St. Dionysius of Alexandria

St. Dionysius of Alexandria

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Excerpt: ...after nursing others back to recovery, died themselves, taking death over from them and thus fulfilling in very deed the common saying, which is taken always as a note of mere good feeling; for in their departure they became their expiatory substitutes.151 At all events, the very pick of our brethren lost their lives in this way, both priests and deacons and some highly praised ones from among the laity, so that this manner of dying does not seem far removed from martyrdom, being the outcome of much piety and stalwart faith. So, too, taking up the bodies of the saints on their arms and breasts, closing their eyes and shutting their mouths, bearing them on their shoulders and laying them out for burial, clinging to them, embracing them, washing them, decking them out, they not long after had the same services rendered to them; for many of the survivors followed in their train. But the Gentiles behaved quite differently: those who were beginning to fall sick they thrust away, and their dearest they fled from, or cast them half dead into the roads: unburied bodies they treated as vile refuse;152 for they tried to avoid the spreading and communication of the fatal disease, difficult as it was to escape for all their scheming. 73 To Hierax an Egyptian Bishop (Eus., H. E. vii. 21) (Part of another Easter Letter) But what is there surprising in its being difficult for me to correspond even by letter with those who are sojourning at a distance, seeing that it has proved impossible to talk even with myself and to take counsel with my own soul? At all events, with my own kith and kin, with the brethren of my own house and life, citizens of the same Church, I have to communicate by letters and to get them through seems impracticable. For it were easier for one to pass, I say not across the frontier, but even from East to West, than to visit one part of Alexandria from another. For that vast, pathless desert which it took Israel two generations to traverse more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 2mm | 73g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236698045
  • 9781236698049