pp. 14-33

<Theodosius takes his abode in a cave on a hill-top.> 

An unwritten story, which was handed down from ancient times in succession to later generations, and so was transmitted to us, recounts that those believing Magians, who came from the East to Bethlehem guided by the star, and brought gold, incense and myrrh, to the Saviour, when He deigned to be born in the flesh from the holy Mother of God – these (Magians) were warned by an angel to travel back home by another route, and, turning about, put up to rest in this very cave, and, after they had slept a night here, at sunrise they started on the road to their native city. And indeed there is nothing incredible (in this story), if you consider carefully, for, first of all, if (the Magians) intended not to make their way again through Jerusalem, it would not have been easy for them to go back home without passing through this place, as we see also that nowadays this customary route (by way of the Magians’ cave) is well established for the passage of travellers coming from Bethlehem or its vicinity. And besides we believe that many events happened thus (as tradition has it), which indeed happened but are not recorded in the divine Scripture.

<After a period of solitary life in his cave, Theodosius receives some disciples. First of all, he orders them to prepare a tomb possibly to be used as living quarters for the time being, since Theodore writes: “for the abode of their virtues was to them also the resting place of their dead bodies”. The tomb is promptly ‘inaugurated’ by one of the monks.>

<On Easter Eve, the brothers find themselves in great straits.> … for they had no bread, no oil, nor any other of the things made for the relief of the flesh. The brothers subject to (Theodosius) – twelve had already gathered – were quite dismayed, for the man posted by God to govern them, not only did not give one thought to the necessary food, but not even to the offering (for the holy Sacrifice) … The holy man, while he was conversing in silence with God in private for he had had another dwelling built for him for this purpose was disturbed time and again on account of the holy offering by those who held second command at his side, who insisted that it was necessary to send one of the brothers to the holy city of God, in order to take (the bread for Communion) …

<The monks miraculously receive a donation from a stranger. Later, some wealthy men, desiring to retire from the world, bring offerings to Theodosius, urging him to build a proper monastery.>

(transl. Leah Di Segni)

The genesis of the monastery, from a life of Theodosius written AD 530 by his disciple and re-edited ca. 559.