By the fourth century A.D., devout Christians–men and women alike–had begun to retreat from cities and villages to the deserts of North Africa and Asia Minor, where they sought liberation from their corrupt society and the confining shell of the social self. The Desert Fathers is the perfect introduction to the stories and sayings of these heroic pioneers of the contemplative tradition. Selected and translated by Helen Waddell, The Desert Fathers opens a window onto early Christianity while presenting us with touchingly human models of faith, humility, and compassion. With a new Preface by the Cistercian monk, writer, and revered teacher of contemplative prayer M. Basil Pennington, author of O Holy Mountain and Challenges in Prayer.
"God is our home but many of us have strayed from our native land. The venerable authors of these Spiritual Classics are expert guides–may we follow their directions home." –Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Helen Waddell (1889–1965), author and translator, was born in Tokyo and educated at Victoria College and Queen’s University, Belfast, and at Somerville College, Oxford. She was once described as “the Middle Ages’ most persuasive interpreter” by the president of Columbia… More about Helen Waddell