Petrus, a solitary
Petrus (64), a solitary commemorated by Theodoret in his Religiosa
Historia. By birth a Galatian, he embraced a monastic life when 7 years
old, and lived to the age of 99. After visiting the holy places at Jerusalem
and Palestine, he settled at Antioch, living in an empty tomb on bread and water,
and keeping a strict fast every other day. His companion and attendant, named
Daniel, he had delivered from an evil spirit. Theodoret relates that his mother,
when a beautiful young woman of 23, failing to obtain relief from a malady in
her eye from any oculist, was induced by one of her female servants to apply
to Peter. Going to him dressed richly and resplendent with gold ornaments and
gems, the solitary upbraided her for presuming to attempt to improve on the
handiwork of her Maker, and having thus cured her of the malady of vanity and
love of dress, signed her eye with the cross and she was speedily healed. Other
members of her household he cured in a similar manner. When, seven years after,
she became the mother of Theodoret and was given up by the physicians, Peter,
having been summoned, prayed over her with her attendants and she speedily revived.
She was accustomed to bring her child once every week to receive the old man's
blessing. Peter made the young Theodoret a present of half his linen girdle,
which was believed to have the miraculous property of relieving pain and curing
sickness. The amulet was frequently lent, till kept by one of its borrowers,
and so lost to the family. Theod. Hist. Rel. c. ix.; Tillem. Mém.
Eccl. xv. 209–213.