Poemen

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Abba Poemen

Abba Poemen (c. 340–450) was an Egyptian Christian monk and early Desert Father who is the most quoted Abba (Father) in the Apophthegmata Patrum (Sayings of the Desert Fathers).

Quotes[edit]

Ward, Benedicta (1984). The sayings of the Desert Fathers: the alphabetical collection. Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publications.


Abba Poemen said, "If a man has sinned and denies it, saying: 'I have not sinned,' do not reprimand him; for that will discourage him.
But say to him, 'Do not lose heart, brother, but be on guard in future,' and you will stir his soul to repentance."
  • Abba Poemen said, "If a man has sinned and denies it, saying: 'I have not sinned,' do not reprimand him; for that will discourage him.
    But say to him, 'Do not lose heart, brother, but be on guard in future,' and you will stir his soul to repentance."
    • Saying 23


  • "The victory over all the afflictions that befall you, is, to keep silence."
    • Saying 37


Even if a man were to make a new heaven and earth, he could not live free of care.
  • "Even if a man were to make a new heaven and earth, he could not live free of care."
    • Saying 48


  • A brother asked Abba Poemen, "How should a man behave?"
    The old man said to him, "Look at Daniel: no-one found anything in him to complain about except for his prayers to the Lord his God."
    • Saying 53


  • Abba Poemen said, "Do not judge yourself, but live with someone who knows how to behave himself properly."
    • Saying 73


  • Abba Poemen said that a brother who lived with some other brothers asked Abba Bessarion, "What ought I to do?"
    The old man said to him, "Keep silence and do not always be comparing yourself with others."
    • Saying 79


  • "Do not give your heart to that which does not satisfy your heart."
    • Saying 80


  • "If you take little account of yourself, you will have peace, wherever you live."
    • Saying 81


  • "If you are silent, you will have peace wherever you live."
    • Saying 84


He also said concerning Abba Pior that every day he made a new beginning.
  • He also said concerning Abba Pior that every day he made a new beginning.
    • Saying 85


There are some who receive ten and give one.
  • A brother asked Abba Poemen, "Can a man keep all his thoughts in control, and not surrender one to the enemy?"
    And the old man said to him, "There are some who receive ten and give one."
    • Saying 88


The first time flee; the second time, flee; and the third, become like a sword.
  • [Abba Poemen] also said, "The first time flee; the second time, flee; and the third, become like a sword."
    • Saying 140


  • Abba Poemen said to Abba Isaac, "Let go of a small part of your righteousness and in a few days you will be at peace."
    • Saying 141


  • A brother going to market asked Abba Poemen, "How do you advise me to behave?"
    The old man said to him, "Make friends with anyone who tries to bully you and sell your produce in peace."
    • Saying 163


  • Abba Isaac came to see Abba Poemen and found him washing his feet. As he enjoyed freedom of speech with him he said, "How is it that others practice austerity and treat their bodies hardly?"
    Abba Poemen said to him, "We have not been taught to kill our bodies, but to kill our passions."
    • Saying 184


  • A brother asked Abba Poemen, "How should I behave in the place where I live?"
    The old man said, "Have the mentality of an exile in the place where you live, do not desire to be listened to and you will have peace."
    • Saying 191


If I am in a place where there are enemies, I become a soldier.
  • Abba Poemen said, "If I am in a place where there are enemies, I become a soldier."
    • Saying 202

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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