When they (St. David of Garedji and his disciple, St. Lucian) had arrived in this uninhabited and waterless place (Garedji, on the border between Georgia and Azerbaijan) they became very thirsty. Then they found a little rainwater which had collected in a crack in a rock, so they drank some of it and lay down to rest in the shadow of the rock. Afterwards they walked this way and that, and found a cave in the crag and settled down in it. Whenever it became sultry or rained they rested in the cave. For food they collected roots and grass, as it was spring time, and plenty of nourishment for the flesh was to be found. So they collected provisions and glorified God, the giver of all good things.
After some days had passed, the meadows became withered and burnt up because summer had arrived. Suddenly there came three deer, followed by their fawns, and stood before them like peaceable sheep. Father David said, “Brother Lucian, take a dish and milk these deer.” And he got up and milked them. When the dish was full he took it up to the hermit. And he made the sign of the cross and it turned into curds, and they ate them and were filled, and glorified God. After that the deer came every day, except for Wednesdays and Fridays (fast days), and brought their fawns with them, so that they were contented in body and joyful in spirit.
Once, some huntsmen arrived from the borders of Kakheti, for in that wilderness, even up to the present day, there is abundance of game, including deer and wild goats and a countless variety of other sorts of game. When the hunters came, they spied this way and that and caught sight of the hermit’s deer going into the cave in the rock. Then the hunters hastily turned aside to trap them in the cave in the rock. As they reached the hermit’s cavern they saw the deer standing while St. Lucian milked them. When the men saw this, they were stricken with fear and ran in and fell at the feet of the holy hermit and said to him, “How is it, Holy Father, that these deer, wild animals of the field, are so tame as to be more peaceable than sheep brought up in a domestic farmyard?”
He said to them, “Why are you astonished at the glories of God? Do you not know that He tamed lions for Daniel, and saved the three children unharmed from the fiery furnace? So what is so wonderful about these deer? Now go and hunt other game, for these animals are granted by God for our feeble flesh.”
But they replied, “Great is the glory of the Lord, it is fitting for us also to share in your holy way of life, saintly Father.” Their hearts were stirred, and they wept and said, “We will not return home again, but shall remain here with you and not leave you any more.”
But the hermit said to them, “My sons and brothers, this place is uncomfortable and confined. You had better go home.” And with difficulty he managed to persuade them to depart.
When they had finished hunting they went away and spread the news through all that country. From all sides people hastened to St. David’s presence and begged to be deemed worthy to stay with him. But be said in reply, “Brothers, this place is lacking in comfort, and no food for the body is to be find in these parts.” But they treated him saying, “Do not abandon us, Holy Father. If death should overcome us in your presence it would not seem like death to us. When he had failed to persuade them, he said “Since you have been granted faith in God, go and fetch spades and dig water cisterns, and also caves to live in. And they obeyed him and did what he told them.
After the brethren had gathered together, a worthy and virtuous monk, Father Dodo, heard this news. He also came before David, and they greeted one another. When a few days had gone by, a large number of other brethren collected, and David said to father Dodo, “Go, Brother, to the spur of that crag which stands opposite us, and take with you the other brethren, for they wish to be mortified externally in the flesh for the sake of the life of their souls.” St. Dodo obeyed his command and went and built the hermitage which is called after our most holy Queen, the Mother of God, the glory of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and from day to day the number of the brethren increased and all together they glorified God.
from the Life of St. Davit Garedjeli
St. Dodo of the St Davit-Garedji Monastery, Georgia
commemorated the Thursday following Ascension
see also: http://www29.homepage.villanova.edu/christopher.haas/DavitGaredja-Life.htm