from there through all the others up to the tenth heaven (see e.g. Plisch 2013, 299–303).

Bibliography

Editions: Reymond, E.A.E., and Barns, J.W.B., Four Martyrdoms from the Pierpont Morgan Coptic Codices (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973), 31–79 (text) and 151–184 (translation). Till, W.C., Koptische Heiligen- und Martyrlegenden, vol. 1 (Rome: Pont. institutum orientalium studiorum, 1935), 71–94. Further reading: Guidi, I., Il testo copto del testamento di Abramo (Rome: Accademia dei Lincei, 1900). Plisch, U.–K., The Gospel of Thomas (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2008). Plisch, U.-K., "Die Apokalypse des Paulus (NHC V,2)," in: H.-M. Schenke, U.U. Kaiser and H.-G. Bethge (eds.), Nag Hammadi Deutsch: Studienausgabe, 3rd ed. (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2013), 299–303.

Continued Description

ⲡⲁϣⲏⲣⲉ ⲛⲧⲁⲛⲧϥ ⲉⲧϣⲉⲗⲉⲉⲧ ⲙⲡⲟⲩⲥⲟⲛ ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲑⲉⲕⲗⲁ ϫⲉ ⲛⲧⲁⲣϯⲟⲩ ⲉⲡⲉⲛⲉϩ ⲁⲗⲏⲑⲱⲥ ⲙⲡⲉⲛⲁⲩ ⲉⲟⲩⲟⲛ ⲉⲛⲉϩ ⲛⲑⲉ ⲙⲡⲁ ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲧⲡⲁⲣⲑⲉⲛⲟⲥ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲛⲁⲥ ϫⲉ ⲙⲛ ⲗⲁⲁⲩ ⲛⲁϩⲉ ⲉⲡⲉ ⲉⲛⲉϩ ⲛⲥⲁ ⲛⲉⲧⲙⲡϣⲁ ⲙⲡⲙⲁ ⲛϣⲉⲗⲉⲉⲧ ⲙⲡⲁϣⲏⲣⲉ 'The Virgin Mary brought forth a leek-coloured bowl filled with sweet-smelling and very expensive oil. She poured it over Thekla’s head and anointed her whole body. The pious Thekla said to her: "Forgive me, my motherly Lady, I am not worth this great honour which you have bestowed upon me." The holy Virgin said to her: "If you would not be worthy of it, it would not be poured over you. For this is the oil for the bride of my son which I have brought for the marriage of your brother." Thekla said: "What have you given to this oil? Truly I have not seen any such oil before." The holy Virgin said to her: "No one will ever find such oil except those who are worthy of the bridal chamber of my son."'Mary then asked Gabriel and Raphael to stop the boat at Tammah in the district of Memphis to pick up another 'wedding guest', the twelve-year old daughter of the village presbyter named *Heraei (S00757).At Alexandria, Mary and Elizabeth walked Thekla to the prison of her brother, finally revealing their identity to her, asking her to be courageous since her house, throne and crown in the heavenly Jerusalem were already prepared for her. The oil with which she was anointed was the oil which flows down for the lamp of the firstborn (ⲡⲛⲉϩ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲡⲁ ⲉⲧϩⲁⲧⲉ ⲉⲡⲉⲥⲏⲧ ⲉⲧⲗⲩⲭⲛⲓⲁ ⲛⲛϣⲣⲡⲙⲓⲥⲉ) and Raphael was to watch over her and give her strength. When Thekla went into the prison to meet her brother, she made a large banquet for the saints which she had brought with her on the boat and told them about everything that had happened to her on her voyage. On the next tribunal when the