St. Paul the Hermit

St. Paul the Hermit and the patron saint of weavers

Thanks to Handwoven's handy calendar you might know that St. Paul the Hermit is one of the 13 patron saints of weaving, but do you know why?

St. Paul was not a weaver by trade, but out of necessity. After escaping persecution in Thebes he moved to a desert where he lived, according to his hagiography, to the ripe old age of 113. It was in the desert that Paul took up weaving.


His only clothing was a tunic “which after the manner of wicker-work the saint had woven out of palm-leaves.” This woven tunic, along with his other attributes, is one of the primary ways to identify images of St. Paul.


When Paul died his burial was overseen by his friend and fellow hermit St. Anthony the Great. In honor of St. Paul, St. Anthony kept the palm-leaf tunic and wore it every Easter and Pentecost thereafter.

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