Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers


On one occasion Abba Ammon went to Abba Anthony, and he lost his way, and sat down for a little and fell asleep; and he rose up from his slumber, and prayed unto God, and said, "I beg Thee, O Lord God, not to destroy that which Thou hast fashioned." Then he lifted up his eyes, and behold, there was the form of a man's hand above him in the heavens, and it showed him the way until he came and stood above the cave of Abba Anthony; and when he had gone into the cave of the old man, Abba Anthony prophesied unto him, saying, "You shall increase in the fear of God." Then he took him outside the cave, and showing him a stone, said, "Curse this stone, and strike it," and he did so. Abba Anthony said unto him, "It is thus that you shall arrive at this state, for you shall bear heaviness, and great abuse;" and this actually happened to Abba Ammon.

Now, through his abundant goodness, Abba Ammon knew not wickedness. And after he had become a bishop, through his spiritual excellence they brought unto him a young girl who had conceived, and they said unto him, "So-and-so has done this deed; let them receive correction." But he made the sign of the Cross over her stomach and ordered them to give her six pair of linen cloths, and he said, "When she delivers, either she or the child will die, and if either dies let them be buried." Then those who were with him said unto him, "What is this that you have done? Give the command that they receive correction." And he said unto them, "See, my brothers, she is nigh unto death; what can I do?" Then he dismissed her.

And the old man never ventured to judge anyone, for he was full of loving kindness and endless goodness to all the children of men. E. A. Wallis Budge, "The Paradise of the Holy Fathers," (Seattle, St. Nectarios Press, 1984), p. 106

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