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The Lausiac History Of Palladius by Palladius Of Galatia

[1] IN this mountain of Nitria there was a man called Benjamin who at the age of eighty years having reached the perfection of asceticism was counted worthy of the gift of healing, so that every one on whom he laid his hands or to whom he gave oil after blessing it was cured of every ailment. Now this man who was accounted worthy of such a gift, eight months before his death developed dropsy, and his body swelled so greatly that he seemed a second Job. So Dioscorus the Bishop, at that time a priest of Mount Nitria, took us—the blessed Evagrius, that is, and me—and said to us: [2] “Come, see a new Job, who with so great swelling of body and incurable suffering yet maintains an unbounded thankfulness.” So we went and saw his body so greatly swollen that another man’s fingers could not get round one finger of his hand. We turned our eyes away, being unable to look owing to the terrible nature of the affliction. Then that blessed Benjamin said to us: “Pray, children, that my inner man may not become dropsical. For my outer man neither benefited me when it was well, nor harmed me when it was ill.” [3] During these eight months a seat was arranged for him, very wide, in which he sat continually, being no longer able to lie down owing to the other requirements of his body. But while he was in this state of affliction he healed others. I have felt bound to describe this affliction, lest we should be surprised when some untoward fate befalls righteous men. When he died, the lintels and door-posts were removed, that his body might be carried out of the house, so great was the swelling.








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