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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

AT this time, when the sainted Simeon was afflicted with a mortal disease, Gregory, on being informed by me of the circumstance, hastens to salute him for the last time, but was nevertheless disappointed. This Simeon far surpassed all his contemporaries in virtue, and endured the discipline of a life on the top of a column from his earliest years, since he even cast his teeth in that situation. The occasion on which he was first elevated on the column, was the following. While still very young, he was roving about, sporting and bounding along the eminences of the mountain, and meeting with a panther, he throws his girdle round its neck, and with this kind of halter led the beast, beguiled of its ferocity, to his monastery. His preceptor, who himself occupied a column, observing the circumstance, enquired what he had got; to which he replied, that it was a cat. Conjecturing from this occurrence how distinguished the child would be for virtue, he took him up upon the column; and on this column, and on another, towering above the summit of the mountain, he spent sixty-eight years; earning thereby the highest gifts of grace, in respect of the ejection of demons, the healing of every disease and malady, and the foresight of future things as if they were present.

He also foretold to Gregory that the latter would not witness his death, but said that he was ignorant of the events which should follow it.

On occasion also of my ponderings on the loss of my children, when I was perplexed with the suggestion, why such things did not befall heathens who had numerous offspring; although I had not disclosed my thoughts to any one, he wrote advising me to abandon such ideas as being displeasing to God.

In the ease of the wife of one of my amanuenses, when the milk would not flow after child-birth, and the child was in extreme danger, laying his hand upon the right hand of her husband, he bid him place it upon the breasts of his wife. When this was done, immediately the milk started, as if from a fountain, so as to saturate her dress.

A child having been forgotten at dead of night by its fellow-travellers, a lion took it on its back, and conveyed it to the monastery; when, by orders of Simeon, the servants went out and brought in the child under the protection of the lion.

Many other actions he performed, surpassing every thing that has been recorded; which demand of an historian elegance of language, leisure, and a separate treatise, being renowned by the tongues of mankind; for persons came to visit him from almost every part of the earth, not only Romans but barbarians, and obtained the object of their prayers. In his ease, the place of food and drink was supplied by the branches of a shrub which grew upon the mountain.








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