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BLOSS C.A. Heroines of the Crusades

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Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

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BLOSS C.A.
Heroines of the Crusades
page 49



the most skilful architects in building the city. By casting in masses of rock and sand, they straitened the ancient waters, and thus the sea wonders to see fields unknown be-fore amid its glassy waves, and surrounds and supplies the city with all the conveniences of the earth. Oonstantine erected there the circus, statues of triumphal heroes, and tripods from Delphi. And all the saints whose bodies he was able to collect out of every country, were brought thither. In Constantinople is the fairest and noblest church in the world, called St. Sophia. It is of a circular form, domed in, and supported with pillars of gold and silver, hung about by lamps of the same precious metal. High mass is offered there on a different altar each day in the year. In its innermost part on the north side, is a large and beautiful apartment, wherein is a chgst containing three pieces of our Lord's cross. Three times in a year this chest is brought out into the nave of the church, and placed upon a golden altar, where all the people are permitted to wor-ship it. Howbeit I saw it not, which thing is a grief of mind to me. And they say concerning this cross, that when Adam was about to die, Seth went unto the angel that kept Paradise, to beg the oil of mercy for his father. But the angel gave him only three grains of the tree of life. And Seth buried them in the grave of Adam, and from these grains sprang up three trees, and from these were fashioned the cross on which our Saviour was crucified, as is contained in these words, '•In cruci fit palma cypressus Oliva? Thus from the death of Adam came life into the world. And when our Lord had risen from the dead, the Jews moved with envy, took the crosses from Mount Calvary, and hid them in the earth. And thus St. Helena, the mother of Constantine, who was descended from the ancient kings of Britain, found them; and when she could not distinguish the cross of the Saviour from those of the thieves, she caused a dead body to be laid upon them, and when it touched the true cross it arose. St. Helena caused these relics to be conveyed to Constantinople ; but the cross of Dismas the good thief, was carried to Cyprus, and men worship it there. 56 HEROINES OF THE CRUSADES.


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