[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Arsenius the Great

IV/V Centuries
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, and he 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.