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Image of St. Paul the Simple

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Feastday: March 7

Death: 339


A hermit and disciple of St. Anthony. Paul had long been a humble farmer in Egypt when, at the age of sixty, he discovered that his wife was unfaithful. Leaving her, he set out for the desert and went to Anthony to become a follower. Anthony at first refused him, owing to Paul’s advanced years and because he doubted Paul’s sincerity. As Paul was persistent, Anthony gave him a host of demanding and arduous tasks which Paul fulfilled with such humility, obedience, and simplicity that Anthony allowed him entry into the community. Paul was termed by Anthony the ideal monk and the so called “Pride of the Desert,” bearing with honor the title “the Simple.” The monk and historian Rufinus and the historian Palladius both made reference to Paul. By tradition, he could read minds and cure the sick. 


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