Abba P'entelewon

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Note: This article or section represents an Oriental Orthodox (Non-Chalcedonian) perspective, which may differ from an Eastern Orthodox (Chalcedonian) understanding.

Abba P'entelewon was one of the Nine Saints credited in Ethiopia with enculturating and spreading the Orthodox Faith in the country following its official conversion by St. Frumentius of Axum.


According to his life, Abba P'entelewon was born to a noble family in the Roman Empire and joined a monastery at an early age. He came to Axum with the other Nine Roman Saints around 480 because of the persecution of the Orthodox who remained faithful to St. Cyril of Alexandria after the Council at Chalcedon.

When the Nine Saints parted company to evangelize the outlying districts of what was then Ethiopia, Abba P'entelewon climbed a small hill, Bet Qatin, on the outskirts of Axum and built a cell there. He lived there for 45 years, spending long hours standing in prayer, working miracles, and curing the sick who came to him.

The Emperor St. Caleb (venerated by those in favor of Chalcedon as 'Elesbaan') visited Abba P'entelewon before leaving Axum to conquer Yemen and came to live with him as a monk after his abdication.

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