Dispatch from the Desert:  May 11th thru 17th

African Saints (from the Prologue of Ohrid):


May 12:  Polybius of Cyprus (5th century)  Bishop of Rinokyr in Egypt.

May 14:  Serapion the Sindonite (5th century) This Egyptian monk wore nothing but a linen cloth, or a “sindon.”  He had even given this away and his copy of the Gospels to help others in need.  Serapion lived in Athens for a time as well.  This may not be the same Serapion in the Sayings of the Desert Fathers.

May 15:  Pachomius the Great (346)  Born a pagan in Egypt and was a soldier with Emperor Constantine.  Pachomius became a Christian and retreated to the Thebaid region of Upper Egypt.  As an alternative to the solitary hermit style of monasticism, an angel appeared to him in Tabennisi and game him the the rule of cenobitic monasticism where groups of monks would live together under a common rule.  Some seven to 10,000 monks lived in the monasteries he established on this rule.

May 16:  Theodore the Sanctified (368)  A disciple of Pachomius the Great ran away from his parents to become a monk.  His mother and sister became nuns and brother a monk.  He was entrusted by the Bishop of Panopolis (Akhmim) and Pachomius to build a monastery in that area.  He succeeded his master as the head of the first monastic communities.

nubian christian

A Word from the Fathers & Mothers

“… But after eating bread you must occupy yourself with reading, so as to raise your tired mind heavenward again, and not let it get mixed up with the affairs of this vain life.”  Abba Isaiah to Abbess Theodora, from the Matericon


“If you want to pray properly, do not let yourself be upset or you will run in vain.  Abba Nilus, from the Sayings of the Desert Fathers

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