DRAMA OF THE LOST DISCIPLES #12
by Georage Jowett (1961)
THE GLORIOUS CAVALCADE
HUMAN nature can be very perverse on occasion, being
completely oblivious to experience and sound judgment. It is
surprising to hear of people with intelligence so easily
victimized by suave tongues and extravagant claims deliberately
conceived to misinform and misguide. This human weakness might
possibly indicate that people are more prone to accept fiction
than truth. Perhaps this is what has given rise to the old slogan
that 'truth is stranger than fiction'. To such an extent does
this condition exist that truth becomes a matter of serious
education in constant conflict to disprove the untruthful who are
ever seeking to prove their spurious claims.
Christians are so indoctrinated with the scriptural
apostolic records, rightfully, that they would never dream of
arguing the point that the Apostles preached Christ in Jerusalem,
Egypt, Greece, Rome and Asia, but to mention that they taught in
Britain is to tax their credulity. To state that Christianity was
brought first to Britain is almost to have them inquire as to the
state of one's mental health. The average person is so well
inoculated with the belief that Christianity was first
established by the Roman Catholic Church at Rome, and that
Britain first received the faith through St. Augustine, A.D. 597,
that they take it for granted.
Incredulity is quickly dissipated when one asks, "What
happend to Christian teaching during the centuries that followed
the death of Christ, to the establishment of the Roman Catholic
Church in the fourth century?" This church was not founded until
years after the death of Constantine the Great. Then there is the
period that followed to the time when Augustine arrived in
One has but to turn the pages of the Bible and ask what
became of most of the original Apostles, on whose lives Scripture
is silent. Where did the unrecorded ones go and where did they
die? What of the seventy elect and the following one hundred and
twenty elected in Christ and the many that followed, stemming
from the teachings of the original Christian multitude?
The Biblical travel record of the elect is but briefly given.
They all had to be somewhere and achievement certainly followed
the sowing of the seed, otherwise where did the Roman Catholic
Church obtain the substance to found its own organization? It is
only in recent years that the Roman Catholic Church began to
scoff at the British record and its claim to priority, but they
are 'hoist upon their own petard'. For nineteen hundred years the
Roman Catholic Church was the stoutest champion of British
priority. It is futile at this later date for them to dispute
priority and apostolic succession. The mass of documentary
evidence supplied by their greatest ecclesiastics and historians,
and even the Popes, substantiates the facts, refuting all modern
challenge. For fifteen hundred years the Popes and the
ecclesiastical councils sustained British priority whenever it
was challenged. For more than six hundred years after the
founding of Avalon by Joseph, until the time of the famous Oaks'
conference, and the equally famed Whitby Council, when the first
official cleavage took place between the two churches, the
British and the Roman church existed as sister churches, with
Britain accepted as the elder sister, for approximately three
hundred years. Though the British church steadfastly refused to
recognize the recently instituted authority of the Pope, A.D.
610, flatly denying the worship of Mary or the use of the term
'Mother of God', proclaimed by the Roman church A.D.431, at the
Council of Ephesus, or the doctrine of Purgatory, established by
Gregory the Great about the year A.D.593, they shared the same
communion. The Mass had not as then been developed. It was not
introduced into the Roman church as an obligatory attendance
until the eleventh century. The British church still retained its
primitive interpretation of the Christ faith, vehemently
declaring in the two councils mentioned that only Christ was the
Head of the church and the only means of intercession between man
and God, and with no recourse to Purgatory. Though the worship of
images and material concepts were being introduced into the
church through Roman influence, it still retained a great deal of
the original primitive simplicity of worship.
(To say as the author does, that the British church and Roman
church were "sister churches" is to either deny historical facts,
or is a case of gross mis-education and/or bias. The two
"churches" had MAJOR differences as I've given you in other
studies on this website - Keith Hunt)
The first six hundred years following the Passion of Christ
can truly be called the Golden Age of Christianity, in spite of
the fact that these centuries were saturated in drama, romance,
tragedy and sacrifice.
The brief glimpse we have taken of the perilous wars and of
the violence of the persecutions that swept the sea-girt Isle,
leaves us in no doubt as to the invincible courage and unbendable
determination of the Christian elect in carrying out the work of
our Lord, regardless of consequences. In World War II we were
daily thrilled with the heroic exploits of the patriots of the
oppressed nations who comprised the Underground. Comparing this
record with that of the Apostolic Crusaders of the Cross of that
glorious era, the Christian heart must be thrilled through and
through as we realize that theirs was no underground operation.
Surrounded by evil foes and forces they walked openly into the
midst of their enemies, declaring the Word with resonant voices
to friend and foe alike, and only too often paying the supreme
price, but fearlessly. The record tells us of an endless flow of
men and women pouring into Avalon to be converted and baptized,
then remaining for instruction to go forth preaching the Word in
hostile territory and replacing the glorious ones who had fallen.
Some idea of how great was the multitude of converts who
remained for instruction can be gleaned from the record which
states that from Gaul alone Philip sent a total of a hundred and
sixty disciples to assist Joseph and his companions. 1 That there
were others that came from other sources we know, apart from the
mission that formed the second church in Britain, sent by St.
Paul into Wales. Their fiery zeal was kept aflame by the frequent
arrival of others of the Lord's original Apostles, who stayed
awhile before setting forth into other lands. Not all of the
Bethany band that arrived at Avalon stayed on with Joseph. Some
of the most illustrious of his companions he sent back into
different parts of Gaul to assist Philip in founding churches, as
others qualified to take over their place on the Isle of Avalon.
