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The Lausiac History Of Palladius by Palladius Of Galatia

[1] I KNEW a virgin in Alexandria whom I met when she was about seventy years old. Now all the clergy bore her witness that when she was young, some twenty years old, and exceptionally lovely, she was to be shunned because of her beauty, lest she should make any one an object of blame through suspicion. So when it happened that the Arians conspired against the blessed Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, by means of Eusebius the prefect, when Constantius was Emperor, and they were calumniously accusing him of unlawful deeds, he avoided being judged by a corrupt tribunal and trusted no one, neither relation nor friend, nor cleric nor any one. [2] But when the prefect’s men entered suddenly into the episcopal residence and sought him, he fled at midnight to this virgin, wearing only his tunic and cloak. But she was disconcerted at the affair and frightened. So he said to her: “Since I am sought by the Arians and am unjustly accused, I resolved to flee, lest I should bear a false reputation and involve in sin those who wish to punish me. [3] But God revealed to me to-night: ‘With no one canst thou be saved except with this lady.’ ” So with great joy she cast aside all hesitation and gave herself wholly to the Lord; and she hid that most holy man for six years, as long as Constantius lived, both washing his feet herself and ministering to his bodily requirements and arranging for all his needs, borrowing books and bringing them to him, and no man in all Alexandria during the six years knew where the blessed Athanasius was living. [4] Now when the death of Constantius was announced and came to his ears, he dressed himself fittingly and was found once more by night in the church; and all were astonished and looked on him as a dead man come to life. Now his defence to his near friends was as follows: “This is why I did not take refuge with you, that you might the better swear (ignorance of my whereabouts), and also because of the search. But I fled to one whom no one could suspect, because she was beautiful and young, bearing two things in mind, her salvation—for I did help her—and my reputation.”








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