pp. 34-36

<Description of the monastery, which was founded on principle of fulfilling the commandment: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’.> …  For you can, yes, you can see here not only the workshops of all kind of crafts, which offer to the community of the brothers all they need within (the monastery), and, thanks to this provision, free them from the distractions of the outside world; but (you can see also) the variety of the living quarters, suited to serve the need of each of the residents accordingly (to his special requirements), as they give to different people a different kind of hospitality, while attending equally to all. Indeed, since an equal share is allotted to all in a spirit of equality, here is implemented the ancient teaching handed down by the apostles: ‘(All) was distributed to each, as any had need’ <Acts 2:45>. For there is a separate lodging for the visiting monks, meeting their specific requirements, and other (lodgings) for the various categories of people, offering them the due service in manifold ways; another (dwelling) is provided for those lacking the necessities of life, who are indeed called beggars, but are by nature of the same kind as we are. For them (Theodosius) made special provisions, for, he was a faithful servant of Him who made Himself a beggar for our sake, and was therefore a lover of the poor, who endeavoured, by the relief of their need, to drive away the feeling of inferiority deriving from the lack of means. And, if anybody was ill with epilepsy, or deprived of sight, or numbed with cold because of nakedness, or in any other way in need of the assistance (that is given) in such circumstances, the blessed one was everything to everyone: a compassionate physician for the piteous sick, eye for the blind, foot for the lame, shelter for the roofless and covering for the naked.

And best witness to this can be best given by those who often zealously assisted (the holy man) to the utmost, but could hardly duly serve his eagerness for largesse. Nay more: he would not deem unworthy of himself to clasp in a genuine embrace those whose flesh was ravaged by leprosy, putting his lips close to theirs and he would likewise embrace and soothe with the ointment of his pity others who suffered from poverty and disease, in the belief that through them he rendered his service to Christ, the Saviour of all, who said: ‘Who did to one of the least of my brothers, did (it) to me’ <Matth. 25:40>.

And what about the victims of the famine, how many received (Theodosius’) assistance? For these were treated with food, those were ministered with relief in their ailment. Why, those who were healthy of body, but lacking the means of life, did they not repair to this haven of salvation, in their flight from the famine as though from a storm? and all received a share of food, so that in that period the monks in charge of the service counted more or less as many as one hundred tables every day. And those of (the guests), if any, who were completely stripped of garments, were also bestowed the relief of clothes.

(transl. Leah Di Segni)

Description of the monastery and of the hospitality and care to the poor and the ailing given in it.
Key quotation(s): 
Acts 2:45; Matth. 25:40