Pachomius (292-346)

PACHOMIUS (292-346)

A Saint, abbot. He is the founder of or communal . He was born of pagan parents in a small village in Esna in Upper Egypt. As a soldier recruited in the Roman army, he had his first contact with Christianity where he experienced acts of charity from the Christian community at Thebes. In about 320, Pachomius established the first community of monks at Tabennisi in Upper Egypt. His form of was based on precise rules that governed almost every aspect of monks’ lives, such as prayers, masses, work, meals, and sleep. The monks lived together in houses.

Each house was inhabited by 40 monks, who were supervised by a steward. Some were of 30 or 40 houses. Pachomius left 11 monasteries, of which two were for . The regulations of Pachomius grew up to meet the requirements of a more complex monastic society that was influential and successful. The Pachomian proved popular especially in Middle and Upper Egypt. In 404, St. Jerome translated the Pachomian rules into Latin from an intermediate Greek translation from the Coptic text. Thus Western monasticism, in particular the Order, owes much to the Coptic monastic traditions.