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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

LET me, however, add a record of another circumstance which I witnessed. I was desirous of visiting the precinct of this saint, distant nearly thirty stadia from Theopolis, and situated near the very summit of the mountain. The people of the country give it the title of Mandra, a name bequeathed to the spot, as I suppose, by the holy Simeon, in respect of the discipline which he there had practised. The ascent of the mountain is as much as twenty stadia. The temple is constructed in the form of a cross, adorned with colonnades on the four sides. Beside the colonnades are arranged handsome columns of polished stone, sustaining a roof of considerable elevation; while the centre is occupied by an unroofed court of the most excellent workmanship, where stands the pillar, of forty cubits, on which the incarnate angel upon earth spent his heavenly life. Adjoining the roof of the colonnades is a balustrade, termed by some persons windows, forming a fence towards both the before-mentioned court and the colonnades. At the balustrade, on the left of the pillar, I saw, in company with all the people who were there assembled, while the rustics were performing dances round it, a very large and brilliant star, shooting along the whole balustrade, not merely once, twice, or thrice, but repeatedly; vanishing, moreover, frequently, and again suddenly appearing: and this occurs only at the commemorations of the saint. There are also persons who affirm—and there is no reason to doubt the prodigy, considering the credibility of the vouchers, and the other circumstances which I actually witnessed—that they have seen a resemblance of the saint’s face flitting about here and there, with a long beard, and wearing a tiara, as was his habit. Free ingress is allowed to men, who repeatedly compass the pillar with their beasts of burden: but the most scrupulous precaution is taken, for what reason I am unable to say, that no woman should enter the sacred building: but they obtain a view of the prodigy from the threshold without, since one of the doors is opposite to the star’s rays.








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