St. Arsenius the Great
St. Arsenius (c. 360-c. 449) became a hermit at Sketis after a career as
tutor to the sons of Theodosius the Great. Damasus I is said to have
ordained Arsenius, the scion of a Roman senatorial family, to the
diaconate and to have recommended the learned cleric to the emperor. At
Sketis, Arsenius became a disciple of John the Dwarf. After barbarians
began to raid the monasteries, Arsenius moved to Troë near Memphis,
spent 15 years wandering in the desert. Numbered among the Desert Fathers,
Arsenius wrote a guide to monastic life and a commentary on the gospel
according to St. Luke, which also describes the contemplative life.
Karen Rae Keck
Return to St Pachomius Library.