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If there’s anything that the 11th-century French monk Ademar de Chabannes can teach us, it’s that persistence can pay off—especially when it comes to lying.
As a young man, Ademar was educated in the famous St. Martial’s Abbey in Limoges, France. Like the rest of the monks there, he came to venerate St. Martial—so much so that he wrote a fake backdated biography naming the third-century figure as St. Peter’s cousin and one of Jesus’s apostles. After Christ’s death, Peter supposedly commissioned Martial to go and preach in Gaul.
To back up their claim, Ademar and the monks also created a new liturgy dedicated to Martial. On the day of its celebration, a visiting monk named Benedict of Chiusa exposed the fraud, shaming the perpetrators. But far from feeling beaten, Ademar instead continued to heap forgeries upon forgeries for the rest of his life to uphold Martial’s apostolicity. His efforts met with some success; after his death, locals continued to venerate Martial as an apostle for centuries.