Keith Hunt - Drama of Lost Disciples #9 - Page Nine   Restitution of All Things

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The Lost Disciples to Britain #9

The Church at Rome!


by George Jowett (1961)


     FOLLOWING the famous trial and release of Caractacus, with
the rest of the royal Silurian family, we find them settled in
the family residence at Rome, on the part of the Mons Sacer,
called Scaurus.
     Here the British king begins his seven-year parole in
absolute freedom.
     Caractacus alone is subject to the parole. It was not
required of any of the other royal captives. They were free to
leave Rome had they so desired. Over a period of time most of
them returned to Britain. The first to leave, almost immediately
following their pardon, were the two sons of Caractacus: his
eldest and his youngest sons, Cyllinus and Cynon. Cyllinus
returned to Britain, particularly to take over the reins of
government, acting as regent during the absence of his father.
Cynon entered the Silurian theological university. The home of
the remainder was established in the palatial Roman residence
known as the Palatium Britannicum - 'the Palace of the British',
or, 'the British Palace'.
     At that time it was unlikely that any one of them realized
the dramatic part they were to play, under the instruction of St.
Paul, in laying down the foundation of Christianity at Rome. They
were well aware that the situation was fraught with danger. On it
with characteristic British stubbornness they turned their back.
They cast the die and unflinchingly dedicated their lives to the
Christian service. For this they were to pay with their lives and
with their fortunes.
     It is an unhappy fact that, as the centuries sped by with
their turmoils, these monumental events in our Christian history,
with its stark, heart-breaking tragedies, in the main became
forgotten. It seemed as though a dark curtain shrouded their
glory in sombre shadows. Nevertheless, it is certain that St.
Paul's fruitful work could never have been achieved among the
Gentiles but for the sacrifices of these noble Britons. The old
Greek and Roman Martyrologies, preserved to the present, are most
illuminating. Therein are recorded the happenings and dates, in
many cases but briefly detailed, but more than enough to give us
the story of the pitiful endings of those first great soldiers of
Christ. Many of the disciples are completely lost to the record.
Nowhere are their names and achievements found. The silence of
the grave enfolds them. Many of the tortured bodies never even
found a grave.
     The Vatican states that there are many thousands of ancient
documents in the archives of the Vatican library that have never
been read: therefore, it is with pleasure we read of the splendid
effort of the Vatican, during the last two years, to microfilm
every document, to study and better preserve them. Recently it
was announced that copies of these microfilms would be
distributed among the various Christian theological centres for
co-operative study. In the U.S.A. the Knights of Columbus raised
a large fund to purchase a special centre to house these precious
records. They are responsible for supplying the Vatican in the
first place with the funds that enabled them to produce the first
microfilms. It is to be hoped that copies will be as generously
distributed among the various Protestant Theological Institutes
of learning. Like the mass of ancient manuscripts recently found
in the caves of the Dead Sea, it will take years and require the
combined intelligence of all to complete this titanic task.
     The famous British Museum library in London, the largest in
the world, and other great libraries, in Edinburgh, Belfast and
Dublin, Marseilles, Rouen, Paris, and many others, apart from the
vast accumulation of ancient Church records in England have been
most generous in providing co-operation for research. Therein is
contained a mass of informative material not possessed by the
Vatican. An example is the famous Myvyrean Manuscript, a gigantic
work exceeding one thousand volumes. It reaches into the dim
centuries antedating the record of this story. It is written in
the ancient Cymric language of the British and is housed in the
British Museum, often referred to as the Bible Museum for the
wealth of first-hand Biblical reference it contains. The Magdalen
College, at Oxford University, is named for the famous Magdalen
Manuscript it contains, written by the Archbishop of Mayence, 1
A.D. 776-856. It brings to life the beautiful story of Mary
Magdalene's wonderful work in the service of our Lord in Britain
and particularly in Gaul, as told by one of the earliest bishops
of the Christian faith.
     Just as archaeology has proven the historic facts of the Old
Testament, which formerly were regarded as fantasy, so has it
with the study of the old tomes lifted the majestic story of the

