Below, an abridged translation from the third volume of
Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums.
Most of the martyrs‘ acts are falsified, but all of them were considered as totally valid historical documents (5 of 7)
Following the above examples, as many Christian heroes could have died as the writer wanted. Let us compare the martyrdom of Mar Jacob in Persia with that of St. Arcadius in North Africa, which is still honoured by the Catholic Church on January 12, and also recorded in the Roman martyrology.
Like St. Jacob, Saint Arcadius is a hero and a Christian from the top of his head to the soles of his feet, that is, literally unbreakable. Confronted finally with the instruments of torment by the rabid consul, he only scoffs: ‚Do you order that I have to undress?‘ And he listens to the sentence to cut him slowly one member after another with ‚happy mood‘. The text continues: ‘Now the executioners rush on him and cut off the joints of his fingers, arms and shoulders, and crush the toes, feet and legs. The martyr voluntarily offered one member after another, swimming in his blood, praying aloud:
‚Lord, my God! All these members you have given me, I offer them all to you‘, etcetera. And all those present swim in tears just as the saint does in blood. Even the executioners curse the day they were born.
Only the wicked Roman consul remains undaunted. When the holy confessor had cut off all the lesser members, he ordered the elders to cut off the larger members with blunt axes, so that only the trunk remained. The holy Arcadius, still alive (!) offered God his scattered limbs and shouted: ‚Happy members!‘ after which—as has been said, ’nothing but the trunk’—it followed an ardent religious sermon to the adepts of the classical world…
The editor of the gigantic Catholic work cited, which in the prologue assures us that he only wishes to ‘offer facts founded on the place (!) of the so-called legends’, and ‘only facts that are true and historically proven’, offers in this work an infinity of horrifying stories.
And starting from such horrible coarseness, still in the 20th century—with multiple authorisations of superiority—the government of the Catholic souls extracts the ‚doctrine‘ with the words of none other than St. Arcadius: ‚To die for Him is to live! Suffering for Him is the greatest joy! Support, oh Christ, the hardships and adversities of this life and do not let anything divert you from the service of God. The heaven is a worthy reward for everything’.
For those who do not have enough wonder even with the martyrdom of Mar Jacob—supernatural things happen as well.
To a Christian who owes and wants to kill another Christian, the ’strength of God‘ raises him twice and almost throws him to the ground; three hours is as dead.
Saint Nerses’ head could not be cut off, not even with eighteen swords; only with a knife.
And where these heroes die, since they must die, ‚often at night armies of angels ascend and descend‘. And indeed, there is no doubt about the story, as even some ‘pagan’ shepherds saw that ‚three nights the armies of angels were floating above the place of death and praising God‘.
Acts of martyrs!
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