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E07444: The late 4th to 6th century collection of Miracles of *Menas (soldier martyr of Egypt, S00073), ascribed to Timothy of Alexandria, recounts the story of the miraculous uncovering of a Christian’s fraud, who attempted to seize an amount of money entrusted to him by his Jewish friend, and committed perjury at the shrine. Written in Greek in Alexandria.

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posted on 10.03.2019, 00:00 by erizos
Timothy of Alexandria, Miracles of Menas (CPG 2527, BHG 1256-1269)

Miracle 4. The Jew and the Christian (BHG 1260)

Summary:

A Jewish merchant from Alexandria entrusts a Christian friend with a sealed purse of money, asking him to keep it safe while he is away on a journey. When he returns, the Christian refuses to return the money, pretending that he never received it. The Jew proposes to go to the church of Menas and take oaths. Assuming that the oath cannot harm him, since his conflict is with a Jew, the Christian accepts. They both pray and, against the Jew’s hopes, nothing happens to the Christian. On their way back, the Christian falls off his horse, and loses the keys of his safe, but is left unharmed, which makes him happy, as he assumes this to be a modest consequence for his perjury. They arrive in Loxoneta and stop to buy food. While the Jew despairs, suddenly the Christian’s slave appears, carrying the Jew’s purse and the Christian’s keys. He reports that a great soldier on horseback visited the Christian’s wife, gave her the key and instructed her to send the Jew’s money to her husband, because he was being tormented by the saint. The Jew receives the purse and rejoices, declaring the greatness of the Christian faith. He offers one third of the money (1000 pieces of gold) to Menas’ shrine and is baptised. The Christian offers half of his fortune to the shrine, and spends the rest of his life there as a penitent.

Text: Pomialovskii 1900.
Summary: E. Rizos.

History

Evidence ID

E07444

Saint Name

Menas, soldier and martyr buried at Abu Mena : S00073

Saint Name in Source

Μηνᾶς

Type of Evidence

Literary - Hagiographical - Collections of miracles

Language

Greek

Evidence not before

380

Evidence not after

700

Activity not before

380

Activity not after

700

Place of Evidence - Region

Egypt and Cyrenaica Egypt and Cyrenaica

Place of Evidence - City, village, etc

Abu Mina Alexandria

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

Abu Mina Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis Alexandria Hermopolis ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ Ashmunein Hermopolis

Cult activities - Places

Burial site of a saint - tomb/grave

Cult activities - Non Liturgical Practices and Customs

Oath

Cult Activities - Miracles

Miracle after death Punishing miracle Apparition, vision, dream, revelation Miracles causing conversion Miraculous protection - of people and their property

Cult Activities - Protagonists in Cult and Narratives

Jews and Samaritans

Source

The collection is preserved, not always intact, in 69 manuscripts, on which see: https://pinakes.irht.cnrs.fr/notices/oeuvre/9359/

Discussion

For the context of this story, see E07440.

Bibliography

Text: Pomialovskii, I., Житие преподобного Паисия Великого и Тимофея патриарха Александрийского повествование о чудесах св. великомученика Мины (St Petersburg, 1900), 61-89. Further reading: Delehaye, H., "Les recueils antiques de miracles des saints," Analecta Bollandiana 43 (1925), 5-85, 305-325. Efthymiadis, S., "Collections of Miracles (Fifth-Fifteenth Centuries)," in: S. Efthymiadis (ed.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Byzantine Hagiography II: Genres and Contexts (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014), 106.

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