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Monasticism Origin of Monasticism St. Anthony is regarded as the founder of the cenobitic way of life. He lived at Alexandria, and the fame of his sanctity, gentleness, and knowledge, drew many disciples to him. Most of his followers later accompanied him when he set off to live in the desert. One of his disciples, St. Pachomius, later founded a monastery on an island in the Nile River. Pachomius also made up a list of monastic rules, the first ever monastic regulations. Thousands of disciples flocked to him, and he founded several other monasteries for men and one for women under the direction of his sister. All of these houses recognized the authority of a single superior, an abbot or archimandrite.

The cenobitic form of monasticism was first introduced into the West by St. Athanasius at Rome. It then spread to Central North Africa by St. Augustine, and to Gaul by St.

Martin of Tours. Later, the religious movement by St. Benedict of Nursila, in the 6th century, gave Western Monasticism its permanent form.

Types of Monasticism The two basic kinds of monasticism are eremitic and cenobitic. Eremitic is a hermit-lifestyle, and Cenobitic is a communal lifestyle. Eremitic: All Eremitic Monks are hermits, who are people who are persistence in living alone in order to follow a strict discipline of meditation and self-mortification. In the early centuries of Christianity, in the Egyptian deserts, there lived a group of people whose desire was to escape all the evils of the world. They were called eremites, a Greek word meaning "dwellers in the desert", thus the name for the monastic group came about, Eremitic. Other religions, such as Jainism and Hinduism, also have had hermit monks like these. As the number of Egyptian hermits increased during the 3rd and 4th...