Biographical Gospel of the Lord

- Chapter 57 -
The Full Confession Of Maronius

FTER THE MEAL, which with Cyrenius never lasted more than two hours, the commander and the centurions returned to the city under strict orders to accord Cyrenius no further marks of esteem on this day.
When all had departed, Cyrenius really began to examine Maronius 'ad coram' - to the heart.
He therefore asked him in the presence of Joseph and of Mary, who again had the Baby on her arms,
'Maronius! In Tyre, when I examined you after Herod, you solemnly assured me that you personally knew that certain upright carpenter Joseph from the country around Nazareth -
as well as a certain Mary, whom the carpenter is supposed to have taken out of the temple as his wife or merely into his care.
So let me have a closer description in this matter right now while we are at our good leisure here with my host.
A few days ago I found out that this family is actually supposed to be living here in Egypt and is said to be an altogether different one than that which my brother delivered up to me, which is still kept in safe custody under my care.
For you will surely have that much feeling of what is right and of humanitarianism, despite your abominable association with Herod, to acknowledge that it would be most cruel to keep innocent people - no matter from where they are - prisoners without just cause.
Do therefore give me a sure description of the notorious pair, so I can seek them out in this region and imprison them, for our laws of state strictly require that.
Now I am entitled to demand this from you all the more, because you yourself admitted to me that you personally knew this family, whose actual seizure must be of the greatest importance to me.'
At this Maronius again was greatly taken aback and did not know what he should say, for he had seen neither Joseph nor Mary before.
After a while he finally admitted in a stuttering voice,
'Consular, imperial highness! trusting in your kindness and consideration, I must finally assure you and confirm under oath by Zeus and all other gods that I do not in the least know the said Joseph as well as that certain Mary!
My confession in Tyre was only an empty evasion as I then still wilfully sought to deceive you.
But I have now become convinced that you just cannot be deceived; therefore my will has also changed and I have accordingly told you the whole truth.'
Here Cyrenius winked to Joseph, who wanted to speak, to be silent for the time being and said to Maronius,
'Well, if that is how I stand with you, then we will have to continue to face one another and discuss the matter a bit longer, for only now do I see in you a man altogether dangerous to the state! Therefore you are now answerable to me under oath to each of my questions.'