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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XI:
The Works of John Cassian.: Chapter XXIX. Of the obedience of a brother who at the Abbot's bidding carried about in public ten baskets and sold them by retail.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter XXIX.

Of the obedience of a brother who at the Abbot’s bidding carried about in public ten baskets and sold them by retail.

We will also not be silent about a brother whom we knew, who belonged to a high family according to the rank of this world, for he was sprung from a father who was a count and extremely wealthy, and had been well brought up with a liberal education. This man, when he had left his parents and fled to the monastery, in order to prove the humility of his disposition and the ardour of his faith was at once ordered by his superior to load his shoulders with ten baskets (which there was no need to sell publicly), and to hawk them about through the streets for sale: this condition being attached, so that he might be kept longer at the work, viz.: that if any one should chance to want to buy them all together, he was not to allow it, but was to sell them to purchasers separately. And this he carried out with the utmost zeal, and trampling under foot all shame and confusion, out of love for Christ, and for His Name’s sake, he put the baskets on his shoulders and sold them by retail at the price fixed and brought back the money to the monastery; not in the least upset by the novelty of so mean and unusual a duty, and paying no attention to the indignity of the thing and the splendour of his birth, and the disgrace of the sale, as he was aiming at gaining through the grace of obedience that humility of Christ which is the true nobility.


Next: Chapter XXX. Of the humility of Abbot Pinufius, who left a very famous Cœnobium over which he presided as Presbyter, and out of the love of subjection sought a distant monastery where he could be received as a novice.

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