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January 15

Saint of the day:
St. Paul of Thebes

Patron Saint of San Pablo City, Philippines


The Story of St. Paul of Thebes

Paul of Thebes, commonly known as Paul, the First Hermit or Paul the Anchorite, is regarded as the first Christian hermit, who was claimed to have lived alone in the desert of Egypt from the age of sixteen to the age of one hundred and thirteen years old.


The Life of Saint Paul the First Hermit was composed in Latin by Saint Jerome, probably in 375–376.[6] Paul of Thebes was born around 227 in the Thebaid of Egypt. Paul and his married sister lost their parents. In order to obtain Paul's inheritance, his brother-in-law sought to betray him to the persecutors. According to Jerome's Vitae Patrum (Vita Pauli primi eremitae), Paul fled to the Theban desert as a young man during the persecution of Decius and Valerianus around AD 250. He lived in the mountains of this desert in a cave near a clear spring and a palm tree, the leaves of which provided him with clothing and the fruit of which provided him with his only source of food until he was 43 years old, when a raven started bringing him half a loaf of bread daily. He would remain in that cave for the rest of his life, almost a hundred years. Paul of Thebes’ visit at Anthony the Great Saint Anthony the Great and Saint Paul the Anchorite, Diego Velázquez, circa 1634 Paul of Thebes is known to posterity because around the year 342, Anthony the Great was told in a dream about the older hermit's existence, and went to find him. Jerome related that Anthony the Great and Paul met when the latter was aged 113. They conversed with each other for one day and one night. The Synaxarium shows each saint inviting the other to bless and break the bread, as a token of honor. Paul held one side, putting the other side into the hands of Father Anthony, and soon the bread broke through the middle and each took his part. When Anthony next visited him, Paul was dead. Anthony clothed him in a tunic which was a present from Athanasius of Alexandria and buried him, with two lions helping to dig the grave. Father Anthony returned to his monastery taking with him the robe woven with palm leaf. He honored the robe so much that he only wore it twice a year: at the Feast of Easter, and at the Pentecost.








Monastery of Saint Paul the Anchorite, Cairo, Egypt




Konafa with cream كنافة بالكريمة

Konafa is made of a very thin half cooked pastry. The closest in North America would be vermicelli or Angel hair. Konafa can be found in some Middle Eastern groceries. In Turkey and Greece, the name Kataifi is used for what Egyptian call Konafa, while Katayef is another different Egyptian desert.


  • 1/2 kg konafa.

  • 3 tablespoons cream.

  • 1 cup butter or ghee.

  • 4 tablespoons corn flour.

  • 4 tablespoons sugar.

  • 2 cups milk.

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar syrup.

  • Vegetable oil.

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla.


  1. In a saucepan mix milk, sugar, vanilla and corn flour.

  2. Heat over medium heat while whisking constantly.

  3. Take off heat and stir in double cream and mix well then set aside.

  4. Cut konfa into short strips.

  5. Put in a bowl and mix very well with melted butter or ghee using your hands.

  6. Brush a baking dish with oil.

  7. Put half quantity of konafa in the bottom and press well to make a firm layer.

  8. Spread cream mix over konafa layer then add the other half of konafa and press on it.

  9. Heat oven and place baking dish until surface becomes golden brown.

  10. Pour cool sugar syrup over konafa right after it comes out of the oven.

  11. Put a serving platter over baking dish and invert it so that konafa is placed on the platter.

  12. Sprinkle nuts on surface and serve.

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