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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 theseAs the number of Egyptian hermits increased during the 3rd and 4th centuries they began to gather in small groups These were not really communities because each hermit followed his own set of rules There was no communal
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