Golden Legend – Life of Saint Victor

Here followeth of Saint Victor, martyr.

Saint Victor, the glorious knight and martyr in the time of Antonin and Aurelian, emperors, was presented as a christian man unto a duke called Sebastian, which would have made Saint Victor do sacrifice to the idols, to whom Saint Victor answered that he was a true knight to Jesu Christ and that he would not do sacrifice. When the duke understood that, he commanded that his back should be all to-broken and his sinews to be drawn out, and this holy man gave great thankings to God for the torments that were done to him, and also of that, that he abode always in very faith. The duke was much moved and angry, and commanded that he should be put in a burning furnace. When Saint Victor was therein he made his prayers unto our Lord, and he was therein three days whole without grieving of any fire or flame or fume and without any damage, and on the third day he was found whole and sound. After, the duke did do take venom, and to make by an enchanter mortal meat, and made him to eat it, which meat this holy man ate without any grievance or hurt. And yet he did do make by the enchanter more stronger venom than he did tofore, and gave it to Saint Victor, which ate it without any hurt like as he did that other. When the enchanter saw that the venom might in no wise grieve the holy man, he burnt all his books and renounced all worldly goods, and converted him to the faith of God. After all these things the duke yet admonished Saint Victor that he should do sacrifice to his gods, which thing Saint Victor refused as he did tofore. Then the duke commanded that all the sinews of his body should be all drawn out and after put him in boiling oil, and after did do hang him by chains, and set unto his sides, pots all burning: but nevertheless he was always in such wise recomforted of our Lord that he felt no pain. Then the judge was much abashed, and commanded to take quick lime and vinegar meddled together, and made it to avale into his throat, and after did do put out his eyes. Then Saint Victor said to him: Spare me not for I am all press and ready to suffer all torments. And then the tyrant commanded that his feet hung upward, and so hung three days long, in such wise that the most part of the blood of his body ran out at his nostrils. And at the end of three days the other knights came for to see if he were dead, and they that were blind came and were nigh him. By the prayers of this glorious saint they were enlumined again and had their sight. The which knights when they were returned to the duke, they told to him their adventure, how by the prayers of this holy man they had received their sight, and that they left him alive and whole. Then the duke commanded that he should be flayed, and in the meanwhile the wife of a knight named Corone cried with a high voice: Victor, thou wert born in a good time, and thy works be blessed for the acceptable sacrifice of the holiness of thy thought, the which our Lord hath received in gree as he did the sacrifice of Abel. When this woman, which was but sixteen years old, had said this and other good things and words, she put more to, and said: Lo! see ye not the angels of paradise that bring two crowns, of which thou shalt have the greater, and I the less, and how well that I be a feeble vessel, nevertheless I have firm hope in our Lord Jesu Christ, that he shall give to me his heritage. And when the duke understood the words that she had said, he commanded that she should do sacrifice to the gods, and she answered and said I am named Corone and thou requires” me to lose my coronet When the duke had heard her answer, he commanded his knights that by force they should make two trees to incline and bow down, that one against that other, and thereon they hung Corone and suddenly let the trees go, and so they did, when by the radour and force of the trees in springing she rendered her soul to our Lord in firm faith and affiance of the life eternal. And as the two said trees addressed, her glorious body abode in two pieces on the ground. After that the duke commanded that Saint Victor should be beheaded, who, at the smiting off of his head, bled milk and blood together, which miracle much people saw, which then believed in our Lord Jesu Christ, qui cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto vivit et regnat Deus per omnia secula seculorum. Amen.