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
 







A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

GADDANAS and Azizius dwelt with Aones and emulated his virtues. Ephraim the Syrian who was an historian, and has been noticed in our recital of events under the reign of Constantius, acquired great renown by his devotion to ascetic philosophy in the neighbourhood of Edessa; and the same may be said of Julian. Barses and Eulogius were both, at a later period than that to which we are referring, ordained bishops, but not over any particular church; for the title was merely an honorary one, conferred on them on account of their purity of life; and they were ordained in their own monasteries. Lazarus, to whom we have already alluded, was ordained bishop in the same manner. Such were the most celebrated philosophers of asceticism who flourished in Syria, Persia, and the neighbouring countries, so far at least, as I have been able to ascertain. Their invariable course of life, so to speak, consisted in diligent attention to the state of the soul, which by means of fasting, prayer and offering up praise to God, they kept in constant preparation to quit the things of this world. They devoted the greater part of their time to these holy exercises, and they despised worldly possessions, temporal affairs, and the ease and adornment of the body. Some of the monks carried their self-denial to an extraordinary height; Battheus for instance, by long abstinence from food, had worms generated between his teeth. Halas, again, did not taste bread till he was seventy years of age, and Heliodorus passed many nights without yielding to sleep, and only partook of food one day in seven.

Although Cœlesyria and upper Syria, with the exception of the city of Antioch, did not receive the Christian Religion till a comparatively later period, they produced several individuals who devoted themselves to ecclesiastical philosophy, and whose conduct appeared the more heroic from their having to encounter the enmity and malice of their fellow-countrymen. For they did not repel the injuries with which they were assailed, by having recourse to violence or to the law, the only opposition which they tendered was the patience with which they submitted to these sufferings. Such was the course pursued by Valentian, who according to some accounts was born at Edessa, but, according to others, at Arethusa. Another individual of the same name, distinguished himself by similar conduct, as likewise Theodore of Tittis in Apamea, Marosas, a native of Nechilis, Bassus, Bassones, and Paul. This latter was a native of the village of Telmison. He founded several monastic institutions; the most extensive and most celebrated was at a place called Jugates. Here, after a long and honourable life, he died and was interred. Some of the ascetic philosophers have survived to our own days; indeed most of those to whom allusion has been made, enjoyed a very long term of existence, and I am convinced that God added to the length of their days, for the express purpose of furthering the interests of religion. They were instrumental in converting nearly the whole Syrian nation, and many of the Persians and Saracens from Paganism. They also induced many individuals to follow their example, and embrace the monastic mode of life.

It appears reasonable to suppose that there were many monks in Galatia, Cappadocia, and the neighbouring provinces, for Christianity was embraced at an early period by the inhabitants of these regions. The monks of these countries, however, dwelt together in cities and villages, for they did not habituate themselves, like other monks, to live in deserts: the severity of the winters would probably render such a course almost impracticable in these regions. Leontius and Prassides were, I understand, the most celebrated of these monks; the former was bishop of Ancyra, and the latter, a man of very advanced age, performed the episcopal functions in several villages. Prassides also presided over a hospital of great celebrity, founded by Basil, bishop of Cæsarea, whose name it still retains.








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com