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Fathers of the Church

The Giving Up of Pontius Pilate

Description

This apocryphal work recounts how Pilate was beheaded by the Caesar for crucifying a God, Christ Jesus. Also included is a separate account of the death of Pilate and another similar account, called The Avenging of the Savior.

Provenance

When early Christianity was still struggling with Roman paganism, there was a widespread inclination to focus on Pontius Pilate's role in the Passion as the one representative of the Roman Empire who became involved. Many apocryphal works were composed during this time that exaggerated Pilate's weak defense of Christ into an apology for His innocent passion and death, Resurrection, and His Divinity. This one, also called the Paradoseis, is the oldest version of the legend concerning Pilate's later life.

by Unknown in Unknown | translated by Alexander Walker, Esq., One of Her Majesty's Inspectors of schools for Scotland

AND the writings having come to the city of the Romans, and having been read to the Caesar, with not a few standing by, all were astounded, because through the wickedness of Pilate the darkness and the earthquake had come over the whole world. And the Caesar, filled with rage, sent soldiers, and ordered them to bring Pilate a prisoner.

And when he was brought to the city of the Romans, the Caesar, hearing that Pilate had arrived, sat in the temple of the gods, in the presence of all the senate, and with all the army, and all the multitude of his power; and he ordered Pilate to stand forward. And the Caesar says to him: Why hast thou, O most impious, dared to do such things, having seen so great miracles in that man? By daring to do an evil deed, thou hast destroyed the whole world.

And Pilate said: O almighty king, I am innocent of these things; but the multitude of the Jews are violent and guilty. And the Caesar said: And who are they? Pilate says: Herod, Archelaus, Philip, Annas and Caiaphas, and all the multitude of the Jews. The Caesar says: For what reason didst thou follow out their counsel? And Pilate says: Their nation is rebellious and insubmissive, not submitting themselves to thy power. And the Caesar said: When they delivered him to thee, thou oughtest to have made him secure, and to have sent him to me, and not to have obeyed them in crucifying such a man, righteous as he was, and one that did such good miracles, as thou hast said in thy report. For from such miracles Jesus was manifestly the Christ, the King of the Jews.

And as the Caesar was thus speaking, when he named the name of Christ, all the multitude of the gods fell down in a body, and became as dust, where the Caesar was sitting with the senate. And the people standing beside the Caesar all began to tremble, on account of the speaking of the word, and the fall of their gods; and being seized with terror, they all went away, each to his own house, wondering at what had happened. And the Caesar ordered Pilate to be kept in security, in order that he might know the truth about Jesus.

And on the following day, the Caesar, sitting in the Capitol with all the senate, tried again to question Pilate. And the Caesar says: Tell the truth, O most impious, because through thy impious action which thou hast perpetrated against Jesus, even here the doing of thy wicked deeds has been shown by the gods having been cast down. Say, then, who is he that has been crucified; because even his name has destroyed all the gods? Pilate said: And indeed the records of him are true; for assuredly I myself was persuaded from his works that he was greater than all the gods whom we worship. And the Caesar said: For what reason, then, didst thou bring against him such audacity and such doings, if thou wert not ignorant of him, and altogether devising mischief against my kingdom? Pilate said: On account of the wickedness and rebellion of the lawless and ungodly Jews, I did this.

And the Caesar, being filled with rage, held a council with all his senate and his power, and ordered a decree to be written against the Jews as follows:—To Licianus, the governor of the chief places of the East, greeting. The reckless deed which has been done at the present time by the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the cities of the Jews round about, and their wicked action, has come to my knowledge, that they have forced Pilate to crucify a certain god named Jesus, and on account of this great fault of theirs the world has been darkened and dragged to destruction. Do thou then speedily, with a multitude of soldiers, go to them there, and make them prisoners, in accordance with this decree. Be obedient, and take action against them, and scatter them, and make them slaves among all the nations; and having driven them out of the whole of Judaea, make them the smallest of nations, so that it may not any longer be seen at all, because they are full of wickedness.

