August 16, 2018

Life and Sayings of Holy Abba Chaeremon of Scetis

Venerable Chaeremon (Feast Day - August 16)


Blessed Chaeremon rejoiced at the cessation of his life,
For it was the beginning of the compensation of labor.

Our Venerable Father Chaeremon is the one mentioned in the Paradise of the Holy Fathers and in the Lausiac History:

- They used to say that the cave in Patara which belonged to Abba Chaeremon who was in Scetis, was forty miles distant from the church, and twelve miles further from a spring of water. And he used to bring to the church, with the labor of his hands, two goatskin pitchers of water, one for each day, and when he was tired he would set one down by the roadside and go back afterwards and fetch it. (Paradise of the Fathers, Bk. 1, Ch. 6, 206)

- It happened in those days that Chaeremon the ascetic died in a sitting posture and was found dead on his chair holding his work in his hands. (Lausiac History, 47.4)

This Chaeremon mentioned by Palladius may be the same Chaeremon mentioned by John Cassian in his Conferences, specifically the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth conferences. There he is described as dwelling near Panephysis and being "over a hundred years old, active only in spirit, his back was so bent with age and with constant prayer that he went about with his hands down and touching the ground, as if he had returned to his earliest infancy." And "although all his members were already weak and dying he had never laid aside the severity of his past strictness."