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ST. APOLLO, ABBOT IN THEBAIS

AFTER passing many years in a hermitage, he formed and governed a community of five hundred monks, near Heliopolis. They all wore the same coarse white habit, all received the holy communion every day, and the holy abbot made them also a daily exhortation with admirable unction. He entertained them often on the evils of melancholy and sadness, saying, that spiritual joy and cheerfulness of heart are necessary amid our tears of penance; as being the fruit of charity, and requisite to support the fervor of the soul. He was known to strangers by the joy of his countenance. By humility he ranked himself among the goats, unworthy to be numbered among the sheep. He made it his constant and earnest petition to God, that he might know himself, and be preserved from the subtile snares and illusions of pride. It is said that the devil left a possessed person at his command, crying out that he was not able to withstand his humility. The saint received a visit from St. Petronius, afterwards bishop of Bologna, in 393, being then near eighty years old, which he did not long survive. See Sozom.1. 6, c. 29. Rufin.1. 2. Tillem. t. 10, p. 35. The Greek menæa and Bollandus on this day.








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