Of certain Bishops of Africa, who had their tongues cut out by the Vandals, that were Arian heretics, for the defence of the Catholic faith; and yet spake still as perfectly as they did before.

Likewise, in the time of Justinian the Emperor, when as the Vandals, that were Arian heretics, did grievously persecute the Catholic faith, certain Bishops, continuing constant, were openly examined: whom when the king of the Vandals saw that he could neither by any words or rewards draw to embrace his heretical religion, yet he thought that by torments he might do it: and therefore, when he commanded them not to speak in defence of truth, and they refused to obey his precept, lest by silence they might seem to give consent unto wicked heresy, in a great fury he commanded their tongues to be cut out by the roots.

A miraculous thing, and yet known to many old men: they did as perfectly afterwards speak in defence of true religion, as they did before when they had their tongues safe and sound.

These Bishops, therefore, flying at that time from the persecution, came unto the city of Constantinople: and at such time as myself, about the affairs of the Church, was sent thither unto the Emperor, I found there a Bishop of good years, who told me that he saw them himself speak without tongues: for they opened their mouths, and said: “Behold and see how we have no tongues, and yet do speak”; for, as he said, their tongues being cut off by the roots, there seemed as it were a deep hole in their throat: and yet, though their mouths were empty, they pronounced their words very plain and distinctly.

One of which, falling afterward in that place into carnal sin, was forthwith deprived of that supernatural gift: and that by the just judgment of almighty God, seeing reason requireth that he which was careless to preserve the continency of his body which he had, should not any longer utter the words of truth without the tongue of his body which he had not. But because I have now spoken sufficient for the condemnation of Arianism, therefore I will return to entreat of such other miracles as have lately fallen out here in Italy.

– St Gregory the Great, the Dialogues

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