These officials, at the command of the senate, consulted the Sibylline books in order to discover, not exact predictions of definite future events, but the religious observances necessary to avert extraordinary calamities (pestilence, earthquake) and to expiate prodigies in cases where the national deities were unable, or unwilling, to help. Only the interpretation of the oracle which was considered suitable to the emergency was made known to the public, not the oracle itself.
From that time Conselheiro was a victim of remorse, and to expiate his sin became a missionary in the sertao or interior of Brazil among the wild Jagunco people.
At Rhodes she was worshipped under the name of Dendritis (the tree goddess), where the inhabitants built a temple in her honour to expiate the crime of Polyxo.
The second crusade, undertaken to expiate his burning of the church of Vitry, inaugurated a series of magnificent but fruitless exploits; while his wife was the cause of domestic quarrels still more disastrous.
But, speaking of mere satisfaction for punishment due, there cannot be a doubt that some of the Saints have done more than was needed in justice to expiate the punishment due to their own sins.