But before we get to the story about what happened to chaste inhabitant of Babylon in the sixth century before Christ, a short sketch of the times and places closer. Somehow among the students, who came to the monastery to see the architecture of the Cathedral, had a dispute. Future builders and designers paid attention to the strange and absurd, from their point of view, detail. Hidden from the eyes of visitors rough stairs and technical premises of the Church was made with no less accuracy, thoroughness and quality than all the “front” side of the temple. “That’s really irrational! Why?” – surprised one studiozusy. “With the economy, is seen here and in the XVII century was full kirdyk! Don’t know how to optimize the tools, the labor of the workers!” suggested another. “No! It is the workers themselves tupil – concluded third future Builder. – I don’t know what not to sweat and to work hard where no one will see you!” “Nobody was surprised a passing monk and a God?”

And now about the story depicted not only by Rembrandt, Tintoretto, Sebastiano Ricci, Pompeo Girolamo Batoni, by Artemisia Gentileschi, our G. I. Lapchenko, but even in the early Christian art of the Roman catacombs.

so, in the sixth century before Christ there lived at Babylon a young and virtuous lady Susanna, wife of Joakim. People in those days were governed by elders and judges, and then two of them, unfortunately beauty, inflamed by her passion.

Forgetting about all the venerable old men were only waiting for the moment when Susanna walked in the garden below, hiding behind trees, peeking behind her. In the 13th Chapter “of the book of Daniel,” which tells the story of this history, according to the elders this: “And I saw Susanna both the elders every day, coming and walking, and they have born to her lust and twisted your mind and turned his eyes to look up at the sky and not to think about righteous courts. They were both wounded with lust for her, but did not open each other their pain, because they were ashamed to declare their lust, that wanted to copulate with her.”

the Bible is not without irony how the aged men initially tried to hide from each other, embraced their passion: the face in the garden, they both pretend to walk away, but when one slowly came back, he again met another. And once the elders had conspired to act in concert.

one hot summer day Susanna decided to bathe: she sent the maids to close the door of the garden, and then sent them in oils and Soaps. After the maids left, inflamed the elders left the shelter and stood before the astonished beauty with the words: “garden Doors are shut, and nobody sees us. We have pochtenie to you, therefore, agree with us and stay with us.” Like any blackmail, this delivered two and a half thousands of years ago, relied on a specific threat: “If not, we will testify against you, that you were a young man, and is that why you sent away the maids your”.

Susanna groaned: “everywhere close to me; for if I do this, the death of me, but if you don’t, they will not escape from your hands”. The fact that adultery, certified by the judges, according to the law of Moses was punished by a painful and shameful death by stoning. But the proposal of the elders was seen as Susanna to death. She says: “it is Better for me not to do it and to fall into your hands than to sin before the Lord.”

important point: for Susanna to commit a sin in the eyes of God, worse than any human trial and punishment. And a young woman calling servants. Servants come running at the noise, and offended by the refusal of the elders shout, I caught the hostess together with the boys, but one of the more powerful and agile, pushing them, and fled.

the next day Joachim, husband of Susanna going to the people. Here is what is reported on the judgment seat “Book of Daniel”: “Susanna was a very delicate and beautiful in appearance, and the wrongdoers were ordered to open her face, as it was closed, to be satisfied with her beauty”. Public nudity of a person under the laws of the East, has meant that a woman disgraced. “Relatives and all who looked at her, crying. While the two elders stood up in the midst of the people, and laid hands on her head. She’s in tears looked up to heaven, for her heart trusted in the Lord.” Intoxicated by the impunity, the elders began to accuse: “When we walked in the garden alone, this came in with two maids and shut the garden doors, and sent the maids; and he came to the young man who was hiding there, and went with her. We being in the corner of the garden seeing this wickedness, ran to them and saw them copulating, and could not keep because he was stronger than we and opened the door, jumped out. But we caught and interrogated: who is this young man? But she didn’t want to announce to us. This we have testified.”

the Power and authority of the judges the era of the Babylonian captivity were so great that even though Susanna knew as a woman chaste and God-fearing, slanderers believe. Weeping Susanna was led to the slaughter. And then she prayed: “eternal God, knower of the unseen and knower of all of life! You know what they falsely testified against me, and I die having done nothing that these people maliciously invented on me.”

the Holy fathers, in analyzing this episode, note: Susanna was one against all, the help she was nowhere to wait. Only from God. And the Lord heard the voice of the maligned, and, as it is written, “God aroused the Holy spirit of a young man named Daniel”. The future prophet stops the crowd, leading to poor execution, and doing what would later be called cross-examination. It separates one elder from each other, and then each asks: under what tree they saw Susanna and her lover?

“Under a mastic”, – lying one. “Under the green oak”, – slanders another. It is significant that the elders were waiting for the same fate, which they predostavili his innocent victim: perjury, according to the above mentioned law of Moses, also punishable by death by stoning. “And I deal with them the way they intended evil against another, and slew them, and saved the day innocent blood”.

In all times there were people who understand: there is the One from Whom nothing to hide. And more important to be right in the sight of God than in the eyes of the people. Sooner or later the truth will prevail. As happened with Susanna, revered in Orthodoxy as Saint Susanna of Babylon. A clear statement of the spiritual law you will hear in the gospel from the lips of Christ Himself: “nothing is secret, that shall not be revealed, and nothing hidden that would not have come out”.

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Jennifer Alvarez is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.