HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







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

THE following story] was related unto me by Cronius, the priest of Nitria, [who said]:—When I was a young man I abhorred the monastery, and I fled from it, and from the head of the monastery who was my instructor, and having lost my way and gone round about, I came unto the Monastery of Mâr Anthony; now he used to dwell between the mountains of Babylon and Herakleia, in a parched desert which led to the Red Sea, about thirty miles from the river [Nile], and I was there in that monastery wherein dwelt those disciples of his who buried him when he died, now their names were Macarius and Amatus, in a place which was called Espîr. And I remained there for five days, so that I might be able to see the blessed Anthony, for they used to say that he was in the habit of coming to this monastery from the Inner Desert once every five, or ten, or twenty days, according as God directed and brought him, to give help unto the souls who thronged into his monastery, and who awaited him there, in order that they might be relieved by him. And the brethren also were assembled there and waited for him also, each one of them having his own individual matter [to lay before him].

Now among them was a certain man from Alexandria, whose name was Eulogius, and with him was another man, an Arian, whose body was destroyed (i.e., he was a leper), and they had come because of this matter. And this man Eulogius was a scholastic, and he was the most educated of all the learned men [of this time], but the love of the living God had suddenly come into his mind, and he made himself to be remote from the world, and he distributed all the money which he had among the poor, and he left himself only a small sum which was just sufficient for his bodily needs, for he was unable to work or to enter into a monastery with many monks in it, and besides this lassitude was contending with him, and he sought a little companionship.

Now [he went forth] seeking to buy something which he wanted in the city, and he found in the market a certain man who was an Arian, and whose whole body was destroyed; he had neither hands nor feet, but his tongue was sharp, and he employed it unsparingly upon every man whom he met. And when Eulogius had seen him, and looked at him, he lifted up his eyes and his mind towards God, and he prayed and made this covenant between himself and God, saying, “O our Lord Jesus Christ, in Thy Name, O my Lord, I will take this man, who is sick in his body, and I will relieve [his wants] all the days of my life, so that through him my soul may live before Thee; but I beseech Thee to give me power to endure in my ministrations to him.” And having prayed, he drew nigh unto the man, and said unto him, “I beseech thee, O man, to let me take thee unto my house and to relieve thy wants.” And the sick man said unto him, “Why not?” Then Eulogius said unto him, “I will therefore bring an ass, and carry thee off,” and he promised him [saying], “I ”; and he went and brought an ass and carried him to the place where he lived, and he took care of him with the greatest diligence. And for a period of fifteen years Eulogius relieved his wants with the greatest and most careful attention, and he even washed him with his own hands, and he did everything he could to alleviate the affliction of his sickness.

Now after fifteen years a devil began to stir in that Arian, and he began to revile Eulogius, and to offer resistance to him, and he cursed him and hurled after him insults and abuse, saying, “O thou runaway [slave], who hast eaten thy lord, thou hast stolen the riches of other folk and art spending them upon me, and thou thinkest to have life through me! Cast me out into the street, for I wish to eat flesh.” And Eulogius brought him flesh, and again he cried out, and said, “Thou wilt not persuade me [to remain here] by these means; I wish to go forth into the street, and I desire to see the world. By Jupiter, carry me out and cast me where thou didst find me. If I only had hands I would strangle myself.” Now [he spake] thus through the madness of the devil which was with him. Then Eulogius rose up and went to the neighbouring monks and said unto them, “What shall I do? for this deformed man hath brought me to despair. I would set him free, only I have given [my] right hand in covenant to God, and I am afraid [to do so]; but on the other hand, if I do not cast him out he will bring upon me bad nights and bitter days. What to do with him I know not.” And they said unto him, “[Anthony] the Great is still alive, go to him; take the man with thee in a ship, and go thou up to him, and carry the man to his monastery, and wait there until he cometh from the desert and then tell him thy business. And whatsoever word he shall say unto thee thou shalt perform, for God shall speak unto thee through him.” Then Eulogius was persuaded by them, and he placed the man in a small boat, and he carried him to the monastery wherein were the disciples of Anthony.

