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p. 102



   TEN days after our Lord's Ascension, when the holy apostles were assembled in the upper chamber waiting for the promise of our Lord, of a sudden, at the third hour of the holy Sunday of Pentecost, a mighty sound was heard, so that all men were terrified and marvelled at the mightiness of the sound; and the chamber was filled with an ineffably strong light. And there appeared over the head of each one of them (something) in the form of tongues of fire, and there breathed forth from thence a sweet odour which surpassed all aromas in this world. The eyes of their hearts were opened, and they began interpreting new things and uttering wonderful things in the languages of all nations. When the Jews saw them, they thought within themselves that they had been drinking new wine and were drunk, and that their minds were depraved. On that day they participated in the mystery of the body and blood of our Lord, and sanctified the leavened bread of the sign of the cross (the eucharistic wafers) and the oil of baptism.

   Some men have a tradition that when our Lord broke His body for p. 103 His disciples in the upper chamber, John the son of Zebedee hid a part of his portion until our Lord rose from the dead. And when our Lord appeared to His disciples and to Thomas with them, He said to Thomas, 'Hither with thy finger and lay it on My side, and be not unbelieving, but believing.' Thomas put his finger near to our Lord's side, and it rested upon the mark of the spear, and the disciples saw the blood from the marks of the spear and nails. And John took that piece of consecrated bread, and wiped up that blood with it; and the Easterns, Mâr Addai and Mâr Mârî, took that piece, and with it they sanctified this unleavened bread which has been handed down among us1. The other disciples did not take any of it, because they said, 'We will consecrate for ourselves whenever we wish.' As for the oil or baptism, some say that it was part of the oil with which they anointed the kings; others say that it was part of the unguent wherewith they embalmed our Lord; and many agree with this (statement). Others again say that when John took that piece of consecrated bread of the Passover in his hand, it burst into flame and burnt in the palm of his hand, and the palm of his hand sweated, and he took that sweat and hid it for the sign of the cross of baptism. This account we have heard by ear from the mouth of a recluse and visitor (περιοδευτής {Greek: periodeuths}), and we have not received it from Scripture. The word Pentecost is interpreted 'the completion of fifty days.'



p. 102

3 In the Oxford MS. chap. lii, fol. 181 a.

p. 103

1 See Assemânî, Bibl. Orient., t. iii, pt. i, pp. 239, 241, 358, and 608.