« Paulus, bishop of Emesa Paulus, St. called Thebaeus Paulus the Silentiary »

Paulus, St. called Thebaeus

Paulus (73), St. (called Thebaeus; ὁ Θήβηθεν, Niceph.), Jan. 10; called by Jerome the founder of the monastic life ("auctor vitae monasticae," Ep. 22, ad Eustoch; "princeps vitae monasticae," Vit. S. Pauli, Prol.), and said to have been the first, in Egypt at least, to lead the life of a hermit, preceding even the celebrated Anthony (Rosweyd, Vitae Patrum, in Patr. Lat. lxxiii. 105 and notes). He lived in the desert of the Thebaid, whither he fled in youth from the terrors of the Decian persecution, and where he died, at an extraordinary age, hale and hearty to the last (Hieron. Ep. 21, ad Paul. Concordiens.). The palm-tree at the mouth of his cave supplied him with food and clothing (Vita Pauli, c. 6). The ravens are said to have brought him bread, and two lions dug his grave (ib. cc. 9, 13). Anthony is said to have paid him a visit shortly before his death, and ever afterwards to have worn his tunic of palm leaves on great festivals. Jerome adds (c. 13), with characteristic fervour, that such a garment, the legacy of so great a saint, was more glorious than the purple of a king. Niceph. Call. H. E. ix. 14; Boll. Acta SS. 10 Jan. i. 603; Butler, Jan. 15.


« Paulus, bishop of Emesa Paulus, St. called Thebaeus Paulus the Silentiary »
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