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

AND we also saw in Thebaïs a certain high mountain which lay by the river, and it was an exceedingly terrible mountain with high barren peaks, and in the caves thereof there dwelt many monks; and these men had as Abbâ one Pithyrion, who was a disciple of the holy man Anthony. He was the third who had received that place from Anthony, and he used to perform many mighty deeds, and to carry on the persecution of devils openly; and since he was the man who had received the place of Anthony, the blessed and great man, and of Ammonius his disciple, he received also, and rightly so, the inheritance of his labours. Now Pithyrion spake many other things, and he discoursed with power, especially on the faculty of discerning spirits, saying, “There are certain devils which cling to the passions, and on several occasions they turn our good desires into evil; therefore, O my sons, those of you who wish to drive away devils must first of all bring into subjection your lusts, for a man must vanquish not only every lust, but he must drive away the devil thereof. It is right that ye should overcome your lusts little by little, so that in the same way ye may drive away the devils which appertain thereto. There is a devil which belongeth to a wasteful and dissolute life, and he who is able to conquer the desire therefor is also able to drive away that devil.” And this man used to eat twice a week, that is to say on Sunday, and on Thursday, and his food consisted of a little flour and some water which he baked into a thin cake; and he was unable to eat anything else, because his nature was thus.

Here endeth the Triumph of Pithyrion








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