And this decree having come into the region of the East, Licianus, obeying from fear of the decree, seized all the nation of the Jews; and those that were left in Judaea he scattered among the nations, and sold for slaves: so that it was known to the Caesar that these things had been done by Licianus against the Jews in the region of the East; and it pleased him.

And again the Caesar set himself to question Pilate; and he orders a captain named Albius to cut off Pilate's head, saying: Just as he laid hands upon the just man named Christ, in like manner also shall he fall, and not find safety.

And Pilate, going away to the place, prayed. in silence, saying: Lord, do not destroy me along with the wicked Hebrews, because I would not have laid hands upon Thee, except for the nation of the lawless Jews, because they were exciting rebellion against me. But Thou knowest that I did it in ignorance. Do not then destroy me for this my sin; but remember not evil against me, O Lord, and against Thy servant Procla, who is standing with me in this the hour of my death, whom Thou didst appoint to prophesy that Thou shouldest be nailed to the cross. Do not condemn her also in my sin; but pardon us, and make us to be numbered in the portion of Thy righteous.

And, behold, when Pilate had finished his prayer, there came a voice out of the heaven, saying: All the generations and families of the nations shall count thee blessed, because under thee have been fulfilled all those things said about me by the prophets; and thou thyself shall be seen as my witness at my second appearing, when I shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel, and those that have not owned my name. And the prefect struck off the head of Pilate; and, behold, an angel of the Lord received it. And his wife Procla, seeing the angel coming and receiving his head, being filled with joy herself also, immediately gave up the ghost, and was buried along with her husband.

THE DEATH OF PILATE, WHO CONDEMNED JESUS

AND when Tiberius Caesar, the emperor of the Romans, was labouring under a grievous disease, and understanding that there was at Jerusalem a certain physician, Jesus by name, who by a single word cured all infirmities, he, not knowing that the Jews and Pilate had put Him to death, ordered a certain friend of his named Volusianus: Go as quickly as possible across the seas; and thou shalt tell Pilate, my servant and friend, to send me this physician, that he may restore me to my former health. And this Volusianus, having heard the emperor's command, immediately departed, and came to Pilate, as he had been commanded. And he related to the same Pilate what had been entrusted to him by Tiberius Caesar, saying: Tiberius Caesar, the emperor of the Romans, thy master, having heard that in this city there is a physician who by his word alone heals infirmities, begs thee earnestly to send him to him for the curing of his infirmity. Pilate, hearing this, was very much afraid, knowing that through envy he had caused Him to be put to death. Pilate answered the same messenger thus, saying: This man was a malefactor, and a man who drew to himself all the people; so a council of the wise men of the city was held, and I caused him to be crucified. And this messenger returning to his inn, met a certain woman named Veronica, who had been a friend of Jesus; and he said: O woman, a certain physician who was in this city, who cured the sick by a word alone, why have the Jews put him to death? And she began to weep, saying: Ah me! my lord, my God and my Lord, whom Pilate for envy delivered, condemned, and ordered to be crucified. Then he, being exceedingly grieved, said: I am vehemently grieved that I am unable to accomplish that for which my lord had sent me. And Veronica said to him: When my Lord was going about preaching, and I, much against my will, was deprived of His presence, I wished His picture to be painted for me, in order that, while I was deprived of His presence, the figure of His picture might at least afford me consolation. And when I was carrying the canvas to the painter to be painted, my Lord met me, and asked whither I was going. And when I had disclosed to Him the cause of my journey, He asked of me the cloth, and gave it back to me impressed with the image of His venerable face. Therefore, if thy lord will devoutly gaze upon His face, he shall obtain forthwith the benefit of health. And he said to her: Is a picture of such a sort procurable by gold or silver? She said to him: No; but by the pious influence of devotion. I shall therefore set out with thee, and shall carry the picture to be seen by Caesar, and shall come back again.

