The Monk Paul the Simple
Commemorated on October 4
The Monk Paul the
Simple lived in the IV Century. He was called Simple for his simplicity of
heart and gentleness. The monk had been married, but having learned about the
infidelity of his spouse, he left her and set off into the wilderness to the
Monk Anthony the Great (Comm. 17 January). Paul was already 60 years old, and
Saint Anthony at first did not accept Paul, since he was unfit for harshness of
the hermit's life. Paul stood at the cell of the ascetic for three days, saying
that he would sooner die than go from there. Then the Monk Anthony settled Paul
in with him, and long tested his endurance and humility by hard work, severe
fasting, with nightly vigils, constant singing of psalms and with
poklon-bowings to the ground. Finally the Monk Anthony decided to settle Paul
into a separate cell.
For many years of ascetic exploits the Lord granted the Monk Paul both perspicacity, and the power to cast out demons. When they brought a possessed youth to the Monk Anthony, he guided the sick one to the Monk Paul with the words: "Those great in faith can cast out only small demons, but the humble like Paul the Simple, have power over the princes among demons".
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.