William Barclay tells the story of Telemicus, a monk who lived outside the city of Rome. He was a man of the country and lived a quiet life but something, maybe the call of God, brought him to Rome, which was for the most part considered a Christian city. Yet thousands of people still attended the games in the Coliseum watching the fights of the gladiators.
Telemicus was carried along by the crowd to the Coliseum, where perhaps 80,000 people gathered, looking for the weekly bloodletting. Telemicus was horrified. "Are we not all men created in God's image? These who were fighting must stop." Telemicus left the stands, leaped from his seat, sprung to the arena, and thrust himself between the two gladiators. His word cried out "in the name of Christ forebear"! They cast him aside. He came back; he cried out again and again "in the name of Christ forebear" they cast him aside. He came back; they cast him aside "in the name of Christ forebear".
Finally, the commander's order rang out. A sword flashed and Telemicus was dead. A hush fell upon the people in the arena. Gradually, the people began to realize what had happened and slowly, one by one, they began to leave. A holy man had given his life to affirm the worth of every human being. The usual blood was not seen that day for something truly ramarkable had happened to the city of Rome, for there was never another gladiatorial contest held in Rome because one man, Telemicus.