Volusianus therefore came with Veronica to Rome, and said to Tiberius the emperor: Jesus, whom thou hast been longing for, Pilate and the Jews have delivered to an unjust death, and have through envy affixed to the gibbet of the cross. There has therefore come with me a certain matron, bringing a picture of Jesus himself; and if thou wilt devoutly look upon it, thou shall immediately obtain the benefit of thy health. Caesar therefore ordered the way to be strewn with silk cloths, and the picture to be presented to him; and as soon as he had looked upon it, he regained his former health.

Pontius Pilate, therefore, by the command of Caesar, is taken and brought through to Rome. Caesar. hearing that Pilate had arrived at Rome, was filled with exceeding fury against him, and caused him to be brought to him. But Pilate brought down with him the seamless tunic of Jesus; and he wore it on him in presence of the emperor. And as soon as the emperor saw him, he laid aside all his anger, and forthwith rose up to meet him. Nor was he able to speak harshly to him in anything; and he who seemed so terrible and fierce in his absence, now in his presence is somehow found to be mild. And when he had sent him away, immediately he blazed out against him terribly, crying out that he was a wretch, inasmuch as he had not at all shown him the fury of his heart. And immediately he made him be called back, swearing and declaring that he was the son of death, and that it was infamous that he should live upon the earth. And as soon as he saw him, he forthwith saluted him, and threw away all the ferocity of his mind. All wondered; and he himself wondered that he should thus blaze out against Pilate when he was absent, and that while he was present he could say nothing to him roughly. Then, by a divine impulse, or perhaps by the advice of some Christian, he caused him to be stripped of that tunic, and immediately resumed against him his former ferocity of mind. And when at this the emperor wondered very much, it was told him that that tunic had belonged to the Lord Jesus. Then the emperor ordered him to be kept in prison, until he should deliberate in a council of the wise men what ought to be done with him. And a few days after, sentence was therefore passed upon Pilate, that he should be condemned to the most disgraceful death. Pilate, hearing this, killed himself with his own knife, and by such a death ended his life.

When Caesar knew of the death of Pilate, he said: Truly he has died by a most disgraceful death, whom his own hand has not spared. He is therefore bound to a great mass, and sunk into the river Tiber. But malignant and filthy spirits in his malignant and filthy body, all rejoicing together, kept moving themselves in the waters, and in a terrible manner brought lightnings and tempests, thunders and hail-storms, in the air, so that all men were kept in horrible fear. Wherefore the Romans, drawing him out of the river Tiber, in derision carried him down to Vienna, and sunk him in the river Rhone. For Vienna is called, as it were, Via Gehennoe, the way of Gehenna, because it was then a place of cursing. But there evil spirits were present, working the same things in the same place. Those men therefore, not enduring such a visitation of demons, removed froth themselves that vessel of malediction, and sent him to be buried in the territory of Losania. And they, seeing that they were troubled by the aforesaid visitations, removed him from themselves, and sunk him in a certain pit surrounded by mountains, where to this day, according to the account of some, certain diabolical machinations are said to bubble up.

THE AVENGING OF THE SAVIOUR

HERE BEGINNETH THE AVENGING OF THE SAVIOUR.

IN the days of the Emperor Tiberius Caesar, when Herod was tetrarch, Christ was delivered under Pontius Pilate by the Jews, and revealed by Tiberius.

In those days Titus was a prince under Tiberius in the region of Equitania, in a city of Libia which is called Burgidalla. And Titus had a sore in his right nostril, on account of a cancer, and he bad his face torn even to the eye. There went forth a certain man from Judaea, by name Nathan the son of Nahum; for he was an Ishmaelite who went from land to land, and from sea to sea, and in all the ends of the earth. Now Nathan was sent from Judaea to the Emperor Tiberius, to carry their treaty to the city of Rome. And Tiberius was ill, and full of ulcers and fevers, and had nine kinds of leprosy. And Nathan wished to go to the city of Rome. But the north wind blew and hindered his sailing, and carried him down to the harbour of a city of Libia. Now Titus, seeing the ship coming, knew that it was from Judaea; and they all wondered, and said that they had never seen any vessel so coming from that quarter. And Titus ordered the captain to come to him, and asked him who he was. And he said: I am Nathan the son of Nahum, of the race of the Ishmaelites, and I am a subject of Pontius Pilate in Judaea. And I have been sent to go to Tiberius the Roman emperor, to carry a treaty from Judaea. And a strong wind came down upon the sea, and has brought me to a country that I do not know.

