lundi 14 mai 2012

Saint PACÔME (PACHOMIUS) le Grand, abbé et fondateur


Pachomius le Grand, Curtea Veche, Bucharest

SAINT PACÔME

Abbé

(292-348)

Pacôme naquit en 292, dans la Haute-Thébaïde, au sein de l'idôlatrie, comme une rose au milieu des épines. A l'âge de vingt ans, il était soldat dans les troupes impériales, quand l'hospitalité si charitable des moines chrétiens l'éclaira et fixa ses idées vers le christianisme et la vie religieuse. A peine libéré du service militaire, il se fit instruire, reçut le baptême et se rendit dans un désert, où il pria un solitaire de le prendre pour son disciple. "Considérez, mon fils, dit le vieillard, que du pain et du sel font toute ma nourriture; l'usage du vin et de l'huile m'est inconnu. Je passe la moitié de la nuit à chanter des psaumes ou à méditer les Saintes Écritures; quelques fois il m'arrive de passer la nuit entière sans sommeil." Pacôme, étonné, mais non découragé, répondit qu'avec la grâce de Dieu, il pourrait mener ce genre de vie jusqu'à la mort. Il fut fidèle à sa parole. Dès ce moment, il se livra généreusement à toutes les rudes pratiques de la vie érémitique.

Un jour qu'il était allé au désert de Tabenne, sur les bords du Nil, un Ange lui apporta du Ciel une règle et lui commanda, de la part de Dieu, d'élever là un monastère. Dans sa Règle, le jeûne et le travail étaient proportionnés aux forces de chacun; on mangeait en commun et en silence; tous les instants étaient occupés; la loi du silence était rigoureuse; en allant d'un lieu à un autre, on devait méditer quelque passage de l'Écriture; on chantait des psaumes même pendant le travail. Bientôt le monastère devint trop étroit, il fallut en bâtir six autres dans le voisinage. L'oeuvre de Pacôme se développait d'une manière aussi merveilleuse que celle de saint Antoine, commencée vingt ans plus tôt.

L'obéissance était la vertu que Pacôme conseillait le plus à ses religieux; il punissait sévèrement les moindres infractions à cette vertu. Un jour, il avait commandé à un saint moine d'abattre un figuier couvert de fruits magnifiques, mais qui était pour les novices un sujet de tentation: "Comment, saint Père, lui dit celui-ci, vous voulez abattre ce figuier, qui suffit à lui tout seul à nourrir tout le couvent?" Pacôme n'insista pas; mais, le lendemain, le figuier se trouvait desséché: ainsi Dieu voulait montrer le mérite de la parfaite obéissance. Le saint abbé semblait avoir toute puissance sur la nature: il marchait sur les serpents et foulait aux pieds les scorpions sans en recevoir aucun mal; lorsqu'il lui fallait traverser quelque bras du Nil pour la visite de ses monastères, les crocodiles se présentaient à lui et le passaient sur leur dos. Sur le point de mourir, il vit son bon Ange près de lui.

Abbé L. Jaud, Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, Tours, Mame, 1950.

SOURCE : http://magnificat.ca/cal/fr/saints/saint_pacome.html


Saint Pacôme

Abbé (292-348)

Pacôme naquit en 292, dans la Haute-Thébaïde, au sein de l’idôlatrie, comme une rose au milieu des épines. A l’âge de vingt ans, il était soldat dans les troupes impériales, quand l’hospitalité si charitable des moines chrétiens l’éclaira et fixa ses idées vers le christianisme et la vie religieuse. A peine libéré du service militaire, il se fit instruire, reçut le baptême et se rendit dans un désert, où il pria un solitaire de le prendre pour son disciple. "Considérez, mon fils, dit le vieillard, que du pain et du sel font toute ma nourriture ; l’usage du vin et de l’huile m’est inconnu. Je passe la moitié de la nuit à chanter des psaumes ou à méditer les Saintes Écritures ; quelques fois il m’arrive de passer la nuit entière sans sommeil." Pacôme, étonné, mais non découragé, répondit qu’avec la grâce de Dieu, il pourrait mener ce genre de vie jusqu’à la mort. Il fut fidèle à sa parole. Dès ce moment, il se livra généreusement à toutes les rudes pratiques de la vie érémitique.

Un jour qu’il était allé au désert de Tabenne, sur les bords du Nil, un Ange lui apporta du Ciel une règle et lui commanda, de la part de Dieu, d’élever là un monastère. Dans sa Règle, le jeûne et le travail étaient proportionnés aux forces de chacun ; on mangeait en commun et en silence ; tous les instants étaient occupés ; la loi du silence était rigoureuse ; en allant d’un lieu à un autre, on devait méditer quelque passage de l’Écriture ; on chantait des psaumes même pendant le travail. Bientôt le monastère devint trop étroit, il fallut en bâtir six autres dans le voisinage. L’oeuvre de Pacôme se développait d’une manière aussi merveilleuse que celle de saint Antoine, commencée vingt ans plus tôt.

L’obéissance était la vertu que Pacôme conseillait le plus à ses religieux ; il punissait sévèrement les moindres infractions à cette vertu. Un jour, il avait commandé à un saint moine d’abattre un figuier couvert de fruits magnifiques, mais qui était pour les novices un sujet de tentation : "Comment, saint Père, lui dit celui-ci, vous voulez abattre ce figuier, qui suffit à lui tout seul à nourrir tout le couvent ?" Pacôme n’insista pas ; mais, le lendemain, le figuier se trouvait desséché : ainsi Dieu voulait montrer le mérite de la parfaite obéissance. Le saint abbé semblait avoir toute puissance sur la nature : il marchait sur les serpents et foulait aux pieds les scorpions sans en recevoir aucun mal ; lorsqu’il lui fallait traverser quelque bras du Nil pour la visite de ses monastères, les crocodiles se présentaient à lui et le passaient sur leur dos. Sur le point de mourir, il vit son bon Ange près de lui.

SOURCE : http://viechretienne.catholique.org/saints/1430-saint-pacome



Saint Pacôme le Grand

Fondateur du cénobitisme chrétien (✝ 346)

A 20 ans, l'égyptien Pacôme est enrôlé de force dans l'armée romaine. A Thèbes, alors qu'il se morfond dans une caserne où on l'a enfermé avec les autres conscrits récalcitrants, des chrétiens charitables viennent les visiter et leur apportent de quoi manger.

Une fois libéré, Pacôme se fait baptiser. Il se met au service des pauvres et des malades, puis obéit à l'appel de la solitude en se faisant ermite pendant sept ans.

