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Saint Paul the First Hermit - 15th January

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Saint Paul the First Hermit - 15th January Empty Saint Paul the First Hermit - 15th January

Post  Ceinwyn 15/01/10, 02:21 am

St Paul the First Hermit
15 January

Saint Paul the First Hermit - 15th January GetAttachment.aspx&hm__qs=file%3df12d4c1a-4200-4540-9b46-bed9c810257c.jpg%26ct%3daW1hZ2UvanBlZw_3d_3d%26name%3dY2xpcF9pbWFnZTAwMS5qcGc_3d%26inline%3d1%26rfc%3d0%26empty%3dFalse%26imgsrc%3dcid%253aCE05D4ED1AFE4D4883D847AE001CB1A5%2540nadir%26msgHash%3dffffffffffffffff&oneredir=1&ip=10.1.106

Saint Paul lived in Egypt. He was well-versed in Greek and Latin and was devout and gentle of spirit, spending much time in prayer and meditation. When Paul was 15, both his parents died, leaving him great wealth.

When a cruel persecution under the emperors Decius and Valerius swept over the Christian Church of Carthage and Thebaid, Paul’s pagan brother-in-law - to get the reward for turning in Christians, and to gain the inherited property - betrayed him to the Emperor Decius.

Warned by his sister, the 22-year-old Paul, fearing that his faith would not be strong enough to endure persecution, fled into the desert. He intended to return to the world but tasting great delights in prayer and penance, he remained for the rest of his life in penance, prayer and contemplation.

He found a large cave which he made his home. There was an inner court shaded by an ancient palm and a spring-fed stream of clear water.

Paul, strengthened in spirit, consecrated his soul to God alone, and to be alone with the alone. He learned to trust in God to supply all his needs. Having renounced all things, Paul needed very little: he slept on the ground, drank only water from the spring; wove his clothing from palm fronds, and ate of the fruit to nourish his body, his only food for 21 years. Like Elias, he was fed miraculously by a raven, which brought him half a loaf of bread each day.

St Paul, the hermit, remained alone, conversing only with God, in a vast wilderness, indifferent to the ways of the world, the progress of sciences, and the revolutions of states and empires.

When St Paul reached the age of 113 years, St Antony of the Desert, at 90 years of age, had a vision of Paul and immediately set out by foot to visit him, a journey of three days. Antony did not know where Paul was but, seeing a thirsty she-wolf run through an opening in the rocks, Anthony followed her to look for water, and found Paul.

They embraced and praised God together. A raven brought a whole loaf of bread, at which St Paul said, “In this manner I have received half a loaf every day these 60 years past; now you are come to see me, Christ has doubled his provision for his servants."

They spent the night in prayer and meditation, and in the morning St Paul told St Antony,
"From old time, my brother, I have known thou dwelt in these parts; from old time God has promised thou would come to me. But since the time has come for sleeping, I have ever desired to be dissolved to be with Christ, the race is run, there remaineth for me a crown of righteousness. Thou hast been sent by God to shelter this poor body in the ground, returning earth to earth."

Then St Paul asked St Antony to return and bring back from his monastery the robe of St Athanasius the Great, bishop of Alexandria, for he wished his body to be wrapped in this for burial.

St Antony could not speak, but weeping, he saw Christ in St Paul and worshipped God in St Paul's heart. He set out on his mission, a three day walk each way. On the third day of his return journey, he saw a host of angels, prophets and apostles, and amid them Saint Paul climbing the steps of heaven. He knew this meant Saint Paul's death, and weeping, he hastened to reach the cave.

There he found St Paul's lifeless body kneeling in prayer, his arms outstretched and his face lifted to heaven. The Patriarch of Hermits had died in his 113th year. St Antony wrapped his body in St Athanasius' robe and, chanting the hymns and psalms, carried it outside.

Having no means of digging a grave and too weak to do so, two lions appeared and, roaring lamentations knelt by the body of St Paul, then with their paws dug a grave.

St Antony lived another 15 years. St Paul and St Antony were the forerunners of a great religious movement of Christian men seeking a holy life on the Desert.

"Let no one who has renounced the world think that he has given up some great thing.... The whole earth set over against heaven's infinite is poor...." St Paul

God bless,

Saint Paul the First Hermit - 15th January Muse___Hyper_Chondriac_Music_by_meepsiii

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