bobby1933 (bobby1933) wrote,

Ancient Forensics - The Desert Monk Macarius

And they told of him*, that at one time in the neighboring countryside a murder had been committed, and the crime fastened on an innocent man, and he who was thus under calumny fled for refuge to his (Macarius') cell: and thither came also his persecutors, accusing him and declaring that they themselves were in peril unless they seized the murderer and delivered him over to the law.  But he on whom the crime was fastened swore on the sacraments that he was innocent of this man's blood.  And while the contention went on, on this side and on that, the holy Macarius asked where he was buried that was reportedly slain.  And when they had shown him the place, he set out with all the company that had come to harry the man to the sepulchre, and there upon his knees he invoked the name of Christ, and said to those who stood by: "Now shall the Lord show if the guilty man is indeed this whom ye have accused."  And lifting up his voice, he called the dead man by name, and when he that was summoned answered from the sepulchre, he said to him: "I charge ye by the faith  of Christ, tell us now if it was by this man who bears the blame, that thou wast slain."  Then the voice from the grave did clearly answer that it was not by him he had been slain.  And in amazement, they all fell to the ground, and they rolled at his feet and began begging him to ask the dead by whom he had been slain.  Then said he, "I shall not ask this thing; it is enough for me that the innocent goes free; it is not for me to betray the guilty" -- History of the Monks of Egypt, translated from the Greek by Rufinius of Aquileia  in Helen Waddel, The Desert Fathers

*Macarius -- probably Macarius the Elder (The Egyptian).
Tags: desert fathers, detective story, sermon on the mount
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