1 Rabanus Maurus.

Britons and the work of the Apostles in Britain, out of the realm
of legend, myth and superstition into the light of reality. The
most important part of the founding of the Gentile Christian
Church in Britain and Rome is available to us, and the facts
regarding the First Church at Rome begins with the Royal Cymric
family, domiciled in that city, under the instruction of St.
     Twenty years after the Crucifixion the trial and pardon of
the British royal captives took place, in the year A.D.52.
     Peter first went to Rome twelve years after the death of
Jesus, in the year A.D.44, eight years after Joseph and his
Bethany companions arrived in Britain and two years after the
Claudian campaign of persecution began against Christian Britain.
Paul did not arrive at Rome until A.D.56. This is the date given
by St. Jerome, and considered the most authentic. This does not
mean that there were not Christians in Rome before the two
Apostles arrived, or even before the British Silurians came as
captives. There were a number of them present and they are
scripturally referred to as 'the Church'. This must not be taken
too literally. It did not refer to a material institution; it was
a spiritual body in Christ. The number of Christians then at Rome
were unorganized, treading in fear. They met secretly in small
groups at the homes of various converts to worship, though most
of them went underground. The Tiberian and Claudian ban that
inflicted death on all who professed the Christian faith was
still in effect.
     The Bible refers to two Christian churches at Rome: the
Jewish Church of the circumcision and the Gentile Church of
non-circumcision, presided over by Hermas Pastor; the first being
composed of Jewish converts retaining the old practice of
circumcision. This group met in secret at the house of Aquila and
Priscilla, referred to in Romans 16:5. The separation of the two
converted groups was in the main the cause of the heated
discussion on circumcision between St. Paul and the other
Apostles. The Apostle to the Gentiles won the argument, making it
plainly known that neither made any difference where salvation
was concerned. The Jewish Church did not last. Gradually it
became absorbed into the Gentile Christian Church, as proved by
the fact that we later find many Jews functioning within the
Gentile Church, a number of whom are mentioned as going to
Britain with various missions.
     At this time bands of converts met in grottoes, but mostly
in the catacombs among the dead. The Ronian law, perhaps with
satirical cynicism, had sought fit to recognize these underground
cemeteries with the decree of sanctuary. However, when Christian
persecution was at its worst, the Roman soldiery would waylay the
worshippers on entering or leaving the catacombs. To avoid
capture the Christians made secret entrances and outlets.
     Such were the conditions that prevailed in Rome at the time
of our story, but unconsciously the tide had begun to turn
against the Romans, with the marriage of Arviragus, the Christian
King, to Venus Julia, daughter of the Emperor Claudius, A.D.45.
     Venus, known as Venissa, in the British records, had been
converted by Joseph after her arrival in Britain with her
husband. Since his recall from Britain, Aulus Plautius had
resided at Rome with his wife, Pomponia Graecina, the sister of
Caractacus, and they are referred to as a Christian family.
     Plautius, with his position as a nobleman of great wealth
and Pomponia, with her brilliance and golden beauty and as a
leader of Roman society, certainly would exert considerable
influence. Now, the most important and by far the most
extraordinary event was to take place that was eventually to
swing the tide in favour of the Christian cause at Rome. Strange
as it may seem, this incredible situation was created by the
Emperor himself, the very man who had sworn by his Edict to
exterminate Christianity. Probably it is the most astounding
incident in Christian history, showing how God can use even His
bitterest enemies to work out His divine purpose.
     Following the pardon of Caractacus, a close relationship
developed between the two former enemies and their households
evolving into a startling climax. Claudius greatly admired the
character and extraordinary beauty of Gladys, the daughter of
Caractacus. It grew into a deep paternal affection with the
result that Emperor Claudius adopted Gladys as his own daughter,
a girl who was an exceptionally devout Christian!
     Caractacus had two daughters, Eurgain, the eldest, and
Gladys, the youngest child. Eurgain had been officially converted
by Joseph, the Apostle of Britain, at the same time as her
brother Linus. Eurgain was not only the first British woman to be
converted to the faith, she is also recorded as being the first
female Christian saint in Britain, the reward for her outstanding
missionary work to which she devoted her life. 1 Gladys, the
younger, was born A.D.36, therefore she would be an infant when
Joseph and his saintly entourage arrived in Britain, following
the Judean exodus of the same year. Joseph baptized Gladys and
later confirmed her into the faith with the laying on of hands.
Both girls were profoundly spiritual, devoted to the Christian
faith with all the zeal of a Mary

St. Prydain, Genealogies of the Saints of Britain.

Magdalene. Both had been taken to Rome as hostages, with their
father and all the other aforementioned members of the royal
Silurian families, and had been party to all the unusual
circumstances. One wonders with what feelings did Eurgain witness
the extraordinary adoption of her younger sister by the Emperor
Claudius. The next unusual event was in Gladys' taking the name
of her adopted parent.
     Henceforth Gladys was known as Claudia.
     The Emperor was well aware of the strong Christian
convictions of Gladys, and what strikes one forcibly is the fact
that the record states that the terms of her adoption did not
require her to recant from her faith.
     Gladys was not to remain long under the royal roof. The year
after her adoption was to see a beautiful romance destined to
culminate later in heart-breaking tragedy. In her teens, Claudia
was betrothed and married. In the year A.D.53, she became the
wife of Rufus Pudens Pudentius, an epochal event history could
well mark as momentous.
     Pudens, as he is most commonly referred to, was a Roman
Senator and former personal aide-de-camp to Aulus Plautius.
Pudens went to Britain with the Commander-in-Chief at the
commencement of the Claudian campaign A.D.42. 1
     What could be a stranger circumstance than that of the
British Pendragon Caractacus permitting his favourite daughter to
become adopted by the remorseless enemy who had brought about his
defeat at Clune and see his sister and daughter married to the
leaders he had opposed in battle for nine long years, Plautius
and Pudens.
     Truly the Hand of God works in a mysterious way to perform
His Will.
     Claudia was seventeen years of age when she married Rufus
Pudens. The nuptials did not take place at the Imperial Palace of
her adopted father, as one might expect, but at the palace of her
natural father, the Palatium Britannicum, a Christian household.
It was a Christian marriage performed by the Christian Pastor,
Hermas, which proves that Pudens was already a Christian convert.
It is interesting to note that they continued to live at the
Palatium Britannicum; interesting because Pudens was an extremely
wealthy man, owning vast estates in Umbria, but he chose to live
at the Palace of the British, where their four illustrious
children were born.
     On the marriage of his daughter to Pudens, Caractacus
bestowed the Palace as a bridal gift upon them, with all its
spacious grounds.