Un jour qu'il se trouve à Tabennesi dans le désert, une voix mystérieuse lui dit: "Pacôme, reste ici, bâtis un monastère."

Une autre fois, un ange lui dit: "Pacôme, voici la volonté de Dieu: servir le genre humain et le réconcilier avec Dieu."

Pacôme a compris: on ne se sauve pas tout seul. Il bâtit un monastère pour aider d'autres hommes à trouver Dieu. Les disciples y viendront petit à petit.

Ce premier essai de vie commune est un échec: on n'improvise pas une communauté. Pacôme en tirera la leçon et rédigera un règlement strict: "la Règle de saint Pacôme". Il devient ainsi le père du monachisme communautaire ou cénobitique.

Le grand saint Athanase d'Alexandrie veut le faire prêtre. Par humilité, il refuse. Il continue à fonder et à multiplier les monastères chez les coptes de la Haute-Égypte.

Il mourut lors d'une épidémie qui frappa les couvents égyptiens en 346.

En Thébaïde, l’an 347 ou 348, saint Pacôme, abbé. Soldat encore païen, témoin de la charité chrétienne envers les recrues de l’armée détenues, il en fut ému, se convertit à la vie chrétienne, reçut de l’anachorète Palémon l’habit monastique et, sept années plus tard, sur un avertissement divin, il édifia un grand nombre de monastères pour accueillir des frères, et écrivit une célèbre Règle des moines.

Martyrologe romain

SOURCE : http://nominis.cef.fr/contenus/saint/1127/Saint-Pacome-le-Grand.html



SAINT PACÔME

Haute-Egypte au début du IVe siècle. Il fut un homme d'ascensions en quête de Dieu plus haut que toutes cimes. D'origine païenne, soldat dans l'armée impériale, frappé par la fraternité des chrétiens, il se donne au Christ et quitte tous ses biens pour lui. Attiré par l'appel du Désert, il se fixe vers 325 en un lieu retiré, près de Thèbes. Depuis lors, le mot Thébaïde désignera une solitude radicale, comme le mentionne le "Larousse". Bientôt affluent autour de lui ses disciples. Pour eux, Pacôme connaîtra d'abord un échec : ses premiers compagnons, dégagés des soucis matériels, consacraient beaucoup plus de temps au repos et au sommeil qu'au travail, à la pénitence et à la prière !

Pacôme lance un appel aux plus généreux et gagne le désert de Tabennêsi. Il édifie avec eux une grande Famille où ensemble on prie, on travaille de ses mains et on se sanctifie : des moines vaillants engagés aussi bien dans les exercices spirituels que dans les tâches de la vie en commun. Naîtront neuf monastères, la plus grande source de la vie monastique en Orient puis en Occident. Saint Pacôme remet son âme à Dieu vers 346. Avec Antoine le grand et Macaire, Pacôme constitue la trilogie des Pères du Désert en Egypte. Leur grande maxime de sagesse afin de vivre pour Dieu l'Unique se traduit en latin "fuge, tace, quiesce" : viens à l'écart, habite le silence, reçois la paix du coeur. A chacun de chercher la voie royale du Désert en respirant par l'Esprit.

Pâcome vient du latin "paix".

Rédacteur : Frère Bernard Pineau, OP

SOURCE : http://www.lejourduseigneur.com/Web-TV/Saints/Pacome

Saint Pacôme

(pacificateur)

Avec saint Antoine , saint Pacôme fut le fondateur du monachisme.

Au moment de sa mort, les 9 monastères qu’il avait créés devaient contenir de 6 à 8.000 moines répartis sur les deux rives du Nil, en Égypte.

Quand il allait les visiter et qu’il devait traverser le Nil, il se mettait sur un crocodile qui le transportait de l’autre côté.

Il est né en 286, à Esneh (actuellement Isna) en Égypte, non loin de Thèbes au sein d’un milieu païen. Il sacrifiait aux Dieu mais vomissait le vin du sacrifice et ne pouvait ingurgiter aucune nourriture sacrifiée. Quand il entrait dans un temple, les idoles s’arrêtaient de prophétiser.

A vingt ans, il fut enrôlé de force dans l’armée romaine où il découvrit les martyrs chrétiens. Après avoir quitté l’armée, il se rendit à Sheneset où vivait un ermite du nom de l’apa Palemon et demanda à vivre avec lui. Il frappa à la porte et palémon lui dit : en été, je jeune tous les jours, et en hiver, je mange tous les deux jours. Je ne prends que de l’eau, du pain et du sel et je dors rarement.

Qu’à cela ne tienne, Pacôme fut conquit par le programme et s’installa avec l’apa Palémon auprès duquel il restera sept ans.

Comme le sommeil entraîne le moine dans un monde d’illusion, il fallait ne pas dormir sauf le strict nécessaire. Il dormait donc accroupi ou assis en s’appuyant légèrement contre un mur. Lorsqu’il rentrait le soir et voulait s’allonger pour dormir, l’apa Palemon l’envoyait se promener dans le désert en portant une grosse pierre pendant des heures entières. Il mangeait des herbes cuites auxquelles Palémon ajoutait un peu de cendres pour leur donner mauvais goût.

Les prières se faisaient debout, les bras en croix, immobile et abolissant toute perception du monde extérieur.

Un jour, il partit dans le désert et aboutit à un village nommé Tabennesi. Un ange lui apparut et lui ordonna de s’installer en ce lieu. Il y fondera son premier monastère.

Tout était fait pour éliminer l’orgueil et tuer “l’homme mondain”.

Les moines étaient regroupés par métiers. De plus, Pacôme avait institué ce qu’on appelait la “règle de l’ange”: les moines étaient répartis en 24 groupes selon les 24 lettres de l’alphabet grec. Chaque lettre désignait un certains type de moine. Ainsi, la lettre iota, i, regroupait les niais et un peu innocents, le chi, les moines au caractère difficiles etc.

Seul Pacôme connaissait la répartition. Les moines ne la connaissaient pas.

Il luttait contre toute ostention de l’ascèse. Ainsi, chaque moine mangeait avec un grand capuchon qui ne permettait pas au voisin de voir ce qu’il laissait par mortification : pas de jalousie, pas de culpabilité. Si un moine sortait avant la fin du repas, personne ne pouvait voir ce qui restait dans son assiette et se prévaloir d’une mortification plus intense que celle de son voisin.

