Apophthegmata

Dayr Al-Baramus

DAYR AL-BARAMUS History This monastery is farthest to the northwest in the monastic colony of Wadi al-Natrun (ancient Scetis). The topographic allusions in ancient literature lend some credence to the statement by the author of the Coptic Life of Saint Macarius (probably of the eighth century; cf. Guillaumont, 1968-1969, pp. 182-83) that Dayr al-Baramus evolved …

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John The Little (339-409)

JOHN THE LITTLE (339-409) A Saint and monk. He is a renowned figure among the Desert Fathers. He is known from the Apophthegmata partum, which preserves nine sayings under his name, and a Coptic “Life” attributed to Zacharias, the eighth-century Bishop of Sakha. He is also commemorated in the Arabic Synaxarion of the Copts. John …

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Egyptian Monasticism

EGYPTIAN MONASTICISM Christian monasticism is a distinctive form of spiritual discipline that seems to have been originated in Egypt. St. Antony, the “father of the monks,” is usually regarded as its founder. As a youth of about 18 years old, he responded to a gospel reading (Matt. 19; 21), began his hermitic life as a …

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Pambo (Ca. 303-373)

PAMBO (ca. 303-373) Ascetic and priest. He was one of the first ascetics and companions of St. Amoun in Nitria. St. Macarius took part in the celebration of the liturgy when he was ordained a priest in Nitria. Pambo possessed the gift of prophecy and was known for fasting until evening, silence, and humility. He …

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Jesus Prayer

JESUS PRAYER The Jesus Prayer is a supplication of penance, known today by its modern prayer formula “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Both the practice and the wording of the Jesus Prayer are deeply rooted in biblical spirituality. The Jesus Prayer is recited repeatedly in penitential contemplation, following …

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