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The Lausiac History Of Palladius by Palladius Of Galatia

[1] VERY many indeed of the men and women who reached perfection in the Church of Alexandria were worthy (to inherit) the land of the meek. Among these was Didymus the blind author. I met him four times in all, visiting him at intervals during a period of ten years. He was 85 years old when he died. He was blind, having lost his sight at the age of four, so he told me, and he had never learned to read nor gone to school. [2] (This was not necessary) for he had nature’s teacher—his own conscience—strongly developed. He was adorned with such a gift of knowledge, that, so it was said, the passage of scripture was fulfilled in him: “The Lord maketh the blind wise.” For he interpreted the Old and New Testament word by word, and such attention did he pay to doctrine, setting out his exposition of it subtly yet surely, that he surpassed all the ancients in knowledge. [3] Once when he tried to make me say a prayer in his cell and I was unwilling, he told me this story: “Into this cell Antony entered for the third time on a visit to me. I besought him to say a prayer and he instantly knelt down in the cell and did not make me repeat my words, giving me by his action a lesson in obedience. So if you want to follow in the steps of his life, as you seem to, since you are a solitary and living away from home to acquire virtue, lay aside your contentiousness.” And he told me this also: “As I was thinking one day about the life of the wretched Emperor Julian, how he was a persecutor, and was feeling dejected—and by reason of my thoughts I had not tasted bread even up to late evening—it happened that as I sat in my seat I was overcome by sleep and I saw in a trance white horses running with riders and proclaiming: ‘Tell Didymus, to-day at the seventh hour Julian died. Rise then and eat,’ they said, ‘and send to Athanasius the bishop, that he too may know.’ And I marked,” he said, “the hour and month and week and day, and it was found to be so.”








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