1 Morgan, St. Paul in Britain, pp.103-107.

     An idea can be gained of the vast scope and opulence of the
British Palace by referring to the domestic routine required to
operate the household. The Roman Martyrology, referring to the
Pudens, states that Rufus brought his servant staff from Umbria
to manage the palatial home. It declares, "There were two hundred
males and the same number of females, all born on the hereditary
estates of Pudens at Umbri."
     Adjoining the Palace of the British were two magnificent
baths, the largest in Rome. They were named after the children of
Claudia and Rufus Pudens, known as the Thermae Timotheus and the
Thermae Novatianae. Later the Palace and all the spacious grounds
of this great estate were deeded to the First Christian Church at
Rome by Timotheus, the eldest son of the Pudens. He was destined
to be the second last surviving member of this family and the
second last to be martyred. It is recorded that these were the
only properties owned by the Christian Church at Rome up to the
time of the Emperor Constantine.
     Pastor Hermas refers to this munificent home as "amplissimus
Pudentes domus" the "hospitium", or home of hospitality for
Christians from all parts of the world. It was more than this.
For many years it was to be Sanctuary, in the true sense of the
word, wherein no Roman soldier dare set foot to arrest any member
or guest of the Pudens' household.
     Such was the home in which the bridal pair began their
marital life in the year A.D.53.
     Many students have puzzled over these extraordinary
marriages. Some considered them political alliances. This can be
ruled out on two scores. If they were political, war would not
have continued but, as history shows, the conflict of arms
between Briton and Roman continued, with rare interludes, for
over three hundred years. On the other hand, the Roman writers
state that the "British could not be coerced by force of arms or
persuasion". They, more than any other, affirm the unbending
nature of the Briton where his hereditary rights were concerned,
particularly his religion. Practically all armistices ended in
Treaty Alliances, wherein the British kings retained their
sovereignty, privileges and freedoms. If conflict had ended in
true conquest these privileges would never have been recognized.
The Romans imposed their full authority on all the nations they
conquered. There must be a valid reason why it was never fully
imposed on the British. History shows an unbroken line of kingly
successions which alone proves that they were never conquered.
     Even in the case of Caractacus we see that he retained his
sovereignty, his hereditary estates and privileges and this in
spite of the fact that Arviragus conducted the war against the
Romans without abatement.
     Centuries later, when the church acquired political power,
it strongly supported kingly succession in the blood strain. It
was the very opposite in the Roman Catholic Hierarchy. The Pope
made and broke kingdoms subject to the Roman Catholic faith. He
alone approved or disapproved of royal marital alliances. The
parties involved obeyed or were threatened with excommunication.
In this manner the Papal See controlled and expanded the Holy
Roman Empire throughout Europe until the time of Martin Luther
and the Reformation. The British never were subject to this
     To do so was to incite immediate rebellion. British royal
marriages and succession to the throne have ever been governed by
the iron precepts of the British Christian faith. Even today the
same law is still adamant, as shown in the circumstances that
brought about the abdication of Edward VIII, and more recently in
the public declaration of Princess Margaret in her rejection of
any marriage that opposed or broke the law of the hereditary
rights as declared and set forth in the Christian faith that
rules the succession to the British throne.

     In the events of our story we have positive proof that the
British-Roman marriage alliances were truly an affair of the
heart, as shown in each instance, the pagan becoming Christian.
Strange as these marriages appear under the extraordinary
circumstances, Martial, particularly, extols them as romances,
and his pen is lavish in describing the nuptials of Claudia and
Pudens. Martial writes: "The foreign Claudia marries my Rufus
Pudens, she calls him Rufus her Holy husband." 1
     Undoubtedly the attachment between Claudia and Pudens began
in Britain, though one wonders how such a friendly social status
could develop when Briton and Roman were engaged at war. No doubt
Rufus Pudens Pudentius met Gladys for the first time during the
truce period of A.D.45, when his chief, Aulus Plautius, married
the sister of Caractacus, the aunt of Gladys. Both girls, before
assuming their Roman surname, were named Gladys - Princess. At
this time the niece would only have been nine years old. It is
stated that her extraordinary beauty, which was to make her world
renowned, even to exceeding the fame of her illustrious aunt, was
then evident. Pudens, then a young man, became attracted to
Gladys despite the differences in their ages. Evidently the
1 Vol. 4, p.18.

lingered and prospered over the ensuing years. We know that
Pudens did not accompany Plautius to Rome on his recall by the
Emperor, A.D.47. Today there exists positive proof in the
Chichester Museum that Rufus remained in Britain, to the close of
the Caradoc-Claudian campaign, A.D.52.
     While in Britain, Pudens was stationed by Aulus Plautius in
command at Regnum, the name for the Roman encampment at
Chichester. In the year A.D.1723 workers, while excavating some
old foundations there, discovered a large stone tablet, which
since has been known as the 'Chichester Stone'. Fortunately the
inscription it bore had been deeply carved and when restored by
the firm of Horseley and Gale the Latin memorial could clearly be
read. Translated the inscription is as follows:

"The College of Engineers, and ministers of religion attached to
it, by permission of Tiberius Claudius Cogidunus, the king,
legate of Augustus in Britain, have dedicated at their own
expense in honour of the divine family, this temple to Neptune
and Minerva. The site was given by Pudens, son of Pudentinus."

     This inscription contains a wealth of corroborating support
of the presence of the husband of Claudia in Britain at a later
date than A.D.47, apart from other matters of historic interest.
This pagan temple was erected about A.D.50, two years before the
close of the Claudian war and the return of Pudens to Rome, A.D.
52. This indicates that Pudens remained in Britain five years
after his commander-in-chief had returned to Rome. It also shows
that at the time Pudens made the gift of this site he was still a
worshipper of the Roman pagan gods; therefore his conversion to
Christianity did not take place until a later date. We can be
certain that Pudens' recantation from the Roman pagan gods and
declaration for Christ took place before his marriage to Claudia.
It could not have been otherwise. Their marriage took place
within the Palace of the Royal British. The officiating minister
was a Christian convert, a kinsmen of Pudens, who also made his
home at the Palatium Britannicum. He was known to St. Paul and
St. Peter as Pastor Hermas. 1
     The other note of interest introduced in this inscription is
the name and title 'Codigunus, the king'. He was not a Roman,
though he prefixes his name with Roman titles - Tiberius
Claudius. The rulers of the Roman Empire never employed the title
'King'. It was always Emperor - Caesar or Augustus. He was a
British king but nowhere in the British Triads is his name
mentioned. He was

