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The Lausiac History Of Palladius by Palladius Of Galatia

[1] A VIRGIN once fell, the daughter of a certain priest in Cæsarea of Palestine, and was taught by her seducer to accuse a certain reader in that city. And when she was now with child, being cross-examined by her father she denounced the reader. The priest confidently referred the matter to the bishop, and the bishop called his clergy together and had the reader summoned. The case was investigated. The reader was questioned by the bishop but would not confess. For how could that be told which had not happened? [2] The bishop was angry and said to him sternly: “Do you not confess, you miserable and wretched man, full of uncleanness?” The reader answered: “I said the truth, that it is no concern of mine. For I am guiltless even of a thought about her. But if you wish to hear what is not true, then I have done it.” When he said this, the bishop deposed the reader. Then he approached the bishop and besought him and said to him: “Well then, since I have fallen, bid her to be given me as wife. For neither am I a cleric any more nor is she a virgin. [3] So he gave her over to the reader, expecting that the young man would live with her, and that besides his intercourse with her could not be interrupted. Now the young man having taken her both from the bishop and her father put her in a nunnery and exhorted the deaconness of the sisterhood there to support her until her confinement. So within a little while the days of her confinement were completed. The critical hour came—with groans, pangs, labours, visions of hell—and the babe was not delivered. [4] The first day passed, the second, third, seventh. The woman being in hell with the pain did not eat, drink, or sleep, but cried out, saying: “Woe is me, miserable woman that I am, I am in peril because I accused this reader falsely.” The nuns go off and tell the father. The father, fearing to be condemned as a false accuser, keeps silence two more days. The young woman neither died nor was delivered. So when the nuns could no longer endure her cries they ran and told the bishop: “So-and-so has confessed in her cries days ago that she accused the reader falsely.” Then he sends deacons to him and tells him: “Pray that she who accused you falsely may be delivered.” [5] But he gave them no answer nor opened his door, but from the day he entered his house he had been praying to God. The father went away again to the bishop; prayers were said in the church, and not even then did she bring forth. Then the bishop arose and went to the reader and knocking at the door went in to him and said to him: “Eustathius, arise, loose what you have fastened.” And immediately the reader knelt down with the bishop and the woman brought forth.

Now his pleading and the persistency of his prayer were strong enough both to reveal the false accusation and to chastise the false accuser; that we may learn to persevere in prayers and to know their power.








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