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Often quoted in the "Sayings or the Desert Fathers," St. Poeman is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as some of the Eastern Orthodox churches.

QUESTION: Was St. Poeman ever formally canonized in the Roman Catholic Church; i.e., solemnly declared so by a Pope? If so, by whom? Also, how did the epithet, "the great", get attributed to him?

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On the Canonization of St. Poeman the Great and the Origin of His Epithet?

Was St. Poeman ever formally canonized in the Roman Catholic Church; i.e., solemnly declared so by a Pope? If so, by whom? Also, how did the epithet, "the great," get attributed to him?

St. Poemen (340–450) also known as Abba Poemen the Great was an early desert monk and early Desert Father who is the most quoted Abba (Father) in the Apophthegmata Patrum (Sayings of the Desert Fathers). Abba Poemen was quoted most often for his gift as a spiritual guide, reflected in the name "Poemen" ("Shepherd"), rather than for asceticism.

St. Poemen the Great became a recognized saint in the Early Church when saints were proclaimed such by the will of the faithful when the vox populi, vox Dei was is in vogue in antiquity. Today, we call this a Pre-Congregation Canonization. Thus no pope formally canonized him.

Saint Poemen died about the year [450 or] 451, and is commemorated on this day in the Roman Martyrology, and in the Menæa of the Greeks, who in their great office style him: “The Lamp of the universe, and the Pattern of monks.”

The epithet of the Great was certainly given to him after his death by his followers due to his popularity, and his proficiency of his writings and saying. How he was addressed after his death simply became the traditional way of addressing him.

St. Poemen the Great (Feast Day - August 27)

St. Poemen the Great (Feast Day - August 27)

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  • Many thanks for this very informative answer.
    – user60376
    Jan 26, 2023 at 23:25

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