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The Lausiac History Of Palladius by Palladius Of Galatia

[1] ONE Stephen, a Libyan by race, dwelt on the shores of Marmarica and the Mareotis for sixty years. He became an ascetic of great eminence with a gift of discernment, and was counted worthy of such a gift of grace that every afflicted man, whatever his affliction, went away free from affliction after meeting him. Now he was known to the blessed Antony; and he lived on also to our own days. I never met him, because his place was so far away. [2] But the holy Ammonius and Evagrius and their companions, who met him, told me the following: “We found him suffering from an illness like this, having developed an ulcer of the sort called cancerous. We discovered him being treated by a doctor, and working with his hands and weaving palm-leaves and talking to us, while the rest of his body was being operated on. He was behaving just as if another man were being cut. Though the flesh was cut away like hair, he was insensible, thanks to the greatness of his religious preparation. [3] But while we were on the one hand grieving and on the other hand feeling disgusted that such a life had ended in such suffering and such surgical operations, he said to us: ‘Children, do not be troubled by this affair. For God does nothing of what He does for malice, but for a good end. For perhaps my flesh deserves chastisement, and it is fitting that it should pay the penalty now rather than when I have quitted the arena.’ So he edified us with his exhortations and encouragements.” But I have told this lest we should be disconcerted when we see saints suffering such afflictions.








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