Saint of the Day: St. Paul the Hermit
St. Paul the Hermit was born in Lower Thebaïd, Egypt in 229 of wealthy and noble parents, but was orphaned by the age of 15. Nevertheless, he was a learned and devout Christian.
As a young man, during the persecution of the Christians by Decius in 250, Paul fled into the desert and learned to enjoy his solitary life “alone with God alone” so much, that he remained there for the rest of his life. For ninety years, he lived in the cave, drank water from a nearby spring, and ate from the fruit of a palm tree. He wore leaves.
One day St. Anthony, who was ninety, was divinely inspired to visit St.Paul. Though they had never met previously, each greeted the other correctly by name. The two hermits spent some time in the company of one another, and St. Paul informed his younger friend that for 60 years, day after day, a raven had been bringing him a half a loaf of bread. That day, however, the raven brought them a whole loaf of bread – a double ration for them to share.
After a brief rest, the two friends gave thanks and spent the night praising God. At dawn, St. Paul informed St. Anthony of his approaching death and asked him to fetch the cloak he had received from St. Athanasius, that he might wrap himself in it. Later, as St.Anthony was returning home, he saw St.Paul’s soul ascending to heaven escorted by choirs of angels and surrounded by prophets and apostles.
St. Paul lived until he was one-hundred-and-thirteen. He is considered to be ‘first hermit’.
St. Paul is the patron for the clothing industry and for weavers.