PISENTIUS, SAINT, fourth-to-fifth century bishop of Hermonthis. The life of Saint Pisentius is preserved in one Arabic manuscript, now in the Coptic Museum, Cairo. Pisentius was born to pagan parents in Hermonthis (Armant), where he learned carpentry. Having witnessed a miracle, he went to the church and was baptized. Pisentius then went to the mountain of Hermonthis to be a monk. There he lived with a brother named Severus, who was the first monk of that "sacred" mountain and became the first bishop of that district. Pisentius heard a voice commanding that he build a church. After its construction, he appointed a priest and two deacons to serve there. An angel showed him the place on which he was to establish a monastery where as many as fifty-three monks would live. In addition, he built a convent for nuns.
According to the surviving Arabic text, Pisentius played a great role in the final Christianization of Hermonthis. The life of Pisentius also records that Patriarch THEOPHILUS (385-412) consecrated John, the younger brother of Pisentius, bishop of the diocese of Hermonthis. Further, it is known that HORSIESIOS, one of the disciples of PACHOMIUS OF TABENNESE and a contemporary of Patriarch Theophilus, visited Pisentius in Hermonthis.
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