Saint Paul the First Hermit, Patriarch of the Pauline Order – Solemnity
January 15

Saint Paul the First Hermit or Paul of Thebes is the Patriarch of the Pauline Order. Saint Paul the First Hermit, and model of all others, was a native of the lower Thebaid in Egypt. In order to escape from their persecution of Decius and Valerian, he took himself to a cave in the desert. Here, with a palm tree providing him with both food and clothing, he lived a most holy life. He attained the age of 113 years when Anthony, being now himself aged 90 years came to visit him. Paul received him warmly. After they had spent the night conversing about holy things, Paul said that his death was at hand and asked Anthony to get the cloak given to him by Athanasius to use as a winding sheet. Anthony went to do this, and when he was on his way back, he saw Paul’s body going up to heaven. He found the dead body of the Saint in his cell, still in the attitude of prayer. Anthony took him the tunic which Paul had woven for himself out of the palm leaves. Thereafter, he was in the habit of wearing this cloak on the great days of Easter and Pentecost as long as he lived.

The Solemnity of St. Paul will be celebrated on Friday 15th January.
As a parish Community we will celebrate this important Solemnity of the Pauline Fathers on Sunday 17th January at the 10.30am Mass, using the Votive Mass of St. Paul the First Hermit and readings of the day.

Blessing of Children:
As is the custom for the Pauline Order, there will be a special blessing for children on the Solemnity.

Blessing of Fruits:
We will also have the customary blessing of Palm Fruit (dates) at Mass.

Novena to St. Paul the First Hermit:
In preparation for the celebration of the Solemnity of St. Paul the First Hermit, the Litany to St. Paul will be prayed after all Masses from the 7th of January. The Novena can be downloaded here.


O God, who led Saint Paul our Father into the desert to contemplate the mystery of your Holy Name and arrive safely at his eternal dwellings; teach us through his intercession that we may despise worldly pleasures and seek everlasting happiness.
Through Christ our Lord.