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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 385



376 MATTHEW OF WJ6STMIKSTER. JL.O. 794. the heresy of the Pelagians. For since that time the pagan nations of the Saxons, Jutes, and Angles, having expelled the Britons, had subjugated Britain, as has been related already at some length, and ravaging the lands, setting fire to the cities and towns, levelling the holy churches to the ground, and murdering the priests, had pitilessly destroyed almost the whole surface of the island from sea to sea. And, during this period, the church of the blessed Alban, the proto-martyr of the Angles (which Bede in his History of England relates to have been built of stone most exquisitely wrought), was wholly destroyed, along with the other churches of the country. And his sepulchre also, which at the time of the arrival of Saint Germain, and before that, from the time of the passion of the martyr to that of the desolation, of his country, was well known to all men, and an object of adoration to all, on account o f the number of miracles wrought at it, was now unknown to any one, till it was thus revealed to long Offa by the ministry of the Anglican pontiff. When then, as we have already said, prayers had been offered up by the clergy and people with alms and fasting, they divide the ground between them, and search everywhere for the burial-place of the martyr. Nor were they compelled to be a long time searching for the place, as the divine mercy condescended to reveal it by heavenly light. And so, while that most valiant king Offa was standing by, they found the body of the martyr in a wooden coffin, in which, owing to the cruelty of the barbarians, and the critical circumstances of the times, it had been hidden by the faithful, with the sacred relics of all the apostles and of the different martyrs, which the Holy Germain had deposited there a long time before. And this discovery moved not only the clergy, but the whole people to tears, especially because it confirmed the words of àie Holy Fathers respecting the relics which were found with the body, and which we read were put with the martyr's holy body, to his great comfort. To make my story short, the archbishop with his bishops raised the treasure, which had been long hidden beneath the turf, out of its sepulchre with holy fear, and while a solemn procession went before with hymns and praises, they transferred it to a certain church, which had been formerly consecrated outside of the city of Yerulamium, in honour of the holy proto-martyr, where they replaced the holy relics of


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