1 Romans 16:14.

an arch traitor, one of the very few who defected to the Romans.
It was he who treacherously betrayed Caractacus in the Claudian
campaign. For this despicable act he was honoured by the Roman
titles he appends to his own name. His family and estates were
guaranteed Roman protection. To the British his name was
anathema. He was branded by the most disgraceful name that could
be applied to a Briton - 'bradwr', meaning 'traitor'. According
to Celtic law death was the penalty for this act and his name
forbidden to be spoken. His identity was completely erased from
the historic record and the Bards assigned him to oblivion.
     While some Britons may have been indifferent Christians,
then as now, their patriotism was ever beyond question. Then as
now, it burned fiercely within them. No disgrace was so great as
disloyalty. They never forgave, stripping the culprit of all
honour and mention in their history. This intense patriotism,
coupled with severe punishment for military disgrace, continued
to be observed within the British Army up to World War I.
Military disgrace was a public spectacle. To be 'drummed out' was
the one thing every British soldier dreaded. Following conviction
by court martial he was arraigned before his paraded regiment,
then, one by one, the buttons were torn off his uniform by a
common soldier in rank; his insignia ripped in shreds until he
stood completely despoiled before all. Then his rifle or sword
was broken. This done, he was ordered to depart. All the while
the muffled drums throbbed out the tattoo of his disgrace.
Officers and soldiers so disgraced were also sent to 'Coventry',
an expression meaning that no one who knew him would ever speak
to him. Their shame went so deep that they usually left Britain,
migrating to some foreign country or to the Colonies, where they
changed their name in a futile effort to hide their stigma. But
it is said that the ignominy was so deeply etched in their heart
that none succeeded in living it down. Many have been known to
have committed suicide after being 'drummed out'. Such a traitor
was Cogidunus. Tacitus knew him and his pen shared the disdain of
the British. 1
     As previously stated, among the British hostages to Rome was
Llyr Llediaith, the grandfather of Caractacus. He died shortly
after his arrival at Rome. As a result of his death his son, 'the
Blessed Bran', the Arch Druid Silurian monarch who had abdicated
in favour of his son Caractacus, voluntarily offered himself as
hostage to replace his father, Llyr, the King Lear of
Shakespeare. Thus we see the necessary characters gradually
assembling in Rome in pre-

1 Tacitus, Agricola, I4.

paration for the role they were all to play in the world's
greatest drama, under direction of St. Paul.
     We now see residing at the Palatium Britannicum the High
Priest Bran, King Caracatacus and the Queen, his wife; his
daughter, the Princess Eurgain and her husband, Salog, lord of
Salisbury; her brother, the immortal Prince Linus, now a
Christian priest; the Emperor's adopted daughter, Claudia, and
her husband the Senator Pudens; his mother, Priscilla; 1  Pastor
Hermas, kinsman of Pudens.
     Cyllinus and Cynon, the eldest and youngest sons of
Caractacus had already returned to Britain. There were other
members of the Pudens' Christian household dedicated to the faith
but those mentioned are the important figures to remember. The
talented sister of Caractacus, the ex-Princess Pomponia Graecina,
and her influential husband Aulus Plautius, resided nearby. All
were spiritually confirmed Christians except Caractacus and Bran,
who were soon to experience the laying on of hands by St. Paul,
climaxing their confirmation in the faith in the same manner as
is performed by the Priesthood today in the Church of the
Anglican Communion.
     The following five years, apparently, were years of
tranquillity at the Palatium Britannicum.
     From the works of the Roman writers of that period we read
that the home of Pudens rapidly became the most fashionable and
cultural centre in Rome. Martial, the Roman epigrammatist, of
Spanish birth, was a constant visitor who valued the scholarship
of the Pudens so highly that he freely submitted his works to
them for their constructive criticism. In his works, which have
been handed down to us, he delights in extolling Claudia's
flaxen, blueeyed beauty, and her literary talent. He says, "Since
Claudia, wife of Pudens, comes from the blue set Britons, how is
it that she has so won the hearts of the Latin people?" He
explains that for wit and humour she had no equal, and her beauty
and scholarship exceeded that of her august aunt, Pomponia.
Claudia was a fluent linguist and, like her aunt, wrote many
volumes of odes and poetry in Greek, Latin and her native Cymric.
For over a thousand years her works were treasured in the great
Glastonbury library but perished in the great fire, A.D.1184.
Copies of her hymns, elegies, etc., were contained at Verulum as
late as the 13th century. Her British ancestry was never
forgotten. Affectionately she was named by the Roman populace,
Claudia Britannica Pudentius. Of her, Martial wrote

1 Morgan, St. Paul in Britain.

"Our Claudia, named Rufina, sprung we know from blue-eyed
Britons; yet behold, she vies in grace with all that Greece or
Rome can show. As bred and born beneath their glowing skies."

