On this day also St. Paphnuti, the Bishop, died.
He became a monk in the wilderness of St.Macarius. He schooled himself in asceticism and worship and lived a monastic life eating dry beans and fasted for days. He learned how to read and write and learned the doctrines of the church. He was ordained a priest and remained in the wilderness for thirty-five years. His integrity became known to everyone, and Pope Philotheos I, the sixty-third Patriarch of Alexandria, called him, and ordained him bishop. Even then he did not change his clothing except when he celebrated the Eucharist, afterwards he donned a shirt of sackcloth and hair. His spiritual fighting and asceticism were so intense that his body wasted away, and he became ill. He asked God in his prayer: “O My Lord Jesus Christ, do not take away from me Your blessings for the sake of my office of bishop.” The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said: “You know that when you were in the wilderness, there was no one to take care of you in your sickness, there was no one to minister to you, you could not find medications to relieve you, but God supported, sustained you, and kept sickness away from you. However, you are now in the world, and there are many who can take care of you and offer you medications in your sickness.” He was a bishop for thirty-two years. When the day of his death drew near, he called the priests and the deacons, handed over to them the sacred property of the church and all its possessions, and told them: “Behold know that I am departing to the Lord Christ. I have walked among you, and the Lord Jesus to Whom I am about to stand before, testifies that I have never taken even one dinar from all the money which came to me from the bishop’s office.” He blessed them, then departed in peace.
Image By Anonymus – Collection Cos, Public Domain, Link