dux asked Paese to sacrifice or to be tortured, Thekla stepped forward and sneered at Apollo since he was not able to heal the dux. She was soon subjected to tortures, but Raphael came from heaven and extinguished the pain. Soon both Paese and Thekla were subjected to various tortures with Raphael watching over them and rendering them untouchable. When the dux set them on fire, the Virgin Mary came down from heaven with Gabriel and Raphael, and she told them to be firm, because her Son was with them. She signed them with the cross and all their wounds were healed. Forty people from the crowd and eight soldiers confessed their Christian faith after this and suffered martyrdom by being beheaded on the same day. Paese and Thekla were brought back to prison and in the middle of the night an angel appeared and took Paese on his wings to show him the heavenly Jerusalem, a city with large houses, pillars, and colonnades. The saints greeted him and showed him the house of the saint Apa Viktor, the son of Romanus the general, much bigger than the future house of Paese and Thekla which he was likewise shown. Paese also saw the thrones and crowns, as well as the eternal judgement taking place. He enquires about the rules of receiving heavenly favours and how to proceed to eternal life. He is told:(Ed. Reymond–Barns, p. 69, lines 3–12):ⲉⲣϣⲁⲛ ⲟⲩⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲕⲱⲧ ⲛⲟⲩⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲓⲟⲛ ϩⲙ ⲡⲣⲁⲛ ⲛⲟⲩⲡⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲏ ⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁ ϩⲱⲃⲥ ⲙⲡⲥⲱⲙⲁ ⲛⲟⲩⲁ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩⲕⲁⲥⲉ ⲏ ⲛⲧ[ⲉ]ⲟⲩⲁ ϯ ⲛⲟⲩⲡⲣⲟⲥⲫⲟⲣⲁ ⲙⲡⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲛⲟⲩⲡⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲏ ⲛϥϯ ⲛⲟⲩⲙⲛⲧⲛⲁ ⲛⲛϩⲏⲕⲉ ⲙⲛ ⲛⲉⲛϣⲙⲙⲟ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲙⲡⲉϥⲣⲡⲙⲉⲉⲩⲉ ⲏ ⲛⲧⲉⲟⲩⲁ ϯ ⲟⲩⲇⲱⲣⲟⲛ ⲉⲡⲏ ⲛⲟⲩⲡⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ ⲏ ⲛϥⲧⲁⲙⲓⲟ ⲛⲟⲩϫⲱⲱⲙⲉ ⲉⲡⲏ ⲙⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ϩⲁ ⲡⲉϥⲣⲁⲛ ⲏ ⲛϥϣⲱⲡ ⲛⲟⲩⲉⲩⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲓⲟⲛ ⲛϥⲕⲁⲁϥ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉϥⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲓⲟⲛ ⲉⲩⲣⲡⲙⲉⲉⲩⲉ ⲛⲁϥ ϩⲁⲡⲗⲱⲥ ϣⲁϩⲣⲁ ⲉⲩⲟⲉⲓⲕ ⲛⲟⲩⲱⲧ ⲉⲧⲉⲣⲉⲡⲣⲱⲙⲉ ⲛⲁⲧⲁⲁϥ ϣⲁϥϩⲉ ⲉⲣⲟϥ ⲉϥϣⲁⲛⲉⲓ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲛ ⲥⲱⲙⲁ ϩⲓⲧⲛ ⲛⲉⲛⲥⲱⲙⲁ ⲛⲛⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ · ⲕⲁⲓ ⲅⲁⲣ ϣⲁⲣⲉ ⲡⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲟⲥ ⲃⲱⲕ ⲉϩⲟⲩⲛ ϣⲁ ⲡⲡⲁⲛⲧⲱⲕⲣⲁⲧⲱⲣ ⲛϥⲡⲁϩⲧϥ ⲛϥⲟⲩⲱϣⲧ ⲉϥϫⲱ ⲙⲙⲟⲥ ϫⲉ ⲡⲁϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲭⲁⲣⲓⲍⲉ ⲛⲁ ⲛⲧⲉⲯⲩⲭⲏ ϫⲉ ⲁⲥϯⲙⲧⲟⲛ ⲛⲁ ϩⲙ ⲡⲉⲕⲟⲥⲙⲟⲥ'If someone builds a martyr shrine in the name of a saint or whoever covers the body of one in a burial, or whoever