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  • The Legend of St. Christine

    In the little town of Tiro, on the borders of the Lake Bolsena, there was a Roman patrician, an idolater, whose daughter had embraced the Christian faith. One day as this maiden, Christine stood at her window she saw many poor and sick begging; and, to her great distress, she had nothing to give them. Suddenly she remembered that her father had many idols of gold and silver, and, being filled with pity for the sufferers, she took these false gods and, breaking them up, distributed the fragments amongst the poor. When her father returned and found what she had done, his fury was terrible, and he ordered his servants first to beat her with rods, and then to cast her into a dungeon. But in her captivity angels from heaven came and visited her and healed her wounds.

    Then her father ordered that a millstone should be tied round her neck, and that she should be thrown into the lake; but the angels still watched over her, so that did not sink, but floated on the surface the water; and God, seeing what Christine suffered for His sake sent a still more glorious angel to conduct her safely to land. Then her father cried, "What means this witchcraft?" and commanded a furnace be prepared, into which she was thrown; and there she remained five days, unharmed, singing the praises of the Almighty. Next the order came that she should be dragged to the temple to be sacrificed to Apollo; but no sooner had she looked upon it, than the idol fell down, and her father's terror was so great that he died on the spot. Then the Governor Julian, hearing that Christine, in her prison sang ever the praises of God, commanded his soldiers to cut out her tongue; but behold! she sang sweeter than ever, and the serpents and foul reptiles which shared her dungeon became harmless as doves. So the angry governor had the maiden bound to a post, while arrows were shot at her until she died; and thus Christine at last won her martyr's crown and was carried by the angels to heaven.

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    M.F.S. Legends of the Saints. London: R. Washbourne, 1876. 36-38


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