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The Lausiac History Of Palladius by Palladius Of Galatia

[1] IN the caves of the Amorites round about Jericho, which they excavated long ago when they fled from Joshua the son of Nun, who was ravaging then the aliens on the mountain of Doukas, there lived a certain Elpidius, a Cappadocian, afterwards counted worthy of the priesthood. Having been a member of the monastery of Timothy, the Cappadocian country-bishop, a very able man, he came and settled in one of the caves. He showed such self-discipline in his asceticism as to put all others in the shade. [2] For during his twenty-five years’ life there he used to take food only on Sunday and Saturday and would spend the nights standing up and singing psalms. With him, (reigning) like a little king in the midst of his bees, lived the multitude of the brethren, and I too lived with him, and thus he made the mountain a veritable city. And one could see there different modes of life. Once a scorpion stung this Elpidius as he sang psalms by night and we too were singing with him. He trod it underfoot, nor did he even move from his standing position, despising the pain caused by the scorpion. [3] One day, as a brother was holding a vine-cutting, he took it as he sat at the declivity of the mountain and dug a hole for it as if planting it, though it was not the season. It grew big and became a vine large enough to give shade to the church. In his company also a certain Aenesius reached perfection, a worthy man, and so did Eustathius his brother. To such a height of impassivity did he attain in drying up his body that the sun shone through his bones. [4] The story is told by his zealous disciples that he never turned (to gaze) towards the west because the mountain with its height dominated the door of the cave. Nor did he ever see the sun after the sixth hour, having passed overhead and now descending towards the west, or even the stars that rise in the west, for twenty-five years. From the time he entered the cave he did not descend from the mountain until he was buried.








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