|The Life of A Gardener
||Mark Merlino - Home page
|What does garden mean?
|This mosaic was found in what was once the Great Palace in
Constantinople and dates to the early Byzantine period.
|From Pelagius and John's De Vitis Patrum, sive Verba Seniorum, Liber V
A Story told by Egyptian Monks that took place in the Early Byzantine Period
"They said there was a working gardener who gave away all his profit in alms, and kept for himself only enough to live
on. Later on Satan tempted him and said, 'Store up a little money, as a provision to spend when you are old and infirm.'
So he made a store of coins in a pig pot. It happened that he fell ill, and his foot became gangrenous, and he spent all his
coins on doctors, but grew no better. An experienced doctor told him, 'Unless we amputate your foot, the gangrene will
spread through your whole body.' So they decided to amputate it. But the night before the operation, the gardener came
to his senses, and was sorry for what he had done, and groaned and wept saying, 'Lord, remember my earlier good
works when I worked in the garden and served the poor.' Then an angel of the Lord stood before him and said, "Where
is your store of coins? Where has your trust in them gone to?' Then he understood, and said, 'I have sinned, Lord,
forgive me, I will not do it again.' Then the angel touched his foot, and it was healed at once. He got up at dawn and went
to the fields to work. At the appointed time the surgeon came with his instruments to amputate the foot. The people
told him, 'He went out at dawn to work in the fields.' The doctor was astonished and went out to the field where he was
working, and he saw him digging, and Glorified God who had restored his health."
The Desert Fathers
Sayings of the Early Christian Monks.