Pisentius, Saint


A seventh-century monk and bishop of Armant (feast day: 20 Kiyahk). Pisentius was the nephew of the superior of the monastery of Tud, probably the present DAYR ANBA ABSHAY (Crum and Winlock, 1926). His birth was miraculously achieved through the prayers of his uncle. The monks of Tud taught him Holy Scripture, and he devoted himself to the craft of copyist and to the trade of carpenter. His affability quickly made him popular, so much so that the monks chose him as successor to his uncle.

On the death of the bishop of Armant, the people agreed on a monk from the mountain of Jeme, but the patriarch refused this selection. The choice of the people then fell on Pisentius, and he was announced to the governor of Tud, who acquiesced. This choice had then to be confirmed by two bishops, one of them the patriarch’s vicar for the South, Shenute, bishop of Antinoopolis. The ordination by the patriarch could not take place if these two bishops had not given their agreement.

Once he was ordained with two bishops as witnesses, Saint PISENTIUS of Qift and the bishop of Hiw, Pisentius returned to Armant from Alexandria, where the ceremony had taken place. The text mentions the occupation of Egypt by the Persians (619-629), which gives us an approximate date. Since the bishop of Isna was deceased, and the occupying power did not wish new ordinations of bishops, the patriarch asked Pisentius to ensure the administration of the bishopric of Isna. We know that this patriarch was ANDRONICUS (616-622). The text states that this filling of the vacancy lasted for seven years. The notice ends with the death of Pisentius, in his monastery of Tud.


  • Crum, W. E., and H. E. Winlock. The Monastery of Epiphanius at Thebes, 2 vols. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Egyptian Expedition Publicity 3 and 4. New York, 1926.


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