The first man to be sent back to Gaul by Joseph was Lazarus,
but not before the man whom Jesus had raised from the dead had
left his timeless imprint on Britain in the work he wrote
outlining his rules for living the Christian life. In Celtic MSS.
they are known as "The Triads of Lazarus." No better memorial
could he have left to prove his identity with Britain. Nowhere
else are his laws recorded and nowhere else but in Britain was
the word 'Triad' employed, not even in Gaul. The word is Celtic
for Law. The "Triads of Lazarus" are still preserved in the
ancient Celtic records of Britain.
He went direct to Marseilles, where he had first arrived at
Gaul in the drifting boat with Joseph, and their other
companions. Roger of Hovedon, writing of Marseilles, remarks
"Marseilles is an episcopal city under the domination of the King
of Aragon. Here are the relics of St. Lazarus, the brother of St.
Mary Magdalene and Martha, who held the Bishopric for seven
1 Capgrave, "De Sancto Joseph ab Aramathea," quoting ancient
manuscript and the "Book of the Holy Grail."
The ancient church records at Lyons confirm the same facts
'Lazarus returned to Gaul from Britain to Marseilles, taking with
him Mary Magdalene and Martha. He was the first appointed Bishop.
He died there seven years later.'
It is further stated that Lazarus was Bishop of Cyprus
before he made the voyage to Britain. This would indicate he was
teaching at Cyprus, before the exodus from Judea, A.D.36, and
having returned to Judea became a member of the Bethany group who
occupied the oarless boat on that fateful voyage. He was the
first Bishop of Marseilles and built the first church on the site
where the present cathedral stands. 1 In the few years he lived
to teach at Marseilles he founded other churches. His zealous
preaching and kindly disposition left a deep impress in Gaul, to
such an extent that he is better remembered in France than is
Philip, regardless of the latter's long sojourn in Gaul. In many
quarters he is regarded as the Apostle of Gaul and his relics are
greatly treasured to this day. At Marseilles, Lyons, Aix, St.
Maximin, La Sainte Baume and other places there still remain
numerous monuments, liturgies, relics and traditions to his
immortal memory. He was the first of the original Bethany band
associated with Joseph to die. As the records state he died a
natural death seven years after returning to Marseilles. His stay
in Britain is reported to have been short, which would place the
date of his death between A.D.44 and 45.
An interesting report was published in the London Morning
Post, May 28th, 1923, marking the date of the annual pilgrimage
of the French gypsies to St. Maries de la Mer at the mouth of the
Rhone. Their tradition maintains that the barque of Lazarus came
ashore therewith three holy women who remained. From time
immemorial to present times the French gypsies make their annual
pilgrimage to this sacred spot to venerate the relics of Marie
Salome, Marie Jacos and in particular their black servant, Sara.
Mary Salome was another member of the original Josephian
band who had been sent forth to preach the Word, known in the
British record as St. Salome. Her two other women companions were
probably among the unrecorded converts who went to aid St. Salome
on her mission. Evidently, as the name suggests, Marie Jacob was
also a Judean refugee who had drifted to Gaul and Britain.
Mention of the black Sara is quite interesting. At odd intervals
her name crops up, and in each case shows she was held in special
esteem. We note that while the French gypsies made their annual
pilgrimage to the spot
1 J. Burr, "Remarkable Biblical Characters." See "The Coming of
the Saints", by J. W. Taylor, p.239, for the inscription in the
Church of St. Victor.
to venerate the memory of the three women missionaries, Sara, the
black maid, is the one to whom they paid especial consideration.
As will be seen by the record it is stated that Mary Magdalene
and Martha went with Lazarus from Britain to Marseilles to begin
their missionary work in Gaul. 1 There is an interesting
statement made by one of the early Bishops of Mayence who said,
referring to the many arriving in Gaul from Britain, that each
went forth to specially appointed places in Gaul, where they
taught and founded churches. Under the direction of St. Philip
each followed out their particular assignment in the service of
our Lord. Consequently we can understand why Mary Magdalene and
Martha did not remain at Marseilles with Lazarus. Martha, the
practically minded head of the Bethany household, which had been
the favourite resting-place of Jesus and point of assembly for
His disciples at Bethany during His Mission, was directed to
Arles. With her went the faithful handmaid, Marcella. Martha did
not remain long there.
Trophimus was sent to Gaul by Joseph and, under the
direction of Philip, replaced Martha at Arles. He was consecrated
the first Bishop of Arles and there performed an outstanding
service. He was energetic, practical and an intelligent
organizer. His Christianizing endeavours embraced a large area
which formed the district of Narbonne. He became the first
Metropolitan of the Narbonne, with Arles as his Bishopric. For
centuries it continued to be a prominent stronghold of the
Chrisian faith in Gaul.
MARTHA AND MARCELLA
Martha and Marcella moved to Tarascon where they settled,
spending the rest of their lives preaching, teaching and
administering. They both died a natural death, Martha being the
first of the two to pass on to her everlasting reward. The record
states, 'Marcella was with Martha at her death.' A few years
later Marcella, the faithful handmaiden of the glorious Bethany
sisters, and their brother Lazarus, entered into her
well-deserved rest. She, too, had waited on the Lord in the
pleasant Bethany home in Judea. She had seen the miracle
performed on Lazarus and watched the Crucifixion. Her devotion to
her mistresses had carried her with them to Gaul, thence to
Britain, and back again to Gaul where she helped Martha to plant
the Cross of Christ and nurture it with their love.
