selections from
THE
F
IRST GREEK
L
IFE of

PACHOMIUS
 

 Holy Hermits,
 Van Eyck, Ghent Altar


Greek: F. Halkin, Le corpus athénien de saint Pachome [Cahiers d'Orientalisme 2. Genève: Cramer, 1982]: 1172. Vita Pachomii (e codice Atheniensi 1015 collato Ambrosiano D 69 Sup.) TLG- 4373.002 THE FIRST GREEK LIFE (G1)[ 187.] The English is based on an older edition published in 1932; the Greek is a more recent critical edition.


 The life, deeds, and wondrous conduct of our holy and wonder-working father Pachomius

[p.407] Βίος καὶ πολιτεία καὶ θαυμάτων διήγησις τοῦ ὁσίου πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ θαυματουργοῦ Παχωμίου

[An introduction describes the founding of monasteries during the early fourth century]  
2. The life of our most ascetic and truly virtuous father Antony was like that of the great Elijah, of Elisha, and of John the Baptist, as the most holy archbishop Athanasius witnesses,  writing about [Antony] after his death, and portraying at the same time the conduct of our holy father Amoun, chief of monastic brothers on the mountain of Nitria, and of Theodore, his companion. [...] (2.)   Τοῦ γὰρ ἀσκητικωτάτου καὶ ἀληθῶς ἐναρέτου πατρὸς ἡμῶν ᾿Αντωνίου τοιοῦτος ἦν ὁ βίος ὡς ὁ τοῦ μεγάλου ῾Ηλιοὺ καὶ ᾿Ελισσαίου καὶ ᾿Ιωάννου τοῦ Βαπτιστοῦ, καθὰ καὶ ἐγγράφως μαρτυρεῖ περὶ αὐτοῦ μετὰ τὴν τελευτὴν αὐτοῦ ὁ ἁγιώτατος ἐπίσκοπος ᾿Αθανάσιος, ὁμοῦ δηλώσας καὶ τὴν διαγωγὴν τοῦ ἁγίου πατρὸς ἡμῶν ᾿Αμοῦν, ὃς ἀρχὴ τῶν ἐν τῷ ὄρει τῆς Νιτρίας μοναζόντων ἀδελφῶν ἐγένετο· σὺν αὐτῷ δὲ καὶ Θεόδωρος.

[...] In Egypt and the Thebaid there had not been many of them. But after the persecution of Diocletian and Maximian, the conversion of pagans increased throughout the Churchthe bishops leading them to God according to the Apostles’ teaching and began to bear much fruit. And there was a man called Pachomius, who was also born of pagan parents in the Thebaid.3 He received the great mercy of becoming a Christian and, making progress, he became a perfect monk. We ought to recount his life from childhood, to the glory of God who from all sides calls all men into his wonderful light.

᾿Εν δὲ τῇ Αἰγύπτῳ καὶ Θηβαΐδι μήπω γεναμένων πολλῶν, μετὰ τὸν διωγμὸν Διοκλητιανοῦ καὶ Μαξιμιανοῦ ἡ μετάνοια τῶν ἐθνῶν πληθυνομένη ἐν τῇ ᾿Αλεξανδρείᾳ (10) σφόδρα ἐκαρποφόρει κατὰ τὴν τῶν ἀποστόλων διδαχήν, τῶν ἐπισκόπων αὐτοὺς ὁδηγούντων πρὸς τὸν θεόν. Καί τις ὀνόματι Παχώμιος, ἑλλήνων γονέων ὑπάρχων ἐν Θηβαΐδι, ἐλέους σφόδρα τυχὼν ἐγένετο χριστιανός· καὶ προκόψας ἐγένετο τέλειος μοναχός. ᾿Αναγκαῖον οὖν καὶ τούτου τὸν βίον κατὰ μέρος διηγήσασθαι εἰς δόξαν θεοῦ τοῦ πάντας πανταχόθεν καλοῦντος ἐκ σκότους εἰς τὸ θαυμαστὸν αὐτοῦ φῶς. (15)