Chacun était tenu de tresser une natte par jour. Par ostentation, un moine en fit deux. Pacôme l’enferma cinq mois dans sa cellule avec obligation de faire deux nattes par jour.

(Cf. “Les hommes ivres de Dieu”, Jacques Lacarrière, Points Sagesse, Arthème Fayard)

Le tempérament des moines Coptes se pliait difficilement à cette discipline et souvent des querelles surgissait que Pacôme s’efforçait de calmer.

Un jour, un moine lui demanda : “Pourquoi, saint père, lorsqu’on m’adresse des paroles dures, suis-je tout de suite en colère ?”. Pacôme répondit :”Parce que lorsqu’on donne un coup de hache à l’acacia, il émet aussitôt de la gomme !”.

Pacôme mourut à l’âge de soixante ans lors d’une épidémie de peste.

Mais le cénobitisme (moines vivant en communauté) était né et se répandit en Cappadoce, en Grèce et dans tout l’Occident.

SOURCE : http://carmina-carmina.com/carmina/Mytholosaints/pacome.htm


St. Pachomius

Died about 346. The main facts of his life will be found in MONASTICISM (Section II: Eastern Monasticismbefore Chalcedon). Having spent some time with Palemon, he went to a deserted village named Tabennisi, notnecessarily with the intention of remaining there permanently. A hermit would often withdraw for a time to some more remote spot in the desert, and afterwards return to his old abode. But Pachomius never returned; a vision bade him stay and erect a monastery; "very many eager to embrace the monastic life will come hither to thee". Although from the first Pachomius seems to have realized his mission to substitute the cenobiticalfor the eremitical life, some time elapsed before he could realize his idea. First his elder brother joined him, then others, but all were bent upon pursuing the eremitical life with some modifications proposed by Pachomius (e.g., meals in common). Soon, however, disciples came who were able to enter into his plans. In his treatment of these earliest recruits Pachomius displayed great wisdom. He realized that men, acquainted only with the eremitical life, might speedily become disgusted, if the distracting cares of the cenobitical lifewere thrust too abruptly upon them. He therefore allowed them to devote their whole time to spiritualexercises, undertaking himself all the burdensome work which community life entails. The monastery atTabennisi, though several times enlarged, soon became too small and a second was founded at Pabau (Faou). A monastery at Chenoboskion (Schenisit) next joined the order, and, before Pachomius died, there were ninemonasteries of his order for men, and two for women.


How did Pachomius get his idea of the cenobitical life? Weingarten (Der Ursprung des Möncthums, Gotha, 1877) held that Pachomius was once a pagan monk, on the ground that Pachomius after his baptism took up his abode in a building which old people said had once been a temple of Serapis. In 1898 Ladeuze (LeCénobitisme pakhomien, 156) declared this theory rejected by Catholics and Protestants alike. In 1903 Preuschen published a monograph (Möncthum und Serapiskult, Giessen, 1903), which his reviewer in the "Theologische Literaturzeitung" (1904, col. 79), and Abbot Butler in the "Journal of Theological Studies" (V, 152) hoped would put an end to this theory. Preuschen showed that the supposed monks of Serapis were notmonks in any sense whatever. They were dwellers in the temple who practised "incubation", i.e. sleeping in the temple to obtain oracular dreams. But theories of this kind die hard. Mr. Flinders Petrie in his "Egypt in Israel" (published by the Soc. for the Prop. of Christ. Knowl., 1911) proclaims Pachomius simply a monk of Serapis. Another theory is that Pachomius's relations with the hermits became strained, and that he recoiled from their extreme austerities. This theory also topples over when confronted with facts. Pachomius's relationswere always affectionate with the old hermit Palemon, who helped him to build his monastery. There was never any rivalry between the hermits and the cenobites. Pachomius wished his monks to emulate theausterities of the hermits; he drew up a rule which made things easier for the less proficient, but did not check the most extreme asceticism in the more proficient. Common meals were provided, but those who wished to absent themselves from them were encouraged to do so, and bread, salt, and water were placed in their cells. It seems that Pachomius found the solitude of the eremitical life a bar to vocations, and held thecenobitical life to be in itself the higher (Ladeuze, op. cit., 168). The main features of Pachomius's rule are described in the article already referred to, but a few words may be said about the rule supposed to have been dictated by an angel (Palladius, "Hist. Lausiaca", ed. Butler, pp. 88 sqq.), of which use is often made in describing a monastery. According to Ladeuze (263 sqq.), all accounts of this rule go back to Palladius; and in some most important points it can be shown that it was never followed by either Pachomius or his monks. It is unnecessary to discuss the charges brought by Amelineau on the flimsiest grounds against the morality of the Pachomian monks. They have been amply refuted by Ladeuze and Schiwietz (cf. also Leipoldt, "Schneute von Atripe", 147).

Sources

In addition to the bibliography already given (Eastern Monasticism before Chalcedon) consult CABROL, Dict. d'archeol. chret., s.v. Cenobitisme; BOUSQUET AND NAU, Hist. de S. Pacomus in Ascetica. . .patrologia orient., IV (Paris, 1908).

Bacchus, Francis Joseph. "St. Pachomius." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 11. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1911.13 May 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11381a.htm>.

Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Herman F. Holbrook. Benedictus Deus in sanctis suis.


Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. February 1, 1911. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11381a.htm


ST. PACHOMIUS, ABBOT.

In the beginning of the fourth century, great levies of troops were made throughout Egypt for the service of the Roman emperor. Among the recruits was Pachomius, a young heathen, then in his twenty-first year. On his way down the Nile he passed a village, whose inhabitants gave him food and money. Marvelling at this kindness, Pachomius was told they were Christians, and hoped for a reward in the life to come. He then prayed God to show him the truth, and promised to devote his life to His service. On being discharged, he returned to a Christian village in Egypt, where he was instructed and baptized. Instead of going home, he sought Palemon, an aged solitary, to learn from him a perfect life, and with great joy embraced the most severe austerities. Their food was bread and water, once a day in summer, and once in two days in winter; sometimes they added herbs, but mixed ashes with them. They only slept one hour each night, and this short repose Pachomius took sitting upright without support. Three times God revealed to him that he was to found a religious order at Tabenna; and an angel gave him a rule of life. Trusting in God, he built a monastery, although he had no disciples; but vast multitudes soon flocked to him, and he trained them in perfect detachment from creatures and from self. One day a monk, by dint of great exertions, contrived to make two mats instead of the one which was the usual daily task, and set them both out in front of his cell, that Pachomius might see how diligent he had been. But the Saint, perceiving the vainglory which had prompted the act, said, "This brother has taken a great deal of pains from morning till night to give his work to the devil." Then, to cure him of his delusion, Pachomius imposed on him as penance to keep his cell for five months and to taste no food but bread and water. His visions and miracles were innumerable, and he read all hearts. His holy death occurred in 348.

REFLECTION.—" To live in great simplicity," said St. Pachomius, "and in a wise ignorance, is exceeding wise."

SOURCE : http://jesus-passion.com/Saint_Pachomius.htm



Saint Pachomius


St. Pachomius was born about 292 in the Upeer Thebaid in Egypt and was inducted into the Emperor’s army as a twenty-year-old. The great kindness of Christians at Thebes toward the soldiers became embedded in his mind and led to his conversion after his discharge. After being baptized, he became a disciple of an anchorite, Palemon, and took the habit. The two of them led a life of extreme austerity and total dedication to God; they combined manual labor with unceasing prayer both day and night.

Later, Pachomius felt called to build a monastery on the banks of the Nile at Tabennisi; so about 318 Palemon helped him build a cell there and even remained with him for a while. In a short time some one hundred monks joined him and Pachomius organized them on principles of community living. So prevalent did the desire to emulate the life of Pachomius and his monks become, that the holy man was obliged to establish ten other monasteries for men and two nunneries for women. Before his death in 346, there were seven thousand monks in his houses, and his Order lasted in the East until the 11th century.

St. Pachomius was the first monk to organize hermits into groups and write down a Rule for them. Both St. Basil and St. Benedict drew from his Rule in setting forth their own more famous ones. Hence, though St. Anthony is usually regarded as the founder of Christian monasticism, it was really St. Pachomius who began monasticism as we know it today.

SOURCE : http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/pachomius/



Pachomius of Tabenna, Abbot (RM)
(also known as Pachome)


Born in the Upper Thebaîd near Esneh, Egypt, c. 290-292; died at Tabennisi, Egypt, on May 15, c. 346-348; feast day in the East is May 15.


"It is very much better for you to be one among a crowd of a thousand people and to possess a very little humility, than to be a man living in the cave of a hyena in pride." --Pachomius

Pachomius, son of pagan parents, was unwillingly drafted into the Theban army at the age of 20, probably to help Maximinus wage war against Licinius and Constantine. When his unit reached Thebes the officers in charge, knowing the feelings of their reluctant recruits, locked them up. They were taken down the Nile as virtual prisoners under terrible conditions. The soldier-prisoners were fed, given money, and treated with great kindness by the Christians of Latopolis (Esneh) while they were being shipped down the Nile, and Pachomius was struck by this. When the army disbanded after the overthrow of Maximinus, he returned to Khenoboskion (Kasr as-Sayd). The kindness of the Christians to strangers caused Pachomius to enquire about their faith and to enroll himself as a catechumen at the local Christian church. After his baptism in 314 he searched for the best way to respond to the grace he had received in the sacrament. He prayed continually:

"O God, Creator of heaven and earth, cast on me an eye of pity: deliver me from my miseries: teach me the true way of pleasing You, and it shall be the whole employment, and most earnest study of my life to serve You, and to do Your will."

Like many neophytes, Pachomius was in danger of the temptation to do too much. Zeal is often an artifice of the devil to make a novice undertake too much too fast, and run indiscreetly beyond his strength. If the sails gather too much wind, the vessel is driven ahead, falls on some rock, and splits. Eagerness may be a symptom of secret passion, not of true virtue if it is willful and impatient at advice. Thus, Pachomius wanted to find a skillful conductor.

Hearing about a holy man was serving God in perfection, Pachomius finally sought out the elderly desert hermit named Saint Palaemon and asked to be his follower. They lived very austerely, doing manual labor to earn money for the relief of the poor and their own subsistence, and often praying all night. Palaemon would not use wine or oil in his food, even on Easter day, so as not to lose sight of the meaning of Christ's suffering. He set Pachomius to collecting briars barefoot; and the saint would often bear the pain as a reminder of the nails that entered Christ's feet.

One day in 318 while walking in the Tabennisi Desert on the banks of the Nile north of Thebes, Pachomius is said to have heard a voice that told him to begin a monastery there. He also experienced a vision in which an angel set out directions for the religious life. The two hermits constructed a cell there together about 320, and Palaemon lived with him for a while before returning to solitude. Pachomius's first follower was his own brother, John, and within a short time, there were 100 monks.
Pachomius wrote the first communal rule for monks (which some say survives in a Latin translation by Saint Jerome and others say is lost), an innovation on the common type of eremitical monachism. The life style was severe but less rigorous than that of typical hermits. Their habit was a sleeveless tunic of rough white linen with a cowl that prevented them from seeing one another at group meals taken in silence. (Silence was strictly observed at all times.) They wore on their shoulders a white goatskin, called Melotes. The monks learned the Bible by heart and came together daily for prayer. By his rule, the fasts and tasks of work of each were proportioned to his strength. They received the holy communion on the first and last days of every week. Novices were tried with great severity before they were admitted to the habit and profession of vows. His rule influenced SS. Basil and Benedict; 32 passages of Benedict's rule are based on Pachomius's guidelines.

Pachomius himself went fifteen years without ever lying down, taking his short rest sitting on a stone. He begrudged the necessity for sleep because he wished he could have been able to employ all his moments in the actual exercises of divine love. From the time of his conversion he never ate a full meal. The saint, with the greatest care, comforted and served the sick himself. He received into his community the sickly and weak, rejecting none just because he lacked physical strength. The holy monk desired to lead all souls to heaven that had the fervor to walk in the paths of perfection.

He opened six other monasteries and a convent for his sister on the opposite side of the Nile (but would never visit her) in the Thebaîd, and from 336 on lived primarily at Pabau near Thebes, which outgrew the Tabennisi community in fame. He was an excellent administrator, and acted as superior general.

The communities were broken down into houses according to the crafts the inhabitants practiced, such as tailoring, baking, and agriculture. Goods made in the monasteries were sold in Alexandria. Because of his military background, Pachomius styled himself as a general who could transfer monks from one house to another for the good of the whole. There were local superiors and deans in charge of the houses. All those in authority met each year at Easter and in August to review annual accounts. Pachomius also built a church for poor shepherds and acted as its lector, but he refused to seek ordination for the priesthood or to present any of his monks for ordination, although he permitted priests to join and serve the communities.