The early records show Maximin, Eutropius, Trophimus and
Parmena leaving Britain for Gaul, joining with those already
mentioned. Parmena is not listed among the original companions
1 The identity of Magdalene with Mary of Bethany is a subject of
controversy, but the French Church regards them as one.
of Joseph at Avalon. The other three are named among the twelve
companions. As we have seen, Trophimus joined with Martha at
Arles, where she later left for Tarascon. Maximin is described as
joining with Mary Magdalene at Aix where both spent out their
life. Both died a natural death. Maximin was the first Bishop of
Aix, and there are found numerous memorials and relics of
Maximin, and particularly of Mary Magdalene. The area is
saturated with her memory. Mary's classic beauty and her rich
voice, extolled in reverence and pleasure by all who knew her,
endeared her so deeply to the hearts of the people among whom she
laboured that she was adored as a Saint before she died. Her
undying devotion to her Lord throbbed through her teachings of
the Word. The most hardened soul melted to her preaching, and she
converted, as we are told, 'multitudes to the faith'. The ancient
documents resound with her glory.
One, if not the most outstanding document treating of her
life, was written by the famed Maurus Rabanus, Archbishop of
Mayence, 1 A.D.776-856, "Life of Mary Magdalene." This precious
MS. is owned by Oxford University, where it is preserved and
treasured in the College Library bearing her name, the Magdalen
College Library. There are many manuscripts older than the
Rabanus MSS., some written about the same time, but none as
illuminating. In his Prologue the eminent Archbishop states that
his information was written 'according to the accounts that our
fathers have left us in their writings'.
In his work he supports all the earlier records of the
gathering in Caul, the Josephian entourage arriving in Britain,
confirming the date. He tells of the many of Joseph's companions
returning to Gaul to preach and teach. He writes:
"Therefore the chief, St. Maximus, the blessed Parmenas, the arch
deacon Trophimus and Eutropius, bishops, and the rest of the
leaders of his Christian warfare, together with the Godrenowned
Mary Magdalene and her sister, the most blessed Martha, departed
by way of the sea ... They came near to the city of Marseilles,
in the Vienoise province of the Gauls, where the river Rhone is
received by the sea. There, having called upon God, the great
King of all the world, they parted, each company going to the
province where the Holy Spirit had directed them, presently
preaching everywhere, 'the Lord with them'; and confirmed the
Word with signs following."
Eutropius was the first Bishop of Aquitaine.
EIGHT AND OTHERS
Here we have eight of the original Josephian band that
arrived in Britain back in Gaul, after receiving their final
instructions from Joseph, who consecrated them before they left
the sacred Isle of Avalon.
Some are inclined to think that Marie Jacob, one of the thre
venerated women to whom the French gypsies paid reverence at St.
Maries de la Mer, was none other than the Mary Cleopas, recorded
in the British Bethany band. It is quite possible. We note in the
Biblical records that names are changed and interchanged. Mary
was the wife of the Roman whom Jesus converted. Since there is no
record of him, following the exodus, he probably had died, in
which case it was not uncommon for a woman to revert to her
ancestral family name. Being a Judean and a near relative of the
Virgin Mary, her claim could be of the family branch of Jacob,
and so be known as Mary Jacob. If this is the case, this would
make nine of the original Bethany band sent forth by Joseph to
preach and found missions and churches in Gaul.
The Gaulish and Celtic chronicles affirm that most of the
ancient French Bishoprics were founded by the companions of
Joseph, other Culdees and former neophytes, all stemming from the
sacred sanctuary at Avalon. Sidonis, Saturninus and Cleon are
reported as teaching in Gaul on various occasions, supporting
other missionaries and returning to Britain. Joseph also
contributed in like manner and his name is well associated with
the founding of the church at Morlaix and Limoges.
It is stated that St. Martial, of the elect twelve, was the
only one who never left Avalon to go abroad. He remained
throughout his lifetime converting and teaching neophytes, as the
right hand of Joseph. 1 In the same report it is interesting to
note the statement that with Martial there remained at Avalon his
parents, Marcellus and Elizabeth, and also St. Zacchaeus. The
mention of the latter three names proves the illustrious
assemblage of faithful Judeans finally domiciled in Britain,
aiding Joseph at Avalon in his great work while great battles
between Britons and Romans were being fought around them. From
time to time we find other Judeans, many relatives of the twelve
disciples of Jesus, arriving at the sacred stronghold in Britain,
bending their efforts in the evangelizing mission.
Parmena, who accompanied Maximin, Eutropius and Trophimus
into Gaul from Britain, was a disciple of Joseph. He was
appointed the first Bishop of Avignon. Drennalus was also a
disciple of Joseph.
1 Old French Cantique refers to "Eutrope et Martial, Sidonie avec
He first went to Gaul in company with Joseph to found the
church at Morlaix. This done, Joseph appointed Drennalus to
Treguier, where he remained after being installed as the first
Bishop of Treguier.
The British crusaders in Christ were not limited to Gaul.
They journeyed into other lands founding missions and erecting
churches. Three of Avalon's missionaries were responsible for
founding the three great mother churches in Gaul, Helvetia
(Switzerland) and Lotharingia.
