Page:Historical Works of Venerable Bede vol. 2.djvu/179

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
107
OF VENERABLE BEDE.

bishop to his house, which was in charge of only one old woman: so entirely removed from all worldly cares was this venerable prelate! Felix aroused her by knocking at the door, and when she opened the door he committed the bishop to her care. The bishop thanked the holy Felix for his labour of love, and placing his right hand upon his head, gave him his fatherly blessing. The priest, departing, concealed himself in the same way for a few days in his own house, until the storm of persecution had passed over. As soon as this happened, he left his concealment and restored himself to the sight of his congratulating citizens. He went about every where, consoling and confirming their minds with words of exhortation; for, during the bitterness of the late persecution, they had been terribly cast down. He taught them not only by his word, but by his example, to despise the prosperities and adversities of this world, and to seek only the joys of the heavenly country, to fear alone the anger of the Heavenly Judge. But the persecution was not yet over; Felix was again sought for, the enemy came to his house, and again essayed to seize him and deliver him over to death. He was by chance away from home, standing in the market-place with his

friends, and teaching to the surrounding people, as was his wont, the word of God. His adversaries, hearing that he was there, rushed thither with drawn swords; but when they came to the place, either his countenance or their hearts were changed by a sudden act of Divine Singular preservation of St. Felix.Providence, and they no longer knew him, though up to that day they had known him well. They therefore asked the priest himself where Felix was: the prudent man perceived that it was the work of God, and replied, smiling, "I do not know the man you are looking for." And in this he spoke the truth; for nobody does know himself. Upon this the persecutors turned their attention elsewhere, and asked those whom they met, where Felix was. One of them, by chance, ignorant of