Text from The Saint Andrew Daily Missal,
unless otherwise stated.
Saint Paul, The First Hermit.
Feast Day 15 January.
Saint Paul, The First Hermit (Anba Boula) (Ava Pavly),
or Saint Paul the Anchorite, or Saint Paul of Thebes, (died circa 341 A.D.)
He is not to be confused with Paul The Simple,
who was a disciple of Anthony the Great.
The icon of Anba Bola in the desert. The two lions are
clearly shown, as they helped Saint Anthony
to bury Saint Paul.
Date: 14 December 2012.
Source: Own work.
Author: Bola George.
Saint Paul, The Father of Hermits, had Saint Jerome for his historian. Having become an orphan at the age of fifteen, he gave up his possessions and retired into a desert, where a flourishing palm-tree, a symbol of his virtues (Introit) provided him with food and clothing.
He meditated in solitude on the science of sciences, which is to know Jesus Christ (Epistle) and The Father, Whom Christ reveals to The Humble (Gospel). He lived thus to the age of one hundred and twelve, enjoying, in the heroic exercise of Prayer and Penance, The Sweetness of The Lord's Yoke (ibid.).
The great Saint Anthony of The Desert visited him, a little before his death, and Saint Paul asked him, as a last favour, to allow him to sleep his last sleep in the cloak of Saint Athanasius, The Invincible Defender of The Divinity of Christ.
The Order of Saint Paul, The First Hermit.
of The Order of Saint Paul,
The First Hermit.
Abbreviation: O.S.P.P.E., Pauline Fathers.
Motto: Solus Cum Deo Solo.
Formation: 1250 A.D.
Headquarters: Jasna Gora, Poland.
Key people: Blessed Eusebius of Esztergom,
Bishop Bartholomew of Pécs.
He thereby affirmed that he died in the Communion of this Saint and that his own long life of Penance had encouraged those who fought against the Arian Heresy. He died towards 342 A.D.
During this Season after Epiphany, Consecrated to The Manifestation of The Divinity of Jesus, let us, with Saint Paul, The First Hermit, endeavour to convince ourselves that a Christian life consists in recognising Christ as The Son of God and in Sanctifying ourselves by making His Divine Holiness our own (Epistle).
Mass: Justus ut palma.
Commemoration of Saint Maurice: Abbot.
Saint Paul, The First Hermit (Anba Boula) (Ava Pavly) , commonly known as Saint Paul or Saint Paul The Anchorite or Saint Paul of Thebes (died circa 341 A.D.), is regarded as the first Christian Hermit. He is not to be confused with Paul the Simple, who was a disciple of Anthony the Great.
The Life of Saint Paul, The First Hermit, was composed in Latin by Saint Jerome, circa 375 A.D. The legend, according to Jerome's Vitae Patrum (Vita Pauli primi eremitae), is that, as a young man, Paul fled to The Theban desert during the persecution of Decius and Valerianus, around 250 A.D.
At that time, Paul and his married sister, both of whom lived in the Thebaid [Editor: Region of ancient Egypt], lost their parents. In order to obtain Paul's inheritance, his brother-in-law sought to betray him to the persecutors.
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, until he was 43 years old, when a raven started bringing him half a loaf of bread, daily. He would remain in that cave for the rest of his life, almost a hundred years.
Familiar stories, from the "Life", include: The meeting of Saint Paul and Saint Anthony; the raven which brought them bread; Saint Anthony being sent to fetch the cloak, given him by "Athanasius the Bishop", to bury Saint Paul in; Saint Paul's death, before he returned; and the grave dug by lions.
Jerome further related the meeting of Anthony the Great and Paul, when the latter was aged one hundred and thirteen. They conversed with each other for one day and one night. The Synaxarium shows each Saint inviting the other to Bless and break the bread, as a token of honour. Saint Paul held one side, putting the other side into the hands of Father Anthony, and soon the bread broke through the middle and each took his part. When Anthony next visited him, Paul was dead. Anthony clothed him in a tunic, which was a present from Athanasius of Alexandria, and buried him, with two lions helping to dig the grave.
Father Anthony returned to his Monastery, taking with him the robe woven with palm leaf. He honoured the robe so much that he only wore it twice a year: At Easter and at Pentecost.
Saint Paul, The First Hermit's Feast Day is Celebrated on 15 January, in The West, on 5 January or 15 January, in The Eastern Orthodox Churches, and on 2 Meshir (9 February) in The Oriental Orthodox Churches. Saint Anthony described him as "The First Monk".
Saint Paul's Monastery (Deir Mar Boulos) is Traditionally believed to be on the site of the cave where the Saint lived and where his remains are kept. The Monastery is located in the Eastern desert mountains of Egypt, near The Red Sea. The Cave Church of Saint Paul marks the spot where Saint Anthony, "The Father of Monasticism," and Saint Paul, "The First Hermit," are believed to have met.
He is also The Patron Saint of The Diocese of San Pablo (Philippines) and is The Titular of The Cathedral of the said Diocese in San Pablo City, Laguna, Philippines.
The Order of Saint Paul, The First Hermit, was Founded in Hungary, in his honour, in the 13th-Century. He is usually represented with a palm tree, two lions and a raven.
The Order of Saint Paul, the First Hermit (Latin: Ordo Fratrum Sancti Pauli Primi Eremitae, Croatian: Red svetog Pavla prvog pustinjaka – pavlini, Czech: Řád paulínů, German: Pauliner, Hungarian: Szent Pál első remete szerzeteseinek rendje, Polish: Paulini – Zakon Świętego Pawła Pierwszego Pustelnika, Slovak: Rád Svätého Pavla Prvého Pustovníka) is a Monastic Order of The Roman Catholic Church, founded in Hungary during the 13th-Century.
The Title is derived from the Hermit, Saint Paul of Thebes (died circa 345 A.D.), He was Canonised in 491 A.D., by Pope Gelasius I. After his death, a Monastery, taking him as its model, was Founded on Mount Sinai and still exists today.