Paphnutius the Ascetic

Saint Paphnutius the Ascetic
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Churches
Coptic Orthodox Church

Saint Paphnutius the Ascetic (Coptic: Ⲁⲃⲃⲁ Ⲡⲁⲫⲛⲟⲩϯ), also known as Paphnutius the Hermit, was an Egyptian anchorite of the fourth century. He is most famous for his accounts of the lives of many hermits of the Egyptian desert, such as Saint Onuphrius.

Saint Paphnutius was the disciple of Saint Macarius the Great who was an anchorite in the Egyptian desert.[1]

His feast is celebrated on 15 Meshir in the Coptic Orthodox Church, (i.e. September 25).[2]

He was visited by Cassian in 395, when he was ninety.[3]

He is also the subject of the play Paphnutius by Hrosvit (ca. 935-ca. 1001), a Benedictine nun from Saxony, in which he converts the courtesan Thais to Christianity. This play in turn has become the subject of study, most notably by Sandro Sticca.


  1. Vivian, Tim (2004). St Macarius the SpiritBearer. St Vladimir's Seminary Press. pp. 64, 131, 140, 195.
  2. "Venerable Paphnutius of Alexandria". Retrieved 2018-03-17.
  3.  Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Paphnutius". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

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