 Concerning his Childhood

(3.)  Περὶ τῶν παιδικῶν. (t)

3. As a child he went one day with his parents to an idol’s temple to sacrifice to the phantoms of demons in the river.’ When the priest in charge of the sacrifice saw him, he had him chased out of the place, shouting angrily, `Chase the enemy of the gods out of here.’ On hearing this, his parents became very grieved about him, that he should be an enemy of the so-called gods who are not gods at all, all the more so because on yet another occasion they had given him wine to drink from the libations there, and immediately the child had vomited what he had drunk.

   ᾿Εγένετό ποτε συμπαραγενέσθαι τοῖς γονεῦσι τὸν Παχώμιον ἔτι παῖδα ὄντα εἰς εἰδωλεῖον καὶ τοῖς (1) ἐν τῷ ποταμῷ φαντάσμασι δαιμονίων θυμιᾶν. Καὶ τοῦτο ἰδὼν ὁ ἐπὶ τῆς θυσίας ἱερεὺς ἐποίησε τοῦ τόπου διωχθῆναι αὐτὸν ἐν μανίᾳ κράζων οὕτως· «Τὸν ἐχθρὸν τῶν θεῶν ἐντεῦθεν ἀποδιώξατε.» Καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ γονεῖς αὐτοῦ ὡς ἐχθροῦ ὄντος τῶν λεγομένων καὶ μὴ ὄντων θεῶν, μᾶλλον ὅτι καὶ ἄλλοτέ ποτε τοῦ οἴνου τῆς ἐκεῖσε σπονδῆς ἐπότισαν αὐτὸν καὶ εὐθέως ἐξήμεσεν ὅπερ ἔπιεν ὁ παῖς. 

After he became a monk, as he was telling the monks around him about his childhood, he told them about this. ‘Do not think,’ he said, `that the demons, who know nothing good, had me driven out on that occasion because they knew beforehand that I was later going to receive mercy through the true faith. Rather, they saw I hated evil even then for God made man upright and it was for this reason that they thought to themselves, “Will he not really be a fearer of God later on?”, and so their servants chased me out.’

(5) Καὶ μετὰ τὸ γενέσθαι αὐτὸν μονάζοντα ἐξηγούμενος περὶ τῶν παιδικῶν αὐτοῦ ἐδήλωσε καὶ τούτου τὴν γνῶσιν τοῖς περὶ αὐτὸν μοναχοῖς λέγων· «Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἐκ προγνώσεως ἐποίησάν με διωχθῆναι οἱ μηδὲν ἀγαθὸν γινώσκοντες δαίμονες ὡς μέλλοντα μετὰ ταῦτα ἐλεηθῆναι τῇ πίστει τῆς ἀληθείας· ἀλλὰ τοῦτο προεῖπον ὁρῶντές με καὶ τότε τὰ κακὰ μισοῦντα—ὁ γὰρ θεὸς τὸν ἄνθρωπον ἐποίησεν εὐθῆ—· διὰ τοῦτο στοχασάμενοι μήπως ἄρα θεοσεβὴς ἔσομαι μετὰ τοῦτο, τῇ ἐνεργείᾳ (10) ἐδίωξάν με διὰ τοῦ ὑπηρέτου αὐτῶν.»

  ᾿Αλλὰ ταῦτα μὲν ὕστερον ἐξηγούμενος ἔλεγεν ὁ μέγας Παχώμιος.

 

(4.)  Περὶ τῆς κλοπῆς τοῦ τήρωνος. (t)

 4. After the persecution, the great Constantine, the first-fruit of the Christian emperors of the Romans, ruled. Making war against some tyrant, he ordered many conscripts to be impressed. Pachomius himself, who was then about twenty years old, was impressed. As the conscripts were sailing downstream, the soldiers who were keeping them put in at the city of Thebes and held them in prison there. In the evening some merciful Christians, hearing about them, brought them something to eat and drink and other necessities, because they were in distress.

