There was a certain elder in one of the monasteries of Palestine, a priest of the holy life and speech, who from childhood had been brought up in monastic ways and customs. This elder’s name was Zosimas. He had been through the whole course of the ascetic life and in everything he adhered to the rule once given to him by his tutors as regard spiritual labors.
Knowing that the human race with its weaknesses cannot pass through this present life without sin, the good and merciful Lord deigned to provide such remedies as not only the rich, but also the poor, can apply to the wounds of their sins. What are these remedies? They are two, concerning which the Lord said: ‘Give, and it shall be given to you; forgive, and you shall be forgiven.
THE Emperor Severus, in the year 202, which was the tenth of his reign, raised a bloody persecution, which filled the whole empire with martyrs, but especially Egypt. The most illustrious of those who by their triumphs ennobled and edified the city of Alexandria was Leonides, father of the great Origen. He was a Christian philosopher, and excellently versed both in the profane and sacred sciences.
Theodore of Sykeon (d. 613), monk and bishop of Anastasiopolis in Galatia. His mother, called Mary, kept an inn at Sykeon with her mother and sister; they were also prostitutes. Theodore’s father was a circus artist, whose speciality was acrobatic camel-riding; he seems later to have had nothing to do with his son, whose upbringing was left to his mother.