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Pachomius: His communities' life & requirements, and Why collective over individual - Essay Example

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Pachomius Pachomius was the founder of coenobitic monasticism and a Christian ascetic. There has been much confusion on the information of the saint in many biographies and legends written in different versions and translations…
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Pachomius: His communities life & requirements, and Why collective over individual
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Download file to see previous pages After the conquest of the Maximinus, he went back to his home village and underwent baptism (Chidester 292). The inspiration from Latopolis had a profound effect on his love for God, and he thus decided to become a monk. Ascetic Palemon played an integral part in his spiritual guidance. His guidance has been reckoned by many in the present days. During this time, the eremitic life established by Antony was the dominant lifestyle. Pachomius decided to establish a monastic community after receiving divine exhortation. He established the first monastic community in an abandoned village near Dendera, on the east bank of river Nile. Initially, there were few ascetics, but they increased over time. The saint established some monastic rules that governed the activities and needs of the monks, including common table, common prayer, common use of labor products, and common work (Chidester 310). According to tradition and legend, an angel dictated these rules. Obedience was a great virtue to the monastic communities. Introduction Majority of scholars justly esteem Antony as the institutor of religious communities adhering to certain rules, but Pachomius was the first to write a monastic set of rules. He was born in Upper Thebais to idolatrous parents around the year 292. He underwent the education of his blind superstition parents as well as the Egyptian sciences. This education was crucial in impacting the world later in his years. According to preserved history of his life, he was modest and meek from infancy, with a strong distaste to the infidels’ profane ceremonies of worshiping their idols. At the age of twenty, he joined the troops of the emperor, the great tyrant Maxi-minus and Egyptian master since 310. In 312, the tyrant waged war against Constantine and Licinius. Pachomius was among the soldiers sent to Thebes, the capital of Thebais inhabited by many Christians. The Christians in the region sough every opportunity of comforting and relieving all the people in distress, and had great compassion for the recruits who were badly treated and confined. The Christians showed them the same tenderness they displayed to their own children: took care of them as well as supplying them with necessities and money (Latourette 145). The rare example of disinterested virtue impressed the mind of Pachomius. The behavior and attitude of the Christians in the city inclined him to makes some inquisition on their pious benefactors, and upon hearing that they believed in Jesus Christ the son of God. The fact that they labored continually to be good to all humanity in the hope of a reward in a different world conceived a great love for the holy law and an ardent desire to serve the God of these people. The impact of the Christians in the city had a profound effect on his life, encouraging him to resist a carnal temptation on the next day of his journey. Despite his love for temperance and chastity from a tender age, he now perceived these virtues in a new light (MacCulloch 292). The life and requirements at the monastic communities The life at the monastery began with Pachomius, and later John, his elder bother. Many others followed such that he had to enlarge his house, and the monks increased quickly in number. The clothing at the monastery was primarily rough linen, with that of the saint often haircloth. According to monastic rule, the proportion of tasks of work and the fasts was dependant to the strengths of individuals. Nonetheless, all the monks ate together in a common refectory in silence, with ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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