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The Lausiac History Of Palladius by Palladius Of Galatia

[1] THIS Ammonius, Pambo’s disciple, with his three brothers and two sisters, having reached the perfection of the love of God, made their home in the desert, the women living separately by themselves, and the men by themselves, so as to have a sufficient distance between them. But since Ammonius was exceedingly learned and a certain city coveted him for its bishop, a deputation waited on the blessed Timothy, beseeching him to ordain him as their bishop. [2] And he said to them: “Bring him to me and I will ordain him.” When therefore they had gone with a force and he saw that he was caught, he besought them and swore that he would not accept ordination, nor depart from the desert. And they would not give way to him. So before their eyes he took scissors and cut off his left ear to the base, saying to them: “Well, be convinced now that it is impossible for me to be ordained, since the law forbids a man with ear cut off to be raised to the priesthood.” [3] So then they left him and departed and went and told the bishop. And he said to them: “Let the Jews observe this law. For my part, if you bring a man with his nose cut off worthy in character, I’ll ordain him.” So they went off again and implored Ammonius. And he swore to them: “If you use force to me, I’ll cut off my tongue.” So then they left him and went their way.

[4] About this Ammonius the following marvellous story was told. When desire arose in him, he never spared his poor body, but heating an iron in the fire he would apply it to his members, so that he became a mass of ulcers. Now his table from youth until death contained raw food only. For he never ate anything that had passed through the fire except bread. Having learned by heart the Old and New Testaments and (passages) in the writings of the famous authors Origen, Didymus, Pierius and Stephen, he could repeat 6,000,000 (lines), as the fathers of the desert testify. [5] He was a comforter to the brethren in the desert beyond all others. To him the blessed Evagrius, an inspired and discerning man, gave testimony, saying: “never have I seen a man of more impassivity than he.”

[Having been obliged on one occasion to visit Constantinople … after a little while he fell asleep and was buried in the martyr’s chapel called Rufinianæ. His tomb is said to cure all sufferers from shivering fever.]








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