Compiled by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, 1275
Englished by William Caxton, First Edition 1483
From the Temple Classics Edited by F.S. Ellis
76// HERE FOLLOWETH OF S. PANCRACE
Pancrace is said of pan, that is as much to say as all, and gratus and citius, which is as much to say as courteous in his young age. Or otherwise, as it is said in the book called glossarium, pancras is said rapine, or pancras is, subject to beatings and torments. Pancrace is also said of divers colours; and so it appeared by him: he used rapine in ravishing by his exhortation the prey of caitiffs misbelieving, in bringing them to the faith. He was also subject to beatings and torments in suffering them, also in divers colours and full of all virtues.
Pancrace was of right noble lineage and was born of the country
of Phrygia. When his father and mother were dead he was put to
be governed in the hand of Denis his uncle, which was brother of
his father, and they both came to Rome, where they had of their
patrimony great rents. In their street the pope Cornelius held
him privily, of which pope, Pancrace and Denis had received the
ST. PANCRACE BEFORE THE EMPEROR DIOCLETIaN
Finally Denis died in the country, and Pancrace was taken and
presented to Cæsar. And then was Pancrace about fourteen years
of age. To whom the emperor Diocletian said: "My little child, I
warn and counsel thee that thou advise thee well, to the end
that thou die not an evil death, for as a child thou art lightly
deceived; and because thou art noble of blood and of lineage,
and son of one my right dear friend, I pray thee that thou leave
this madness that thou hast emprised, and that I may have thee
with me as my son."
To whom Pancrace answered: "If I be a child of body yet mine
heart is old, and by the virtue of my lord Jesu Christ your
threatening and menaces make me no more to move than doth the
painting that I see upon the wall; and these gods that thou
wouldest that I should worship be but deceivers of creatures and
have been as germains [brothers] in fornications made against
God their creator, and have not spared kin ne [nor] other. And
if thou hadst knowledge that thy servants were such, thou
shouldst command that they should be slain, and I much marvel
that ye adore such gods."
When the emperor heard this child thus speak he doubted [feared] to be overcome of him, and commanded that his head should be smitten off, and so he was martyred about the year of our Lord two hundred and eighty-five, whose body a worshipful lady named Cocovilla, which was of the senate, with great diligence buried honorably. And of him said Gregory of Tours, doctor: That if there be a man that will make a false oath in the place of his sepulchre, tofore or he come to the chancel of the quire he shall be travailed with an evil spirit and out of his mind, or he shall fall on the pavement all dead.
ON THE RELICS OF ST. PANCRACE
For other saints, see the index to this Golden Legend website.
Scanned by Robert Blackmon.
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