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The Holy Family - Jesus, Mary, Joseph

The Arian emperor and the crown prince.

It is known that Arianism was very widespread in Christian antiquity. The emperor Theodosius himself favored the Arians. The bishop Amphilochius went to see him one day to make him understand that the Father was being dishonored by denying the divine honors to the Son. He asked to be received by the emperor in the presence of the crown prince. On entering, he made a deep bow to the emperor, giving only a simple hello to the prince; the emperor became angry and ordered him to give his son the honors due to him. This is what the bishop was getting at. “Great emperor,” he said, “you ask that your son be honored; God the Father also wants His Son to be given the divine honors due Him, He wants Him to be honored as Himself.” Then he paid the prince the prescribed honors. This remark made an impression on Theodosius, and he professed the Catholic faith until his death (383).

300 people speak without tongue.

Huneric, king of the Vandals (477-484) was a fanatical Arian and persecuted all those who believed in the divinity of Jesus Christ. At Typasa in Mauritania, he ordered that the tongues of 300 Catholics who had confessed the divinity of the Savior be cut out. But, oh wonder! All 300 kept the use of speech and sang hymns in honor of Jesus Christ. They enjoyed this privilege until their death, with the exception of two, who later fell into vice. The authenticity of these facts is guaranteed by several contemporary testimonies: 1. The African bishop Victor of Utica, who described these persecutions, tells us that several confessors, from whom Huneric had had their tongues torn out, lived at the court of the emperor Zeno in Constantinople, and that everyone could ascertain that they spoke without tongues. One of them would be the deacon Restitutus, revered by the empress Adrienne. 2. Another contemporary, the pagan writer Aeneas of Gaza, says that he himself saw these unfortunates and heard them speak. “They told me their story. I made them open their mouths and saw that their tongues had been torn out. I could not understand how these men spoke.” 3. The emperor Justinian (527-565) says that in his youth he conversed with old men without tongues and had a special remark inserted for them in his code. (Cod. lib. I. tit. xxvii.) 4. The historian Procopius, who lived under Justinian, likewise relates that in his time several confessors were still alive who spoke without tongues. 5. St. Gregory the Great, pope, also relates this miracle.

The tyrant wanted, by tearing out the tongue of these martyrs, to prevent them from confessing the divinity of Jesus Christ. This miracle proves that Our Lord is God and Arius a heretic.

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