The illustrious Beatus, who founded the church in Helvetia,
received his baptism and education at Avalon. He was the wealthy
son of a prominent British noble, his pre-baptismal name being
Suetonius. It is of interest to note that Beatus was baptized at
Avalon by St. Barnabas, the brother of Aristobulus, sent in
advance by St. Paul to Britain to represent the Apostle to the
Gentiles. In the scriptural record he is referred to as Joses,
the Levite, who changed his name to Barnabas, meaning 'Son of
Consolation', the same Barnabas who, together with St. Paul,
founded the church at Antioch, A.D.43 (Acts 11:22). Barnabas
combined with St. Paul, Joseph and his brother in expanding the
church in Britain, particularly in Wales. His stays were short
but effective. It was on one of these excursions into Britain,
after his brother Aristobulus 1 was martyred, that he baptized
the noble Beatus who, on finishing his novitiate, was consecrated
a Bishop. He selected Helvetia as his missionary field. Before he
left Britain he disposed of all his wealth and used it to ransom
prisoners of war on the continent, making his headquarters at
Underseven (Unterseen) on Lake Thun. Beatus introduced
Christianity into Switzerland, erecting hospitals and churches,
building a band of devoted missionaries who continued his great
work throughout the centuries. It was in the humble dwelling he
first built on his arrival in Helvetia that he spent his last
days. He died in his cell, A.D.96. This ancient cell is preserved
and can be seen today on the shore of Lake Thun. The Venerable
Bede and Cardinal Alford mention his noble missionary work in
their writings, and he is commemorated in the Roman
Another extraordinary British zealot who graduated from
Avalon was Mansuetus. He went to Glastonbury (Avalon) from
Hiberna (Ireland) where he was born, a member of the Celtic
aristocracy. His evangelistic career was profoundly notable. He
had journeyed to Avalon three years before the Claudian campaign
1 St. Ado, Archbishop of Vienne, "Adonis Martyrologia," March 17.
according to Arnold Mirmannus, Mansuetus was converted and
baptized by Joseph, A.D.40. At Avalon he became closely
associated with the intrepid St. Clement, also forming a great
friendship with St. Peter, when he sought sanctuary in Britain,
A.D.44. Only death was to break these endearing connections.
Later he was sent to Rome with St. Clement on his first mission.
On the request of St. Philip he went to Gaul where he founded the
great Lotharingian Church, frequently referred to as the Mother
Church of Gaul. Cardinal Alford, in "Regia Fides Britannica,"
writes that Mansuetus was consecrated the first Bishop of the
Lotharingians A.D.49, with his See at Toul. He also founded the
church at Lorraine. His missionary zeal was indefatigable. He
travelled far and wide, meeting a great number of the original
Apostles and disciples of Christ, with whom he laboured. Probably
for this reason he is referred to as 'the friend of all the
disciples, and their pupil', and as 'a disciple of St. Petel'.
Mansuetus had mingled with the royal Silurian families while at
Avalon, therefore it is but natural to know he was a constant
visitor at the Palace of the British at Rome after Claudia had
married Pudens. He was a friend of Linus, the first Bishop of
Rome, and brother of Claudia. After the death of St. Clement,
Mansuetus became the third official Bishop of the British Church
at Rome. Thus we have three disciples of Avalon, instructed by
St. Joseph, to become, in succession, Bishops of Rome. Mansuetus
extended his preaching into Illyria, where he was martyred
A.D.110, thirty years before the last member of the royal family
of Claudia Pudens was slain. This record is reported in "Mersaeus
De Sanctis Germaniae" and confirmed by L'Abbe Guillaume. 1
The Natal Day of Mansuetus is given in the "Gallican
Martyrologies" as September 3.
The eminent St. Clement, in the British Bethany record named
St. Clemens, was another outstanding British missionary, stemming
from Avalon, and the friend of Mansuetus, already referred to,
with whom he was associated in the early evangelizing of Illyria.
He perished long before Mansuetus received his martyrdom. St.
Clement succeeded Linus as the second Bishop of Rome. In this
document there is a curious record of succession which states:
"Clemens became Bishop twelve years after Linus."
Iltigius, in "De Patribus Apostolicis," quotes St. Peter as
saying 'Concerning the Bishops who have been ordained in our
lifetime, we make known to you that they are these. Of Antioch,
Eudoius, ordained by me, Peter. Of the Church of Rome, Linus,
1 L'Abbe Guillaume, "L'Apostolat de S. Manouel," p.38.
son of Claudia, was first ordained by Paul, and after Linus's
death, Clemens the second, ordained by me, Peter.' 1
In every case but one the records of succession as given
above have all agreed that Clement was the second Bishop. The one
exception states 'that Cletus succeeded Linus and agrees that
Clement followed twelve years after Linus was martyred, as the
third Bishop of Rome.' While the twelve-year gap is commonly
sustained, yet all other references place Linus, Clement and
Mansuetus as first, second and third, and with no mention of
Cletus. My conclusion in the case is that Cletus, functioning in
the British church at Rome, along with the children of Claudia
Pudens, was not in an official capacity due to the grave
Christian disturbance at that time. The three related were
officially appointed by apostolic consecration. After Clement was
lodged in Rome he became known as Clemens Romanus and is the one
referred to by St. Paul in his Epistle. 2 All records state he
was ordained by St. Peter.
The life and works of St. Clement are referred to in the
Oxford edition of "Junius in Son of Claudia," and by Iltigius.
Another noble Briton, born to the Silurian purple, was
Marcellus. He received his conversion and baptism at Avalon, a
number of years after Joseph had passed on to his eternal rest,
by the hands of those who followed. He also went to Gaul, and
there founded the church at Tongres, being its first Bishop. He
later founded the princely archbishopric at Treves, over which he
ruled. For centuries this diocese dominated the Gallican church.
Some records confuse this Marcellus as being the teacher of Linus
before the latter went to Rome as one of the royal captives with
his father Caractacus. This is a mistake, as the date is far too
late. Linus was taught at Avalon by Marcellus, the father of
Martial of the original Bethany band. Marsseus and Pantalin both
state that Marcellus the Briton was martyred A.D.166. The
Tungrensian Chronicles confirm this fact.
The Gallic records state that for centuries the Archbishops
of Treves and Rheims were all Britons surplied by the mother
church at Glastonbury-Avalon.
St. Cadval, another famed British missionary, going out from
Glastonbury, founded the church of Tarentum, Italy, A.D.170. The
cathedral at Taranto is dedicated to him and his achievements are
reported in the "Vatican Catalogue of Saints." 3
1 Apostolic Constitutions, 1:46.
2 Philippians 4:3.
3 "Moronus de Ecclesia Tarentina."
