The Paradise Or Garden Of The Holy Fathers (Book 2 & 3)
The Desert Fathers were early Christian hermits, ascetics, and monks who mainly lived in the Scetes desert of Egypt. The most famous was St. Anthony the Great, who moved to the desert in 270 AD and became known as both the father and founder of desert monasticism. By the time Anthony died in AD 356, thousands of monks and nuns had been drawn to Anthony’s example of living in the harsh conditions of the inner desert, praying the psalms, meditating on scripture, eating rarely, and working with their hands making baskets or mats. This work is a collection of stories from the lives of these early monks and nuns.
Palladius of Galatia was bishop of Helenopolis in Bithynia, and a devoted disciple of Saint John Chrysostom. He is best remembered for his work, the Lausiac History; he was also, in all probability, the author of the Dialogue on the Life of Chrysostom. He is considered a Saint in the Coptic Church.
Palladius was born in Galatia in 363 or 364, and dedicated himself to the monastic life in 386 or a little later. He travelled to Egypt to meet the prototypical Christian monks, the Desert Fathers, for himself. In 388 he arrived in Alexandria and about 390 he passed on to Nitria, and a year later to a district in the desert known as Cellia, from the multitude of its cells, where he spent nine years, first with Macarius of Alexandria and then with Evagrius Ponticus. At the end of the time, his health having broken down, he went to Palestine in search of a cooler climate. In 400 he was ordained bishop of Helenopolis in Bithynia, and soon became involved in the controversies which centred round St. John Chrysostom. The year 405 found him in Rome, whither he had gone to plead the cause of Chrysostom, his fidelity to whom resulted in his exile in the following year to Syene and the Thebaid, where he gained first-hand knowledge of another part of Egypt. In 412–413 he was restored, after a sojourn among the monks of the Mount of Olives. His great work was written in 419–420 and was called the Lausiac History, being composed for Lausus, chamberlain at the court of Theodosius II. He died some time in the decade 420–430.