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THE ACTS OF PETER

presence of all the onlookers, I say to you, if your God is almighty, (he whom the Jews killed, and they stoned you who were chosen by him), let him show that faith in him is of God; let it be manifested by this event, whether it is worthy of God. For I ascend and will show myself to this people what kind of being I am.” And, behold, he was lifted up and they saw him ascending over Rome and over its temples and hills. And the believers looked at Peter. And beholding the incredible spectacle Peter cried to the Lord Jesus Christ, “If you allow him to do what he has under­ taken, all who believed in you shall be overthrown, and the signs and wonders, which you have shown to them through me, will not be believed. Make haste, O Lord, show your mercy and let him fall down and become crippled but not die; let him be disabled and break his leg in three places.” And he fell down and broke his leg in three places. And they cast stones upon him, and each went to his home having faith in Peter. And one of Simon’s friends, Gemellus by name, from whom Simon had received much money and who had a Greek wife, quickly ran along the street, and seeing him with his leg broken said, “Simon, if God’s power is broken, shall not that God, whose power you are, be dark­ ened?” And Gemellus ran and followed Peter and said to him, “I also wish to be one of those who believe in Christ.” And Peter said, “How could I object, my brother? Come and stay with us.” And Simon, being in misery, found some helpers who carried him by night on a stretcher from Rome to Aricia. There he remained and stayed with a man named Castor who on account of sorcery had been driven from Rome to Terracina. Following an operation Simon, the messenger of the devil, ended his life.

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Now Peter remained in Rome and rejoiced with the brethren in the Lord, returning thanks day and night for the multitude who were daily added to the holy name by the grace of the Lord. And the four concubines of the prefect Agrippa also came to Peter, Ag­ rippina, Nicaria, Euphemia, and Doris. And they heard preaching concerning chastity and all the words of the Lord, and repented and agreed among them­ selves to abstain from cohabitation with Agrippa, but were molested by him. When Agrippa became perplexed and distressed—for he loved them very much—he had them secretly observed where they went, and he found out that they went to Peter. When they came back he said to them, “That Christian has taught you not to consort with me. I tell you that I will destroy you and burn him alive.” But they were ready to endure anything by the hand of Agrippa but would no longer allow themselves to sat­ isfy his lust; they had become strong in the power of Jesus.

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And a very beautiful women named Xanthippe, the wife of Albinus, a friend of the emperor, also came to Peter with the other ladies and kept away from Albinus. Being in love with Xanthippe, he became enraged and wondered why she no longer slept with him, and raging like a beast he intended to kill Peter, for he perceived that he was the cause of her leaving his bed. And many other women delighted in the preaching concerning chastity and sepa­ rated from their husbands, and men too ceased to sleep with their wives, because they wished to serve God in chastity and purity. And there was a great commotion in Rome, and Albinus told Agrippa what had happened to him and said, “Either you avenge me of Peter, who has alien­ ated my wife from me, or I shall do it

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