The City of God, Volume I

but honours rendered to their memory, not sacred rites or sacrifices offered to dead men as to gods. And even such as bring thither food,—which, indeed, is not done by the better Christians, and in most places of the world is not done at all,—do so in order that it may be sanctified to them through the merits of the martyrs, in the name of the Lord of the martyrs, first presenting the food and offering prayer, and thereafter taking it away to be eaten, or to be in part bestowed upon the needy. But he who knows the one sacrifice of Christians, which is the sacrifice offered in those places, also knows that these are not sacrifices offered to the martyrs. It is, then, neither with divine honours nor with human crimes, by which they worship their gods, that we honour our martyrs; neither do we offer sacrifices to them, or convert the crimes of the gods into their sacred rites. For let those who will and can read the letter of Alexander to his mother Olympias, in which he

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