   Τότε δὲ μετὰ τὸν διωγμὸν ἐβασίλευσεν ὁ ἐν ἁγίοις βασιλεὺς Κωνσταντῖνος ἀπαρχὴ γενόμενος (1) τῶν χριστιανῶν βασιλέων ῾Ρωμαίων. Καὶ πρός τινα τύραννον ἀντιτασσόμενος ἐκέλευσε τοῖς ἐν ᾿Αλεξανδρείᾳ κρατοῦσι πολλοὺς τήρωνας συναγαγεῖν. Μετὰ τούτων οὖν καὶ αὐτὸς συνειλέχθη Παχώμιος, περίπου τὰ εἴκοσι τελῶν ἔτη. Καὶ καταπλεόντων τῶν τηρώνων, οἱ κρατοῦντες αὐτοὺς στρατιῶται προσορμισθέντες ἐν πόλει τῶν Θηβῶν ἐκεῖ ἐνέκλεισαν αὐτοὺς δι’ ὑποψίαν (5) φυγῆς. ᾿Ακούσαντες οὖν τινες τῶν χριστιανῶν ἐλεήμονες ἤνεγκαν αὐτοῖς ἑσπέρας φαγεῖν καὶ πιεῖν καὶ ἄλλας τινὰς χρείας, καθότι ἦσαν ἐν θλίψει.

When the young man asked about this, he was told that they were Christians - [namely] those who are merciful to everyone. ῾Ο δὲ νεανίας ἐρωτῶν περὶ τούτου ἤκουσε χριστιανοὺς αὐτοὺς εἶναι, τοὺς καὶ πρὸς πάντας ἐλεήμονας.
Again he asked what a Christian was. They told him, ‘They are men who bear the name of Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and they do good to everyone, putting their hope in Him who made heaven and earth and us men.’ ᾿Ερωτᾷ οὖν αὖθις τί ἂν εἴη χριστιανός. Καὶ λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· «῎Ανθρωποί εἰσι τὸ τοῦ Χριστοῦ ὄνομα φέροντες τοῦ μονογενοῦς υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ· καὶ πᾶν ἀγαθὸν πᾶσι ποιοῦντες ἐλπίζουσιν ἐπ’ αὐτὸν τὸν ποιήσαντα τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν καὶ ἡμᾶς (10) τοὺς ἀνθρώπους.»  

 5. Hearing of this great grace, his heart was set on fire with the fear of God and with joy. Withdrawing alone in the prison, he raised his hands to heaven in prayer and said, ‘O God, maker of heaven and earth, if you will look upon me in my lowliness,because I do not know you, the only true God, and if you will deliver me from this affliction, I will serve your will all the days of my life and,

 (5.)   Μετὰ τὸ ἀκοῦσαι οὖν τὴν τηλικαύτην χάριν ἐπυρώθη ἡ καρδία αὐτοῦ φόβῳ θεοῦ καὶ χαρᾷ· καὶ κατ’ ἰδίαν ἐν τῇ φυλακῇ ἀναχωρήσας ἐξέτεινε τὰς χεῖρας αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸν οὐρανὸν εὔχεσθαι· καὶ εἶπεν· εἶπεν· «῾Ο θεός, ὁ ποιήσας τὸν οὐρανὸν καὶ τὴν γῆν, ἐὰν ἐπιβλέπων ἐπιβλέψῃς ἐπὶ τὴν πτωχείαν μου καθ’ ἣν ἀγνοῶ σε τὸν μόνον ἀληθινὸν θεόν, καὶ ἀπὸ ταύτης τῆς θλίψεως ἀπολύσῃς με, λατρεύσω τῷ θελήματί σου πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας τῆς ζωῆς μου καὶ

loving all men, I will be their servant according to your command.’ After saying this prayer he set sail with them. Although he was often importuned in the cities by his companions to worldly pleasures and other disorderly affairs, he avoided them, remembering the grace of God which had come to him. For he had loved chastity even from his childhood.