Pachomius also had an enormous sense of justice. Although the money garnered by their labors was destined for the poor, when one of the procurators had sold the mats at market at a higher price than the saint had bid him, he ordered him to carry back the money to the buyers, and chastised him for his avarice.

The author of his vita tells us that the saint had the gift of tongues. Although he never learned Latin or Greek, he could speak them fluently when the necessity arose. Pachomius is credited with many miraculous cures with blessed oil of the sick and those possessed by devils. But he often said that their sickness or affliction was for the good of their souls and only prayed for their temporal comfort, with this clause or condition, if it should not prove hurtful to their souls. His dearest disciple, Saint Theodorus who after his death succeeded him as superior general, was afflicted with a perpetual headache. Pachomius, when asked by some of the brethren to pray for his health, answered: "Though abstinence and prayer be of great merit, yet sickness, suffered with patience, is of much greater."

One of the saints chief occupations was praying for the spiritual health of his disciples and others. He took every opportunity to curb and heal their passions, especially that of pride. One day a certain monk having doubled his diligence at work, and made two mats instead of one and set them where Pachomius might see them. The saint perceiving the snare, said "This brother has taken a great deal of pains from morning till night, to give his work to the devil." In order to cure the monk's vanity, Pachomius ruled that the proud monk do penance by remaining in his cell for five months.

Another time a young actor named Silvanus entered the monastery to do penance, but continued to live an undisciplined life by trying to entertain his fellows. Pachomius had a difficult time curbing his youthful playfulness until he explained the dreadful punishments awaiting those who mock God. From that moment divine grace touched Saint Silvanus, he led an exemplary life and was moved by the gift of tears.

Pachomius was an opponent of Arianism and for this reason was denounced to a council of bishops at Latopolis, but was completely exonerated. Though he was never ordained, he was highly respected and even visited by Saint Athanasius in 333.

By the time of his death, there were 3,000 (7,000 according to one source) monks in nine monasteries and two convents for women. He died in an epidemic. Pachomiusis one of the best-known figures in the history of monasticism (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Farmer, Husenbeth, Walsh, White).

The vita of Saint Pachomius was translated into Latin from the Greek in the 6th century by the abbot Dionysus Exiguus, so called not because of his height but because of his great humility. Dionysus includes this story:

"At another time the cohorts of the devils plotted to tempt the man of God by a certain phantasy. For a crowd of them assembling together, were seen by him tying up the leaf of a tree with great ropes and tugging it along with immense exertion, ranking in order on the right and left: and the one side would exhort the other, and strain and tug, as if they were moving a stone of enormous weight. And this the wicked spirits were doing so as to move him, if they could, to loud laughter, and so they might cast it in his teeth. But Pachome, seeing their impudence, groaned and fled to the Lord with his accustomed prayers: and straightway by the virtue of Christ all their triangular array was brought to naught. . . . "After this, so much trust had the blessed Pachome learned to place in God . . . that many a time he trod on snakes and scorpions, and passed unhurt through all: and the crocodiles, if ever he had necessity to cross the river, would carry him with the utmost subservience, and set him down at whatever spot he indicated" (Dionysus).


In art, Saint Pachomius is a hermit holding the tablets of his rule. He might also be shown (1) as an angel brings him the monastic rule; (2) being tempted by a she-devil; (3) in a hairshirt; (4) with Saint Palaemon (Roeder), or (5) walking among serpents (White).
SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0509.shtml
St. Pachomius, Abbot

From his authentic life compiled by a monk of Tabenna soon after his death. See Tillemont, t. 7. Ceillier, t. 4. Helyot, t. 1. Rosweide, l. 1. p. 114, and Papebroke, t. 3, Maij. p. 287.

A.D. 348.

