January 10: St Paul the First Hermit, Memorial


St Paul of Thebes (died circa 341) fled to the desert during the persecution of Decius and Valerianus around 250 AD.  St Jerome's life of the saint relates that he lived in the mountains of this desert in a cave near a clear spring and a palm tree, the leaves of which provided him with raiment and the fruit of which provided him with his only source of food till he was 43 years old, when a raven started bringing him half a loaf of bread daily.

St Jerome also tells the story of the meeting of St Anthony the Great and St Paul, when the latter was aged 113. They conversed with each other for one day and one night. When St Anthony next visited him, Paul was dead. Anthony clothed him in a tunic which was a present from St Athanasius of Alexandria and buried him, with two lions helping to dig the grave.

He is remembered as the first Christian hermit.

You can read St Jerome's Life of the saint here.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

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Kate said...

You are welcome anon!