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

AND again another man, whose name was Apollonius, used to dwell in this Mount Nitria; and he was a merchant who had come there to learn to lead the life and conversation of an anchorite. Now this man found no handicraft at the exercise of which he could employ himself, and he could neither fast nor keep vigil like the other ascetics to any great extent. During the twenty years which he lived in this mountain it was his rule of life and triumph that by his own labour and toil he used to buy from Alexandria everything which was required by the brethren, and the things which were needed for the healing of the sick, and carry them to the sick. And it was a marvellous thing to see him going about among the monasteries and cells of the brethren each day, from the earliest dawn, when he set out, until the ninth hour, and he used to stand by the door and say, “Is there, peradventure, anyone sick here?” And he carried about pomegranates, and dried cakes, and raisins, and eggs, and the things which are necessary for the sick. Now he found this rule of life easy to acquire, and to continue until his old age, and he was able to attend to the affairs of the five thousand brethren who were dwelling in the mountain. And when he died he left whatever he had unto another man like unto himself, and he begged him to carry out this ministration, because the [place where the monks lived] was a desert and was destitute of the things of the world.








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