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Notable Desert Fathers and Mothers

Obviously such a path could only be traveled by one who was very alert and very sensitive to the landmarks of a trackless wilderness. The hermit had to be a man mature in faith, humble and detached from himself to a degree that is altogether terrible. The spiritual cataclysms that sometimes overtook some of the presumptuous visionaries of the desert are there to show the dangers of the lonely life--like bones whitening in the sand. The Desert Father could not afford to be an illuminist. He could not dare risk attachment to his own ego, or the dangerous ecstasy of self-will. He could not retain the slightest identification with his superficial, transient, self-constructed self....Thomas Merton...The Wisdom of the Desert
Icon of Arsenius the Great
Many of the monks and nuns developed a reputation for holiness and wisdom, with the small communities following a particularly holy or wise elder, who was their spiritual father (abba) or mother (amma).
The individual Desert Fathers and Mothers are mostly known through The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, which included 1,202 sayings attributed to twenty-seven abbas and three ammas. The greatest number of sayings are attributed to Abba "Poemen", Greek for "shepherd", implying that these were collected around a generic name. Among the notable Desert Fathers and Mothers with sayings in the book, in addition to Anthony, were Abba Arsenius, Abba Poemen, Abba Macarius of Egypt, Abba Moses the Robber, and Amma Syncletica of Alexandria.

     Icon of St. Macarius
Other notable Desert Fathers include Pachomius and Shenouda the Archimandrite, and many individuals who spent part of their lives in the Egyptian desert, including Athanasius of Alexandria, John Chrysostom, and John Cassian. Cassian's works brought the wisdom of the Desert Fathers into a wider arena.
source: Wikipedia
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