It is impossible to catalogue the list of devoted British
disciples and missionaries who went out of Avalon to preach the
Gospel in other lands. Their names are legion, many of them
laying down their lives in the final sacrifice, to be buried in
unknown graves in foreign lands. During the golden Christian era,
centuries after the Roman Catholic Church was established, the
British missionaries comprised the bulk of the Christian army of
crusaders. They, more than any others, established the Christian
faith on its firm foundation, and against the deadliest
opposition and persecution on record. Their fiery zeal flamed
across the known world like an unquenchable fire. As one fell a
hundred more were ready to step into the martyr's footsteps
proclaiming the faith with a challenging insistence.
Despite the fierce conflicts that raged throughout Britain
against Roman tyranny, Avalon was ever a safe sanctuary for
apostle or neophyte. To this hallowed haven many of our Lord's
original disciples came: Lazarus, Barnabas, Zaccheus, James,
Luke, Simon, Paul and Peter, of whom we have positive record,
leaving only three not definitely chronicled, Matthew, Mark and
John, though it is recorded that at the death of Mary all the
living original band were present at her request. Their names
were unmentioned in the record but we know Stephen and James, the
brother of John, could not be present. Judas Iscariot had been
banned on his betrayal of his Master and had committed suicide.
Stephen was the first martyr, being stoned to death at Jerusalem,
A.D.33. James, brother of John, both sons of Zebedee, was
beheaded A.D.44, 1 by order of Herod Agrippa. It is ironic to
believe that the executioner of James was probably Herod, King of
the Chalcis, the father of Paul's companion and co-worker,
Of James the just, the brother of Jesus, Flavius Dexter,
quoting the ecclesiastical Benedictine historian, Cressy, in his
"Church History of Brittany," states: "In the one and fortieth
year of Christ (A.D.41) St. James, returning out of Spain,
visited Gaule and Britain."
Other records confirm this date of his first visit to
Britain, and some records claim he was present at the death of
Mary at Avalon, A.D.48. James was the first Bishop of Jerusalem,
calling together the first Apostolic Church there. This is the
first Council of the Appointed on record. The next Council was
called by Constantine the Great, three hundred years later. James
was closely associated with Paul, preaching to the Gentiles.
While the record and his
1 Acts 12:1.
2 Prof. W. H. S. Hewin in "Royal Saints of Britain," p.29.
memorial tablet states he worked mostly among the Greeks, he is
given credit for founding the Spanish Church. 1 One can readily
note his great interest in working among the Gentiles by reading
the Acts o f the Apostles. In Acts 21:18 it tells how Paul meets
James, the brother of Jesus, to whom he speaks of the great works
God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. The text in
Acts 15:14 is of curious interest. James tells his brethren that
Simeon had said, 'God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to
take out of them a people for His name', and so had declared the
James was stoned to death at Jerusalem by the Jews nearby
where Stephen met the same fate, A.D.62, four years before Paul
suffered martyrdom. 2
Of St. Luke, Professor Smith in "Dictionary of Christian
Biography," says that St. Luke taught in Gaul, Dalmatia, Italy,
Macedonia, principally in Gaul, and that he made frequent trips
to Britain, visiting the sainted company at Avalon. The Rev.
Morgan, in his marvellous work "The Saints in Britain," gives a
remarkably detailed insight into the travels and work of the
apostles and disciples as they came in contact with Britain and
Barnabas was to meet his death in Cyprus, where he was
stoned to death. He was buried by St. Mark, his young kinsman,
outside the city. The record says that, as he laid Barnabas in
his grave, Mark placed on his breast a copy of the Gospel of St.
Each life is a part of the indestructible chain of 'The
Way', welded link by link by the unswerving devotion and fearless
sacrifices of the apostles, the disciples and the countless
followers of Christ. Forged on the anvil of persecution and
purged in the crucible of Christian blood, this golden chain
links us with the marvellous past with the assurance that God
still reigns in the heavens and Christ is ever the bond between
our Father and His earthly children.
It is strange to note the passage in Martyrs o f the
Colosseum, by the Roman Catholic priest, A. J. O'Reilly, wherein
he states that St. Ignatius is recognized by the Roman Catholic
Church as being the first Christian martyr, A.D.107. St. Ignatius
was a disciple of St. John, who consecrated him the third Bishop
of Antioch. It is he who is supposed to have been the child Jesus
took on His knee when He made the reference to becoming as little
children, related in Matthew 18:3. St. Ignatius was martyred on
the order of
1 Sant Iago, Patron Saint of Spain.
2 Josephus, Antiquities, xx, 9:1.
Trajan, cast to the wild beasts in the Colosseum and devoured.
The claim made by the Rev. O'Reilly is incongruous. Nowhere does
the Roman Catholic Church support the statement. What about all
the other Christians murdered in the Colosseum? What about the
martyrdom of all the Apostles and disciples recorded herein and
those not recorded? What of the martyrdom of Pudens and his
children? What of Peter and Paul, whom the Roman Catholic Church
claim to be the foundation of their church? They, too, were
brutally martyred. What of the early martyrs catalogued in "The
Vatican Catalogue of Saints," "The Roman Martyrologies," "The
Ecclesiastical Annals of Cardinal Baronius," "Regia Fides" by
Cardinal Alford, and the many others? The records herein of those
who died for the faith are all supported by the official
documentation of the Roman Catholic Church and its top-ranking
authorities. It shows how in some cases the Reverend Fathers of
the Roman Catholic Church are as ignorant of the historic record
as many of the Protestant ministry.