 πντας ἀνθρώπους ἀγαπῶν δουλεσω αὐτοῖς (5) κατὰ τὴν ἐντολήν σου.» Καὶ ταῦτα εὐξάμενος ἔπλευσε μετὰ τῶν λοιπῶν. ᾿Οχλούμενος δὲ πολλάκις ἐν πόλεσιν ὑπὸ τῶν συνόντων αὐτῷ κοσμικῶν ἡδονῶν ἕνεκεν καὶ ἄλλων ἀταξιῶν, τούτους ἀπεστρέφετο τῇ μνήμῃ τῆς πρὸς αὐτὸν γενομένης χάριτος θεοῦ· ἐφίλει γὰρ τὴν ἁγνείαν σφόδρα καὶ ἐκ παιδός.

 Constantine defeated his adversaries and the conscripts were then discharged by an imperial edict. Pachomius went to the Upper Thebaid, and came to the church of a village called Chenoboskion. There he was instructed and baptized.

Μετὰ δέ τινας ἡμέρας, κελεύσεως βασιλικῆς γενομένης—ἐνίκησε γὰρ τοὺς ὑπεναντίους Κωσταντῖνος—, ἀπελύθησαν οἱ τήρωνες Τηνικαῦτα οὖν ὁ Παχώμιος ὁρμήσας εἰς τὴν ἄνω (10) Θηβαΐδα ἦλθεν εἰς ἐκκλησίαν κώμης λεγομένης Χηνοβόσκια καὶ κατηχηθεὶς ἐβαπτίσθη

 

Περὶ τοῦ ἐνυπνίου. (13t)

The night he was made worthy of the mystery, he had a dream. He saw the dew of heaven descend upon him. When the dew had collected in his right hand and turned into solid honey and the honey had dropped onto the ground, he heard someone say to him, ‘Understand what is happening, for it will happen to you later.’

   Τῇ δὲ νυκτὶ ᾗ κατηξιώθη τοῦ μυστηρίου ἐνύπνιον εἶδεν· ἔβλεπε γὰρ ἑαυτὸν καταδροσιζόμενον (14) οὐρανόθεν· καὶ τῆς δρόσου συναχθείσης ἐπὶ τὴν δεξιὰν αὐτοῦ χεῖρα καὶ γενομένης ὡς στερεὸν (15) μέλι καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς πεσόντος τοῦ μέλιτος, ἤκουσέ τινος λέγοντος αὐτῷ· «Τὸ γενόμενον σύνες· ἔσται γάρ σοι μετὰ ταῦτα.»

 

(6.)  Περὶ τοῦ μοναχοῦ Παλάμωνος. (t)

6. Then, moved by the love of God, he sought to become a monk.’ When he was told of an anchorite called Palamon, he went to him to share his anchoritic life. When he arrived, he knocked on the door. The old man looked down from above and said, ‘What do you want?’for he was abrupt in speech. He replied, ‘I ask you, father, make me a monk.’ He said to him, ‘You cannot. This work of God is not so simple; for many have come but have not persevered.’ Pachomius said, ‘Put me to the test at it and see’. The old man spoke again, ‘First try yourself out for a while, then come here again. For I have a hard ascesis. In summer I fast daily and in winter I eat every other day. By the grace of God I eat nothing but bread and salt. I am not in the habit of [using] oil and wine. I keep vigil as I was taught, always spending half the night and often the whole night in prayer and reciting of the words of God.’ When the youth heard the old man say this, he was still more strengthened in spirit to endure every hardship with him. ‘I believe,’ he said to him, ‘that with the help of God and your prayers,  I will endure all you have told me.’ Then opening the door, [the old man] let him in and clothed him in the monk’s habit. They practised the ascesis together and gave time to prayers.

