apophasia

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A Shared Death Experience from Late Antiquity

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In a previous post, I noted the phenomenon of “shared death experiences” and described a case involving early Quaker leaders in the 17th century. Now I have come across a much older narrative provided by Pope Gregory the Great. It is found in his four-volume work Dialogues, which is a collection of miracles, healings, and other extraordinary experiences reported in sixth-century Italy. Gregory writes:

While Probus, Bishop of Reate, was lying sick, a boy who was with him suddenly saw certain men clad in white robes coming to the man of God. The splendor of the vision alarmed the boy. He began to cry out, and disturbed the bishop. The latter saw and recognized the visitors, and began to comfort the boy. “Do not fear, my son, for the holy martyrs Juvenal and Eleutherius have come to me.” However, the boy ran away, and the bishop was found dead.

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