[St. Pachomius Library]

St. PACHOMIUS the Great
of Upper Egypt, Abbot of Tabennisi

(Coptic: BAKHUM)
IV Century

Born of pagan parents in the Upper Thebaid of Egypt, St. Pachomius (292-346) was a soldier before his baptism in 314. He became a hermit in 317. Called the Father of Cenobitic Monasticism, he wrote a rule that balances the communal life with the solitary life. The monks live in individual cells but work together for the common good of the community. Prayer is both corporate and private. He established his first monastery around 323 in Tabennisi. St. Pachomius died during a plague, and at the time of his death, he was the spiritual leader of about 3,000 monks.

St. Jerome translated the rule of St. Pachomius into Latin in 404, and only this translation survives. The rule of St. Pachomius influenced St. Benedict in preparing his own rule for monks.

Karen Rae Keck

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