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St. Peter

"For they say that all those of the first age, and the apostles themselves, both received and taught those things which these men now maintain; and that the truth of Gospel preaching was preserved until the times of Victor, who was the thirteenth bishop in Rome from Peterr; but that the truth was falsified from the days of his successor, Zephyrinus...

“And how are they not ashamed to ascribe these things falsely to Victor, when they certainly know that Victor excommunicated Theodotus the cobbler, the prime mover and father of this God-denying apostasy, when he was the first to say that Christ was a mere man? For if Victor was of their way of thinking, as their slander affirms, how could he have cast out Theodotus, the inventor of this heresy?...

“…So Natalius [the Confessor] was persuaded by them to take the title of bishop of this heresy at a salary, and to be paid by them one hundred and fifty denarii a month. When, therefore, he became one of them, he was frequently admonished by the Lord in visions. For our compassionate God and Lord, Jesus Christ, did not wish that a witness to his own sufferings should perish outside the Church.

“But when he paid less regard to the visions, being ensnared by having the first place among them, and by the greed of filthy lucre which destroys many, he was finally scourged by the holy angels, and suffered no light punishment the whole night long; insomuch that he arose at dawn, put on sackcloth, covered himself with ashes, and with all haste prostrated himself in tears before Zephyrinus, the bishop; and, rolling at the feet not only of the clergy but also of the laity, he moved with his tears the compassionate Church of the merciful Christ. And though he used much entreaty and showed the weals of the stripes he had received, scarcely was he taken back into communion.” (The Little Labyrinth [A.D. 211], preserved in Eusebius, Church History 5:28:3).

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