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The Paradise Of The Holy Fathers Volumes 1 and 2 by Saint Athanasius Of Alexandria

ABBÂ SHÂOL (or Dulas), the disciple of Abbâ Bessarion, used to say:—We came once to the bank of a lake and I was athirst, and I said unto Abbâ Bessarion, “I am thirsty.” And the old man prayed, and said unto me, “Take water from the lake, and drink,” and I went, and drank, and I found the water to be sweet; and I drew therefrom and filled all the water vessels which I had with me, for I thought that peradventure I should be thirsty again when I continued my journey. Then the old man seeing me do this, said, “Why fillest thou [these vessels with] water?” And I said unto him, “Forgive me, father, but I did so lest, peradventure, as we continue our journey, I may become thirsty again”; and he said to me, “May God forgive thee, for here, and there, and everywhere, God directeth us.”

And on another occasion he was travelling along a road, and he came to the river Chrysoroan, and there was nothing wherewith it might be crossed, and he stretched out his hands, and prayed, and crossed over to the other side. Now I was astonished, and I offered unto him repentance, and said, “Father, when thou wast passing over the river how far up thy legs didst thou feel the water?” And he said unto me, “As far as my ankles I felt the water, but all the rest of it was solid beneath my feet.”

And on another occasion we were journeying to a certain great sage, and the sun was nigh to set, and the old man prayed, and said, “I beseech Thee, O Lord, to let the sun abide in his place until I come to Thy servant”; and it was so.

And on another occasion I came to him in his cell that I might speak with him, and I found him standing up in prayer, with his hands stretched out to heaven, and he remained standing up in this position for four days and four nights; and afterwards he called me, and said unto me, “Come, my son,” and we went forth and set out on the road. And being athirst I said unto him, “My Father, I am athirst.” Then he removed himself from me about the distance of a stone’s throw, and prayed and came to me, and he brought with him his garment filled with water from the air, and I drank, and we travelled on our road until we came to Lycus, to Abbâ John. And after each had saluted the other, he prayed, and sat down, and he discoursed concerning the vision which he had seen, and Abbâ Bessarion said, “A decree of judgement hath gone forth from the Lord, that all the temples of the idols be blotted out”; and this actually came to pass, for at that time they were all uprooted.

And there was in Egypt a certain man who had a son that was a paralytic, and he took him on his shoulders, and brought him to Abbâ Bessarion and left him by the door of his cell weeping, and he departed and went to a place some distance off. Now the old man heard the sound of the weeping of the young man, and he looked out, and seeing him, said unto him, “Who art thou that art here?” And the young man said, “My father brought me here and then went away, and I weep.” Then the old man said unto him, “Rise up, hasten after him, and overtake him”; and straightway the young man was made whole, and he went to his father, who took him and departed.

And on another occasion there came to the church a man who had a devil, and prayer was made on his behalf in the church, but the devil did not go forth, for he was difficult [to cast out]; and the clergy said, “What shall we do about this devil, for no man can cast him out except Abbâ Bessarion? Let us entreat him concerning the man, and even though he cometh not to the church, let us act thus. Behold, the old man cometh to the church early in the morning before everyone else. Let us make the sick man to occupy the seat wherein the old man sitteth usually, and when he cometh in, let us stand up in prayer, and say unto him, ‘O father, make to rise up this man also’ ”; and they did so. And when the old man came [into the church] in the morning, they rose up in prayer, and said unto him, “Father, make to rise up that brother”; and Abbâ Bessarion went and struck him with his fist, and said, “Rise up and get thee forth”; and straightway that devil went forth from the man, and he was made whole immediately.








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