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

NOW we saw in Thebaïs another man whose name was Ammon, who was the Abbâ of three (or thirty) thousand monks; and they called these monks also “men of Tabenna.” And they lived lives of the greatest austerity, and they used to put their head cloths over their faces, and they covered themselves when they ate, and they turned their looks towards the ground, so that one might not see the other; and they kept strict silence, so that they might think that they were in the desert, and they did these things in order that each might hide his works of ascetic excellence from his fellows. When they sat at table it was a mere matter of form, and they did so in such a way as to deceive each other, and to make each other say, “Behold, they are eating.” Some of them only carried their hands to their mouths once or twice and took a piece of bread, or an olive, or a portion of something else of all the food which was set before them, and it was unto them sufficient for a meal; and others ate in silence a piece of bread only, and endured [hunger] without touching any of the other dishes of food which were placed before them; and others only reached out their hands to the dishes of cooked food three times and ate. Now their souls were weaned from everything. And since we marvelled at all their glorious deeds we obtained benefit from them all.

Here end the Triumphs of Abba Ammon








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