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Date: Tue, 5 Mar 2002 19:08:48 -0800
Subject: Re: (urth) Thecla's Lunatic Irritation
From: Jason Ingram 

On a slightly different note, I came across a reference to a Saint 
Thecla that I found interesting.  I'm curious how much light it on her 
eventual union with Severian.

The passage is from Durrell's translation and adaptation of _Pope Joan_ 
by Emmanuel Royidis, and occurs in the context of an attempt by  
Frumentius to persuade Joanna to join him as a monk;

"[...] he continued to press her, arguing  with the help of Deuteronomy 
and the opinion of Origen that all women would anyhow be transformed 
into men on the Last Day.  Joanna replied to this that Origen was a 
heretic and, moreover, a eunuch.  Frumentius however reminded her of the 
example of St. Thecla, sister of the Apostle Paul [...] and a host of 
others who had hidden their white bodies like angels' wings in the black 
habits of men and had acquired holiness living with monks." [p.55]

And a footnote: St. Thecla, "though not recorded as the sister of St. 
Paul, is said to have accompanied him on several apostolic missions.  
Described in Butler [...] she early felt the call of god, and broke off 
her engagement with a young man, whose despair turned to hatred.  He 
denounced her to the authorities and she was condemned to be torn to 
pieces by wild animals."  According to this story, she lived "to a ripe 
old age"  [p.155]. I haven't checked any sources, but even if Royidis or 
Durrell were fabricating the history, it resonates well.



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