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The Lausiac History Of Palladius by Palladius Of Galatia

[1] THOUGH I have told above in a superficial way of the wonderful and saintly Melania, nevertheless I will now weave into my narrative at this point what remains to be said. What stores of goods she used up in her divine zeal, as it were burning them in a fire, is not for me to dwell on, but for those who dwell in Persia. For no one escaped her benevolence, neither East nor West nor North nor South. [2] For thirty-seven years she had been giving hospitality, and at her own costs had succoured both churches and monasteries and strangers and prisoners, her family and her son himself and her stewards providing the money. She persevered so long in the practice of hospitality that she possessed not even a span of land. She was not drawn (from her purpose) by desire for her son, nor did yearning after her only son separate her from love towards Christ. [3] But thanks to her prayers the young man attained a high standard of eduation and a good character and an illustrious marriage, and participated in the honours of the world; he had also two children. A long while after, hearing how her granddaughter was situated, that she was married and was proposing to renounce the world, afraid lest they should be injured by bad teaching or heresy or evil living, though an old woman of sixty years, she flung herself into a ship and sailing from Cæsarea reached Rome in twenty days. [4] And having met there that most blessed and worthy man Apronianus, a pagan, she instructed him and made him a Christian, persuading him to be continent as regards his wife, Melania’s niece named Avita. And having also strengthened the will of her own granddaughter Melania, with her husband Pinianus, and instructed her daughter-in-law Albina, wife of her son, and having induced all these to sell their goods, she led them out from Rome and brought them into the holy and calm harbour of the (religious) life. And in so doing she fought with beasts in the shape of all the senators and their wives who tried to prevent her, in view of (similar) renunciation of the world on the part of the other (senatorial) houses. But she said to them: “Little children, it was written 400 years ago, It is the last hour. Why do you love to linger in life’s vanities? Perchance the days of antichrist will surprise you, and you will cease to enjoy your wealth and your ancestral property.” [6] And having liberated all these she led them to the monastic life. And after instructing the younger son of Publicola she brought him to Sicily, and having sold all her remaining goods and received their value, she came to Jerusalem. Then, having got rid of her possessions, within forty days she fell asleep in a good old age and profound meekness, leaving behind both a monastery in Jerusalem and an endowment for it.

[7] But when all these persons had left Rome there fell on Rome a hurricane of barbarians, which was ordained long ago in prophecies, and it did not spare even the bronze statues in the Forum, but sacking them all with barbaric frenzy delivered them to destruction, so that Rome, which had been beautified by loving hands for 1200 years, became a ruin. Then those who had been instructed (by Melania) and those who had opposed her instruction glorified God, Who had persuaded the unbelievers by a reversal of fortune, in that, when all the other families had been made prisoners, these ones only were preserved, having been made by Melania’s zeal burnt-offerings to the Lord.








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