Thursday, April 25, 2013

A-Z: "V" is for Valerian in The Second Nuns Tale

The A-Z Challenge letter today is V and my post is for "Valerian" in The Second Nuns Tale .  The nun tells the story of Saint Cecilia, an extremely devout Christian who converts her husband (Valerian) and brother-in-law to Christianity   When she marries Valerian, she explains that she is protected by an angel and that in order to be with her, he must convert.  She said when he does, the angel will then reveal himself.  Once baptized, Valerian does see the guardian angel and then his brother, Tibruce, converts as well.  

A Roman prefect, Almachius, discovers the men are now Christians and summons them for their betrayal.  He ends up executing the brothers, but not before they convert several other men in his army.  Almachius then summons Cecelia and demands that she honor the god, Jupiter.   When she refuses, he attempts to boil her alive.  By some miracle she is not harmed and swears its like wonderfully warm.  They then tried to slice her throat three times but she is still able to preach the word of God. Read verses 407-420 of the Second Nun's Tale:

407  The executioner three times her smote
408  Upon the neck, and could not strike again,
409  Although he failed to cut in two her throat,
410  For at that time the ordinance was plain
411  That no man might another give the pain
412  Of striking four blows, whether soft or sore;
413  This executioner dared do no more.
414  But half dead, with her neck cut three times there,
415  He let her lie, and on his way he went.
416  The Christian folk that all about her were,
417  With sheets caught up the precious blood she spent;
418  And three days lived she in this same torment,
419  But never ceased at all the faith to teach,
420  That she had fostered; dying did she preach;

Interesting tale, huh?  Cecelia was indeed amazing, but I think Valerian was just as great. Have you read this one?

Mina B.


Nick Wilford said...

Sounds like a great tale about the power of faith. I'm tickled by the idea of someone being boiled alive and saying "It's nice and warm!"

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Faith is stronger than all else.

S. L. Hennessy said...

They tried to slice her throat THREE times. What in the world?!?!