The Epitaph of St. Abercius

St. Abercius, Bishop of Hieropolis in Phrygia ca. 2nd cent.

The citizen of a prominenet city, I erected this [while] living, that there I might have in time a resting-place of my body, [I] being by name Abercius, the disciple of a holy shepherd who feeds His flocks of sheep on the mountains and in the plains, Who has great eyes that see everywhere. Who taught me [that the] book [of life] is worthy of belief. And to Rome He sent me to contemplate a kingdom, and to see a queen golden-robed and golden-sandalled; there also I saw a people bearing a shining mark. And I saw the land of Syria and all [its] cities, even Nisibis when I passed over Euphrates. But everywhere I had brethren, having Paul as a companion. Faith everywhere led me forward, and everywhere provided as my food a fish of exceeding great size, and perfect, which a holy virgin drew with her hands from a fountain and this it [faith] ever gives to its friends to eat, it having wine of great virtue, and giving it mingled with bread. These things I, Abercius, having been a witness told to be written here. Verily I was passing through my seventy-second year. He that discerneth these things, namely every fellow-believer, let him pray for Abercius. And no one shall put another grave over my grave; but if he do, then shall he pay to the treasury of the Romans two thousand pieces of gold and to my good native city of Hieropolis one thousand pieces of gold. (Epitaph of Abercius)