And Titus says: If thou couldst at any time find anything either of cosmetics or herbs which could cure the wound that I have in my face, as thou seest, so that I should become whole, and regain my former health, I should bestow upon thee many good things. And Nathan said to him: I do not know, nor have I ever known, of such things as thou speakest to me about. But for all that, if thou hadst been some time ago in Jerusalem, there thou wouldst have found a choice prophet, whose name was Emanuel, for He will save His people from their sins. And He, as His first miracle in Cana of Galilee, made wine from water; and by His word He cleansed lepers, He enlightened the eyes of one born blind, He healed paralytics, He made demons flee, He raised up three dead; a woman caught in adultery, and condemned by the Jews to be stoned, He set free; and another woman, mined Veronica, who suffered twelve years from an issue of blood, and came up to Him behind, and touched the fringe of His garment, He healed; and with five loaves and two fishes He satisfied five thousand men, to say nothing of little ones and women, and there remained of the fragments twelve baskets. All these things, and many others, were accomplished before His passion. After His resurrection we saw Him in the flesh as He had been before. And Titus said to Him: How did he rise again from the dead, seeing that he was dead? And Nathan answered and said: He was manifestly dead, and hung up on the cross, and again taken down from the cross, and for three days He lay in the tomb: thereafter He rose again from the dead, and went down to Hades, and freed the patriarchs and the prophets, and the whole human race; thereafter He appeared to His disciples, and ate with them; thereafter they saw Him going up into heaven. And so it is the truth, all this that I tell you. For I saw it with my own eyes, and all the house of Israel. And Titus said in his own words: Woe to thee, O Emperor Tiberius, full of ulcers, and enveloped in leprosy, because such a scandal has been committed in thy kingdom; because thou hast made such laws in Judaea, in the land of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, and they have seized the King, and put to death the Ruler of the peoples; and they have not made Him come to us to cure thee of thy leprosy, and cleanse me from mine infirmity: on which account, if they had been before my face, with my own hands I should have slain the carcases of those Jews, and hung them up on the cruel tree, because they have destroyed my Lord, and mine eyes have not been worthy to see His face. And when he had thus spoken, immediately the wound fell from the face of Titus, and his flesh and his face were restored to health. And all the sick who were in the same place were made whole in that hour. And Titus cried out, and all the rest with him, in a loud voice, saying: My King and my God, because I have never seen Thee, and Thou hast made me whole, bid me go with the ship over the waters to the land of Thy birth, to take vengeance on Thine enemies; and help me, O Lord, that I may be able to destroy them, and avenge Thy death: do Thou, Lord, deliver them into my hand. And having thus spoken, he ordered that he should be baptized. And he called Nathan to him, and said to him: How hast thou seen those baptized who believe in Christ? Come to me, and baptize me in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. For I also firmly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart, and with all my soul; because nowhere in the whole world is there another who has created me, and made me whole from my wounds.

And having thus spoken, he sent messengers to Vespasian to come with all haste with his bravest men, so prepared as if for war.

Then Vespasian brought with him five thousand armed men, and they went to meet Titus. And when they had come to the city of Libia, he said to Titus: Why is it that thou hast made me come hither? And he said: Know that Jesus has come into this world, and has been born in Judaea, in a place which is called Bethlehem, and has been given up by the Jews, and scourged, and crucified on Mount Calvary, and has risen again from the dead on the third day. And His disciples have seen Him in the same flesh in which he was born, and He has shown Himself to His disciples, and they have believed in Him. And we indeed wish to become His disciples. Now, let us go and destroy His enemies from the earth, that they may now know that there is none like the Lord our God on the face of the earth.

