July 18

From the Prologue

Pambo was an Egyptian and an ascetic on Mount Nitria. He was a contemporary of St. Anthony the Great, and himself was great in monastic asceticism. He was known particularly for two characteristics: through extensive training, he sealed his lips so that he did not speak one unnecessary word and that he never ate anyone's bread except that bread which he earned with his own hands by weaving reeds. He was similar to an angel of God and, in later years his face shown like the face of Moses once did, so much so that the monks were unable to look him in the face. He did not render an immediate answer even to a simple question before praying and contemplating about it in his heart. The Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria once visited the monks in Nitria. The monks begged Pambo saying: "Tell the pope a constructive word, which would be beneficial to him." The quiet Pambo replied: "If he does not benefit by my silence he will not even benefit by my word." At one time, St. Pambo with his monks traveled throughout Egypt. When they came upon a group of men who remained seated as the monks passed by, St. Pambo addressed them and said: "Arise and greet the monks so that you may receive a blessing from them for they continually converse with God and their lips are holy." This glorious saint was able to discern clearly the fate of both the living and the dead. He rested in the Lord in the year 386 A.D.

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