St. Arsenius

Feast day: July 19

Arsenius was born to a Christian Roman senatorial family in Rome circa 350 AD. He dedicated all of his wealth to the poor and led an ascetic life after his parents passed away and his sister Afrositty was accepted into a convent of virgins. For his virtue and intelligence, Arsenius rose to fame.

It's likely that Pope Damasus elevated Arsenius to the rank of deacon. Upon Damasus's recommendation, he was invited to the court of Emperor Theodosius I the Great (reigned 379–395) in Constantinople and given the responsibility of educating Theodosius' sons Arcadius and Honorius. Theodosius I the Great reigned from 379–395 A.D. After 11 years of instructing, Arsenius retired to Mount Scete in the Libyan Desert and began living an eremitical lifestyle.

He was soon obliged to flee to Troe, near ancient Memphis, Egypt, to avoid the disastrous assaults of the Libyan Mazici barbarians, whom he compared to the Goths and Huns who destroyed Rome. He passed away in the Scete desert after a roughly 15-year adventure across the Egyptian wilderness. He supposedly lived for more than a century. According to his historian and monastic student, Daniel, he had a tall, slender build that contributed to his reputation as an ascetic.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post