With this design, then, they went forth from the city of Libia which is called Burgidalla, and went on board a ship, and proceeded to Jerusalem, and surrounded the kingdom of the Jews, and began to send them to destruction. And when the kings of the Jews heard of their doings, and the wasting of their land, fear came upon them, and they were in great perplexity. Then Archelaus was perplexed in his words, and said to his son: My son, take my kingdom and judge it; and take counsel with the other kings who are in the land of Judah, that you may be able to escape from our enemies. And having thus said, he unsheathed his sword and leant upon it; and turned his sword, which was very sharp, and thrust it into his breast, and died. And his son allied himself with the other kings who were under him, and they took counsel among themselves, and went into Jerusalem with their chief men who were in their counsel, and stood in the same place seven years. And Titus and Vespasian took counsel to surround their city. And they did so. And the seven years being fulfilled, there was a very sore famine, and for want of bread they began to eat earth. Then all the soldiers who were of the four kings took counsel among themselves, and said: Now we are sure to die: what will God do to us? or of what good is our life to us, because the Romans have come to take our place and nation? It is better for us to kill each other, than that the Romans should say that they have slain us, and gained the victory over us. And they drew their swords and smote themselves, and died, to the number of twelve thousand men of them. Then there was a great stench in that city from the corpses of those dead men. And their kings feared with a very great fear even unto death; and they could not bear the stench of them, nor bury them, nor throw them forth out of the city. And they said to each other: What shall we do? We indeed gave up Christ to death, and now we given up to death ourselves. Let us bow our heads, and give up the keys of the city to the Romans, because God has already given us up to death. And immediately they went up upon the walls of the city, and all cried out with a loud voice, saying: Titus and Vespasian, take the keys of the city, which have been given to you by Messiah, who is called Christ.

Then they gave themselves up into the hands of Titus and Vespasian, and said: Judge us, seeing that we ought to die, because we judged Christ; and he was given up without cause. Titus and Vespasian seized them, and some they stoned, and some they hanged on a tree, feet up and head down, and struck them through with lances; and others they gave up to be sold, and others they divided among themselves, and made four parts of them, just as they had done of the garments of the Lord. And they said: They sold Christ for thirty pieces of silver, and we shall sell thirty of them for one denarius. And so they did. And having done so, they seized all the lands of Judaea and Jerusalem.

Then they made a search about the face or portrait of Jesus, how they might find it. And they found a woman named Veronica who had it. Then they seized Pilate, and sent him to prison, to be guarded by four quaternions of soldiers at the door of the prison. Then they forthwith sent their messengers to Tiberius, the emperor of the city of Rome, that he should send Velosianus to them. And he said to him: Take all that is necessary for thee in the sea, and go down into Judaea, and seek out one of the disciples of him who is called Christ and Lord, that he may come to me, and in the name of his God cure me of the leprosy and the infirmities by which I am daily exceedingly burdened, and of my wounds, because I am ill at ease. And send upon the kings of the Jews, who are subject to my authority, thy forces and terrible engines, because they have put to death Jesus Christ our Lord, and condemn them to death. And if thou shalt there find a man as may be able to free me from this infirmity of mine, I will believe in Christ the Son of God, and will baptize myself in his name. And Velosianus said: My lord emperor, if I find such a man as may be able to help and free us, what reward shall I promise him? Tiberius said to him: The half of my kingdom, without fail, to be in his hand.

Then Velosianus immediately went forth, and went on board the ship, and hoisted the sail in the vessel, and went on sailing through the sea. And he sailed a year and seven days, after which he arrived at Jerusalem. And immediately he ordered some of the Jews to come to his power, and began carefully to ask what had been the acts of Christ. Then Joseph, of the city of Arimathaea, and Nicodemus, came at the same time. And Nicodemus said: I saw Him, and I know indeed that He is the Saviour of the world. And Joseph said to him: And I took Him down from the cross, and laid Him in a new tomb, which had been cut out of the rock. And the Jews kept me shut up on the day of the preparation, at evening; and while I was standing in prayer on the Sabbath-day, the house was hung up by the four corners, and I saw the Lord Jesus Christ like a gleam of light, and for fear I fell to the ground. And He said to me, Look upon me, for I am Jesus, whose body thou buriedst in thy tomb. And I said to Him, Show me the sepulchre where I laid Thee. And Jesus, holding my hand in His right hand, led me to the place where I buried Him.