THOUGH St. Antony be justly esteemed the institutor of the cenobitic life, or that of religious persons living in community under a certain rule, St. Pachomius was the first who drew up a monastic rule in writing. He was born in Upper Thebais about the year 292, of idolatrous parents, and was educated in their blind superstition, and in the study of the Egyptian sciences. From his infancy, he was meek and modest, and had an aversion to the profane ceremonies used by the infidels in the worship of their idols. Being about twenty years of age, he was pressed into the emperor’s troops, probably the tyrant Maximinus, 1 who was master of Egypt from the year 310; and in 312 made great levies to carry on a war against Licinius and Constantine. He was, with several other recruits, put on board a vessel that was sailing down the river. They arrived in the evening at Thebes or Diospolis, the capital of Thebais, a city in which dwelt many Christians. Those true disciples of Christ sought every opportunity of relieving and comforting all who were in distress, and were moved with compassion towards the recruits, who were kept close confined, and very ill-treated. The Christians of this city showed them the same tenderness as if they had been their own children; took all possible care of them, and supplied them liberally with money and necessaries. Such an uncommon example of disinterested virtue made a great impression on the mind of Pachomius. He inquired who their pious benefactors were, and when he heard that they believed in Jesus Christ the only Son of God, and that in the hope of a reward in the world to come they laboured continually to do good to all mankind, he found kindled in his heart a great love of so holy a law, and an ardent desire of serving the God whom these good men adored. The next day, when he was continuing his journey down the river, the remembrance of this purpose strengthened him to resist a carnal temptation. From his infancy he had been always a lover of chastity and temperance; but the example of the Christians had made those virtues appear to him far more amiable, and in a new light. After the overthrow of Maximinus, his forces were disbanded. Pachomius was no sooner returned home, but he repaired to a town in Thebais, in which there was a Christian church, and there he entered his name among the catechumens, or such as were preparing for baptism; and having gone through the usual course of preliminary instructions and practices with great attention and fervour, he received that sacrament at Chenoboscium, with great sentiments of piety and devotion. From his first acquaintance with our holy faith at Thebes, he had always made this his prayer: “O God, Creator of heaven and earth, cast on me an eye of pity: deliver me from my miseries: teach me the true way of pleasing you, and it shall be the whole employment, and most earnest study of my life to serve you, and to do your will.” The perfect sacrifice of his heart to God, was the beginning of his eminent virtue. The grace by which God reigns in his soul, is a treasure infinitely above all price. We must give all to purchase it. 2 To desire it faintly is to undervalue it. He is absolutely disqualified and unfit for so great a blessing, and unworthy ever to receive it, who seeks it by halves, or who does not esteem all other things as dung that he may gain Christ.
 When Pachomius was baptized, he began seriously to consider with himself how he should most faithfully fulfil the obligations which he had contracted, and attain to the great end to which he aspired. There is danger even in fervour itself. It is often an artifice of the devil to make a novice undertake too much at first, and run indiscreetly beyond his strength. If the sails gather too much wind, the vessel is driven a-head, falls on some rock and splits. Eagerness is a symptom of secret passion, not of true virtue, where it is wilful and impatient at advice. Pachomius was far from so dangerous a disposition, because his desire was pure, therefore his first care was to find a skilful conductor. Hearing that a venerable old man named Palemon served God in the desert in great perfection, he sought him out, and with great earnestness begged to live under his direction. The hermit having set before him the difficulties and austerities of his way of life, which several had already attempted in vain to follow, advised him to make a trial of his strength and fervour in some monastery; and, to give him a sketch of the difficulties he had to encounter in the life he aspired to, he added: “Consider, my son, that my diet is only bread and salt: I drink no wine, use no oil, watch one half of the night, spending that time in singing psalms or in meditating on the holy scriptures, and sometimes pass the whole night without sleeping.” Pachomius was amazed at this account, but not discouraged. He thought himself able to undertake everything that might be a means to render his soul pleasing to God, and readily promised to observe whatever Palemon should think fit to enjoin him; who thereupon admitted him into his cell, and gave him the monastic habit. Pachomius was by his example enabled to bear solitude, and an acquaintance with himself. They sometimes repeated together the psalter, at other times they exercised themselves in manual labours (which they accompanied with interior prayer) with a view to their own subsistence and the relief of the poor. Pachomius prayed above all things for perfect purity of heart, that being disengaged from all secret attachment to creatures, he might love God with all his affections. And to destroy the very roots of all inordinate passions, it was his first study to obtain the most profound humility, and perfect patience and meekness. He prayed often with his arms stretched out in the form of a cross; which posture was then much used in the church. He was in the beginning often drowsy at the night office. Palemon used to rouse him, and say: “Labour and watch, my dear Pachomius, lest the enemy overthrow you and ruin all your endeavours.” Against this weakness and temptation he enjoined him, on such occasions, to carry sand from one place to another, till his drowsiness was overcome. By this means the novice strengthened himself in the habit of watching. Whatever instructions he read or heard, he immediately endeavoured fervently to reduce to practice. One Easter-day Palemon bade the disciple prepare a dinner for that great festival. Pachomius took a little oil, and mixed it with the salt which he pounded small, and added a few wild herbs, which they were to eat with their bread. The holy old man having made his prayer, came to table; but at the sight of the oil he struck himself on the forehead, and said with tears: “My Saviour was crucified, and shall I indulge myself so far as to eat oil?” Nor could he be prevailed upon to taste it. Pachomius used sometimes to go into a vast uninhabited desert, on the banks of the Nile, called Tabenna, in the diocess of Tentyra, a city between the Great and Little Diospolis. Whilst he was there one day in prayer, he heard a voice which commanded him to build a monastery in that place, in which he should receive those who should be sent by God to serve him faithfully. He received, about the same time, from an angel who appeared to him, certain instructions relating to a monastic life. 3 Pachomius going back to Palemon, imparted to him this vision; and both of them coming to Tabenna built there a little cell towards the year 325, about twenty years after St. Antony had founded his first monastery. After a short time, Palemon returned to his former dwelling, having promised his disciple a yearly visit, but he died soon after, and is honoured in the Roman Martyrology on the 11th of January.
 Pachomius received first his own eldest brother John, and after his death many others, so that he enlarged his house; and the number of his monks in a short time amounted to a hundred. Their clothing was of rough linen; that of St. Pachomius himself often hair-cloth. He passed fifteen years without ever lying down, taking his short rest sitting on a stone. He even grudged himself the least time which he allowed to necessary sleep, because he wished he could have been able to employ all his moments in the actual exercises of divine love. From the time of his conversion he never ate a full meal. By his rule, the fasts and tasks of work were proportioned to every one’s strength; though all are together in one common refectory, in silence, with their cowl or hood drawn over their heads that they might not see one another at their meals. Their habit was a tunic of white linen without sleeves, with a cowl of the same stuff; they wore on their shoulders a white goat-skin, called a Melotes. They received the holy communion on the first and last days of every week. Novices were tried with great severity before they were admitted to the habit, the taking of which was then deemed the monastic profession, and attended with the vows. St. Pachomius preferred none of his monks to holy orders, and his monasteries were often served by priests from abroad; though he admitted priests when any presented themselves to the habit, and he employed them in the functions of their ministry. All his monks were occupied in various kinds of manual labour: no moment was allowed for idleness. The saint, with the greatest care, comforted and served the sick himself. Silence was so strictly observed at Tabenna, that a monk, who wanted anything necessary, was only to ask for it by signs. In going from one place to another, the monks were ordered always to meditate on some passage of the holy scripture, and sing psalms at their work. The sacrifice of the mass was offered for every monk who died, as we read in the life of St. Pachomius. 