Theophilus of Cilicia

Theophilus of Cilicia So often mentioned in legend, is said to have originally been the administrator of the Adana bishopric. Out of modesty, he declined the episcopal see, and was deprived of all his honors by the new bishop. He now applied for help to a Jewish sorcerer, who brought him into a nightly convention of devils. Here help was promised to him provided he would deny Christ and Mary and would assign his soul. He was restored to his former position; but, regretting what he had done, he prayed as a penitent to Mary, and through her intercession Christ took the assignment away from the devil and placed it upon his breast while asleep in the church, tired out by prayer. He now openly confessed his sin and died three days later. The author of the legend is said to have been a Greek cleric, Eutychianus; while a Neapolitan priest, Paulus (9th century), made it known in the West. In the Acta. SS. for Feb. 4 we find this legend in a poetical dress, by the bishop Marbod of Rennes. See. Jubinal, Euvres de Rutebeuf, vol. 2; Pfeiffer. Marienlegenden (Stuttgart, 1846); Blomaert, Theophilus (Ghent, 1836); Hoffmann von Fallersleben, Theophilus (Hanov. 1853-54); Meyer, Radewins Gedicht über Theophilus (Munich,'1873; edited after a Munich MS. of the 13th century). (B. P.)

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