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The baptism of Genesius


In the reign of Diocletian, there was at Rome a comic actor named Genesius who on one occasion decided to ridicule Christians by parodying the sacraments on stage. Accordingly, pretending illness, he called loudly for the priest, and when another actor in that character came on and asked why he was called, Genesius replied; “Because I have a great desire for baptism.” Now it so happened that God by a miracle at that instant gave him the very desire he simulated, so that the baptism, which the supposed priest administered in jest, was received by Genesius in reverent earnest. To make the mockery complete, the other players then dragged him before the emperor and with feigned gravity accused him of being a Christian. To the astonishment of all, Genesius declared that he really was a Christian. The emperor ordered him to be tortured immediately, but nothing could shake his determination, for he died repeating: “There is but one God, whose Son, Jesus Christ, I adore and serve, and to him I adhere though I suffer a thousand deaths.” His indeed, was a triple Baptism, of desire, of water, and of blood.

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