Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Story of St. Pacomius

While traveling on the Steamer "Re Vittorio" (24th June 1922), Don Orione told the story of St. Pacomius, a soldier who had became for the Christian’s charity.

As well as that, unity in diversity and multiplicity forms and maintains peace among men.  And one sole heart and one sole mind, in a multitude and a variety of faithful, is that which is celebrated in the Acts of the Apostles. This is the thing that, at the beginnings of our Holy Church, greatly edified the Gentiles, who said: "See how these Christians love one another!  They would be ready to die for each other." Thus reports the ancient Christian writer Tertullian in the Apologetic.

One ardent day in the fourth Century of the Christian era, a Roman soldier entered Thebes in Egypt with his legion. He was of a pagan family, and was called Pacomius. 
His companions, exhausted through fatigue and hunger, were already beginning to collapse around him, when out of the houses and nearby enclosures came men, women, children who, moved by compassion, brought help and, with delicate and patient concern, some of them treated the wounds and others provided food and meals to restore them. Pacomius asked who were those unknown people of charity, and the reply was that they were Christians. During that night Pacomius did not sleep, he meditated and wept.  He felt that he was coming into a great and Divine light, a great and Divine wave and life of the sweetest supreme charity.
Pacomius felt that only God, "Who fills everything with Himself," is the comfort of the soul and the true joy and happiness of the heart.  He felt enchanted by God and even liberated in God with the highest freedom of the Sons of God, and he felt that Christ-God was born in him, was alive in him, was burning in his breast: Christ had been raised up in him by the charity of those Christians, those brothers in harmony in the charity of the Lord.  Christ rose from the charity, and was Charity. Pacomius understood that, from the humanity of the truth and of the true Faith, Christian unity of minds was born, and from it also the strong desire to be a blessing to others. (…)
Pacomius did not sleep that night: Jesus was deep within him: He had taken him from an abyss of darkness to a light, to a new and divine life:  Jesus was calling him to Himself with the sweetest heavenly power of charity.  Pacomius them, not being able to resist any longer, and yet freely wanting to follow Christ, came out of his tent and, waving his sword towards Heaven, cried out:  "Oh God of the Christians, You who teach men to love each other so much, I too want to be one of Your worshippers!"  Not long afterwards that soldier received Baptism, and then became a Saint, joining the great St. Anthony the Abbot in leading into the solitude in Egypt those ranks of hermits, who for so many years cultivated the lands, activities and letters and, above all, holiness in fraternal and sweet charity.  That warlike soul, that had never been tamed by iron, had been conquered by charity.  Oh, how beautiful this virtue is!  Paradise itself would not be Paradise without charity, because a Paradise without charity would be a Paradise without God.

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