Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume I: January. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.January 25
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 is necessary amidst our tears of penance; as being the fruit of charity, and requisite to support the fervour 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 subtle 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 nearly eighty years old, which he did not long survive. See Sozom. l. 6. c. 29. Rufin. l. 2. Tillem. t. 10. p. 35. The Greek menæa and Bollandus on this day.