And it came to pass that on the very day after Eulogius had arrived there that great man came from the inner desert to his disciples in the late evening, and he was clothed in [his] skin cloak. Now whensoever he came to his monastery he was in the habit of calling out to his disciple Macarius, and saying unto him, “O brother Macarius, have any brethren come this day from anywhere?” And Macarius would say, “Yea.” Then Anthony would say, “Are they Egyptians or Jerusalemites?” Now he had given Macarius this sign:—“When thou seest brethren who are simple and innocent say they are Egyptians; but when thou seest brethren who are venerable and are skilled in speaking, say they are Jerusalemites.” Therefore according to his custom Anthony asked Macarius, “Are they Egyptian brethren or Jerusalemites?” and Macarius said, “They are neither Egyptians nor Jerusalemites.” Now when Macarius would answer, “They are Egyptians,” Anthony would say unto him, “Cook them a mess of lentils that they may eat, and then dismiss them, and let them go in peace”; and he would say a prayer on their behalf, and would straightway send them away. And when Macarius would answer, “They are Jerusalemites,” Anthony would sit down the whole night, and would converse with them to the benefit of their lives.

And on that night he sat down, and called unto them all, and he discoursed without any man having told him the name of one of them, and it was dark and the night had come; and suddenly he cried out three times, thus, “Eulogius, Eulogius, Eulogius.” And Eulogius the scholastic answered him never a word, because he thought that Anthony was calling some other person, and again Anthony cried out to him, “Unto thee I speak, O Eulogius, who hast come from Alexandria.” Then Eulogius said unto him, “Master, what commandest thou [me to do? Tell me], I beseech thee.” And Anthony said unto him, “Wherefore hast thou come?” And Eulogius answered and said unto him, “Let Him that hath revealed unto thee my name declare unto thee for what purpose I have come.” Then Anthony said unto him, “I know why thou hast come, nevertheless declare [it] before the brethren in order that they may hear.” And Eulogius answered and said unto him, “I found this Arian in the street (or market), and I gave the right hand to God (i. e., made a covenant with God), that I would minister unto him, [that] I might live because of him, and he because of me. And behold I have ministered unto him for the last fifteen years, and now, after all these years he stirreth [himself] up against me, and causeth me tribulation, and I have had it in my mind to cast him out; therefore I have come unto thy holiness so that thou mayest advise me what I should do, and that thou mayest pray on my behalf, for I am greatly oppressed and am in sore straits.” Then Anthony said unto him angrily and in a hard voice, “If thousendest him away, He who created him will not send him away; if thou dost cast him out, God, Who is better and more excellentthan thou, will gather him [to Himself];” and when Eulogius heard these words he set a bridle on his mouth and was silent.

And having left Eulogius [Anthony] came to chastise the Arian with his tongue, and he cried out and said unto him, “O thou deformed Arian, thou art worthy neither of heaven nor of earth. Wilt thou not cease to contend against God? Knowest thou not that he who ministereth unto thee is Christ? How canst thou dare to utter these words against our Lord? Was it not for Christ’s sake that Eulogius gave himself to thy service?” Then having made the man sorrowful, he ceased from Eulogius and the Arian, and spake unto all the brethren who were there, unto every man according to his business. And he called unto Eulogius and the Arian and said unto them, “Turn ye not unto any [other] place, but depart and separate not yourselves from one another, and return ye to the cell wherein ye have lived so long a time, for behold God will send upon you [your] end. And behold, this trial hath come upon you because the end of both of you is nigh, and because ye are esteemed worthy of crowns. Therefore do not ye act in a contrary manner, and let not the angel come after you and not find you in your place[s], [lest ye be deprived of your crowns];” so the two of them departed and came to their cell. And in less than forty days Eulogius died, and in less than three days afterwards the Arian died. Now this Chronius, who related unto us the narrative of this matter, tarried for a time in the monasteries which werein the Thebaïd, and he came down to the monasteries which were in Alexandria; and it happened that the brethren were gathered together commemorating the death of Eulogius after forty days, and the death of the Arian after three days. And when Chronius heard he marvelled, and he took down a Book of the Gospels, and set [it]down among the brotherhood, and then related what had happened; and he took an oath and said, “In all this affair I was the interpreter for Mâr Anthony because he did not know Greek; but I know both languages, [and I acted interpreter for both sides, turning Greek into Egyptian for Eulogius, and Egyptian into Greek for Anthony.]”

Here endeth the first Book of the histories of the holy fathers which were compiled by palladius








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com