Friday, March 07, 2014

St. Paul the Simple

Today is also the feast day of a companion of St. Anthony of Egypt - Paul the Simple.

At the age of sixty, Paul left his wife after learning of her adultery.  He sought to live as a hermit with St. Anthony, who at first refused him.  After long testing Paul became a hermit - known for his guilelessness, simplicity and holiness - as well as the gift to cast out demons.
"They said of another hermit, that while he was undergoing temptation in his cell, he saw the demons face to face, and despised them.  The devil, seeing himself overcome, came and showed himself, saying, 'I am Christ.'  The hermit looked at him, and then shut his eyes.  The devil said, 'I am Christ, why have you shut your eyes?'  The hermit answered, I do not want to see Christ in this life, but in the next.'  The devil vanished at these words." - Sayings of the Desert Fathers

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