And there came also the woman named Veronica, and said to him: And I touched in the crowd the fringe of His garment, because for twelve years I had suffered from an issue of blood; and He immediately healed me. Then Velosianus said to Pilate: Thou, Pilate, impious and cruel, why hast thou slain the Son of God? And Pilate answered: His own nation, and the chief priests Annas and Caiaphas, gave him to me. Volosianus said: Impious and cruel, thou art worthy of death and cruel punishment. And he sent him back to prison. And Velosianus at last sought for the face or the countenance of the Lord. And all who were in that same place said: It is the woman called Veronica who has the portrait of the Lord in her house. And immediately he ordered her to be brought before his power. And he said to her: Hast thou the portrait of the Lord in thy house? But she said, No. Then Velosianus ordered her to be put to the torture, until she should give up the portrait of the Lord. And she was forced to say: I have it in clean linen, my lord, and I daily adore it. Velosianus said: Show it to me. Then she showed the portrait of the Lord. When Velosianus saw it, he prostrated himself on the ground; and with a ready heart and true faith he took hold of it, and wrapped it in cloth of gold, and placed it in a casket, and sealed it with his ring. And he swore with an oath, and said: As the Lord God liveth, and by the health of Caesar, no man shall any more see it upon the face of the earth, until I see the face of my lord Tiberius. And when he had thus spoken, the princes, who were the chief men of Judaea, seized Pilate to take him to a seaport. And he took the portrait of the Lord, with all His disciples, and all in his pay, and they went on board the ship the same day. Then the woman Veronica, for the love of Christ, left all that she possessed, and followed Velosianus. And Velosianus said to her: What dost thou wish, woman, or what dost thou seek? And she answered: I am seeking the portrait of our Lord Jesus Christ, who enlightened me, not for my own merits, but through His own holy affection. Give back to me the portrait of my Lord Jesus Christ; for because of this I die with a righteous longing. But if thou do not give it back to me, I will not leave it until I see where thou wilt put it, because I, most miserable woman that I am, will serve Him all the days of my life; because I believe that He, my Redeemer, liveth for everlasting.

Then Velosianus ordered the woman Veronica to be taken down with him into the ship And the sails being hoisted. they began to go in the vessel in the name of the Lord, and they sailed through the sea. But Titus, along with Vespasian, went up into Judaea, avenging all nations upon their land. At the end of a year Velosianus came to the city of Rome, brought his vessel into the river which is called Tiberis, or Tiber, and entered the city which is called Rome. And he sent his messenger to his lord Tiberius the emperor in the Lateran about his prosperous arrival.

Then Tiberius the emperor, when he heard the message of Velosianus, rejoiced greatly, and ordered him to come before his face. And when he had come, he called him, saying: Velosianus, how hast thou come, and what hast thou seen in the region of Judaea of Christ the Lord and his disciples? Tell me, I beseech thee, that he is going to cure me of mine infirmity, that I may be at once cleansed from that leprosy which I have over my body, and I give up my whole kingdom into thy power and his.

