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

ON a certain occasion it happened that Abbâ Hôr and Isaiah, and Paul met each other by chance by the side of a great river, and all three of them were chaste and perfect ascetics, who were going to visit a certain great confessor whose name was Nôpî, who lived at a place which was three stages distant, and they said to each other, “Let each of us shew the other his triumphs, and in what way, and to what extent he is, on account of his deeds, honoured by God.” And Abbâ Hôr said unto them, “I beg God for this gift—that we may journey to the place in that country by the might of the Holy Spirit, without any labour [on our part]”; and immediately he had prayed, a boat was found to be ready, and a wind favourable for its journey was blowing, and they sailed up against the stream, and in a short time found themselves at that place.

And when they had gone up from the river, Isaiah said unto them, “O my beloved, would it not be a greater [display of the power of] God if that man whom we are going to see where to come to us and meet us, and were to describe to each of us his life and works?” And Paul said unto them, “God hath revealed unto me that after three days He will take him, and that the man whom we are going to see will depart from this world into life.” Now when they had journeyed onwards a short distance from that place, the man himself met them, and saluted them; and Paul said unto him, “Brother, explain to us thy manner of life and works, for the day after to-morrow thou wilt go to God.” And Abbâ Nôpî said unto them, “Blessed be God, Who hath also revealed these things unto me, and hath shewn me concerning your coming and concerning your life and works.” And when he had described the upright dealings of each one of them, and how they lived, and how they laboured, he afterwards began to speak and to describe his own life and works, and he spake thus:—

“Since the day wherein I confessed the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and God, no falsehood whatsoever hath gone forth from my mouth on earth, and I have never taken any earthly thing, for an angel hath fed me each day with heavenly food. In my heart I have never had any other desire than that which is of God; and God hath not hidden from me anything which is honourable and glorious; and I have never been deprived of or lacked the light of mine eyes. I have never gone to sleep in the daytime, and during the night season I have never rested from making supplication to God, and the angel of God hath accompanied me always and hath shewn me the might of the world which is to come, and His light hath never gone out in my mind. Every request which I made unto God I have received straightway. At all times I have seen myriads of angels standing before God. I have seen the companies of the saints. I have seen the congregations of the martyrs. I have seen the triumphs of the monks who mourn. I have seen the works of the solitary brethren, and the congregations of the righteous. I have seen all created things glorifying God. I have seen Satan delivered over to the burning fire. I have also seen his angels suffering torments, and the righteous enjoying the happiness which hath no cessation.” And, having told us these things, and many others which were like unto them, on the third day he delivered up his soul; and straightway the angels and the armies of the martyrs received it, and took it up into heaven, and we saw them singing praises and heard them.

Here end the Triumphs of Abba Hor, and Isaiah, and Paul, and Nopi, the Confessors








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