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March 24, 2018

Of the Harlot Whom a Subdeacon Drove Out of the Church


By Palladius, Bishop of Helenopolis

A certain old man said: 'There was a harlot who was so beautiful and so rich that all princes flocked unto her. One day she went into the church and desired to pass inside the gates, but a subdeacon who was standing at the door would not allow her to do so, and he said, “You are not allowed to enter into the house of God, because you are an unclean woman.”

Now while they were striving together, the Bishop heard the sound of the noise, and he went out to see what was the matter. And the harlot said unto him, “He would not permit me to go into the church,” and the Bishop said to her, “You are not permitted because you are unclean.” Then having repented within herself, she said, “I will never play the whore again.” And the Bishop said unto her, “If you will strip yourself of all your possessions, I shall know of a certainty that you do repent.”

Then she brought her possessions, and the Bishop took them, and divided them in the fear of God among the needy. And the woman went into the church, and wept and said, “If it has happened to me thus in this world, what would have happened to me in the next?” And she repented, and became a chosen vessel.'

From The Lausiac History, Ch. 37.