Sunday, March 13, 2016

  " In the seventh century there came to the city of Alexandria an old man of sixty in a monk's garb. He first secured the names of all the abandoned women of the city. He obtained wok for himself, and at night, taking the wages of the day, went to one of these women, and after supping with her, gave her his day’s earnings saying, "I give thee this that thou mayest spend one night without sin." Then he passed the night praying for the woman with many tears. Going forth he exacted the promise that his visit should not be revealed while he lived. Much scandal soon grew out of these visits. The monk refused to give any account of it saying, "There is one Judge and one day of judgment, wherein every man shall give account of his own works." He bore the reproach and suspicion without murmuring, neither letting his benevolent work be known, lest the houses of ill-fame should be closed against him, nor desisting from it. At last, coming one morning from a harlot's door, a man saw him and struck him, saying,
"How, you rascal, do you outrage Christ by not mending your wicked ways." The monk went to his chamber to die, and the man entered the harlot's house and there learned of his noble work. He was struck with contrition and went into the streets proclaiming how he and the people had wronged the monk. A crowed followed the man as he went to beg the monk's pardon. They found him kneeling with hands clasped cold in death. Before him lay the text in writing, "Judge nothing before the time until the Lord comes, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the heart." At his funeral great numbers who had been reformed by him, walked in procession before his body, bearing lamps and candles crying, "We have lost our deliverer and instructor," and narrating their rescue through his prayers and zeal for their souls. Thus was manifest how great a work he had done. This is the authentic story of St. Vitalis."

No comments: