KJV Bible Verse of the Day

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Abba Pawli - St. Paul - Hermit


THE SIXTH MONTH
YEKATIT 02 = Amsheer 02
February 09

IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER AND THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT,
ONE GOD. AMEN.

And on this day also died Abba Pawli (Paul) who was the greatest of all the desert monks, and the equal of the angels who keep vigil. This saint was a native of the city of Alexandria, and his name was Pawli (Paul), and he had a brother whose name was Peter, and their father was a rich man. And the multitude of his possessions, of gold, and silver, and costly apparel, was countless.

And when their parents died, and the days of their mourning for them were ended, the two brothers began to divide their inheritance from their father; and Pawli’s (Paul’s) brother Peter took the larger share, and assigned to Pawli (Paul) the lesser share. And the heart of Pawli (Paul) was sad about this, and he said unto his brother, “Why dost thou not give me my share of the inheritance of my father?” And Peter answered and said unto him, “Thou art a young man, and will squander thy money, and I will take care of it for thee until thou art grown up.”

Thereupon Pawli (Paul) became wroth, and the two brothers quarrelled together, and they went to the governor, so that he might do justice to each. And as they were going along, they met a dead man, and he was ready for the tomb, and men were carrying him on a bier, and many men were following him and making lamentation for him. And straightway Saint Pawli (Paul) called to one of those who were following the dead man, and said unto him, “Who is this that hath died this day?” And the man said unto him, “He is a very well-known man, my son. He who died this day was a rich man, and he lived delicately, and possessed gold and silver, and behold, he hath left all this, and he goeth naked to the grave, in a sea of sins, by the road on which he shall never return. And now, O my son, it is meet for us to fight for the salvation of our souls, for we know not when we shall die. But, blessed is the man who hath dominion and money in this world! And let him abandon riches if he would received great honor in the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of all the saints.”

When Abba Pawli (Paul) heard these words he cried out in his heart, saying, “What have I to do with the possessions of this fleeting world, which after a few days I must leave, and depart naked?” Then he turned to his brother, and said unto him, “Let us go back together to our house, for from this time onward I will never speak again about money.” Then he fled from his brother, and went outside the city, and he went into a grave and sat down inside it, and for three days and three nights he prayed and entreated God to guide him into the [right] way.

And his brother passed many days in going round about through all the villages seeking for him, but he found him not; and he sorrowed for him with a very great sorrow. And whilst Saint Pawli (Paul) was sitting in that tomb for three days, he did not remember food and drink, and fear and terror did not assail him, for the might of God overshadowed him. And on the fourth day God sent His angel to him, and he caught him up from the grave, and carried him into the Inner Desert, towards the east, and he set him down in that place by the side of a well of water; and then the angel embraced him, and went up into [heaven].

And Saint Abba Pawli (Paul) found a cave wherein wild beasts lived, and he entered therein. And he made himself garments of palm fiber, and put them on, and he prayed, saying, “O my Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, keep me, and deliver me from the hand of the Enemy, who is merciless. And let Thy mercy come upon me, and strengthen Thou me, so that I may finish my fight, through Thy good pleasure, O King of all the generations of men, for to Thee belong power and glory for ever.”

And he lived in that cave for eighty years, and he never saw a man. And his apparel was [made of] cloth made of palm fiber. And God used to send unto him daily at eventide, a raven, which had with him half a loaf of bread, and he would give it to Pawli (Paul). And when God wished to make manifest the holiness and righteousness of Pawli (Paul), He sent an angel to the great father Abba Anthony, who thought in his heart that he was the first who dwelt in the desert. And the angel came to Abba Anthony and said unto him, “In the Inner Desert, distant from thee two days’ journey, there is a man for whose feet the men of the world are not meet to be a footstool. Through his prayers the world is kept in a right course, and the earth giveth its fruit. Through him the dew falleth on the earth, and the sun riseth upon all the sinners of the earth, and because of his goodness God beareth all the creation of the children of men.”

And when Abba Anthony heard these words he rose up, and went into the Inner Desert, believing that God was with him, and that He would make straight his road. And he found the footprints of a man, and the footprints of many wild beasts, and sheep, and cattle, about the footprints of the man, [and he followed them] till he arrived at his cave; and he heard the holy man singing in his cave. And Abba Anthony took up a stone, and knocked at the door of the cave therewith. And when Saint Pawli (Paul) heard him knocking, he thought that it was some work of Satan, and he took up a large stone, and set it against the end of the bolt, which fastened the door of his cave. When Anthony heard [this] he cried out, and said, “I have sought and it was given unto me to find, I have asked and I have received, I have knocked and it hath been opened to me.”

And straightway Abba Pawli (Paul) opened the door to him, and brought him in, and each embraced the other with a spiritual embrace, and they prayed together and sat down. And Anthony said unto him, “What is thy name, O my father?” And the blessed elder Abba Pawli (Paul) answered, and said unto him, “If thou dost not know my name, why hast thou journeyed [to] this place?” And at that moment God opened the heart of Anthony, and he said unto him, “Blessed am I that I was held worthy to see the second Pawli (Paul).”

And whilst they were talking together about the greatness of God, behold a raven came at eventide, and dropped down to the saint a whole bread cake. And Abba Pawli (Paul) said unto Abba Anthony, “Now do I know that thou art a man of God. Behold, I have been living in this desert until to-day eighty years, and each day God hath sent unto me half a bread-cake, and behold to-day He hath sent thy food.” And after this they rose up together, and prayed until the star in the west appeared, when they sat down and ate. And after they had eaten they rose up and prayed and glorified God until the dawn broke.

And when they saw the light of the dawn and that the sun had risen, they embraced each other. And Anthony said unto Pawli (Paul), “O my father, where hast thou received the Holy Mysteries during all the days wherein thou hast been living in this desert?” And Saint Abba Pawli (Paul) answered and said unto him, “God sent to me His angel, and he administered to me the Holy Mysteries each day preceding the Sabbath, and on the First Day of the week, and then he went up to heaven; and he worketh for me each day.” And Anthony said unto him, “I want thee to inform me about the garb of the monks--will it increase on earth, or not?” And the blessed man smiled, and uttered a cry of grief. And Anthony said unto him, “When I see thee smiling, I smile also, and rejoice thereat; but when thou utterest a cry of grief I feel sad.”

And Saint Pawli (Paul) answered and said unto him, “These mountains and deserts shall become like the habitation of doves, and God shall gather together into them His chosen ones from among all the monks; and this name of ‘chosen one’ shall change, and their name shall be ‘monks.’ And they shall rejoice many days, and God shall remove them before [the coming of] wrath. After them there shall rise up a generation of men who will neither hear nor submit to their teachers, and who will not keep vigil at night for their soul’s sake. Then shall God be wroth with the mountains and deserts, and He will despoil them of the wicked folk who have neither heart nor Law; and the mountains and the deserts shall be waste for many days. But the memorial of the saints shall not perish. And God shall pour compassion into the hearts of other men, and they shall go to the mountains and deserts, and dwell in them, [and they shall be inhabited] a second time. And Satan shall go into the mountains (or, monasteries), and cause war in their midst, and they shall cast aside the garb of the monk, and shall go down into the world, for they shall not find the strength of the love of God, and they shall not endure therein; for it is written, ‘By patience ye shall make yourselves to possess your souls’ (Isaiah xxx,15).”

And Anthony said unto him, “Blessed be the day, O my father, wherein I was held worthy to see thy face, O blessed Abba Pawli (Paul).” And Saint Abba Pawli (Paul) said unto him, “Rise up now and depart to thy habitation, and bring with thee the garment which Constantine gave unto Athanasius, the Archbishop, and which Abba Athanasius put upon thee, so that thou mayest bury my body therein.” And Anthony marvelled at his words and his mention of the garment of the archbishop, and he believed all the prophecies, which he had prophesied to him. And Saint Abba Pawli (Paul) said unto him, “Make haste, and stand not, for the time of my going forth is nigh, as unto all men.” When Anthony heard this he was greatly frightened, and he wept; and he went out from him, and journeyed for two days and two nights, until he came to his abode.

And he took the garment and went back, and as he was on the road he saw Abba Bula (Pawli) (Paul) and the company of the angels singing praises in the air, and they said, “Glory be to God.” And they said also, “Peace be unto thee, O thou chosen one of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, thou blessed father, Abba Pawli (Paul), thou man of God; the angels rejoice with thee, for thou shalt rejoice in the kingdom of the heavens. Darkness hath left thee and they shall take thee to the country of light; sorrow hath left thee, and they shall take thee to the joy, which is forever. Blessed art thou in thy generation, O thou Pawli (Paul), the desert monk, thou man of God, thou Pawli (Paul), the desert monk.” And when they had said these words of praise they disappeared.

And the blessed Anthony said, “This is the soul of my father Abba Pawli (Paul) kneeling on his knees with his face [to the ground], and his hands were spread out like a cross. And he took him up and he seemed to be alive, and he covered him over, and wept over him, saying, “Remember me, O my father, in the habitations of heaven wherein thou wilt dwell.” Then Saint Anthony took him, and wrapped his body up in that garment, and he took the Book and fulfilled over him the Canon of the Law of the Church, and he prayed over him three times, and read over him the Four Gospels. And he took up his garment made of the hair of a mule, and he wondered what he should do with it, for he had no digging tool with him.

And straightway there came unto him two lions, and they bowed low before the body of Saint Pawli (Paul), and they saluted him. And Abba Anthony was dismayed and was afraid when he saw the lions, and the lions bent their heads to Anthony, as if they were asking him a question, and they licked his feet as if they had known him before, and they made signs to him as if they would say unto him, “Where shall we dig a grave for him?” And Abba Anthony understood their signs, and he measured out for them a space as long as the body of Pawli (Paul), and he showed them how deep the pit was to be, and the two lions dug, one towards the head and the other towards the feet, for a space of four cubits. And Anthony made a sign to them and said unto them, “This is enough for you”; and the lions came up out of the grave, and they crouched before Abba Anthony as if they would say, “Forgive us, and remember us, and bless us.” And he blessed them, and they went away from him, and Saint Anthony wrapped up the body of Saint Abba Pawli (Paul) and buried him.

And after this he took the head-cloth, and the pallet, of Abba Pawli (Paul), and his garment made of mule’s hair, like a son who inheriteth the possessions of his father. And he set a mark on the place where his grave was, and he journeyed on foot and departed from the east until he arrived at the city of Alexandria, facing the west. And he went into the presence of Abba Athanasius the Archbishop, and he told him what had happened to Saint Abba Pawli (Paul). And when the archbishop heard the story of the saint he rejoiced and took the garment of the blessed Abba Pawli (Paul), and laid it up by him; and he wore it three times a year, namely on the festival of the Epiphany, on the festival of the Resurrection of the Redeemer, and on the festival of the Great Ascension.

And the archbishop sent priests, and deacons, and men, with Abba Anthony, and carts with them to fetch the body of Saint Abba Pawli (Paul). And they went round about in the mountains for many days without finding the grave of the saint, for it was hidden from them [by the sand]. And Saint Abba Pawli (Paul) appeared unto the Archbishop Abba Athanasius, and said unto him, “Send a messenger to bring back the men, and let them not labor [in vain], for God doth not wish any man to see me until the appearance of the Lord Christ”; and the archbishop sent a messenger and brought back the men. And one day God willed to make manifest the glory of the Abba Pawli’s (Paul’s) cloak of mule’s hair.

And at that time a certain young man of the city of Alexandria, who was a Christian, died. “Now believe me, O Christian folk, I, your father Atanasius, took this garment of mule’s hair which belonged to the blessed Abba Pawli (Paul), and laid it upon the dead man, and he rose up straightway.

I, Athanasius, who have been appointed chief in the Church, saw this with my own eyes. And I, Isidore the bishop, was a witness of this thing. And I, Anthony, who was first appointed a priest by the hand of Abba Athanasius, am a witness of this thing, and I have subscribed this statement.” And two or three other men testified that this was true. And the story of this miracle was noised about throughout all the countries of Egypt, and in the city of Alexandria, and all men marveled, and glorified God, Who worketh miracles by His saints. Salutation to Abba Pawli (Paul).



You may View

Departure of Saint Anba Paul - the First Hermit
http://coptorthodox.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-departure-of-great-saint-anba-paul.html


 
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