[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Ammonas of Nitria

IV Century
Celebrated, after Anthony and Pachomius as the third founder of Egyptian monasticism, St. Ammonas was the son of wealthy Alexandrians. They, or an uncle, forced him to marry at 22, and for 18 years, Ammonas and his wife lived together celibately. Around 340, he retired to Mount Nitria to live as a hermit. Palladius records that he continued to see his wife twice a year. A wonder-worker, Ammonas began to attract disciples, whom Anthony advised him to organize; John Cassian says that Ammonas founded 50 monasteries and had charge over 5,000 monks. Ammonas died c. 348/53, and his sayings are preserved in collections of the wisdom of the Desert Fathers.

Karen Rae Keck


Return to St Pachomius Library.