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The Lausiac History Of Palladius by Palladius Of Galatia

[1] ELIAS, an ascetic, was a great friend of the virgins. For there are some souls like this, whose virtuous aims testify to their goodness. He had compassion on the class of women ascetics, and having property in the city of Athribé built a great monastery and brought into the monastery all the dispersed women, caring for them consistently (with his purpose), and procured them every kind of refreshment, and gardens and utensils and whatever their life required. These ladies, brought from different sorts of lives, had continual fights with one another. [2] Now since he was obliged to listen to them and make peace—for he collected some 300 of them—he found it necessary to remain in their midst for two years. Being still young, for he was some thirty to forty years old, he was tempted by desire. And having left the monastery he wandered fasting in the desert for two days, making this request in his prayer: “Lord, either kill me, that I may not see these women in trouble, or take away my passion that I may care for them in a rational way.” [3] When evening had come, he fell asleep in the desert, and three angels came to him—so he told the story—and caught hold of him and said: “Why did you leave the monastery of the women?” He explained the matter to them. “Because I was afraid I might harm both them and myself.” They said to him: “Then if we relieve you of the passion, will you go and care for them?” He agreed to this. They made him swear an oath. [4] He said this was the oath: “Swear to us, by Him Who cares for me I will care for them.” And he swore to them. Then one of them seized his hands, and another his feet, and a third taking a razor unmanned him, not really but in the vision. So he seemed to himself to have been cured, so to say, in the trance. They asked him: “Do you feel any benefit?” He said to them: “I feel greatly lightened and am persuaded that I am relieved of my passion.” [5] They said to him: “Go away, then.” And he returned after five days, the monastery mourning for him the while, and went in and remained inside henceforward, in an adjoining cell, from which being near at hand he corrected them continually so far as he could. But he lived forty years more, always assuring the fathers: “Passion comes no more into my mind.” Such was the gift of grace of that holy man who thus looked after the monastery.








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