The Monk Who Ended the Gladiator Games

In the fourth-century there lived a Christian monk named Telemachus. One day he heard the voice of God telling him to go to Rome. He obeyed and set out on foot.

Weeks later, he arrived in the city at the time of a great festival. The monk followed the crowd surging down the streets into the Coliseum. He saw the gladiators stand before the emperor and say, “We who are about to die salute you!” He then realized these men were going to fight to the death for the entertainment of the crowd. He cried out, “In the name of Christ, stop!”

As the games began, he pushed his way through the crowd, climbed over the wall, and dropped to the floor of the arena. When the crowd saw this tiny figure rushing to the gladiators and saying, “In the name of Christ, stop!” they thought it was part of the show and began laughing.

When they realized it wasn’t, the laughter turned to anger. As he was pleading with the gladiators to stop, one of them plunged a sword into his body. He fell to the sand. As he was dying, his last words were, “In the name of Christ.. stop!”

The gladiators stood looking at the monk lying there. A hush fell over the Coliseum. Way up in the upper rows, a man stood and made his way to the exit. Others began to follow. In dead silence, everyone left the Coliseum.

The year was 391 B.C., and that was the last battle to the death between gladiators in the Roman Coliseum. Because of Telemachus’ death, three days later, the Emperor Honorius by decree ended the Games. Never again in the great stadium did men kill each other for the entertainment of the crowd, all because of one tiny voice that could hardly be heard above the pandemonium.

** I heard this story today and just wanted to share it. Hope you like it.. coz I did. – fvn

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