Saint Abba Lot of Egypt (5th c.)
commemorate October 22
Lot was a a great Egyptian ascetic , a disciple of Joseph of Panephysis and a
friend of Arsenius the Great and St. Agathon. He lived as a solitary near a lake at Arsinoe in Arcadia (Al-Fayoum ),near Abba Anthony in the fourth and fifth centuries.
Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, “Abba, as far as I can I say my Little Office. I fast a little. I pray. I meditate. I live in peace and as far as I can. I purify my thoughts. What else am I to do?” Then the old man stood up, stretched his hands towards heaven and his fingers became like ten lamps of fire, and he said to him, “If you will, you can become all flame.”
One of the old men came to Abba Lot’s dwelling, near to the little marsh of Arsinoe and he asked for a cell, which Abba Lot gave him. Now the old man was ill and Abba Lot took care of him. When anyone came to see Abba Lot, he made him visit the sick old man also. But the sick man began to quote the words of Origen to the visitors. This made Abba Lot anxious and he said to himself, ‘The Fathers must not think that we are like that too.’ However, he was afraid to drive him away because of the commandment. So Abba Lot got up and went to Abba Arsenius and told him about the old man. Abba Arsenius said to him, ‘Do not drive him away, but say to him: look, eat that which comes from God and drink as much as you like, only do not make such remarks any more. If he wants to, he will correct himself. If he does not want to change his ways, he will ask to leave this place of his own accord. Thus his departure will not come from you.’ Abba Lot went away and did this. When the old man heard these word he did not want to change, but he began to ask him, ‘For the Lord’s sake, send me away from here, for I can no longer bear the desert.’ So he got up and left, accompanied to the door by charity.
A brother once came to Abba Lot in terrible distress and said to him, ‘I have committed a great sin, that I cannot admit to the Fathers.’ ‘Confess it to me and I will bear it for you,’ answered the Elder. ‘I have fallen into fornication,’ the brother said, ‘and to do so, I sacrificed to idols.’ The Elder said to him, ‘Take heart: no sin is beyond God’s mercy. Repentance is always possible. Go and sit in your cave; eat only every other day, and we will each take an equal share of the burden of your offence.‘ After three weeks of keeping the same penance, Abba Lot received assurance from God that the brother’s repentance was acceptable. For the rest of his life, the brother served as the Elder’s disciple.
From: The Sayings of the Desert Fathers. trans. Benedicta Ward. Kalamazoo, Michigan, Cistercian Publications 1975, revised 1984.
Through the prayers of our Fathers among the Saints, Lot and Joseph of Panephysis and Arsenius, and all the Saints, O Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us and save us.