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The Canterbury Tales: The Second Nun's Tale
by Geoffrey Chaucer
The Canterbury Tales: The Second Nun's Tale Lines 183-217 Summary
Valerian goes to the Via Appia, and just as he was taught by his learning, he finds the holy Urban among the saints' catacombs. Without delay, he tells Urban his message, and Urban clasps Valerian's two hands in joy. He lets the tears fall from his eyes. "Almighty lord, O Jesus Christ," Urban says. "Sower of chaste counsel, shepherd of us all, take this fruit of the seed of chastity that you have sown in Cecilia." "Like a busy bee, without guild, your servant Cecilia always serves you! For this spouse that she took just now as fierce as a lion, she sends here, as meek as a lamb, to you." With these words, there appears an old man dressed in white clothes, carrying in his hands a book with letters of gold. He stands before Valerian. In fear, Valerian falls down as if dead when he sees the man in white. The man raises him up, and Valerian begins to read from his book: "O lord, O faith, O God without any others; O Christianity, and father of all, above all, and over all, everywhere." These words are written in gold. When this is read, then the old man says, "Do you believe this? Do you say yes or no?" "I believe all of this," says Valerian, "For no man under heaven may think a truer thing than this, I do declare." Then the old man vanishes, to where, Valerian does not know. Pope Urban baptizes Valerian right there.
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