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

IN Ancyra, a city of Galatia, I met a man whose name was Heronion, an “Apakomots,” and an enlightened man, and his wife whose name was Bosphoria (or Dosphoria), and of their mode of living and acts I experienced an example. Now these folk had such a firm hope in the happiness (or good things) which were to come, that they neglected even their children, for they awaited with hope the actual [fulfilment] of the things to come, and they distributed among the poor and needy the income which they derived from their villages, notwithstanding the fact that they had four male and two female children. To these [children] they never gave anything whatsoever, except to the daughters who had married husbands. And finally, they used to say, “After we are dead everything will be yours, but during our lifetime the income which we derive from our villages we shall take for ourselves.” Now they used to divide their moneys among the churches and monasteries, and houses for the receiving of strangers (or hospitals?) and among the poor and needy. And besides these things they performed the following act of excellence. There was a great famine, and every man shut up (or restrained) his mercy, but these folk opened the storehouses which they had in their villages, and gave [food] to eat to those who were famished, and through this act the heretics who were living in that country were changed and were turned unto the [true] knowledge when they saw their unspeakable lovingkindness; and they gave praise unto God for the simplicity of their faith. And other examples of their excellence were the following: The modest garb, common and simple apparel, food eaten but rarely, and then only in such quantity as was sufficient [to maintain] life; and they lived meanwhile in a state of chastity which was acceptable unto God. They dwelt in the fields several days [at a time], loving a life of silent contemplation, and they fled from the tumult of cities and from the evils which are begotten of them, lest when they were living among a crowd of people something might come upon them to disturb them, and they might fall from the[ir] divine state of mind. For this reason these blessed men were doing all these excellent things, because that with the eyes of the understanding they had already looked upon the good things which had been for ever prepared for them.








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