Icon of St. Agathon - 20th c. - (1AG29)

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Commemorated on January 8

Abba Agathon was trained in the Thebaid by Abba Poemen when he was a young man. According to the Sayings of the Desert Fathers, he was highly regarded by Poemen, who called him "Abba" (father) even though Agathon was still young. He was known for his exceptional meekness, accounting himself the most sinful of all men. He was a disciple of Abba Lot.

Abba Agathon lived in Scetis with Alexander and Zoilus, who were later disciples of Arsenius. He moved after the destruction of Scetis and lived near Troe (Τρώη / Τροία) close to the Nile with his disciple Abraham. It was said of Abba Agathon that he often travelled taking nothing but his knife for making wicker-baskets. He, even in old age, provided everything he needed for himself by manual labor. The abba is said to have even lived for three consecutive years with a stone in his mouth to help himself learn silence and abstinence from speech.

At his death, Abba Agathon remained for three days with his eyes open. The brothers asked him where he was, and he replied saying that he was at the Judgement Seat of God. When his disciples asked him if he was afraid, he said, "Until this moment, I have done my utmost to keep the commandments of God; but I am a man; how should I know if my deeds are acceptable to God?" When they questioned him more, he said, "Truly the judgement of God is not that of man." Dorotheus of Gaza twice quotes the final words of Abba Agathon in his exhortations to his monks.

Abba Agathon died c. 435 AD.