The stolen book

They said about abba Ghelasios that he had a book written on parchment and the price of this was of 18 golden coins. It was written in it the whole Old and New Testament and it was put in the Church so that any of the brothers wished that, he could read it.

A foreign brother coming wanted it and stole it and went away. The elder didn`t run after him to catch him, although he understood that.

So that one went in town and tried to sell the book and finding the one who wanted to buy it asked for it the price of 16 golden coins. The person who wanted to buy it told him: `Give it to me first to see it and then I will give you its price. So he gave it to him.

That one taking it went with it to abba Ghelasios to try it telling him the price wanted by the one who was selling it.

The elder told him : `Buy it, it is very good and it is worth the price you told me.`

The man coming back told the man who was selling it some other things and not what the elder said: `I showed it to abba Ghelasios and he told me it is expensive and it is not worth the price you asked for it.`

That one said : `Didn`t the elder say anything else ?`

`No` said the other one.

Then he said: `I don`t want to sell it anymore.`

Humbling himself he came to the elder repenting and begging him to receive it back.

The elder didn`t want to take it back.

Then the brother told him: `If you don`t take it, I don`t have peace.`

Then the elder told him: `if you don`t have peace, then I receive it.`

That brother remained there until his end, as he learnt a lot from the deed of the elder.

Excerpt from Egyptian Patericon – Abba Ghelasios.

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