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SAINT PACHOMIUS, Protector of the Congregation


He was born in the upper Tebaide of Egypt about the year 292. As a young man he embraced the faith of Christ and was admitted among the disciples of the monk Palaemon. Later, perhaps in order to bring together hermits who were dispersed and wandering about, he began the coenobitic life in the region near the Nile. He gave them a rule written in Egyptian that gave order to prayer, life and work. As the first moderator of the cenobites he was in charge of some seven thousand monks. He went to the Lord in the year 346.


Excerpts from the “Counsels” of Saint Pachomius, abbot
(PL 23, 82-84)
Now is the time to please God

Honour God and you will be fine. Remember the suffering the saints have endured. Let us have one soul and persevere in our vocation. Let us do everything carefully, so we may deserve to pursue the life we have embraced. Thus, we will not be as those who put their joy in vain and transitory things and we will not let our spirit stray from the straight path and fall into sin and be unable to await eternal goods.

There is nothing better, in our opinion, than knowing God's will. For the man who obeys the truth is above all others. However, the worst evil is to resist the law of God and to accommodate oneself to one’s own will. Whoever does his own will is deprived of the knowledge of God, he cannot walk in the way of the saints, and in his last hour, he will find only destruction and mourning.

So now is the time to please God, for salvation is attained in tribulation. Do not be among those who believe easily in times of joy, but stray from the faith when suffering comes. It is written: "When you make a vow to God, delay not its fulfilment." Do not be weak in tribulation, but be patient and pray to the Lord.
Let us keep the Lord before our eyes and remember his suffering, his crucifixion and death, which give us redemption and life. Let us hate the world and everything in it. Let us hate any kind of bodily rest. Let us renounce this life so that we might live for God.

Let us remember our profession, dear brothers. Remember how we promised to serve God: we will be asked about that on the day of judgment. Endure hunger, thirst, nakedness. Let us keep watch at night, and while we chant psalms and pray, may we shed tears moaning in the depths of our hearts. Let us examine ourselves carefully, so as to know whether God will find us unworthy of his mercy. Let us not flee from the fatigue of tribulation, so that we can reach the rest of divine consolation and deserve to receive life immortal and eternal rest.

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