     Rufina was the feminine vernacular for her husband's first
name, Rufus. It was a common custom to refer to a married woman
personally by replacing her own first name with his. Names then
were used rather indiscriminately, which tends to confuse us who
retain throughout our lifetime our given name and family name.
Consequently it can be bewildering to read of the British
Princess by so many names. Gladys-Claudia-Britannica,
Rufina-Pudens, and Pudentius.
     The dark-haired Romans admired the golden-haired, blue-eyed,
pink-complexioned women of Britain. Again Martial sings with
praise: "For mountains, bridges, rivers, churches and fair women,
Britain is past compare."
     Martial wrote a long poem describing the nuptials of Claudia
and Pudens. He wrote another on the birth of Claudia's daughter,
     In the four years following her marriage Claudia, at the age
of twenty-one, was the mother of three children. A fourth child
was later born. Timotheus the eldest, and Novatus the youngest,
were boys. Pudentiana and Praxedes, born in between, were girls.
Names which should never be forgotten. They should be written in
red and spiked with nails of gold on the walls in every Christian
home. All were martyred. 1
     These four children, added to the family list of names
mentioned; residing at the Palace of the British, represent the
chief assembly of personalities who officially and openly first
declared for the Christian faith at Rome. Fearlessly and with
zeal they defied the edicts that were to follow. They befriended
and defended all followers of 'The Way', who sought their
sanctuary. Their numbers were legion, apostles, disciples,
priests and neophytes.
     In Matthew 10:11, Jesus said, "Into whatsoever city or town
ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till
ye go hence."
     Where was there a safer or more worthy home than the Palace
of the British? The name it acquired, 'Home of the Apostles',
shows it to have been the most popular meeting-place of the
Apostles among others.
     Claudia's first-born, Timotheus, was named after one of her

1 Roman Martyrololgies.

favourite Apostles who frequented her home, St. Timothy, Bishop
of Ephesus. He was closely associated with St. John and St. Paul.
To Timotheus, St. Paul refers as 'The beloved son in Christ'. All
her children were baptized in Christ and brought up in the
presence of apostles, disciples and converts. Cardinal Baronius
wrote that Justin Martyr made his home with them.
     Even though St. Paul had his residence provided for him at
Rome by the Christian following, the Scriptures state that he
only resided two years in it during his ten years' association
with the city. The common inference is that St. Paul first
arrived at Rome in the year A.D.58 but, as before stated, St.
Jerome placed his arrival at A.D.56. He writes, "St. Paul went to
Rome in the second year of Nero." Nero succeeded Claudius as
     St. Jerome held a unique place in the post-Christian era of
the Catholic Church. By request of the Church he wrote the first
most important dissertations of the Christian record. His
documentation of the early years of the faith stands
unquestioned. A man of intense convictions, he was profoundly
devout. Honest and sincere in his writings he was assiduous as to
detail. Because of his tremendous knowledge of Christian history
and his scholarly excellence, he was especially elected by the
Church Fathers to produce the historic literary record; therefore
the date he sets for St. Paul's arrival at Rome can be accepted.
Moreover, the date is supported by such eminent authorities as
Bede, Ivo, Platina, Scaliger, Capellus, Cave, Stillingfleet,
Alford, Godwin, Rapin, Bingham, Stanhope, Warner and Trapp, to
name a few. This being the date preferred, it allows eight years
of contact with Rome in which St. Paul did not reside in his
personal home. This fact supports the statements of the
contemporary writers who state that St. Paul had his abode with
the Pudens. There is a special and particular reason as to why he
would prefer to reside with the Pudens at the British Palace,
apart from its Christian environment.
     Startling as it may be to the reader, facts will prove that
living with the Pudens family was the mother of St. Paul and that
Claudia Britannica was the sister-in-law of the Apostle to the
     St. Paul, writing in his Epistles to those at Rome prior to
his coming, says, "Salute Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his
mother and mine."
     Some have sought to suggest that the woman was St. Paul's
spiritual mother. This is entirely outruled by the facts. A
spiritual mother, or father, was one who had converted another.
As we all know, Christ had converted Paul on the road to
Damascus, and Paul had not been to Rome since before the Judean
persecution of Christ's followers, A.D.33. Thus twenty-five years
had elapsed before his arrival at Rome as an Apostle of Christ.
By deduction, Pudens must have been in his late twenties when he
married the seventeen-year-old British Princess, and at the time
of St. Paul's salutation he must have been near his mid-thirties,
which shows a long separation between 'his mother and mine'.
Pudens was born on the family estate at Umbri, a Roman state. His
father was a Roman Senator, of a long illustrious ancestry. Paul,
in describing his Roman citizenship, states that he was a Jew
(Benjamite) by race; therefore his parents must have been Jewish
Benjamites. 1 From this it is obvious that his mother was
probably married a second time, and to a Roman of distinguished
birth. Rufus Pudens was born of this marriage. His mother was not
a Roman consort as Pudens inherited his father's estates as the
legitimate son. If he had been an illegitimate son, born of a
consort, the licentious pens of that time, ever ready to declare
such an incident, would have said so. On the contrary, Pudens
senior and his family are written of in high esteem. Therefore
all facts point to a legal marriage, with Rufus as legal
offspring. If it had been otherwise, Paul would not have
addressed his mother and Rufus with the affection he did.
At the time Pudens donated the ground in Britain for the erection
of the temple to Neptune and Minerva at Chichester, he was pagan,
following his inherited family religion subject to the Roman
gods. This does not prove that his Jewish mother was a pagan
worshipper. Born in the Judean faith she may have remained
neutral or indifferent. However, it is certain, between the year
A.D.50 and the nuptial year A.D.53, that both mother and son
must have been converted, for we find Priscilla, his mother, a
member of the British household, directly following the marriage
of Rufus Pudens to Claudia. On the other hand, Paul would not
have sought association with his mother and Rufus if he knew they
had remained pagan. His salutation proves that Paul knew
beforehand that both were then confirmed Christians. He salutes
Pudens, 'chosen in the Lord'. This is further supported by the
Roman writers of that time who attest that 'all' of the Pudens
household at the Palatium Britannicum were Christian.
     From all this we realize that St. Paul and Rufus Pudens
Pudentius were half-brothers, each having the same mother. In

