Biographical Gospel of the Lord

- Chapter 19 -
Cornelius Visits The Cave

HE SHEPHERDS were satisfied with this answer and did not inquire of Joseph any more but left and brought Mary assorted refreshments as an offering.
When the sun had already been shining for an hour, Joseph asked the midwife,
'Listen to me, my lady friend and sister from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! See, the recording causes me much distress of heart, and I desire nothing more eagerly than to have it over with.
But I do not know where it is being held in the town. So leave Salome here with Mary, and lead me with my sons to the Roman captain who is in charge of the recording.
Perhaps we will be received at once, since we will surely be the first ones there.'
Here the midwife said to Joseph, 'Man full of grace, listen to me! The captain Cornelius from Rome lives in my house, which is one of the first ones into the town,
and has his room for his official duties there. He is, to be sure, a pagan, but otherwise a good and law-abiding man. I will go there and make everything known to him with the exception of the wonder, and I believe that will take care of the matter.'
This offer well pleased Joseph, since he was very shy of the Romans anyhow and especially of the recording, so he again asked the midwife to do this for him.
The midwife now left and found that Cornelius, who was quite young and liked to sleep late in the morning, was still in bed and told him all he needed to know.
Cornelius arose at once, threw his toga about him and said to his landlady, 'Woman, I believe you in everything, but I will nevertheless go there with you, for I feel a strong urge to do so!
By your account it is not far from here, so I will still be at my work-table in time. - So lead me there right away!'
The midwife was quite pleased at this and led the upright young captain, with whom she was well acquainted, to the cave. Arrived there, he admitted to her, 'Oh woman, how easily when in Rome do I go to my emperor, and how difficult it is for me here to go into this cave!
That must be something extraordinary! Now tell me whether you know any reason for that, for I know you are an upright Jewess.'
The midwife answered, 'Good captain of the great emperor! Wait here in front of the cave only a moment and I will go in and bring you the answer.'
And she went in and told Joseph that the good captain himself was waiting outside the cave and that he wanted to enter but could not bring himself to do so for an inexplicable reason.
When Joseph heard this he was moved and said, 'O God, how good You are, that You can change even that into joy before me of which I had the most fear. Therefore to You alone be all honor and all praise!'
After these words he hastened out of the cave and fell at the feet of Cornelius, saying, 'Bearer of the great emperor's power, have mercy on me, a poor old man! See, my young wife, who was given into my care by lot in the temple, has here unburdened herself of her fruit this night, and I arrived here only yesterday, so I was not able to promptly report to you.'
And Cornelius replied, while lifting up Joseph, 'Oh man, do not worry about that, for everything is in order. But let me come in and see how you are put up here.'
Joseph then led Cornelius into the cave. And when the latter saw the Baby and how He smiled at him, he was astonished at His behavior and affirmed, 'By Zeus, that is rare! Why, I feel as if I were a new person, and never have I experienced such peace and joy within me! - In fact, today I shall take a holiday from official duties and remain your guest.'