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
- About: Quick Reference:
- About: General:
History of Monastic Spirituality, Chapter 5: Pachomius.
Includes extracts from the Coptic language lives of St. Pachomius.
(Scroll to "Texts" section near end.)
Roman Catholic author; opinions expressed not necessarily in agreement
- Henry Chadwick:
Pachomios and the Idea of Sanctity, (1983).
In Fr. Sergei Hackel, ed.,
The Byzantine Saint,
San Bernardino, Calif.: Borgo, 1983.
James M. Drayton:
Pachomius as Discovered in the Worlds of Fourth Century Christian
Egypt, Pachomian Literature and Pachomian Monasticism --
A Figure of Hagiography or History?
Thesis, University of Sydney.
--- Univ. Syd.
Fr. Steven Peter Tsichlis:
The Spiritual Father in the Pachomian Tradition:
Pachomius as starets.
--- St. Paul's Irvine
St. Dionysius Exiguus: Life of St. Pachomius,
Abbot of Tabennisi:
Dionysius translated an anonymous Greek life
into Latin. Baker translation.
--- Vitae Patrum
Gennadius: Illustrious Men, 7
Lausiac History, 32:
An Encomium on Pakhom the Great.
Fragments of the
Coptic text with English translation in Alla I. Elanskaya:
The Literary Coptic Manuscripts in the
A. S. Pushkin State Fine Arts Museum in Moscow,
[Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1994], p. 85.
- His conversion of
St. Silvanus the Actor:
- His interactions with St. Macarius the Younger of Alexandria:
- Disciples who became abbots after him:
- Some other disciples:
St. Abraham the Poor;
- His own teacher:
- Translators, Biographers, etc.
- St. Jerome wrote about Pachomius
in Latin, making him known in the West, and preserved the text of his
- Palladius of the History
visited Tabennisi and wrote about life there.
Return to St Pachomius Library.