mid-13c., "shepherd," also "spiritual guide, shepherd of souls" (late 14c.), from O.Fr. pastur
"herdsman, shepherd" (12c.), from L. pastorem
) "shepherd," from pastus
, pp. of pascere
"to lead to pasture, graze," from PIE base *pa-
"to tend, keep, pasture, feed, guard" (see food
). The spiritual sense was in Church Latin (cf. Gregory's "Cura Pastoralis"
). The verb in the Christian sense is from 1872.