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The Prison of St. Paul in Ephesus

Although St. Paul in the letters he addressed to the churches in Greece, Macedonia and Anatolia frequently refers to the persecutions he suffered it is difficult to guess what exactly these persecutions were and where he suffered them. It is not known if his words about the 'the affliction that came to us in the province of Asia' (2 Cor 1:8) involves an imprisonment.

According to the apocryphal Acts of St. Paul however, in the Ephesus the furious population put St. Paul's feet into irons, and shut him up in the prison, till he should be exposed as a prey to the lions. But Eubola and Artemilla, wives of eminent men among the Ephesians, being his attached disciples, and visiting him by night, desired the grace of the diving washing.

And by God's power, with angels to escort them and enlighten the gloom of night with the excess of the brightness that was in them, St. Paul, loosed from his iron fetters, went to the sea-shore and initiated them into holy baptism, and returning to his bonds without any of those in care of the prison perceiving it, was reserved as a prey for the lions.

Later Christian traditions, because of its proximity to the Aegean Sea, associated the westernmost tower of the fortifications on Mt Coressus (Bulbul Dagi) with this baptism.





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