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Chapter II.

Martin, then, clothed in this garment, proceeds to offer the sacrifice114114    “oblaturus sacrificium.” to God. And then on that very day—I am about to narrate something wonderful—when he was engaged in blessing the altar, as is usual, we beheld a globe of fire dart from his head, so that, as it rose on high, the flame produced a hair of extraordinary length. And, although we saw this take place on a very famous day in the midst of a great multitude of people, only one of the virgins, one of the presbyters, and only three of the monks, witnessed the sight: but why the others did not behold it is a matter not to be decided by our judgment.

“About the same time, when my uncle Evanthius, a highly Christian man, although occupied in the affairs of this world, had begun to be afflicted with a very serious illness, to the extreme danger of his life, he sent for Martin. And, without any delay, Martin hastened towards him; but, before the blessed man had completed the half of the distance between them, the sick man experienced the power of him that was coming; and, being immediately restored to health, he himself met us as we were approaching. With many entreaties, he detained Martin, who wished to return home on the following day; for, in the meantime, a serpent had struck with a deadly blow a boy belonging to my uncle’s family; and Evanthius himself, on his own shoulders, carried him all but lifeless through the force of the poison, and laid him at the feet of the holy man, believing that nothing was impossible to him. By this time, the serpent had diffused its poison through all the members of the boy: one could see his skin swollen in all his veins, and his vitals strung up like a leather-bottle. Martin stretched forth his hand, felt all the limbs of the boy, and placed his finger close to the little wound, at which the animal had instilled the poison. Then in truth—I am going to tell things wonderful—we saw the whole poison, drawn from every part of the body, gather quickly together to Martin’s finger; and next, we beheld the poison mixed with blood press through the small puncture of the wound, just as a long line 39of abundant milk is wont to flow forth from the teats of goats or sheep, when these are squeezed by the hand of shepherds. The boy rose up quite well. We were amazed by so striking a miracle; and we acknowledged—as, indeed, truth compelled us to do—that there was no one under heaven who could equal the deeds of Martin.


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