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The Lausiac History Of Palladius by Palladius Of Galatia

[1] THEY also had a monastery of women with some 400 members; it had the same constitution and the same manner of life, except for the sheep-skin coat. And the women are on the far side of the river, the men opposite them. So when a virgin dies, the (other) virgins, having prepared her body for burial, act as bearers and lay it on the river bank. But the brethren, having crossed in a ferry boat, with palm-leaves and olive-branches, take the body across, singing psalms the while, and bury it in their own cemetery. But apart from the priest and the deacon no man goes across to the women’s monastery, and they only on Sunday.

[2] In this women’s monastery the following thing happened. A tailor, living in the world, crossed the river in ignorance and sought work. A young sister came out—the place was deserted—and met him involuntarily and gave him the answer: “We have our own tailors.” [3] Another sister saw the meeting; and when some time had elapsed and a contention arose, actuated by diabolic motives inspired by great wickedness and an outburst of temper, she denounced the other before the sisterhood. A few others also joined her from malice. So that sister, distressed at having endured a calumny of a kind that had never even entered her thoughts, and being unable to bear it, flung herself into the river secretly and lost her life. [4] Likewise the calumniator, recognizing that her calumny was wicked, and that she had committed this abomination, went and hung herself, she too being unable to bear (the shame of) the affair. So when the priest came the rest of the sisters told him the affair. And he ordered first that the sacrifice should not be offered for either of them; and as for those who had not kept the peace, since they had been accomplices of the calumniator and had believed the scandal, he separated them (from the rest) for seven years, depriving them of Communion.








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