Saint Sarapamon Of Scetis

SAINT SARAPAMON OF SCETIS

An ascetic who was hegumenos of SCETIS (feast day: 5 Baramhat). All that we know of him is supplied by the notice in the SYNAXARION from Lower Egypt. The passage offers no means of learning, even approximately, when this saint lived. However, since the Synaxarion mentions Saint BARSUM THE NAKED, who died in 1317, it must have been composed after that date, which at least provides us with a terminus post quem. The ancient documents that describe sectis do not speak of Sarapamon.

The Synaxarion tells us nothing of his family, nor of his place of birth, although it is probable, given the recruitment patterns of the monks of the Wadi al-Natrun, that he was a native of the Delta. It can be deduced that he embraced the monastic life fairly young.

The text tells us that Sarapamon entered the Dayr Abu Yuhannis John (which designates John Colobos [the Little; the other John is explicitly named as Kama]) “in his youth,” which is rather vague. He showed himself zealous from the beginning, both in asceticism and in the service of the “elders.” We are told that this fervor endured for thirty-two years. Sarapamon was then elected HEGUMENOS of his monastery, and held this office for twenty years. He then lived as a recluse for ten years, eating only on Saturdays and Sundays.

At the approach of his death (he must have died at a fairly advanced age, since he lived for sixty-two years at Scetis), he had a vision of an angel who brought him a cross of fire.

RENÉ-GEORGES COQUIN

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