gives an offering on the day of a saint, or gives alms to the poor or to the strangers on the day of his memorial, or whoever makes a gift to the house of a saint, or makes a book for the house of God in his name, or buys a gospel and places it in his martyr shrine as a memorial for him, in short: for a single bread which the human being will give, he shall find it, when he leaves the body through the bodies of the saints, since the martyr will approach the Almighty and will prostrate himself and worship him saying: "My Lord, grant me this soul, for it has given me ease in this world."'Paese also enquires about what happens to a presbyter or a deacon in the house of a saint who wastes the offering which is given to the saint’s shrine. The answer is that if he administers the offering honestly and without neglect, the saint shall take him into his house and sit him on a throne and put the crown on him. If the administrator, presbyter, or deacon of a shrine mishandles the offering given to him in the name of the saint by feasting on it himself, the saint will punish him severely and unrelievedly. After showing Paese his own future house in heaven where he will reside with Thekla and Paul, the angel then brings Paese back to prison. In the morning the tribunal in the theatre continues with tortures for Paese and Thekla, and with Raphael releasing and healing them. The dux goes home angrily and his wife asks him about the miracles the saints had performed that day. He then threatens to behead his wife, since she seems to be a servant of Christ as well, and she answers that she only hopes she might be worthy of such an honour. The saints spent their days in prison, and after twenty days the priests of the temple came to the dux and told him that the entire city was going to the saints in prison, who were healing the sick, so much so that no one was coming to the temple anymore. The dux asked them to enquire from the gods how to deal with these magicians, who had also bewitched his wife. Soon the priests returned with the gods' answer, which is to hang a stone around their necks and sink them from a boat. This is done, but Raphael brings them back from the sea to the shore and the multitude is overwhelmed. One hundred and forty of them confess and are beheaded on the same day. When the saints were back in prison, Christ himself appeared to them announcing the parameters of their future cult. (ed. Reymond–Barns, p. 76, lines 7–18):ⲡⲉϫⲉ ⲡⲥⲱⲧⲏⲣ ⲛⲁⲩ ϫⲉ ⲙⲡⲣⲣϩⲟⲧⲉ · ⲁⲛⲟⲕ ⲡⲉⲧⲛⲁⲥⲕⲩⲡⲁⲍⲉ ⲛⲛⲉⲧⲛⲥⲱⲙⲁ ⲁⲩⲱ ϯⲛⲁⲧⲣⲉⲩⲕⲱⲧ ⲉⲣⲱⲧⲛ ⲛⲟⲩⲙⲁⲣⲧⲏⲣⲓⲟⲛ ϩⲙ ⲡⲁⲣⲁⲛ · ⲁⲩⲱ ⲡⲉⲧⲛⲁⲕⲱⲧ ⲉⲣⲱⲧⲛ ⲛⲟⲩⲙⲁⲣⲧⲏⲣⲓⲟⲛ ϯⲛⲁⲭⲁⲣⲓⲍⲉ ⲙⲙⲟϥ ⲛⲏⲧⲛ ⲛϣⲏⲣⲉ ϩⲛ ⲧⲁⲙⲛⲧⲉⲣⲟ · ⲁⲩⲱ ⲡⲉⲧⲛⲁϯ ⲛⲟⲩⲡⲣⲟⲥⲫⲟⲣⲁ ⲉⲡⲉⲧⲟⲡⲟⲥ ϯⲛⲁⲙⲉϩ ⲡⲉϥⲏ ⲛⲁⲅⲁⲑⲟⲛ ⲛⲓⲙ ϩⲓϫⲙ ⲡⲕⲁϩ ⲁⲩⲱ ϯⲛⲁⲧⲣⲉ ⲛⲁⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲟⲥ ⲥⲕⲩⲡⲁⲍⲉ ⲙⲡⲉⲩⲥⲱⲙⲁ ⲙⲛ ⲧⲉⲩⲯⲩⲭⲏ ϩⲛ ⲛⲉⲱⲛ ⲙⲡⲟⲩⲟⲉⲓⲛ · ⲛⲉⲧⲛⲁⲥϩⲁ ⲙⲡϫⲱⲱⲙⲉ ⲛⲧⲉⲧⲛⲙⲁⲣⲧⲩⲣⲓⲁ ϯⲛⲁⲥϩⲁ ⲙⲡⲉϥⲣⲁⲛ ⲉⲡϫⲱⲱⲙⲉ ⲙⲡⲱⲛϩ · ⲁⲩⲱ ϯⲛⲁⲕⲱ ⲙⲡⲁⲥⲙⲟⲩ ⲙⲛ ⲧⲁⲉⲓⲣⲏⲛⲏ ϩⲙ ⲡⲙⲁ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲛⲁⲕⲱ ⲛⲛⲉⲧⲛⲥⲱⲙⲁ ⲛϩⲏⲧϥ · ⲁⲩⲱ ⲉⲓⲥϩⲏⲏⲧⲉ ⲁⲕⲱ ⲛϩⲣⲁⲫⲁⲏⲗ ⲡⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲟⲥ ⲉϥⲇⲓⲁⲕⲟⲛⲉⲓ ⲉⲡⲉⲧⲛⲧⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲟⲩⲛ ϩⲉⲛⲛⲟϭ ⲙⲙⲏⲏϣⲉ ⲉⲩϣⲱⲛⲉ ϩⲛ ϩⲉⲛϣⲱⲛⲉ ⲉⲩϣⲟⲃⲉ ⲛⲁⲉⲓ ⲉⲡⲉⲧⲛⲧⲟⲡⲟⲥ ⲛⲥⲉⲙⲁⲧⲉ ⲙⲡⲧⲁⲗϭⲟ ⲛⲥⲉⲃⲱⲕ ⲉⲛⲉⲩⲏ ϩⲛ ⲟⲩⲉⲓⲣⲏⲛⲏ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲡⲉⲧⲛⲁϯ ⲛⲟⲩⲙⲛⲧⲛⲁ ⲛⲟⲩϩⲏⲕⲉ ⲟⲩϣⲙⲙⲟ ⲏ ⲟⲩⲭⲏⲣⲁ ⲙⲡⲉϩⲟⲟⲩ ⲙⲡⲉⲧⲛⲣⲡⲙⲉⲉⲩⲉ ⲛϯⲛⲁⲕⲁⲁϥ ⲁⲛ ⲉϥϣⲁⲁⲧ ⲛⲗⲁⲁⲩ ⲛⲁⲅⲁⲑⲟⲛϣⲁ ⲉⲛⲉϩ'The Saviour said to them: "Don’t be afraid! It is I who will shelter your bodies. I will let a martyr shrine be built for you in my name. Whoever shall build a martyr shrine for you, I will grant him to you as a child in my kingdom. Whoever will give an offering at the shrine, I will fill his house with every good thing on earth. I will cause my angels to shelter their bodies and their souls in the aeons of the light. Whoever will write the book of your martyrdom, I will write his name in the book of life. I will install my blessing and my peace at the place where your bodies shall be laid. Behold I have appointed the angel Raphael to serve at your shrine. Large numbers suffering from different illnesses will come to your shrine, they will obtain healing and they will return to their houses in peace. Whoever shall give alms to a poor person, to a stranger, or to a widow on the day of your commemoration, I will never leave him lacking any good thing."'Armenius the dux finally hands the saints over to his colleague Eutychianus, dux of the Thebaid, who was visiting, for fear of an uprising in the city. Eutychianus had them cast into a ship and went south reaching the area of Tepot where they were beheaded after refusing to sacrifice. The number of people martyred with them on the same day was one hundred and thirty-seven.At the end of the text, Julius (of Kbahs/Aqfahs) appears in the first person singular, explaining that he is writing the records of the saints in Alexandria claiming that he has neither added not taken anything away of what he has seen himself and that he has been with the saints on the boat of the dux until they fulfilled their martyrdom. He claims to have seen Raphael gathering up the blood of the saints not letting it sink into the ground, and he saw the angels crowning and robing the saints. Great watch dogs were guarding the remains of the saints and not letting anyone near them until *Are, an old man of Shetnoufe (S00755), was guided to their bodies by an angel. He wrapped them in grave clothes and gave them a proper burial, until it would please God to reveal them. Text: Reymond-Barns 1973. Summary and translation: Gesa Schenke.

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