(THAISIS or THAISIA).
A penitent in Egypt in the fourth century. In the Greek menology her name
occurs on 8 Oct., it is found also in the martyrologies of Maurolychus and
Greven, but not in the Roman. Two lives are extant, one, originally in Greek,
perhaps in the fifth century, the other in verse, by Marbod, Bishop of Rennes,
who died in 1123 (
Acta SS., IV, Oct., 223;
Bibl. Hag.lat., II, 1161). The
saint is represented burning her treasures and ornaments, or praying in a cell
and displaying a scroll with the words:
Thou who didst create me have mercy on
me. According to the legend Thais was a public sinner in Egypt who was
converted by St. Paphnutius, brought to a convent and enclosed in a cell. After
three years of penance she was released and placed among the nuns, but lived
only fourteen days more. The name of the hermit is given also as Bessarion and
Serapion the Sidonite. Delahaye says (Anal. boll., XXIV, 400),
If the legend is
historical the hermit must have been Paphnutius.
BUTLER Lives of the Saints: 8 October; DUNBAR, Dict. of Saintly Women (London, 1904); Anal. boll., XI, 291, 298; NAU, Hist de Thais in Annales du musee Guimet, XXX (1903), 51; Battifol, La Legende de Thais in Bull. De litt. Eccl. (Toulouse, 1908), 207.
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