1 Romans 11:1.

turn this made the British Princess Gladys the Emperor Claudius's
adopted daughter, now known as Claudia Britannica Rufina Pudens
Pudentius, sister-in-law to the Apostle of the Gentiles!
     Recognizing the facts we can well understand why the ancient
writers affirmed that St. Paul, by preference, spent most of his
time with the Pudens at the Palatium Britannicum while at Rome.
This substantiates other important facts cited in the Roman
Martyrologies that, "The children of Claudia were brought up at
the knee of St. Paul."
     Many students of the Biblical history of St. Paul are
commonly confused by the scriptural report which states that St.
Paul spent but two years at his provided home out of the ten
years he was associated with Rome. They are conscious of the
eight-year gap and ask, "Where was he?"
     If they had sufficiently considered British and Roman
history of that time they would have known and also known that
when St. Paul was not residing with the Pudens at Rome, he was
absent in Britain, Spain, Gaul and elsewhere.
     It is interesting to note that St. Paul had other relatives
at Rome whom he addressed in his salutations, notably Adronicus,
Junea and Herodian. They also became partakers of the Pudens'
Christian hospitality. They had been converted long before St.
Paul arrived at Rome. They are mentioned in Scripture as being
members of the first Christian church in the Imperial City. We
can well imagine what a wonderful occasion the arrival of St.
Paul must have been at the Palatium Britannicum, A.D.56, and the
happy reunion between the mother and her two brothers, with
Claudia, her children whom he loved so dearly, and other
relatives and converts.
     From the swiftness of events that followed it is seen that
St. Paul lost no time in putting into action his bold plan to
erect at Rome, on an indestructible foundation, the first
Christian Church among Gentiles above ground. This was the first
need and was made possible by a bold act of the British royal
family, Claudia and Pudens, in donating their home, the Palace of
the British, to be openly declared to be the established
Christian Church at Rome. The sacrificial act is made more
courageous in the fact that Nero, the mad Emperor, then sat on
the throne of the Caesars.
     This was the birth of the first Church of Christ above
ground at Rome.
     Prior to the coming of St. Paul, the Palatium Britannicum
for several years, dating from the marriage of Claudia and
Pudens, had been the centre for the Christian gathering to
worship. Hernias conducted the services. He was the first
minister to the Christian flock in secret session. Now the
challenge was openly declared. It was glory or the grave.
     St. Paul planned his two greatest adventures in the home of
the Pudens; the first, establishing the Church of Rome, which
was, as we note, accomplished in part. The second was a notable
contribution in Britain in which Bran, Caractacus and Eurgain,
his daughter, were to have the leading roles. When St. Paul came
to Rome there remained three years of parole for Caractacus to
complete. We are told St. Paul confirmed Bran and Caractacus
shortly after he arrived at the home of the Pudens, but this is
another story to be told in another chapter. Our attention now is
still on the action at Rome. A Bishop had to be consecrated to
lead the church to its destiny.
     Who would this great and grave honour be conferred upon?
Linus, the son of Caractacus, who had remained at Rome, had long
before been baptized and confirmed by St. Joseph of Arimathea in
Britain. He was a priestly instructor. It was Linus whom St. Paul
chose and personally consecrated to be the First Bishop of the
Christian Church at Rome. A Prince of the royal blood of Britain,
he is the same Linus whom St. Paul addressed in his Epistles.
This fact has never been disputed, though seldom brought forth in
the light of this reading. St. Peter affirms the fact. He says:

"The First Christian Church above ground in Rome, was the Palace
of the British. The First Christian Bishop, was a Briton, Linus,
son of a Royal King, personally appointed by St. Paul, A.D.58."

     The church still stands and can be seen in what was once the
palatial grounds of the Palatium Britannicum, a memorial to the
Christianizing endeavours of St. Paul and the expatriate royal
British family at Rome with Rufus Pudens. The church is recorded
in Roman history under four different names: I. Palatium
Britannicum; 2. Titulus; 3. Hospitium Apostolorum; 4. Lastly, as
St. Pudentiana, in honour and memory of the martyred daughter of
Claudia Pudens, by which name it is known to this day.
     Further corroboration is given to Linus, as the brother of
the lovely Claudia and of his appointment to be the First Bishop
of the Christian Church of Rome, and is provided in the following
extract from The Apostolic Constitutions:

"Concerning those Bishops who have been ordained in our lifetime,
we make known to you that they are these; Of Antioch, Eudius,
ordained by me, Peter, Of the Church of Rome, Linus,
brother of Claudia, was first ordained by Paul, and after Linus's
death, Clemens, the second ordained by me, Peter."

     In this statement Peter himself declared that Linus is the
brother of Claudia and first Bishop of the Church at Rome. He
further states that Paul performed the ordination and not he. In
another statement herein given Peter affirms that Linus was a
Briton, son of a royal king. In these statements the common
belief that Peter founded the church at Rome, and that the first
church there was Roman Catholic in origin, is confounded by the
words of St. Peter himself. The Roman Catholic Church was not
founded until about three hundred and fifty years later. Clearly
Peter states that the first church was established by Linus,
through the ordination of St. Paul. He gives the correct year,
     Clemens Romanus, the second Bishop of Rome, appointed by
Peter, affirms the relationship between Linus and Claudia,

"Sanctissimus Linus, Frater Claudiae" (St. Linus, brother of
Claudia). 2

     Clemenus Romanus knew them all intimately, not only as an
intimate guest of the Pudens. He knew of Claudia in Britain, for
he was St. Clement of the twelve companions of Joseph. 3 Within
twelve years after the martyrdom of Linus he was consecrated the
second Bishop of the Church by Peter. 4 St. Paul had already
suffered his martyrdom. In his works, still extant, Clement tells
us that St. Paul was in constant residence at the Palatium
Britannicum and personally instructed Linus for his consecrated
office. He further writes that the First Church of Rome was
founded by the British royal family and that St. Paul personally
preached in Britain. 5
     Irenaeus, A.D.180, who was also personally acquainted with
the first Church, wrote: "The Apostles having founded and built
up the church at Rome, committed the ministry of its supervision
to Linus." This is the Linus mentioned by Paul in his Epistles to
Timothy. 6
     This saint was born in Asia and became a disciple of
Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna. Afterwards he became a presbyter of
Lyons, in Gaul. From Lyons he was sent as a delegate to the
Asiatic churches.

