In the year three hundred and forty-five, in the month of the latter Tishrin, Marath Mary went out from her house, and went to the sepulchre of Christ: because every day she used to go and weep there. But the Jews immediately after the death of Christ seized the sepulchre, and heaped great stones at the door of it. And over the sepulchre and Golgotha they set guards, and commanded them that, if any one should go and pray at the sepulchre or at Golgotha, he should immediately be put to death. And the Jews took away the cross of our Lord, and those two other crosses, and that spear with which our Saviour was struck, and those nails which they drove into His hands and into His feet, and those robes of mockery in which He had been clad; and they hid them: lest, as they said, any one of the kings or of the chief persons should come and inquire concerning the putting to death of Christ.
And the guards went in and said to the priests: Mary cometh in the evening and in the morning, and prayeth there. And there was a commotion in Jerusalem on account of Marath Mary. And the priests went to the judge, and said to him: My lord, send and command Mary that she go not to pray at the sepulchre and at Golgotha. And while they were deliberating, lo! letters came from Abgar, the king of the city of Edessa, to Sabina the procurator who had been appointed by Tiberius the emperor, and as far as the river Euphrates the procurator Sabina had authority. And, because Addæus the apostle, one of the seventy-two apostles, had gone down and built a church at Edessa, and had cured the disease with which Abgar the king was afflicted -- for Abgar the king loved Jesus Christ, and was constantly inquiring about Him; and, when Christ was put to death and Abgar the king heard that the Jews had slain Him on the cross, he was much displeased; and Abgar arose and rode and came as far as the river Euphrates, because he wished to go up against Jerusalem and lay it waste; and, when Abgar came and was arrived at the river Euphrates, he deliberated in his mind: If I pass over, there will be enmity between me and Tiberius the emperor. And Abgar wrote letters and sent them to Sabina the procurator, and Sabina sent them to Tiberius the emperor. In this manner did Abgar write to Tiberius the emperor: --
|From Abgar, the king of the city of Edessa. Much peace to thy Majesty, our lord Tiberius! In order that thy Majesty may not be offended with me, I have not passed over the river Euphrates: for I have been wishing to go up against Jerusalem and lay her waste, forasmuch as she has slain Christ, a skilful healer. But do thou, as a great sovereign who hast authority over all the earth and over us, send and do me judgment on the people of Jerusalem. For be it known to thy Majesty that I desire that thou wilt do me judgment on the crucifiers.|
And Sabina received the letters, and sent them to Tiberius the emperor. And, when he had read them, Tiberius the emperor was greatly incensed, and he desired to destroy and slay all the Jews. And the people of Jerusalem heard it and were alarmed. And the priests went to the governor, and said to him: My lord, send and command Mary that she go not to pray at the sepulchre and Golgotha. The judge said to the priests: Go ye yourselves, and give her what command and what caution ye please.