Guest Post: Anthony Alcock – The Miracle of Chonae

The translation has been made from the continuous Greek text published by François Nau ‘Le miracle de S. Michel à Colosses’ Patrologia Orientalis 4 (1908) pp. 542-562. There is also a later Latin version, but the differences between the two are so numerous and sometimes so considerable that I have decided against referring to them, except where the Latin helps to elucidate the Greek. The notes that follow are based on those provided by Nau in his introduction to the text.

Colossae, the city to which the apostle Paul addressed one of his letters, lay between Laodicea and Apamea in Phrygia. According to an early account the apostle Philip and John the Evangelist opened up a spring in honour of Michael the Archangel. Its waters were healing waters. The sick daughter of a local pagan was healed by them, and her father built a small church in honour of Michael. As more people were healed, they converted to Christianity. Attempts were made to destroy the church but without success. It was then decided to divert two rivers that ran near Colossae in such a way that the church would be submerged by their combined waters. The custodian of the church, Archippus, refused to move in the face of the increasing waters. St Michael came to his rescue and created a deep chasm into which the waters could be channelled. The pagans were all turned into statues. The writer claims that these statues were still visible in his day. The waters flowed under the earth for some time before it re-appeared later on.

Read the rest of the introduction and the translation HERE.


About Alin Suciu

I am a researcher at the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and Humanities. I write mostly on Coptic literature, Patristics, and apocryphal texts.
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