   Καὶ λοιπὸν κινούμενος τῇ εἰς θεὸν ἀγάπῃ ἐζήτησε μοναχὸς γενέσθαι. Καὶ δηλωθέντος αὐτῷ (1) ἀναχωρητοῦ τινος Παλάμωνος ὀνομαζομένου, παρεγένετο πρὸς αὐτόν, ἀναχωρεῖν σὺν αὐτῷ θέλων. Φθάσας οὖν ἔκρουσε τὴν θύραν. Καὶ παρακύψας ἄνωθεν ὁ γέρων ἔλεγε· «Τί θέλεις;» ῏Ην γὰρ ἀπότομος τῷ λόγῳ. Καὶ ἀποκριθεὶς ὁ Παχώμιος εἶπεν αὐτῷ· «᾿Ερωτῶ σε, πάτερ, ποίησόν με μοναχόν.» Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· «Οὐ δύνασαι. Οὐ γὰρ ἁπλῶς ἐστι τὸ ἔργον τοῦτο, καθότι (5) πολλοὶ ἦλθον καὶ οὐχ ὑπέμειναν.» Λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Παχώμιος· «Πείρασόν με ἐν τούτῳ καὶ ἴδε.» Πάλιν ὁ γέρων εἶπεν· «Πρῶτον σεαυτὸν δοκίμασον πρὸς καιρὸν καὶ οὕτως ἧκε. ᾿Εγὼ γὰρ σκληρὰν ἄσκησιν ἔχω. Τῷ μὲν θέρει νηστεύω καθ’ ἡμέραν, τῷ δὲ χειμῶνι διὰ δύο τρέφομαι καὶ οὐδὲν ἐσθίω χάριτι Χριστοῦ εἰ μὴ ἄρτον καὶ ἅλας· ἐλαίου δὲ καὶ οἴνου συνήθειαν οὐκ ἔχω. Καὶ ἀγρυπνῶ, ὡς ἐδιδάχθην, ἀεὶ μὲν τὸ ἥμισυ τῆς νυκτὸς εἰς εὐχὴν καὶ μελέτην λόγων θεοῦ, πολλάκις δὲ καὶ ὅλην τὴν (10) νύκτα.» ᾿Ακούσας οὖν ταῦτα τοῦ γέροντος ὁ νεανίας ἔτι μᾶλλον ἐνεδυναμώθη τῷ πνεύματι πρὸς τὸ πάντα πόνον σὺν αὐτῷ ὑπομένειν· καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτόν· «Πιστεύω τῇ τοῦ θεοῦ βοηθείᾳ κατὰ τὰς εὐχάς σου ὅτι ὑπομένω πάντα ὅσα εἴρηκάς μοι.» Τότε ἀνοίξας ὁ γέρων τὴν θύραν εἰσήνεγκεν αὐτὸν καὶ ἐνέδυσεν αὐτὸν τὸ σχῆμα τῶν μοναχῶν. Καὶ ἦσαν ἀμφότεροι ἀσκούμενοι καὶ σχολάζοντες εἰς προσευχάς.  (15)

 

Περὶ τῆς διαγωγῆς Παλάμωνος καὶ Παχωμίου. (16t)

Their work consisted of spinning and weaving hair sacks. In their work they toiled not for themselves but they remembered the poor, as the Apostle says. If when the old man was keeping vigil, he saw that sleep was weighing them down, they both went out to the sand [field] of the mountain. Then they carried [sand] in baskets from one place to another, giving the body labor in order to stay awake for prayer. The old man would say, ‘Stay awake, Pachomius, lest Satan tempt and harm you.’ Seeing his obedience in everything and his progress in endurance, the old man rejoiced at his salvation.