4 His rule was translated into Latin by St. Jerom, and is still extant. He received the sickly and weak, rejecting none for the want of corporal strength, being desirous to conduct to heaven all souls which had fervour to walk in the paths of perfection. He built six other monasteries in Thebais, not far asunder, and from the year 336 chose often to reside in that of Pabau or Pau, near Thebes, in its territory, though not far from Tabenna, situated in the neighbouring province of Diospolis, also in Thebais. Pabau became a more numerous and more famous monastery than Tabenna itself. By the advice of Serapion, bishop of Tentyra, he built a church in a village for the benefit of the poor shepherds, in which for some time he performed the office of Lector, reading to the people the word of God with admirable fervour, in which function he appeared rather like an angel than a man. He converted many infidels, and zealously opposed the Arians, but could never be induced by his bishop to receive the holy order of priesthood. In 333 he was favoured with a visit of St. Athanasius at Tabenna. His sister at a certain time came to his monastery desiring to see him; but he sent her word at the gate, that no woman could be allowed to enter his inclosure, and that she ought to be satisfied with hearing that he was alive. However, it being her desire to embrace a religious state, he built her a nunnery on the other side of the Nile, which was soon filled with holy virgins. St. Pachomius going one day to Pané, one of his monasteries, met the funeral procession of a tepid monk deceased. Knowing the wretched state in which he died, and to strike a terror into the slothful, he forbade his monks to proceed in singing psalms, and ordered the clothes which covered the corpse to be burnt, saying: “Honours could only increase his torments; but the ignominy with which his body was treated, might move God to show more mercy to his soul; for God forgives some sins not only in this world, but also in the next.” When the procurator of the house had sold the mats at market at a higher price than the saint had bid him, he ordered him to carry back the money to the buyers, and chastised him for his avarice.
 Among many miracles wrought by him, the author of his life assures us, that though he had never learned the Greek or Latin tongue, he sometimes miraculously spoke them; he cured the sick and persons possessed by devils with blessed oil. But he often told sick or distressed persons, that their sickness or affliction was an effect of the divine goodness in their behalf; and he only prayed for their temporal comfort, with this clause or condition, if it should not prove hurtful to their souls. His dearest disciple St. Theodorus, who after his death succeeded him in the government of his monasteries, was afflicted with a perpetual head-ache. St. Pachomius, when desired by some of the brethren to pray for his health, answered: “Though abstinence and prayer be of great merit, yet sickness, suffered with patience, is of much greater.” He chiefly begged of God the spiritual health of the souls of his disciples and others, and took every opportunity to curb and heal their passions, especially that of pride. One day a certain monk having doubled his diligence at work, and made two mats instead of one, set them where St. Pachomius might see them. The saint perceiving the snare, said, “This brother hath taken a great deal of pains from morning till night, to give his work to the devil.” And, to cure his vanity by humiliations, he enjoined him by way of penance, to keep his cell five months, with no other allowance than a little bread, salt, and water. A young man named Sylvanus, who had been an actor on the stage, entered the monastery of St. Pachomius with the view of doing penance, but led for some time an undisciplined life, often transgressing the rules of the house, and still fond of entertaining himself and others with buffooneries. The man of God endeavoured to make him sensible of his danger by charitable remonstrances, and also employed his more potent arms of prayer, sighs, and tears, for his poor soul. Though for some time he found his endeavours fruitless, he did not desist on that account; and having one day represented to this impenitent sinner, in a very pathetic manner, the dreadful judgments which threaten those who mock God, the divine grace touching the heart of Sylvanus, he from that moment began to lead a life of great edification to the rest of the brethren; and being moved with the most feeling sentiments of compunction, he never failed, wheresoever he was, and howsoever employed, to bewail with bitterness his past misdemeanours. When others entreated him to moderate the floods of his tears, “Ah,” said he, “how can I help weeping, when I consider the wretchedness of my past life, and that by my sloth I have profaned what was most sacred? I have reason to fear lest the earth should open under my feet, and swallow me up, as it did Dathan and Abiron. Oh! suffer me to labour with ever-flowing fountains of tears, to expiate my innumerable sins. I ought, if I could, even to pour forth this wretched soul of mine in mourning; it would be all too little for my offences.” In these sentiments of contrition he made so great progress in virtue, that the holy abbot proposed him as a model of humility to the rest; and when, after eight years spent in this penitential course, God had called him to himself by a holy death, St. Pachomius was assured by a revelation, that his soul was presented by angels a most agreeable sacrifice to Christ. The saint was favoured with a spirit of prophecy, and with great grief foretold the decay of monastic fervour in his Order in succeeding ages. In 348 he was cited before a council of bishops at Latopolis, to answer certain matters laid to his charge. He justified himself against the calumniators, but in such a manner that the whole council admired his extraordinary humility. The same year, God afflicted his monasteries with a pestilence, which swept off a hundred monks. The saint himself fell sick, and during forty days suffered a painful distemper with incredible patience and cheerfulness, discovering a great interior joy at the approach of the end of his earthly pilgrimage. In his last moments he exhorted his monks to fervour, and having armed himself with the sign of the cross, resigned his happy soul into the hands of his Creator in the fifty-seventh year of his age. He lived to see in his different monasteries seven thousand monks. His Order subsisted in the East till the eleventh century; for Anselm, bishop of Havelburgh, writes, that he saw five hundred monks of this institute in a monastery at Constantinople. St. Pachomius formed his disciples to an eminent a degree of perfection chiefly by his own fervent spirit and example; for he always appeared the first, the most exact, and the most fervent in all the exercises of the community. To the fervour and watchfulness of the superior it was owing that in so numerous a community discipline was observed with astonishing regularity, as Palladius and Cassian observe. The former says that they eat with their cowl drawn so as to hide the greater part of their faces, and with their eyes cast down, never looking at one another. Many contented themselves with taking a very few mouthfuls of bread and oil, or of such like dish; others of pottage only. So great was the silence that reigned amongst them whilst every one followed his employment, that in the midst of so great a multitude, a person seemed to be in a solitude. Cassian tells us, 5 that the more numerous the monastery was, the more perfect and rigorous was regular observance of discipline, and all constantly obeyed their superior more readily than a single person is found to do in other places. Nothing so much weakens the fervour of inferiors as the example of a superior who easily allows himself exemptions or dispensations in the rule. The relaxation of monastic discipline is often owing to no other cause. How enormous is the crime of such a scandal.
Note 1. Those who place the conversion of St. Pachomius later, think this emperor was Constantine. But for our account see Tillemont, Hist. Eccl. note 2, t. 7, p. 675. [back]
Note 2. Matt. xiii. 44. [back]
Note 3. Some late editions say the angel gave St. Pachomius the whole rule in writing which he prescribed to his monks; but this is an interpolation not found in the genuine life published by the Bollandists, Maij. t. 3, 10, p. 201. [back]
Note 4. Acta Sanctorum, Maij. t. 3, p. 321. [back]
Note 5. Cassian, l. 4; Instit. c. 1. [back]
Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume V: May. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.
SOURCE : http://www.bartleby.com/210/5/142.html

