Next he began to inquire how he could put these ideas into effect so that he could despise and renounce the fleeting pleasures of this world and forsake not merely the temporal riches of his earthly inheritance but also his country, parents and relatives. He began also to devise means of setting out on pilgrimage and travelling to foreign countries that were unknown to him.
After some time had elapsed, when he had outgrown the foolish pranks of childhood, the unsteadiness of youth and the disturbing period of adolescence, through the ineffable dispensation of divine grace he came to manhood. By that time he was greatly beloved by the community because of his obedience and his meekness. All held him in the deepest affection and respect. By assiduous application to his daily duties and continual attention to his studies he disciplined his mind with such vigour and firmness that he made unbroken progress in the way of monastic perfection.
Pilgrimage and travel to distant foreign lands
The young servant of Christ, as we have already mentioned, was eager to go on pilgrimage and travel to distant foreign lands and find out all about them. When he had decided to brave the perils of the pathless sea he went immediately to his father and opened his heart to him, telling him the secrets he had concealed from others. He begged him earnestly to advise him on the project and to give his permission; but not content with that, he asked his father to go with him.
He invited him to share in this hazardous enterprise and to undertake this difficult mode of life, eager to detach him from the pleasures of the world, from the delights of earth and from the false prosperity of wealth. He asked him to enter, with the help of God, into the divine service and to enroll in the heavenly army, to abandon his native country and to accompany him as a pilgrim to foreign parts. Using all his powers of persuasion, he coaxed him to join his sons on a visit to the sacred shrine of St. Peter, Prince of the Apostles. At first his father declined, excusing himself from the journey on the plea that he could not leave his wife and small children.
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