Such ignorance reminds one of the recent polls taken of the
students in the American universities, asking them to name the
Fathers of the Revolution and other outstanding historic events
in American life which one would expect to be commonly known. The
answers were an appalling record of ignorance. Only too plainly
it teaches us how easily those raised in the indulgent security
of a prosperous age forget their national heritage to such an
extent as to rate it almost meaningless.
It would seem only when the glory has departed from them do
people remember, when it is too late. To remember is to
appreciate and stoke the fires of loyalty.
Little known, or little remembered, as the related incidents
in this book may be, probably the knowledge that St. Peter
laboured in Britain with the Josephian-Jerusalem Mission as
Avalon is less known.
There is an interesting and curious record chronicled by
Cardinal Baronius, who writes: "Rufus the Senator received St.
Peter into his house on Viminalis Hill, in the year A.D.44."
One is apt to confuse the name with that of Rufus the
Senator who, nine years later, on his return from Britain to
Rome, married Claudia, the adopted daughter of the Emperor
Claudius, the natural child of Caractacus. The latter went to
Britain with his commander at the beginning of the Claudian
campaign, A.D.43, and remained there until A.D.52. Therefore, he
was absent in Britain when St. Peter visited his parental home
A.D.44. As we have seen, after his marriage to Claudia he forsook
his parental home on Viminalis Hill, and also his estates in
Umbria, to live at the Palace of the British. He also became a
Senator, but in this record it is obvious that St. Peter visited
the father of the younger Rufus. This is curious, as we recall
that, while in Britain, Rufus the younger donated the land at
Chichester for the pagan temple, evidence that he was not then
converted. Under these circumstances one can reasonably ask why
Peter went to the parental house on Viminalis Hill?
The answer is obvious. The royal British family, not having
then been taken into captivity, were not resident at Rome. Peter
would go at least to visit the home of a friend, while Rufus
Pudens may have been an indifferent supporter of the Roman pagan
religion, as indicated by his second marriage. Priscilla, the
wife of Rufus, would be known to Peter as the mother of Paul and
sympathetic to his visit. We know later she is recorded as a
Christian in the household of her son at the Palatium
Britannicum. It is an interesting record, more so since it was in
that year Peter first arrived in Rome. It was also the year of
the banishment decree when all Jews in Rome were forced to flee
to escape the Claudian persecution administered to them as well
as to the Christians.
Peter fled direct to Britain. This is affirmed by Cornelius
a Lapide in his work "Argumentum Epistolae St. Pauli ad Romanos,"
in which he answers the question as to why St. Paul does not
salute St. Peter in his Epistle to the Romans. He replies:
"Peter, banished with the rest of the Jews from Rome, by the
edict of Claudius, was absent in Britain."
Peter, acting as a free-lance missionary, stemming from
Avalon, preached in Britain during the Caradoc-Claudian war.
While in Britain he became well acquainted with the members of
the two branches of the Royal Silurian House of Arviragus and
Caractacus. He knew the children of Caractacus years before they
went into Roman captivity. Years after, when the British family
became well established in Rome, he was naturally attracted to
the home of the Pudens at the Palatium Britannicum. The visits of
both Peter and Paul, with the family of the Pudens, is referred
to in Scripture. Other ancient records state that the children of
Claudia and Rufus Pudens were raised at the knees of Peter and
Paul and other disciples, particularly naming St. Paul, for
reasons stated in a former chapter.
There is plenty of evidence to show that Peter visited
Britain and Gaul several times during his lifetime, his last
visit to Britain taking place shortly before his final arrest and
crucifixion in Nero's circus at Rome.
In Gaul Peter became the Patron Saint of Chartres, by reason
of his preference to preach in the famous Druidic rock temple
known as The Grotte des Druides. This is considered to be the
oldest Druidic site in Gaul, on which is built the oldest
cathedral in France.
Of his visits in Britain we have the corroboration of
Eusebius Pamphilis, A.D.306, whom Simon Metaphrastes quotes as
"St. Peter to have been in Britain as well as in Rome."
Further proof of Peter's sojourn in Britain was brought to
the light of day in recent times when an ancient, time-worn
monument was excavated at Whithorn. 1 It is a rough hewn stone
standing 4 feet high by 15 inches wide. On the face of this
tablet is an inscription that reads: "Locvs Sancti Petri
Apvstohli" (The Place of St. Peter the Apostle).
The eminent Dean Stanley, writing in his works of the
beloved Apostle, claims that the vision that came to St. Peter,
foretold his doom: "Knowing that shortly I must put off this my
tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hast shewed me" (2
Peter 1:14), appeared to St. Peter on his last visit to
Britain, on the very spot where once stood the old British church
of Lambedr (St. Peter's), where stands the present Abbey of St.
Peter, Westminster. Shortly afterwards Peter returned to Rome,
where he was later executed.
The first church dedicated to Peter was founded by King
Lucius, the British King, who was the first by royal decree to
proclaim Christianity the national faith of Britain at Winchester
The church was erected A.D.179, to the affectionate memory
of St. Peter, in commemoration of his evangelizing labours in
Britain. It is still known as "St. Peter's of Cornhill" and bears
the legend on its age-worn walls relating the historic fact and
dates by the order of King Lucius, the descendant of Arviragus,
preserved to this day for all to see and read.
During his lifetime Peter was the Apostle who suffered most
for his Master. One can believe how his heart must have ached
with remorse whenever he recalled the tragic scene in the Garden,
the shocking betrayal by Judas, and the realization of his
Master's prophetic words that before the cock crowed he would
have denied Him thrice. In his heart he had never denied his
Lord. He loved Jesus too dearly. We can only believe that in the
panic of the fearridden events the weakness of the flesh
momentarily prevailed. We
1 Candida Casa, Celtic Christian settlement.
fellow humans, possessing the same seeds of frailty, can
understand and better admire and love Peter as he rose above all
storm and persecution, spiritually and physically triumphant,
vindicating his verbal lapse of loyalty.