1 Bk. i, ch. 46.    
2 Epistola ad Corinthios. 
3 Clement in an English context, Clemens in the Latin.
4 Apostolici Constitutiones, 1:46. (The interval of twelve years
was filled by Cletus. He was not appointed by the Apostles;
therefore Clement is described in the Apostolic Constitutions as
the second.
5 "The extremity of the west"; Fpistola, ch. 5.   
6 Irenaei Opera, 3:1.

     He succeeded Photinus in the Bishopric and was martyred
under order of Severus.
     Linus, the First Bishop of the First Christian Church at
Rome, was also its first martyr. Of this royal Christian family
Claudia was the only one to die a natural death. She saw her
brother Linus murdered and, years later, her faithful husband,
Rufus Pudens Pudentius. He was martyred A.D.96. Claudia died the
following year, A.D.97, in Samnium. This beautiful, glorious
woman was spared the agony of seeing her four noble children
butchered for Christ. The beloved Pudentiana, immortalized in The
Roman Yartyrologies, and by Martial, was executed on the
anniversary of the death of her father, A.D.107, during the
third Roman Christian persecution. After her martyrdom, the name
of the Palatium Britannicum was changed and consecrated by name
to her memory. Her brother Novatus was martyred during the fifth
Roman persecution, A.D.137, while his elder brother Timotheus
was absent in Britain, baptizing his nephew, grandson of
Arviragus, King Lucius, at Winchester. Shortly after his return
from Britain to Rome Timotheus, in his goth year, suffered
martyrdom along with his fellow worker Marcus. Later that same
year, in which The Martyrologies state, "Rome was drunk with the
blood of the martyrs of Jesus", Praxedes, the youngest daughter
of Claudia and Pudens and the last surviving member of the
family, was also executed. Thus, by the year A.D.140, all of
this glorious family were interred by the side of St. Paul, in
the Via Ostiensis, their earthly mission in Christ finished.
Priscilla, the mother of St. Paul and Rufus Pudens, reposed in
the underground cemetery nearby, named for her memory the
Catacomb of St. Priscilla.
     In the year A.D.66 we are told that Claudia, with her
husband and children, rescued the murdered body of St. Paul,
interring it on the private burial grounds on the Pudens estate,
where they were all to rest together. It was truly a dangerous
     Christian ersecution was again at fever-pitch. One may
wonder why the names of others were not mentioned in claiming the
body. In a way it was a repetition similar to the circumstances
in which Joseph claimed the body of Jesus. Pudens was a Senator
and Claudia as still respected as the adopted daughter of the
late Emperor Claudius. Many things had happened to show they
still had influence with the Imperial Senate. They used it to
claim the mutilated remains of St. Paul. Others of the Christian
clan, not having influence and being under the Caesarian ban,
dared not make the effort. At that time the eldest children of
Claudia would only be twelve and thirteen years old respectively.
The children being party to the act shows the great devotion they
held for the Apostle, who was in all probability their uncle.
The last salutation St. Paul sent out from prison before his
execution was to St. Timothy, requesting him to deliver his last
fond farewell to the ones he loved dearest on earth, to his
sisterin-law, Claudia, and her husband; his half-brother, Pudens;
to their children and to his nieces and nephews, whom he had
taught with affection at his knee; the beloved Linus, whom he had
consecrated and appointed First Bishop; to Eubulus, cousin of
Claudia, 'and them which are of the household of Aristobulus'. In
only ten years faithfully he carried out the mission to 'go to
the Gentiles' as commissioned by his Saviour Jesus Christ. In
those years he had established the First Christian Church at Rome
and undertaken another mission in Britain, to collaborate with
the Josephian Mission at Avalon. In each case his instruments in
the divine work were the members of the British royal Silurian
family. How short a time for such a stupendous, noble work. Now
it was all over and left for posterity to carry on.
     So suffered all those who helped in founding the First
Gentile Church at Rome, their glory sealed in Christ, and the
spot wherein they laboured and were martyred steeped in their
courageous British blood.
     No disclaimer can challenge these historic events. In our
own time the Encyclopaedia Britannica names Linus as the First
Bishop of Rome. The Vatican has ever endorsed the facts herein
and has kept alive the glorious story. Probably the most
authentic record of this great drama is that which can still be
seen and read on the wall of the ancient former Palace of the
British, the sanctified church of St. Pudentiana. The memorial
was carved on its walls following the execution of Praxedes in
the second century, the last surviving member of the original
Christian band and the youngest daughter of Claudia and Pudens.

Inscribed in these few words is told the noble, tragic story:

"In this sacred and most ancient of churches, known as that of
Pastor (Hermas), dedicated by Sanctus Pius Papa (St. Paul),
formerly the house of Sanctus Pudens, the Senator, and the home
of the holy apostles, repose the remains of three thousand
blessed martyrs which Pudentiana and Praxades, virgins of Christ,
with their own hands interred."

