St. Paul’s Life Story
First: St. Paul’s Life Story in English
On the second day of the blessed month of Amshir of the year 341 A.D. The great Anba Paul, the first hermit, departed. He was from the City of Alexandria, and had a brother whose name was Peter.
When their father departed, they divided the inheritance between them.
When his brother took the greater share, Paul's feelings were hurt, from his brother's action. He said to his brother, "Why don't you give me my rightful share of the inheritance of my father?" Peter responded, "You are a young man, and I am afraid that you might squander it. As for me, I will keep it for you."
When they did not agree with each other, They went to the governor to judge between them. As they were going, they saw a funeral procession. Paul asked one of the men about the deceased man. He was told that he was one of the noble and rich people of the city, and that he left his riches and his wealth behind, and that they were taking him to bury him with only his garment.
St. Paul sighed in his heart and said to himself, "What do I have to do then with all the money of this temporal world, which I shall leave naked?"
He looked to his brother and said to him, "My brother, let us return, for I do not ask you for anything even for what is mine." While they were returning, Paul left his brother and went on his way until he came out of the city.
Paul found a grave where he stayed for three days praying to the Lord Christ to guide him to what pleases Him.
His brother searched for him and when he did not find him, he was exceedingly sorry for what he had done.
God sent St. Paul an angel who took him out of this place, and walked with him until they reached the eastern inner wilderness. He stayed there for seventy years, during which he saw no one.
He put on a tunic made of palm tree fiber. The Lord sent him a raven every day with a half loaf of bread.
When the Lord wanted to reveal the holiness of St. Paul and his righteousness, He sent His angel to St. Anthony (Anba Antonius) the Great, who thought that he was the first to dwell in the wilderness.
The angel said to St. Anthony, "There is a man who lives in the inner wilderness, and the world is not worthy of his footsteps. By his prayers, the Lord brings rain and dew to fall on the earth, and causes the flood water of the Nile to come on time." When St. Anthony heard this, he rose right away and went to the inner wilderness, a distance of one day's walk.
God guided him to the cave of St. Paul. He entered, and they bowed to each other, and sat down talking about the great things that happened.
In the evening, the raven came bringing a whole loaf of bread. St. Paul said to St. Anthony, "Now, I know that you are one of the children of God.
For seventy years, the Lord has been sending to me everyday half a loaf of bread, but today, the Lord is sending your food also. Now, go and bring me back in a hurry the tunic that Emperor Constantine had given to Pope Athanasius."
St. Anthony went to St. Athanasius, and brought the tunic from him and returned to St. Paul.
On his way back, he saw the soul of St. Paul carried by the angels up to heaven. When he arrived to the cave, he found that St. Paul had departed from this world. He kissed him, weeping, and clothed him in the tunic that he asked for, and he took his fiber tunic.
When he wanted to bury him, he did not know how to dig his grave, but two lions appeared to him, Shaking their heads as if they were asking permission to dig the grave.
He knew that they were sent from God. He gave them the permission to dig, and they dug the grave with their claws, according to St. Anthony's directions.
He then buried the body, and went back to the Pope and told him what happened. St. Athanasius sent men to bring St. Paul's body to him.
They spent several days searching in the mountains, but they could not find the place of his grave.
The saint appeared to the Pope in a vision and told him that the Lord did not allow revealing his body, so do not trouble the men, send and bring them back.
Pope Athanasius used to put the palm fiber tunic on three times a year during masses. At one time, he wanted to tell the people about the holiness of the owner of that tunic. He put it over a dead man, and the dead man rose up instantly. The news about this miracle spread all around the land of Egypt.
May his prayers be with us all.
Second: St. Paul’s Life Story in Arabic