The anguish he endured as a spectator at the infamous
midnight trial in the Sanhedrin must have been soul-wracking and
the disappearance of the body of Christ from the tomb must have
stunned him as he looked in on its emptiness. How gloriously he
redeemed his character.
As he took leave of the sceptred Isle of Britain to return
to Rome to climax the last chapter of his splendid life, emotion
must have touched him as he said his final farewells to the
beloved Joseph and the remaining old Bethany comrades at Avalon.
He feared not what might occur to him in the remaining time. He
weighed the glory of his reward in soon being with the One he
adored and his life magnified.
In the long period of incarceration that followed his arrest
at Rome he was to suffer dreadfully.
Maliciously condemned, Peter was cast into the horrible,
fetid prison of the Mamertine. There, for nine months, in
absolute darkness, he endured monstrous torture manacled to a
post. Never before or since has there been a dungeon of equal
Historians write of it as being the most fearsome on the
brutal agenda of mankind. Over three thousand years old, it is
probably the oldest torture chamber extant, the oldest remaining
monument of bestiality of ancient Rome, a bleak testimony to its
barbaric inhumanity, steeped in Christian tragedy and the agony
of thousands of its murdered victims. It can be seen to this day,
with the dungeon and the pillar to which Peter was bound in
This dreaded place is known by two names. In classical
"history it is referred to as "Gemonium" or the "Tullian Keep."
In later secular history it is best known as the "Mamertine." At
this time it is not out of place to pause in our story to
describe this awesome pit, if only to provide us who live so
securely today with a slight reminder of what the soldiers of
Christ suffered for our sake, so we may be quickened the better
to appreciate the substance of our Christian heritage.
The Mamertine is described as a deep cell cut out of solid
rock at the foot of the capitol, consisting of two chambers, one
over the other. The only entrance is through an aperture in the
ceiling. The lower chamber was the death cell. Light never
entered and it was never cleaned. The awful stench and filth
generated a poison fatal to the inmates of the dungeon, the most
awful ever known. Even as early as 50 B.C. the historian Sallust
describes it in the following words:
"In the prison called the Tullian, there is a place about ten
feet deep. It is surrounded on the sides by walls and is closed
above by a vaulted roof of stone. The appearance of it from the
filth, the darkness and the smell is terrific."
No one can realize what its horrors must have been a hundred
years later when Peter was imprisoned in its noisome depths.
In this vile subterranean rock the famed Jugurtha was starved and
went stark raving mad. Vereingitorix, the valorous Druidic
Gaulish chieftain, was murdered by the order of Julius Caesar.
It is said that the number of Christians that perished within
this diabolic cell is beyond computation - such is the glory of
Rome. One can re-read the denouncing words of the noble Queen
Boadicea, with profit. She branded them for what they were. These
people of the Roman purple, who scorned all their enemies as
barbarian, were the greatest and most cruel barbarians of all
time. How Peter managed to survive those nine long dreadful
months is beyond human imagination. During his entire
incarceration he was manacled in an upright position, chained to
the column, unable to lay down to rest. Yet, his magnificent
spirit remained undaunted. It flamed with the immortal fervour of
his noble soul proclaiming the Glory of God, through His Son,
Jesus Christ. History tells us the amazing fact that in spite of
all the suffering Peter was subjected to, he converted his
gailers, Processus, Martinianus, and forty-seven others.
It is a strange and curious circumstance that the chair, or
throne of Pius' IX, at the Vatican Council, was erected directly
over the altar of Processus and Marinianus.
Peter, the Rock, as he predicted, met his death at Rome by
the hands of the murderous Romans, who crucified him, according
to their fiendish manner. He refused to die in the same position
as our Lord, declaring he was unworthy. Peter demanded to be
crucified in the reverse position, with his head hanging
downward. Ironically enough, this wish was gratified by the
taunting Romans in Nero's circus A.D.67.
Such was the timbre and mettle of the valiant, glorious
cavalcade of saints who permeated the hallowed Isle of Britain,
with their presence and their devotion to Christ.
Amid the tragedy of wars and persecutions in which the
bloodiest battles for Christendom were fought on British soil,
repelling the hated Romans, the carnival of blood and death in
the Roman arenas reached abnormal proportions. The popular sport
of the Roman pagans was the torture, mutilation and destruction
of the Christians. They screamed with moronic delight as the
famished lions tore and mangled the kneeling, praying Christians,
old and young, women, children and babies in arms. They made
wagers on the staying ability of the British warrior in his fight
to the death. As one Roman Gladiator was slain another took his
place until, overcome with fatigue from continuous combat, the
British Christian warrior was finally butchered. Roman writers
reporting these carnivals of murder wrote that the courage of the
Briton was indomitable. With their dying breath and last mite of
strength they would hurl them selves upon their foe in a last
superhuman effort to avenge.
They stated that it was not an uncommon sight for Briton and
Roman to die together, impaled on each other's weapon.
The teachers of the faith, the elderly, the women and
children, met their end serenely with quiet prayer on their lips,
proudly defiant. It is said that the mothers would push their
children forward to die first, so that they following were sure
life was extinct and their children spared the agony of being
dragged around the arena by the mauling animals. The courage of
the women awed the Romans, causing them to whisper, "What women
these Christian Britons have. What women!"
The sadistic Roman could never understand or analyze the
cold, remorseless courage of the Christian British with its
silent, savage ferocity. It made their craven hearts quaver. Not
understanding immortality, they could not understand a faith that
made its believers "fearlessly indifferent to death," as Julius
The valour of the British evoked Roman admiration and at the
same time increased their fears which forbade them to offer one
mite of mercy. The pitiless nature of the Roman against the
Briton was born out of cowardly fear more than anything else.