     How many tourists visiting the Imperial City of Rome take
time out to go along the Mons Sacer Way to view this tragic
memorial to their faith and humbly breathe a prayer of
thanksgiving for the thousands who lie beneath, martyred for our
     Eyes fascinated by the splendour of the Vatican Palace and
other sumptuous buildings, not one Christian stops to view this
hallowed place which played such a majestic part in making the
faith they profess theirs to enjoy. All the riches combined in
the Vatican cannot equal one iota of the wealth of devotion and
sacrifice made for us within these time-weathered walls. Within
its sacred precincts trod two of the greatest of Christ's
Apostles, Peter and Paul; this the first Christian church at Rome
to be established and the second church built above the ground to
be created by the British and the Apostles of Christ. They
represent the greatest gifts of the British to mankind and to
posterity. Unlike the Josephian church erected at Glastonbury
(Avalon), the church at Rome is drenched with the blood of
martyrs. The valour of the British arms prevented the Roman or
any other foreign invader from violation of the Glastonbury
sanctuary. This protection was denied, by understandable
circumstances, to the church at Rome. They could only die. Theirs
is the greatest treasure in blood and sacrifice the British race
gave to the people of the world - their cross for Christ that
preserved the Word that set men free and saved their soul. How
little do modern Christians realize that it was the Royal House
of Britain, united with the noble Pudens, that actually made it
possible for St. Paul to accomplish his mission, fulfilling the
destiny Jesus ordained for him in establishing the faith
permanently among the Gentiles? How few know of those gentle
women, Claudia, Pudentiana and Praxedes, who gave their all for
Christ, their beauty, their talents, their fortunes and their
lives. What courage! No wonder the Romans proclaimed in awe:

"What women these British Christians have - what women!" Those
gentle hands alone had laid at rest the staggering total of three
thousand butchered martyrs within the precincts of their church,
the old Palace of the British at Rome. How many more they
secreted and buried within the underground catacombs is not
known. As one ponders on this dreadful tragedy the soul is
     Now only crumbling, uncared-for walls remain to remind us of
its triumph and tragedy yet the modern Christian by-passes it
without a look, without a twinge of gratitude or admiration, or a
prayer, to be thrilled by the glamour of the Vatican and its
cathedrals, basking in wealth and luxury, which had no part in
the original planting of the faith, or in establishing and
preserving our democratic freedoms.
     The inscription on the walls of St. Pudentiana sets the
truth squarely before our eyes, with its incomparable drama. To
this are added the words of Cardinal Baronius, who writes the
following comment in his Annales Ecclesias: 1

"It is delivered to us by the firm tradition of our forefathers
that the house Pudens was the first that entertained St. Peter at
Rome, and that there the Christians assembling formed the Church,
and that of all our churches the oldest is that which is called
after the name Pudens."

     The eminent Jesuit Father, the Rev. Robert Parsons, in "The
Three Conversions of England," adds his testimony: 2

"Claudia was the first hostess or harbourer both of St. Peter and
St. Paul at the time of their coming to Rome."

     Who with an atom of intelligence dare deny the authenticity
of this dramatic record in Christian history, against the mass of
corroborative evidence, simply because their glory has been
overshadowed by the ages, lost in antiquity to thoughtless minds?
One can search in vain the modern church Calendars of Martyrs for
the illustrious names. Once their names led that Calendar of
Martyrs with red-letter dates. Of recent years their names have
been omitted, giving precedence to others a thousand times less
worthy of the honour. Yet we can still turn to the pages of the
Martyrologies of Rome, The Greek Menologies and the
Martyrologies of Ado, Usuard and Esquilinus, and therein read
their glorious stories, noting the Natal Days of each, therein
     They are as follows:

May 17. Natal Day of the Blessed Pudens, father of Praxedes and
Pudentiana. He was clothed with Baptism by the Apostles, and
watched and kept his robe pure and without wrinkle to the frown
of a blameless life.
May 17. Natal Day of St. Pudentiana, the virgin, of the most
illustrious descent, daughter of Pudens, and Disciple of the Holy
Apostle St. Paul.
June 20. Natal Day of St. Novatus, son of the Blessed Prudens,
brother of St. Timotheus the Elder and the Virgins of Christ,
Pudentiana and Praxedes. All these were instructed in the faith
by the Apostles.

1 ad 19 Maii.  
2 Vol. 1, p.16.

August 22. Natal Day of St. Timotheus, son of St. Pudens, in the
Via Oatiensis.
September 2I. Natal Day of St. Praxedes, Virgin of Christ in
November 26. Natal Day of St. Linus, first Bishop of Rome. Such
is the hallowed record of the illustrious royal British martyrs
at Rome:

     First to house and openly protect the Apostles. First openly
     to teach the Christian faith in Rome. First to found the
     Christian Church at Rome.
     First to suffer martyrdom for the Christian faith at Rome.

     Therein lies the glory and the tragedy, the drama and the
triumph of those born to the purple, who died in the purple for
Christ; royal princes and princesses, born of a fearless race,
converted in Britain by St. Joseph of Arimathea, the Apostle to
the British, selected and ordained by St. Paul, the Apostle to
the Gentiles, in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
to carry out His mission to the world and to be an unflickering
light. Nobly the royal Silurians of Britain sealed their pledge
to Christ with their lives; to the last unfalteringly proclaiming
the deathless motto of their ancient Druidic ancestors - 'The
Truth Against the World.'

     It can truly be said that the first church at Rome was the
British church, in the true meaning of the word British -
'Covenant People'.

     Their Covenant in Christ was untarnished.




Keith Hunt

To be continued with "Did Mary live and die in Britain?"

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