   Τὸ δὲ ἔργον ἦν αὐτοῖς τὸ νήθειν καὶ ὑφαίνειν σάκκους τριχίνους· ἐργαζόμενοι δὲ ἔκαμνον οὐχ (17) ἕνεκεν ἀπολαύσεως αὐτῶν, ἀλλὰ τῶν πτωχῶν μνημονεύοντες κατὰ τὸν ἀπόστολον. ᾿Αγρυπνῶν δὲ ὁ γέρων, εἴποτε εἶδεν ὅτι ὁ ὕπνος ἐβάρει αὐτούς, ἐξήρχετο μετὰ Παχωμίου εἰς τὴν ἔρημον τοῦ ὄρους· καὶ οὕτως ἀμφότεροι τοῖς σπυριδίοις μετέφερον τὴν ἄμμον ἀπὸ τόπου εἰς τόπον καταπονοῦντες τὸ (20) σῶμα εἰς νῆψιν εὐχῶν, λέγοντος τοῦ γέροντος· «Νῆφε, Παχώμιε, μὴ πειράσῃ σε ὁ σατανᾶς καὶ βλαβῇς.» Βλέπων δὲ τὴν εἰς πάντα αὐτοῦ ὑπακοὴν ὁ γέρων καὶ τὴν προκοπὴν τῆς ὑπομονῆς ἠγαλλιᾶτο χάριν τῆς σωτηρίας αὐτοῦ.

 

 

7. On the Day of Joy after the Passover,’ he said to him, ‘Since today is the christian feast, rise up, prepare lunch for us.’ In preparing it, he put some oil into the crushed salt, which was, as was said above, what they eatsometimes [they eat] also charlock without oil or vinegar, and they often mix ashes into the salt’then he invited [the old man] to eat. Having come to what had been laid out, he saw the oil in the salt. He struck his face and began to weep and said, ‘The Lord was crucified and am I to eat oil?’ Even when the saucer was emptied out and he was asked with respect, he barely agreed to sit down and eat as was their custom. Such was Palamon the saint, always carrying the cross,’according to the word of our Saviour, and following Himt with humble heart.

(7.)   Τῇ δὲ ἡμέρᾳ τῆς χαρᾶς μετὰ τὸ πάσχα λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ γέρων· «᾿Επειδὴ τῶν χριστιανῶν ἐστιν ἑορτὴ σήμερον, ἀναστὰς ἑτοίμασον ἡμῖν ἀριστῆσαι.» ῾Ετοιμάζων οὖν ὁ Παχώμιος ἔβαλεν ἔλαιον εἰς τὸ ἅλας <τὸ> τετριμμένον· οὕτω γὰρ ἐσθίειν αὐτοῖς εἴθιστο, ἔστι δ’ ὅτε καὶ λαψάνας ἤσθιον χωρὶς ἐλαίου καὶ ὄξους, πολλάκις δὲ καὶ σποδὸν τῷ ἅλατι κατεμίγνυον. Τότε δὲ οὕτως ἑτοιμάσας καλεῖ αὐτὸν ἵνα φάγωσι. Καὶ προσεγγίσας τοῖς παρακειμένοις ὁ γέρων ὁρᾷ ἔλαιον ἐν τῷ ἅλατι· καὶ (5) τύψας εἰς τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ ἤρξατο κλαίειν λέγων· «῾Ο κύριός μου ἐσταύρωται, κἀγὼ ἔλαιον ἐσθίω;» Καὶ τοῦ Παχωμίου παρακαλοῦντος αὐτὸν μετὰ φόβου, μόλις ἠνέσχετο τοῦ ἐλαίου ἐκκενωθέντος καθεσθῆναι φαγεῖν ὡς ἦν ἔθος αὐτοῖς. Οὕτως ἦν Παλάμων ἐγκρατής, τὸν σταυρὸν φορῶν ἀεὶ κατὰ τὸν λόγον τοῦ σωτῆρος καὶ ἀκολουθῶν αὐτῷ μετὰ ταπεινῆς καρδίας.

 

(8.)  Περὶ τοῦ πλάνου ἀναχωρητοῦ. (t)

8. Once as they kept vigil there was a fire in front of them. Another brother who by that time had come to stay with them got up and said to the old man, ‘Whichever of you has faith, let him stand on these charcoals and pray the prayer of the Gospel.’ The old man, realizing that this was a word of pride, rebuked him saying, ‘Stop talking like that, for you are deceived.’ Not taking any note of what [the old man] said, he stepped onto the charcoals and said the prayer. When he got off, he saw the activity of the demons [realized] by divine permission: his feet were not burnt. His heart was kindled yet more, as it is written, To the devious God sends devious ways.