In Christianity the Roman Caesars began to see the handwriting on
the wall, proclaiming their imperial doom, and it was the Britons
that sealed it by their faith.
Following the death and interment of Mary, the mother of
Jesus, at Avalon, it became a passionate desire of the disciples,
holy men, pilgrims, kings and other notables to be interred
within "the hallowed acres of Glastonbury" (Avalon) where, with
Mary and the other apostles and disciples, it is recorded that
"Especially choose to await the day of resurrection."
There are many records still in existence reporting the
claim that many of the martyred were brought to Britain to be
buried in the sanctified haven at Avalon and elsewhere in
The heroic Constantius, of Lyons, who saved the city of
Clermont, in Auvergne, from Euric, the Goth, A.D.473-492, tells
in his work "Life of St. Germanus," how he took the relics of all
the Apostles and martrys from Gaul, to place in a special tomb at
St. Albans in Britain.
This record is of particular interest, supplying the one
link missing in earlier records and confirming to a point much
The earlier records are cited by Maelgwyn of Avalon, who
"Joseph of Arimathea, the noble decurion, received his
everlasting rest with his eleven associates in the Isle of
Here, as can be seen, is one missing. Twelve companions
arrived in Britain and thirteen if we count Marcella, the
handmaid of Martha, as reported by Cardinal Baronius. Which one
is missing? It is thought to have been Lazarus, who was the first
of the illustrious band to die.
The later records say that all of them were interred in
Britain, which would indicate that the missing one was among the
relics of those whom Constantius returned to Britain from Gaul,
where Lazarus had died at Marseilles.
But what of Peter and Paul?
Did they remain buried at Rome, in the grave where the
loving hands of Claudia, Pudens and their children had placed
them? We do know that the martyred Pudens family were never
disturbed from their final resting-place beneath the floors of
the first Christian Church at Rome, which before was the famed
Palace of the British.
Of Peter and Paul there is confusion, mystery and deliberate
misinformation concerning the place where their bodies found
their last resting-place.
The Martyrologies inform us that the Pudens, after
retrieving the body of Paul, interred it on their estate on the
Via Ostiensa road. We know from the historic records of the
Emperor Constantine, first Christian Emperor of Rome, that he,
knowing where the mutilated body of Paul lay, caused it to be
He had it placed in a stone coffin, and over the spot built
a church, still known as St. Paul's without the walls, meaning
the church and his body are outside the city walls of Rome. The
original church perished and a larger one was built on the site.
Fire destroyed this in 1823. In the present church built after
the fire, but still bearing its ancient name, a Benedictine
priest is ever on guard before a grille on the floor of the High
Altar. On occasion, for the benefit of special visitors, the
priest moves the grille, lowering a light through the floor into
a cell beneath, revealing to the eyes a crude slabstone on the
floor bearing the name 'Paui'. But there is no stone casket to be
What happened to it and to the body?
The positive answer is found in a document written by Pope
Vitalian to the British King Oswy, A.D.656. The letter is still
in existence. Probably to the astonishment of many, the letter
states that Pope Vitalian permitted the remains of the bodies of
St. Paul and St. Peter, with the remains of the martyrs St.
Lawrence, St. John, St. Gregory and St. Pancras, to be removed
from Rome to England and re-interred in the great church at
Canterbury. This historic record is beyond refutation.
From St. Pancras, one of the large railroad terminals in
London, is named St. Pancras Station. At one time on this site
there stood a cross erected to the memory of St. Pancras who
preached on that same spot.
The full facts concerning this amazing incident are related
by the Venerable Bede, A.D.673-735, in his "Ecclesiastical
History of the English Nation." 1 Learned British historian Bede
was held in high esteem by both the British and the Roman
While he was a sincere advocate of the novel papal faith,
introduced by St. Augustine, A.D.596, he was dogged in his
support of the British church and to its claim of priority in
establishing the Christian faith first in Britain, a fact not
disputed by St. Augustine nor by Pope Gregory at Rome. Bede is
recorded as the "Father of English learning," being the first to
translate the New Testament into English. All Christians are
familiar with the beautiful story of Bede translating the last
chapter to his scribe as he lay dying in his barren cell,
expiring within a few minutes after concluding the last verse in
the Gospel of St. John, reciting the "Gloria."
Regardless of the preservation of the letter sent from Pope
Vitalian to King Oswy, Bede, being a man of devout character and
erudition, would never make a false report on such an important
matter as the transfer of those saintly bodies from the care of
the Roman Catholic hierarchy at Rome to England if it were not
so. His stature in the Augustinian church is noted in the record
that the Venerable Bede is a canonized saint in the Roman
1 Book 3, ch.29.
The common belief was, and still is among the Roman Catholic
laity, that the body of St. Paul rests beneath the high altar in
the cathedral at Rome, erected to his honour; but it is well
known in the high places in both Christian churches that for many
centuries only his empty stone sarcophagus remains in the vault.
Professor Kinnaman, the learned American scholar and
achaeologist, in recent times has in his book "Diggers for
Facts," this reference to St. Paul's life work, writing:
"The real earthly remains of the Apostle to the Gentiles sleep in
the soil of England beyond the reach of the arm of the Roman
What of the tablet seen in the vault at St. Paul's
Without-the-Walls? Is it the lid of the stone coffin, supplied
and inscribed by order of Constantine? The stone sarcophagus is
in St. Paul's Cathedral at Rome, but his body rests with St.
Peter and the many other saints in England, described by
historians as "the most hallowed ground on earth."
To be continued with "St. Paul's Mission in Britain"