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Author Topic: Desert Monasticism  (Read 4124 times) Average Rating: 0
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Athanasios
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« on: December 14, 2008, 11:31:15 PM »

Hello,

Are there still members of the Oriental Orthodox Churches that still practice the ancient forms of desert monasticism as in the days of Saint Antony? If so, where can I find more information about them?
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ialmisry
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« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2008, 12:07:03 AM »

Hello,

Are there still members of the Oriental Orthodox Churches that still practice the ancient forms of desert monasticism as in the days of Saint Antony? If so, where can I find more information about them?

Yes.  For one thing, St. Anthony's monasteries are still in operation.  Try your local Coptic Church.
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« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2008, 12:08:49 AM »

In the Mojave desert, in California, there is a community of Coptic monks:

http://www.stantonymonastery.org/

There is also a Coptic monastery in Texas:

http://abbey.suscopts.org/

In the Egyptian desert, there are still Coptic monasteries.  I think some of our Coptic posters have been there and can tell you more about them.
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« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2008, 12:11:20 AM »

More recently discussed here is the monastery of St. Gabriel, inhabited by monks of the Syriac tradition:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,18801.0.html
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ialmisry
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« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2008, 12:11:44 AM »

In the Mojave desert, in California, there is a community of Coptic monks:

http://www.stantonymonastery.org/

There is also a Coptic monastery in Texas:

http://abbey.suscopts.org/

In the Egyptian desert, there are still Coptic monasteries.  I think some of our Coptic posters have been there and can tell you more about them.

The Syriacs also have many monestaries.

Btw Salpy, my son likes your avatar.  Can I get a big picture?
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
Salpy
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2008, 12:13:10 AM »

I got it from lolcats.  I'll see if I can find it again.   Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2008, 12:15:45 AM »

Here it is:

http://www.lolcats.com/view/20067/
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Athanasios
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« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2008, 03:22:57 PM »

Those seem to follow the model of Saint Pachomius. But, what about the more eremitical forms? From reading the Desert Fathers, it seems that another common model (besides the cenobitic form introduced by Saint Pachomius) was you walk out into the desert and find some form of shelter. There you do some menial work -- like weave baskets or rope -- the fruits of which would be taken by the lay faithful and sold and the proceeds would go to buy the hermit things they needed, such as bread and more raw materials for work. Every once in a great while, a bunch of hermits would meet for Liturgy, or to try another brother, or to their spiritual father for instruction.

Is that model of monastic life still alive?
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« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2008, 04:52:29 PM »

Those seem to follow the model of Saint Pachomius. But, what about the more eremitical forms? From reading the Desert Fathers, it seems that another common model (besides the cenobitic form introduced by Saint Pachomius) was you walk out into the desert and find some form of shelter. There you do some menial work -- like weave baskets or rope -- the fruits of which would be taken by the lay faithful and sold and the proceeds would go to buy the hermit things they needed, such as bread and more raw materials for work. Every once in a great while, a bunch of hermits would meet for Liturgy, or to try another brother, or to their spiritual father for instruction.

Is that model of monastic life still alive?

Kind of.  It's mixed now.  There aren't really monasteries like what you're describing, or like St. Pachomius' monastery.  Rather they're put together with a monastery somewhat like St. Pachomius but with the desert around it containing cells where hermits dwell.  St. Antony's monastery is still like that.  I think the abbey in texas did have at least one hermit living nearby for a while, though I think he went back to Egypt.  St. Macarius' monastery in Egypt seems to follow a more strict form than most.
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Athanasios
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« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2008, 06:18:23 PM »

Kind of.  It's mixed now.  There aren't really monasteries like what you're describing, or like St. Pachomius' monastery.  Rather they're put together with a monastery somewhat like St. Pachomius but with the desert around it containing cells where hermits dwell.  St. Antony's monastery is still like that.  I think the abbey in texas did have at least one hermit living nearby for a while, though I think he went back to Egypt.  St. Macarius' monastery in Egypt seems to follow a more strict form than most.

Thanks for the info.
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Through the intercession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, may Jesus Christ bless you abundantly.

Pray that we may be one, as Christ and His Father are one. (John 17:20ff)

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Salpy
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2008, 08:36:44 PM »

Pope Kyrillos VI, who lived in the mid-twentieth century, lived for a while in a deserted wind mill in the middle of the desert.  See reply 19 of this thread:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,10363.msg198536.html#msg198536
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« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2008, 10:11:32 PM »

I do visit here often...

http://www.sinaimonastery.com/en/index.php?lid=8
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« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2008, 01:14:07 AM »

I got it from lolcats.

I've always been a dog person.
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« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2008, 10:33:42 AM »

Ancient forms of desert monasticism are still practiced in Ethiopia. The article in the following links tells about monasteries and monastic life in Ethiopia.

www.eotc-mkidusan.org/English/SaintsAndHolly/index_Dec27%202006.htm
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