   ᾿Εν μιᾷ δὲ ἀγρυπνούντων αὐτῶν, ἀναστὰς ἕτερός τις ἀδελφός, ὃς παρεγένετο μεῖναι τότε σὺν (1) αὐτοῖς, λέγει τῷ γέροντι, πυρκαιᾶς ἔμπροσθεν αὐτῶν ἐξαπτομένης· «῾Ο ἔχων ἐν ὑμῖν πίστιν σταθήτω ἐπὶ τῶν ἀνθράκων τούτων καὶ εὐξάσθω τὴν τοῦ εὐαγγελίου εὐχήν.» Καὶ γνοὺς ὁ γέρων ὑπερηφανίας εἶναι τὸν λόγον ἐπετίμησεν αὐτῷ λέγων· «Παῦσαι τοῦτο φλυαρῶν· πλανᾶσαι γάρ.» ῾Ο δέ, μὴ αἰσθανόμενος τί ἔλεγεν, ἐπέθηκε τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ τοῖς ἄνθραξι λέγων τὴν προσευχήν. (5) Καὶ καταβὰς οὐκ ἐβλάβη τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ κατ’ ἐνέργειαν δαιμόνων ἐκ θείας συγχωρήσεως. Πλέον οὖν ἐπήρθη τῇ καρδίᾳ κατὰ τὸ γεγραμμένον· «Πρὸς τοὺς σκολιοὺς σκολιὰς ὁδοὺς ἀποστέλλει ὁ θεός.»

So he withdrew from them and retired alone far away. The demon who had deceived him in this, seeing he had him in hand, took the form of a beautiful, exquisitely adorned woman and came knocking on the door where he was. When he opened it, she said to him, ‘I am troubled by creditors pursuing me for repayment when I have not got the means. I beg you, take me into your cell till they have passed.’ In the clouding of his conscience he did not discern what this might be and he let her in. As the demon spurred him on to evil desire, he inclined to sin. As he drew near to do this, the demon struck him down in a fit and he lay on the ground as one dead.

Καὶ οὕτως ἀποχωρισθεὶς αὐτῶν, κατ’ ἰδίαν μακρὰν ἦν ἀναχωρῶν. ᾿Ιδὼν δὲ ὁ ἐν τούτῳ ἐξαπατήσας αὐτὸν δαίμων ὑποχείριον ἤδη γεγονότα, σχηματισθεὶς γυναικείαν μορφήν, ὡραίαν καὶ κεκαλλωπισμένην, ἦλθε κρούων τὴν θύραν ὅπου ἦν· καὶ ἀνοίξαντι λέγει αὐτῷ· «᾿Επειδὴ ὀχλοῦμαι (10) ὑπὸ δανειστῶν διωκόντων με εἰς ἀπόδοσίν τι μὴ ἔχουσα, δέομαί σου, ὑπόδεξαί με εἰς τὴν μονήν σου, ἕως παρέλθωσιν.» ῾Ο δέ, τῇ πωρώσει τοῦ συνειδότος μὴ διακρίνας τί ἂν εἴη τοῦτο, ὑπεδέξατο αὐτήν. Καὶ τοῦ δαίμονος εἰς ἐπιθυμίαν κακὴν τοξεύσαντος αὐτόν, ἔκλινεν ἐκεῖνος ἁμαρτῆσαι καὶ τούτου χάριν προσελθὼν ὡς γυναικὶ τῷ δαίμονι κατερράγη λοιπὸν ἐν ἐκστάσει· καὶ ἦν ὡς νεκρὸς ἐπὶ γῆς.

