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The Lausiac History Of Palladius by Palladius Of Galatia

[1] THE stories about Posidonius the Theban are many and hard to relate, how meek he was and how exceedingly ascetic, and what great innocence of soul he possessed—I do not know if I have met any such. For I lived with him at Bethlehem for one year when he dwelt beyond Poemenion, and I beheld his many virtues. [2] Among other things he himself told me this one day: “Living for a year in the Porphyrites district, the whole year I met no man, heard no talk, touched no bread. I merely subsisted on a few dates and any wild herbs I found. This happened one day. My food failing, I went out from the cave to go back to the world. [3] And having walked all the day with difficulty did I get two miles from the cave. Well, looking round I saw a horseman with the appearance of a soldier, having on his head a helmet in the shape of a tiara. And expecting him to be a soldier, I ran to the cave and found (on the way) a basket of grapes and newly-picked figs. I picked it up and went to the cave overjoyed, and had that food as my comfort for two months. [4] And this was the miracle he did in Bethlehem. A certain woman approaching her confinement had an unclean spirit and, when she was actually about to be delivered, she had difficult labour, the spirit tormenting her. The husband, therefore, since his wife was suffering from the demon, came and besought that holy man to come. So he stood up—we were present, having come at the same time to pray—and prayed, and after kneeling down for the second time he drove out the spirit. [5] So he stood up and said to us: “Pray, for at this moment the unclean spirit is going out, and there should be a sign, that we may be convinced.” So the demon on his way out of her threw down the whole wall of the precincts, foundations and all. Now the woman had been six years without speech. After the demon had gone out she gave birth to a child and spoke.

[6] I knew also the following prophecy spoken by this man. A certain Jerome, a priest, distinguished Latin writer and cultivated scholar as he was, showed qualities of temper so disastrous that they threw into the shade his splendid achievements. Well, Posidonius, who had lived with him many days, said in my ear: “The noble Paula, who looks after him, will die first and be freed from his bad temper, so I think. [7] And because of this man no holy man will dwell in these parts, but his envy will include even his own brother.” The thing happened as he said. For, in fact, he drove out the blessed Oxyperentius the Italian, and another man Peter, an Egyptian, and Simeon, admirable men, whom I noticed with approval at the time. This Posidonius told me that he had not tried bread for forty years, nor indeed had he borne malice for half a day.








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