Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Onuphrius, Hermit

painting of Saint Onophrius; 1637 by Jusepe de Riberta; The Hermitage, Saint Petersburg, RussiaArticle

He lived some time in an austere monastery of one hundred monks, near Thebes in Egypt. A desire of imitating the solitude of Saint John Baptist moved him to seek a retreat in the most solitary wilderness of that country. He for some years struggled with grievous temptations; but by perseverance overcame them, and by the exercises of holy solitude prepared his soul for the closest communications with God, in which he found the repose of his heart, the comfort of his earthly pilgrimage, and a kind of anticipation of the eternal enjoyment of heaven. He spent in this retirement sixty years, unknown to the world; but by his prayers never ceased to implore the divine mercy in its behalf, and for the protection of the church under the persecutions of the two Arian emperors, Constantius and Valens. A date-tree and a palm-tree which grew near his cell furnished him with food. He died on the 12th of June.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Onuphrius, Hermit”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 August 2018. Web. 18 September 2021. <>