February 6, 2020

A Contemporary Account of Saint Barsanuphios of Gaza by Evagrius Scholasticus

By Evagrius Scholasticus

(Ecclesiastical History (431-594 A.D.), Bk. 4, Ch. 33)

There lived at that season men divinely inspired and workers of distinguished miracles in various parts of the world, but whose glory has shone forth everywhere. First, Barsanuphios, an Egyptian. He maintained in the flesh the exercise of the fleshless life, in a certain seat of contemplation near the town of Gaza, and succeeded in working wonders too numerous to be recorded. He is also believed to be still alive, enclosed in a chamber, although for fifty years and more from this time he has not been seen by anyone, nor has he partaken of any earthly thing. When Eustochios, the president of the Church of Jerusalem, in disbelief of this account, had determined to dig into the chamber where the man of God was enclosed, fire burst forth and nearly consumed all those who were on the spot.