The Life of Saint John the Theologian – Chapter 13

The Life and Struggles of the
Holy Apostle and Evangelist
John the Theologian

Chapter 13

The Temple of Apollo

“Three years had passed since our arrival at Patmos, and a great number came to believe and were baptized by John. One day, we went out to the market place near the temple of Apollo. A large crowd had gathered, wherein were some of the faithful; others were unbelievers. The priests of Apollo begin to say: ‘Mindless ones, why heed ye the words of that fraud? Do you not know that he is exiled for sorcery? Wherefore do ye deceive yourselves and hearken to this piteous and banished man who doth insult our immortal gods?’ John heard this and addressed the priests, saying: ‘Behold, in the name of Christ, your house shall be made desolate!’ And at that very instant, the temple of Apollo collapsed, though no one was injured. The priests then laid hold of John and inflicted upon in many stripes. He was then taken by them to the governor, Aquila, to whom they complained: ‘John, this exile, hath by sorcerous arts destroyed the temple of the great god Apollo!’
When the governor heard this he was troubled and saddened exceedingly. He commanded that we be bound in chains and placed in the deepest dungeon.

“When Myron and his son Apollonides heard of our predicament, they went before governor Aquila. Apollonides addressed him: ‘All agree that they compassion, philanthropy and charity is great towards all those in need. Therefore, I beseech thine honor, on behalf of the foreigner John: place him in our care. If any speak against him before thee, we will produce him in whatever hour thou wishest him to appear before thee.’ The governor answered him: ‘I have heard many things concerning this man, that he is a sorcerer. What if by magic he eludeth thee? Then what shall we do?’ They replied: ‘If thou becomest ill-disposed towards John, be it on our heads and all our house and possessions.’ Since the governor greatly respected Mton and Apollonides, and they were the most honored and prominent family in the city, we were given into their charge. Both father and son came down into our dungeon, and loosed our fetters and brought us back to their home. Myron then said to John: ‘Stay in the house of thy servant and no longer venture out into the marketplace, for evil and barbaric are many of the inhabitants of this city; and I fear that mayhap they may slay thee.’ John answered: ‘Brother Myron, Christ did not send me to rest in houses, ut sent me rather to the barbaric and eil men, saying: “I send thee forth as lambs among wolves,” and again, “we must through much tribulation enter the kingdom of the heavens.” Therefore, I am ready for the name of Christ, to bear dishonour, patiently to endure beatings, to rejoice in persecution, and in brief, daily to die for Christ.’

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