[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Poemen the Great

V Century
The many sayings attributed to Abba Poemen in the apothegmata of the Desert Fathers may be the wisdom of many men since poemen (often rendered in Latin, pastor) means shepherd.

One of the most famous of those who bore the name flourished in the V Century and was a monk at Sketis until Berber (or Bedouin) raids drove the monks from their monasteries. Poemen, who attended the deathbed of Arsenius, became the abbot of a community that settled in an abandoned pagan temple at Terenuth. Poemen, who died c. 450, urged frequent communion and was acclaimed for his wisdom and holiness.

Karen Rae Keck


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