A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 750 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06.

It is the received opinion in India, that the apostle St. Thomas was slain at Antmodur, a mountain about a league and half from Meliapour, where were two caves into which he used to retire for prayer and meditation.  The nearest of these caves now belongs to the Jesuits, and the other has been converted into a church dedicated to our Lady of the Mount.  According to the legend, the apostle being one day at prayers in the former of these caves, opposite to a cleft which let in the light, a bramin thrust in a spear at the hole and gave the saint a mortal wound, part of the spear breaking off and remaining in his body.  The saint had just strength enough remaining to go into the other cave, where he died embracing a stone on which a representation of the cross was engraved.  His disciples removed his body, and buried it in the church which he had built, where the body was afterwards found by Emanuel de Faria and the priest Antonio Penteado, who were sent thither on purpose by king Emanuel.  When, in the year 1547, the Portuguese were clearing out the cave or oratory in which the apostle died, a stone was found which seems to have been that he clung to at his death.  This stone is about a yard long and three quarters broad, of a grey colour with some red spots.  On its middle there is a carved porch, having letters between two borders, and within two banisters, on which are two twisted figures resembling dogs in a sitting posture.  From their heads springs a graceful arch of five borders, between every two of which are knobs resembling heads.  In the hollow of this arch or portal is a pedestal of two steps, from the upper of which rises a branch on each side, and over these, as if hung in the air, is a cross, said to resemble that of the military order of Alcantara; but in the print the ends resemble three crescents with their convex sides outwards and their points meeting, like those in many old churches in Europe.  Over all is a dove on the wing, as if descending to touch the cross with its beak.

When, in the year 1551, this oratory was repaired and beautified, this stone was solemnly set up and consecrated; and when the priest was reading the gospel, it began to turn black and shining, then sweated, and returned to its original colour, and plainly discovered, the red spots of blood, which were before obscure.  The letters on this stone could not be understood till the year 1561, when a learned bramin said they consisted of 36 hieroglyphic characters, each containing a sentence, and explained them to this effect:  “In the time of the son of Sagad the gentile, who reigned 30 years, the one only GOD came upon earth, and was incarnate in the womb of a virgin.  He abolished the law of the Jews, whom he punished for the sins of men.[374], after he had been thirty-three years in the world, and had instructed twelve servants in the truth which he preached.  A king of three crowns Cheraldcone, Indalacone, Cuspindiad,

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A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 06 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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