Catholic Answers

Search Articles


Navigation

Search Scans
Scans by volume
Random Article
Login - advanced access

Collections

1,001 Saints
List of Popes
Art Gallery
Map Room
RSS Feeds RSS

Curricula

Apologetics
Art
Catechetics
Christology
Church Hierarchy
Church History - to 1517 A.D.
Education
Ethics
Hagiography - saints
Homiletics - sermons
Mariology - on Mary
Patrology
Philosophy
Religious Orders
Sacred Scripture
Science

Front Matter — Vol I

Title Page
Copyright & Imprimatur
To the Knights of Columbus
Preface
Contributors
Tables of Abbreviations

Site Status

Articles:11,552
Images:42,348
Links:183,872
Updated:  Aug 12, 2013
prev: Apolytikion Apolytikion Aporti next: Aporti

Apophthegmata Patrum

Sayings of the Fathers of the Desert

High Resolution Scan ———————————

Login or register to access high resolution scans and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!

Errata* for Apophthegmata Patrum:
———————————

Login or register to access the errata and other advanced features.

Registration is Free!


————
* Published by Encyclopedia Press, 1913.


Apophthegmata Patrum (apo, from; phtheggomai, to cry out; pater, father), sayings of the Fathers of the Desert. Various collections exist of aphorisms and anecdotes illustrative of the spiritual life, of ascetic and monastic principle, and of Christian ethics, attributed to the more prominent hermits and monks who peopled the Egyptian deserts in the fourth century. Three or four such collections in Latin were edited by Rosweyde (Vitae Patrum, Bks. III, V, VI, VII; P.L., XXIII), one in Greek by Cotelier (Ecclesiae Gracie Monumenta, I; P.G., XV), and a Syriac collection lately included in the editions of Anan Isho's "Paradise" by Bedjan (Paris, 1897), and Budge (London, 1904), the latter supplying an English translation. In all these collections the great mass of material is the same, although differently disposed, and it is now agreed that our actual apophthegma literature is Greek, though no doubt much of it is ultimately of Coptic origin. The stages in the growth of the extant collections of "apophthegmata" may be traced with some certainty. In the course of the fourth century this or that saying of the more famous ascetics was repeated by their disciples, and thus circulated. There is no reason to doubt that these sayings and anecdotes were in large measure authentic, but no doubt many were attributed to wrong persons, and many more were apocryphal inventions. These single sayings tended to coalesce into groups, sometimes as the apophthegmata of one Father, sometimes as those dealing with the same subject. Out of these groups were formed the great collections which we have. They are arranged on an alphabetical principle, or according to the subject-matter. Of such collections, that contained in the fifth and sixth books of Rosweyde's "Vitae Patrum" is known to have existed before the end of the fifth century.

As to the character of the apophthegmata we find that, while they contain a certain grotesque element, the general teaching maintains a high level. They cover the whole field of the spiritual and religious life, and are a veritable storehouse of ascetic lore. Many of them have a primitive freshness and quaintness, and a directness that comes from a deep knowledge of the human heart. They almost always possess a simple beauty that makes them interesting and wholesome reading, and at times they rise to great mystic heights. Along with Cassian, the apophthegmata reveal to us the wellsprings of Christian spirituality and religious life.

E. CUTHBERT BUTLER


discuss this article | send to a friend

Discussion on 'Apophthegmata Patrum'











prev: Apolytikion Apolytikion Aporti next: Aporti

Report translation problem

*Description: Copy and paste the phrase with the problem or describe how the trascription can be fixed.
  * denotes required field
Severity:

Featured

Art Gallery
Art Gallery

Catholic Q & A


Popular Subjects
Top 20 Questions

Ask A Faith Question

Quotable Catholics RSS

"I must esteem nothing save the service of the Redeemer, everything else is beside my mission. To do the will of my Divine Master must be my life, my light, my love, my all."
-- Patrick Francis Cardinal Moran, third Archbishop of Sydney.

Donations

Latest OCE Discussion



Your usage constitutes agreement with User License :: Permissions :: Copyright © 2014, Catholic Answers.
Site last updated Aug 12, 2013