Saint Pachomius

the Great

May 28th (May 15th old calendar).

Saint Pachomius was an Egyptian by birth and was a pagan in his youth. As a soldier, he took part in the Emperor Constantine's war against Maxentius. After that, learning from Christians about the one God and seeing their devout life, Pachomius was baptized and went to the Tabennisiot desert, to the famous ascetic Palamon, with whom he lived in asceticism for ten years. Then an angel appeared to him in the robes of a monk of the Great Habit at the place called Tabennisi and gave him a tablet on which was written the rule of a cenobitic monastery, commanding him to found such a monastery in that place and prophesying to him that many monks would come to it seeking the salvation of their souls. Obeying the angel of God, Pachomius began building many cells, although there was no-one in that place but himself and his brother John. When his brother grumbled at him for doing this unnecessary building, St. Pachomius simply told him that he was following God's command, without explaining who would live there, or when. But many men soon assembled in that place, moved by the Spirit of God, and began to live in asceticism under the rule that Pachomius had received from the angel.

        When the number of monks had increased greatly, Pachomius, step by step, founded six further monasteries. The number of his disciples grew to seven thousand. St. Antony is regarded as the founder of the eremitic life, and St. Pachomius of the monastic, communal life. The humility, love of toil and abstinence of this holy father were and remain a rare example for the imitation of monks. St. Pachomius performed innumerable miracles, and also endured innumerable temptations from demons and men. And he served men as both father and brother. He roused many to set out on the way of salvation, and brought many into the way of truth. He was and remains a great light in the Church and a great witness to the truth and righteousness of Christ. He entered peacefully into rest in 346, at the age of sixty. The Church has raised many of his followers to the ranks of the saints: Theodore, Job, Paphnutius, Pecusius, Athenodorus, Eponichus, Soutus, Psois, Dionysius, Petronius and others.
Troparion Tone 5
        As a pastor of the Chief Shepherd/ thou didst guide flocks of monks into the heavenly sheepfold / thyself illumined, thou didst instruct others concerning the Habit and Rule./ And now thou dost rejoice with them in the heavenly mansions.
Kontakion Tone 2
            O Godbearing Pachomius, after living the life of Angels in thy body/ thou wast granted their glory./ Now thou art standing with them before God's throne/ and praying that we all may be forgiven.

SOURCE : http://www.fatheralexander.org/booklets/english/saints/pachomius_great.htm

San Pacomio Abate


Alto Egitto, 287 - 347

Nacque nell'Alto Egitto, nel 287, da genitori pagani. Arruolato a forza nell'esercito imperiale all'età di vent'anni, finì in prigione a Tebe con tutte le reclute. Protetti dall'oscurità, la sera alcuni cristiani recarono loro un po' di cibo. Il gesto degli sconosciuti commosse Pacomio, che domandò loro chi li spingesse a far questo. «Il Dio del cielo» fu la risposta dei cristiani. Quella notte Pacomio pregò il Dio dei cristiani di liberarlo dalle catene, promettendogli in cambio di dedicare la propria vita al suo servizio. Tornato in libertà, adempì al voto aggregandosi a una comunità cristiana di un villaggio del sud, l'attuale Kasr-es-Sayad, dove ebbe l'istruzione necessaria per ricevere il battesimo. Per qualche tempo condusse vita da asceta, dedicandosi al servizio della gente del luogo, poi si mise per sette anni sotto la guida di un vecchio monaco, Palamone. Durante una parentesi di solitudine nel deserto, una voce misteriosa lo invitò a fissare la sua dimora in quel luogo, al quale presto sarebbero convenuti numerosi discepoli. Alla morte dell'abate Pacomio, i monasteri maschili erano nove, più uno femminile. Del santo restò sconosciuto il luogo della sepoltura. (Avvenire)

Emblema: Bastone pastorale

Martirologio Romano: Nella Tebaide, in Egitto, san Pacomio, abate, che, ancora pagano, spinto da un gesto di carità cristiana nei confronti dei soldati suoi compagni con lui detenuti, si convertì al cristianesimo, ricevendo dall’anacoreta Palémone l’abito monastico; dopo sette anni, per divina ispirazione, istituì molti cenobi per accogliere fratelli e scrisse per i monaci una regola divenuta famosa.

Come ti converto uno che non crede? Con l’esempio di una carità viva. Prendete un giovanotto pagano, arruolato a forza nell’esercito imperiale e subito fatto prigioniero insieme a tutte le reclute. Pensate allo sconcerto, alla delusione e alla sofferenza dei giorni di prigionia, insieme all’incertezza di quella che sarà la sua sorte. Immaginate l’incontro furtivo nella notte con alcuni uomini, che di nascosto vengono a confortarlo, sfamarlo e incoraggiarlo e che, insieme all’aiuto materiale, gli sussurrano parole di Cielo e dicono di fare tutto ciò in nome del “Dio dei cristiani”. Il giovanotto ne resta così colpito ed ammirato da rivolgersi all’ancora ignoto “Dio dei cristiani”, promettendo di dedicare a lui tutta la sua vita se riuscirà a liberarsi da quelle catene. E quando ciò avviene, al giovanotto restando solo due cose da fare: imparare a credere in quel Dio che lo ha liberato e, poi, studiare il modo per sciogliere il suo voto. E’ questa, in sintesi, l’origine dell’esperienza religiosa di San Pacomio, nato nell’Alto Egitto nel 287 e convertitosi al cristianesimo come abbiamo appena descritto. Dopo il battesimo, la vita spirituale di Pacomio cerca modi per esprimersi: prima all’interno di una comunità cristiana di cui si mette a servizio, quasi a voler subito mettere in pratica l’insegnamento di carità che quegli sconosciuti cristiani gli avevano trasmesso in carcere; poi attraverso l’esperienza eremitica, cioè l’incontro con Dio nella solitudine del deserto, di cui il grande Antonio è stato maestro un secolo prima. Pacomio, però, apre una strada nuova: all’imitazione di Gesù, solo nel deserto, in un rapporto esclusivo con il Padre e alle prese con le tentazioni del demonio, egli preferisce imitare Gesù che vive con i suoi discepoli ed insegna loro a pregare. Ecco nascere così attorno a lui un’interessante ed inedita esperienza di monachesimo: il cenobitismo o vita comune, dove la disciplina e l’autorità sostituiscono l’anarchia degli anacoreti. Quindi, non più e non solo la solitudine degli eremiti precedenti,con le astinenze, i digiuni e le penitenze corporali che li caratterizzano ma che possono anche nascondere l’insidia della bizzarria e dell’orgoglio; piuttosto, una comunità cristiana sul modello di quella fondata da Gesù con gli apostoli, basata sulla comunione nella preghiera, nel lavoro e nella refezione e concretizzata nel servizio reciproco. Il documento su cui Pacomio vuole regolare la vita della comunità è la Sacra Scrittura, che i monaci imparano a memoria e recitano a bassa voce mentre svolgono il loro lavoro: un contatto diretto con Dio attraverso il “sacramento della Parola”. Pacomio muore il 14 maggio 346, lasciando in eredità una decina di monasteri, di cui un paio anche femminili. Il luogo della sua sepoltura è sempre stato sconosciuto, perché un punto di morte aveva raccomandato al discepolo più fedele di seppellirlo in un posto segreto, per evitare la venerazione dei suoi seguaci.

Autore:
Gianpiero Pettiti


Voir aussi : http://www.patristique.org/sites/patristique.org/IMG/pdf/po_19_iv_5.pdf

http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.ca/2012/05/st-pachomios-new-righteous-martyr-1730.html