The Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation

By Bede | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXI.
THE PELAGIAN HERESY AGAIN REVIVING, GERMANUS, RETURNING
INTO BRITAIN WITH SEVERUS, FIRST HEALED A LAME YOUTH,
THEN HAVING CONDEMNED, OR CONVERTED THE HERETICS,
THEY RESTORED SPIRITUAL HEALTH TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD.

Not long after, advice was brought from the same island, that certain persons were again attempting to set forth and spread abroad the Pelagian heresy. The holy Germanus was entreated by all the priests, that he would again defend the cause of God, which he had before asserted. He speedily complied with their request; and taking with him Severus, a man of singular sanctity, who was disciple to the most holy father, Lupus, Bishop of Troyes, and afterwards, as Bishop of Treves, preached the word of God in the adjacent parts of Germany, put to sea, and was calmly wafted over into Britain. In the meantime, the wicked spirits flying about the whole island, foretold by constraint that Germanus was coming, insomuch, that one Elafius, the chief of that religion, hastened to meet the holy men, without having received any certain news, carrying with him his son, who laboured under a weakness of his limbs in the very flower of his youth; for the nerves being withered, his leg was so contracted that the limb was useless, and he could not walk. All the country followed this Elafius. The priests arrived, and were met by the ignorant multitude, whom they blessed, and preached the word of God to them. They found the people constant in the faith as they had left them; and learning that but few had gone astray, they found out the authors, and condemned them. Then Elafius cast himself at the feet of the priests, presenting his son, whose distress was visible, and needed no words to express it. All were grieved, but especially the priests, who put up their prayers for him before the throne of mercy;

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