The account of Gregory of Nazianzus, ORATIONS, after 363 C.E.
2. Diseases justly sent upon the impious, rendings that cannot be concealed, plagues and scourges of divers kinds, corresponding to the atrocities they have committed, deaths that follow not the common course of Nature, and exclamations and vain repentances amidst their troubles, the warnings of dreams, and the apparitions in a true vision who can rehearse all these in a manner worthy of the theme? and all that has come upon those who either have transgressed against religious houses, or have insulted the holy tables, or have acted like madmen to the mystical chalices, or have greedily gorged themselves with our flesh, or all the other crimes that they have dared to do all the things that have fallen upon the perpetrators themselves are evident and public manifestations of God's anger at such doings. All these facts therefore I will willingly pass over, not that I disbelieve what I have seen and heard, nor refer these occurrences to natural causes or accident, after the fashion of those who vainly so interpret them, but that I may not be thought to be dwelling upon trifles, omitting greater and more remarkable facts. A miracle, therefore, that is in the mouth of everybody, and not disputed even by the heathen themselves, is the one I proceed to describe.
3. He [Julian] was daily growing more infuriated against us, as though raising up waves by other waves, he that went mad first against himself, that trampled upon things holy, and that did despite unto the Spirit of Grace: is it more proper to call him Jeroboam or Ahab, those most wicked of the Israelites; or Pharaoh the Egyptian, or Nebuchadnezzar the Assyrian; or combining all together shall we name him one and the same, since he shows himself to have united in himself the vices of them all the apostasy of Jeroboam, the bloodthirstiness of Ahab, the hardness of heart of Pharaoh, the sacrilegious acts of Nebuchadnezzar, the impiety of all put together! For when he had exhausted every other resource, and despised every other form of tyranny in our regard as trifling and unworthy of him (since there never was a character so fertile in finding out and contriving mischief), at last he stirred up against us the nation of the Jews, making his accomplice in his machinations their well-known credulity, as well as that hatred for us which has smouldered in them from the very beginning; prophesying to them out of their own books and mysteries that now was the appointed time come for them to return into their own land, and to rebuild the Temple, and restore the reign of their hereditary institutions thus hiding his true purpose under the mark of benevolence.
4. And when he had formed this plan, and made them believe it (for whatever suits one's wishes is a ready engine for deceiving people), they began to debate about rebuilding the Temple, and in large number and with great zeal set about the work. For the partisans of the other side report that not only did their women strip off all their personal ornaments and contribute it towards the work and operations, but even carried away the rubbish in the laps of their gowns, sparing neither the so precious clothes nor yet the tenderness of their own limbs, for they believed they were doing a pious action, and regarded everything of less moment than the work in hand. But they being driven against one another, as though by a furious blast of wind, and sudden heaving of the earth, some rushed to one of the neighbouring sacred places to pray for mercy; others, as is wont to happen in such cases, made use of what came to hand to shelter themselves; others were carried away blindly by the panic, and struck against those who were running up to see what was the matter. There are some who say that neither did the sacred place [to hieron] admit them, but that when they approached the folding doors that stood wide open, on coming up to them they found them closed in their faces by an unseen and invisible power which works wonders of the sort for the confusion of the impious and the saving of the godly. But what all people nowadays report and believe is that when they were forcing their way and struggling about the entrance a flame issued forth from the sacred place [church] and stopped them, and some it burnt up and consumed so that a fate befell them similar to the disaster of the people of Sodom, or to the miracle about Nadab and Abiud, who offered incense and perished so strangely: whilst others it maimed in the principal parts of the body, and so left them for a living monument of God's threatening and wrath against sinners. Such then was this event; and let no one disbelieve, unless he doubts likewise the other mighty works of God! But what is yet more strange and more conspicuous, there stood in the heavens a light circumscribing a Cross, and that which before on earth was contemned by the ungodly both in figure and in name is now exhibited in heaven, and is made by God a trophy of His victory over the impious, a trophy more lofty than any other! [§5, §6.]
7. Was it then only earth and heaven, and did not air likewise give a sign on that occasion, and was hallowed with the badges of the Passion? Let those who were spectators and partakers of that prodigy exhibit their garments, which to the present time are stamped with the brandmarks of the Cross! For at the very moment that anyone, either of our own brethren or of the outsiders, was telling the event or hearing it told by others, he beheld the miracle happening in his own case or to his neighbour, being all spotted with stars, or beholding the other so marked upon his clothes in a manner more variegated than could be done by any artificial work of the loom or elaborate painting. What is the result of this? Such great consternation at the spectacle that nearly all, as by one signal and with one voice, invoked the God of the Christians, and propitiated Him with many praises and supplications: whilst many, without further delay, but at the moment of the occurrence, ran up to our priests, and besought them earnestly that they might be made members of the Church, being sanctified by the holy baptism, for they had been saved by means of their fright.