The Secret Lives of the Saints

possibly for Frank

“Let us also go,” said St. Didymus, “that we may die with him.”

Didymus he was called: twin. And from his brother he took his fame and his faith, although never without a certain Missouran skepticism. Of this there are certain precedents. Chione, who gave birth to two demigods. Alcmene, mother of Heracles and Iphicles, one to Zeus, one to Amphitryon. Loyal was Didymus to his brother and his master, even unto his life and his freedom.

Of him this story is told: when the lands were divided between the Apostles, and each agreed to wander separately over the earth, it fell to Thomas to travel to India. Full loathly was this to him, and so he dawdled upon the way. His brother came to Abban, plenipotentiary of King Gundafor, and sold the saint into service as a carpenter. Into slaveage Didymus went, if not happily, at least willingly.

Didymus was a troublemaker. “Higher things there are,” he said to the young daughter of King Gundafor. “Fix your eyes on heaven, and on salvation.” The girl, thus inspired, crossed her legs and all the happy plans of her father and her husband. The king sequestered the saint, surrounding his corrupting influence with rings of servitors. He was given monies for to build a palace, and spent the money on the poor.

“I shall be ruined!” cried King Gundafor, and tore at his hair and his beard. He clapped Didymus in irons and buried him within an oubliette, but what is human bondage to the Lord? Cunning Thomas escaped and pestered the king mercilessly. In despair the king converted to Christianity and spent the rest of his life in contemplation.