And Velosianus said: My lord emperor, I found thy servants Titus and Vespasian in Judaea fearing the Lord, and they were cleansed from all their ulcers and sufferings. And I found that all the kings and rulers of Judaea have been hanged by Titus; Annas and Caiaphas have been stoned, Archelaus has killed himself with his own lance; and I have sent Pilate to Damascus in bonds, and kept him in prison under safe keeping. But I have also found out about Jesus, whom the Jews most wickedly attacked with swords, and staves, and weapons; and they crucified him who ought to have freed and enlightened us, and to have come to us, and they hanged him on a tree. And Joseph came from Arimathaea, and Nicodemus with him, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds, to anoint the body of Jesus; and they took him down from the cross, and laid him in a new tomb. And on the third day he most assuredly rose again froth the dead, and showed himself to his disciples in the same flesh in which he had been born. At length, after forty days, they saw him going up into heaven. Many, indeed, and other miracles did Jesus before his passion and after. First, of water he made wine; he raised the dead, he cleansed lepers, he enlightened the blind, he cured paralytics, he put demons to flight; he made the deaf hear, the dumb speak; Lazarus, when four days dead, he raised from the tomb; the woman Veronica, who suffered from an issue of blood twelve years, and touched the fringe of his garment, he made whole. Then it pleased the Lord in the heavens, that the Son of God, who, sent into this world as the first-created, had died upon earth, should send his angel; and he commanded Titus and Vespasian, whom I knew in that place where thy throne is. And it pleased God Almighty that they went into Judaea and Jerusalem, and seized thy subjects, and put them under that sentence, as it were, in the same manner as they did when thy subjects seized Jesus and bound him. And Vespasian afterwards said: What shall we do about those who shall remain? Titus answered: They hanged our Lord on a green tree, and struck him with a lance; now let us hang them on a dry tree, and pierce their bodies through and through with the lance. And they did so. And Vespasian said: What about those who are left? Titus answered: They seized the tunic of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of it made four parts; now let us seize them, and divide them into four parts,—to thee one, to me one, to thy men another, and to my servants the fourth part. And they did so. And Vespasian said: But what shall we do about those who are left? Titus answered him: The Jews sold our Lord for thirty pieces of silver: now let us sell thirty of them for one piece of silver. And they did so. And they seized Pilate, and gave him up to me, and I put him in prison, to be guarded by four quaternions of soldiers in Damascus. Then they made a search with great diligence to seek the portrait of the Lord; and they found a woman named Veronica who had the portrait of the Lord. Then the Emperor Tiberius said to Velosianus: How hast thou it? And he answered: I have it in clean cloth of gold, rolled up in a shawl. And the Emperor Tiberius said: Bring it to me, and spread it before my face, that I, falling to the ground and bending my knees, may adore it on the ground. Then Velosianus spread out his shawl with the cloth of gold on which the portrait of the Lord had been imprinted; and the Emperor Tiberius saw it. And he immediately adored the image of the Lord with a pure heart, and his flesh was cleansed as the flesh of a little child. And all the blind, the lepers, the lame, the dumb, the deaf, and those possessed by various diseases, who were there present, were healed, and cured, and cleansed. And the Emperor Tiberius bowed his head and bent his knees, considering that saying: Blessed is the womb which bore Thee, and the breasts which Thou hast sucked; and he groaned to the Lord, saying with tears: God of heaven and earth, do not permit me to sin, but confirm my soul and my body, and place me in Thy kingdom, because in Thy name do I trust always: free me from all evils, as Thou didst free the three children from the furnace of blazing fire.

Then said the Emperor Tiberius to Velosianus: Velosianus, hast thou seen any of those men who saw Christ? Velosianus answered: I have. He said: Didst thou ask how they baptize those who believed in Christ? Velosianus said: Here, my Lord, we have one of the disciples of Christ himself. Then he ordered Nathan to be summoned to come to him. Nathan therefore came and baptized him in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. Immediately the Emperor Tiberius, made whole from all his diseases, ascended upon his throne, and said: Blessed art Thou, O Lord God Almighty, and worthy to be praised, who hast freed me from the snare of death, and cleansed me from all mine iniquities; because I have greatly sinned before Thee, O Lord my God, and I am not worthy to see Thy face. And then the Emperor Tiberius was instructed in all the articles of the faith, fully, and with strong faith.

May that same God Almighty, who is King of kings and Lord of lords, Himself shield us in His faith, and defend us, and deliver us from all danger and evil, and deign to bring us to life everlasting, when this life, which is temporary, shall fail; who is blessed for ever and ever. Amen.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (ANF 8, Roberts and Donaldson). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.