Commemorated on July 18
The Monk Pamba
(IV) asceticised in the Nitreian wilderness in Egypt. The Monk Anthony the
Great (Comm. 17 January) said, that the Monk Pamba by the fear of God inspired
within himself the Holy Spirit. And the Monk Pimen the Great (Comm.
27 August) said: "We beheld three things in Father Pamba: hunger
every day, silence and handcrafts". The Monk Theodore the Studite termed
Saint Pamba "exalted in deed and in word".
At the beginning of
his monasticism, Saint Pamba heard the verses from the 38th [39th] Psalm of
David: "preserve mine path, that I sin not by my tongue". These words
sank deep into his soul, and he attempted to follow them always. Thus, when
they asked him about something, he answered only after a long pondering and a
prayer, risking to say something that he afterwards might regret. Saint Pamba
was a model of a lover of work for his disciples. Each day he worked until
exhausted, and by the bread acquired by his own toil.
The disciples of the
Monk Pamba became great ascetics: Dioskoros, afterwards Bishop of Hermopolis
(this Dioskoros, bishop of Hermopolis, mustneeds be distinguished from another
Dioskoros – an arch heretic and patriarch of Constantinople, who lived rather
later and was condemned by the Fourth OEcumenical Council), and also Ammonios,
Eusebios and Eythymios – mentioned in the life of Sainted John Chrysostom. One
time the Nun Melania the Roman (Comm. 31 December) brought Saint Pamba a large
amount of silver for the needs of the monastery, but he did not leave off from
his work nor even glance at the money that was brought. Only after the
incessant requests of Saint Melania did he permit her to give the alms to a
certain monastic brother for distribution to the needs of the monastery. Saint
Pamba was distinguished by his humility, but together with this he highly
esteemed the vocation of monk and he taught the laypeople to be respectful of
monastics, who often converse with God.
The monk died at age
70. Telling the brethren that stood about his death-bed concerning the virtues
he strove for during his life, Saint Pamba said: "For I do expire to the
Lord such, as that I am but begun to live a God-pleasing monastic".
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.