St. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, was relentlessly persecuted because of his
staunch defense of the Catholic faith. The Emperor Julian the Apostate gave
orders to his soldiers to seize him and put him to death. Athanasius hastened to
the banks of the Nile, and there embarked on a boat, to make good an escape.
Soon he saw that the soldiers were pursuing him on a second ship. Thereupon he
begged the crew of his boat to turn around and meet the pursuers. They did so
and as they passed the soldiers, the soldiers called out: “Is Bishop Athanasius
on board?” Athanasius returned this answer: “He is not far off. Make haste and
you will soon catch him.” The soldiers rowed onward as fast as they could and
Athanasius was able to escape.