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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