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

TOGETHER with these I also saw a certain blessed man who was in Alexandria, and whose name was Didymus, and who also, with us, wrote these things; now he was blind, and he could not see at all; he was a marvellous man, and I went several times to see him. He was eighty years of age, and he told me that he became blind when he was four years old and could not see at all, but according to what he himself related to me, “After forty years I perceived the faces (or external aspects) of things.” And although this man had never learned the Testaments, and had never entered a school, the gift of an excellent and healthy mind had been given unto him by God, and he became learned in the knowledge of books through an enlightened understanding. And he was adorned with goodness and with the knowledge of the truth to such a degree, and was so ready and was so wholly wise that there was fulfilled in him that which was written, “The Lord openeth the eyes of the blind” (Psalm 146:8). He could interpret the Old and New Testaments word by word in its proper place, and had investigated carefully the commandments and could repeat all the words which were in them. And he was so thoroughly well acquainted with the belief of the truth (or of the true faith), and he comprehended so deeply all heresies that his knowledge was more excellent than that of many who were before him in the Church. Now [once] when he was urging me to make a prayer in his cell and I was unwilling to do so, he spake unto me and related unto me concerning Abbâ Anthony who, he said, “came three times and visited me in this cell. And when I begged and entreated him to pray, straightway he knelt down upon his knees, and prayed, and waited not for me to speak one word about it, but at the first word he corrected me by his obedience. He did not let me finish my speech, but by work he made manifest obedience.” And Didymus said unto me, “Thou also, if thou wishest to walk in his footsteps and [to imitate him] in [his] life and deeds, and in hospitality, and if thou wouldst walk in the life of excellence and in the love of God, remove thyself from contention.”

And this blessed man Didymus himself told me the following story. “Once on a time I was suffering by reason of the wretched Emperor Julian. Now one day, when it was eventide, and I had eaten no food through my anxiety about this matter, whilst I was sitting on my seat I dropped into a light slumber, and there fell upon me a marvellous thing. I saw and behold there were white horses galloping about, and they had on them riders who were dressed in white, and they were crying out and saying, ‘Tell Didymus that Julian died this day at the seventh hour. Rise up, then, and eat, and send and make [this news] known unto Bishop Athanasius, so that he also may know and rejoice.’ And I wrote down the day, and the hour, and the month [wherein this vision took place], and it was found that it had happened even as it had been told me in the vision.”

And the blessed man himself also told me the following story:








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