One of the prominent “ancient brothers” of the Pachomian koinonia (community). He belonged to the second group of disciples who came to PACHOMIUS around 324 (Lefort, Sahidic-Bohairic 24; Halkin, 1982, Greek, recension 1, 26), and he was appointed by him as father of the Monastery of Tmoushons shortly after it was received into the koinonia (Lefort, Sahidic- Bohairic 51.59; Halkin, Greek, recension 1, 54.61).
He is mentioned among the elders at the time of Theodorus’ appointment as father of Tabennese in 336-337 (Halkin, Greek, recension 1, 79), as well as at the time of the great trial of Theodorus around 344 (Halkin, Greek, recension 1, 106). He died in 346 during the same plague that carried away Pachomius and many others among the early Pachomian brothers (Lefort, Sahidic-Bohairic 119; Halkin, Greek, recension 1, 114).
According to the witness of Pachomius (Lefort, Sahidic-Bohairic 91; Halkin, Greek, recension 1, 111), Cornelius struggled to acquire all the fruits of the Holy Spirit and had therefore purified his heart to the point of not having any distraction during communal prayer. He was also a man of wisdom capable of answering the questions of some philosophers from ASHMUN (Lefort, Sahidic-Bohairic 55; Halkin, Greek, recension 1, 82). With SOUROUS, he was one of the two persons with whom Pachomius exchanged letters in a cryptic language.
[See also: MONASTICISM, PACHOMIAN.]
- Halkin, F. Sancti Pachomii vitae graecae. Subsidia Hagiographica 19. Brussels, 1982.
- Lefort, L. T. S. Pachomii vita bohairice scripta. CSCO 89. Louvain, 1925, 1953.
- . S. Pachomii vitae sahidice scriptae. CSCO 99, 100. Louvain, 1933-1934. Repr. 1952.