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April 4, 2019

Venerable Poplios of Egypt


In the heavens Poplios you have a great reward,
To which you were taken greatly rejoicing and applauding.

Venerable Poplios lived a life of asceticism in the Egyptian desert during the reign of the emperor Julian the Apostate (361-363). Before a military campaign against the Persians, the emperor sent a devil to explore the way for the army to go. Venerable Poplios foresaw the intent of the emperor. He stood in prayer with upraised hands, praying day and night, and blocked the path of the devil.

For ten days the evil spirit waited until the monk concluded his prayer. Unable to proceed, he returned to the emperor and reported that he had been thwarted. In a rage against Saint Poplios, Julian the Apostate vowed to avenge himself on the Saint upon his return from the campaign. He did not fulfill this oath, since he soon perished.

After the death of Julian, one of his military commanders distributed his belongings and received monastic tonsure at the hand of Saint Poplios. The Monk Poplios pursued his asceticism for quite a long time after this, and, finally, pleasing God with his virtuous life, withdrew from this life to the eternal abodes of heaven.