After some days he came to his senses a little. He went weeping to them’ and said trembling, ‘I am the cause of my own ruin. You warned me many times and I did not listen. Help me nevertheless in my wretchedness. For I am in danger of being destroyed by the demon.’ As he was saying this, and the others were weeping for him, suddenly the demon overpowered him in a similar  way and he leapt outside. Running a long way up the mountain, he came to a city called Panopolis.2 A little while later, when he was beside himself, the demon threw him into the furnace of the bathhouse and he was burnt.

Μεθ’ ἡμέρας δὲ εἰς συναίσθησιν ἐλθὼν ὀλίγην, πρὸς αὐτοὺς ἦλθε κλαίων καὶ τρέμων· καὶ λέγει·  (15) «᾿Εγὼ τῆς ἐμαυτοῦ ἀπωλείας αἴτιος· πολλὰ γάρ με νουθετήσασιν οὐχ ὑπήκουσα. ῞Ομως βοηθήσατέ μοι τῷ ἐλεεινῷ· κινδυνεύω γὰρ ἀναιρεθῆναι ὑπὸ τοῦ δαίμονος.» Καὶ ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος καὶ αὐτῶν δι’ ἐκεῖνον κλαιόντων, ἐξαίφνης κυριευθεὶς ὑπὸ τοῦ ἀκαθάρτου πνεύματος ὁμοίως ἐξεπήδησεν ἀπ’ αὐτῶν. Τρέχων οὖν ἐπὶ τοῦ ὄρους ἐπὶ πολὺ διάστημα κατήντησεν εἰς πόλιν λεγομένην Πάνος. Καὶ οὕτως μετὰ χρόνον ἐκστατικὸν ὄντα ἔρριψεν ὁ δαίμων αὐτὸν εἰς τὸν ὑποκαυτῆρα τοῦ βαλανείου· (20) καὶ κατεκάη.

 

(9.)  Περὶ τῆς προκοπῆς Παχωμίου. (t)

9. Seeing this as an invitation to fear the offence,’ Pachomius cared still more to guard his heart in every way, as it is written. So much so that the good old man was amazed at him, because he not only eagerly endured the open intensive ascesis but applied himself to cleanse his conscience perfectly to fulfil the law of God, looking to the greater hope in heaven.’ When he began to read or to write by heart the words of God, he did not do this in a loose way or as many do, but worked over each thing to assimilate it all with a humble mind in gentleness and in truth, as the Lord says, Learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.’

   Βλέπων δὲ ταῦτα ὁ Παχώμιος μᾶλλον εἰς φόβον προκοπῆς προσετέθη, ὥστε πάσῃ φυλακῇ τηρεῖν (1) τὴν ἑαυτοῦ καρδίαν, ὡς γέγραπται. ᾿Εφ’ οἷς καὶ τὸν ἀγαθὸν γέροντα θαυμάζειν αὐτόν, ὅτι μὴ μόνον τὴν φανερὰν ἄσκησιν καὶ σύντονον ὑπέμενε προθύμως, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὸ συνειδὸς ἐσπούδαζε πρὸς τὸν νόμον τοῦ θεοῦ τέλεον καθαρίσαι, προσδοκῶν τὴν ἀποκειμένην ἐν οὐρανοῖς ἐλπίδα. Καὶ ἀρχόμενος γὰρ ἀναγινώσκειν ἢ μελετᾶν ἀπὸ στήθους τοὺς λόγους τοῦ θεοῦ, (5) οὐχ ἁπλῶς ἢ ὡς οἱ πολλοὶ τοῦτο ἐποίει· ἀλλὰ καθ’ ἕκαστον ἐξηγωνίζετο τὰ πάντα κατέχειν ἐν ἑαυτῷ, ταπεινοφροσύνην καὶ ἀλήθειαν καὶ πραότητα, ὡς λέγει ὁ κύριος· «Μάθετε ἀπ’ ἐμοῦ ὅτι πρᾶός εἰμι καὶ ταπεινὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ.»

 

 

10. We learned about these things from the fathers of old who lived a long time with him. For he would often recount these things to them after explaining the words of the holy Scriptures. But we would not be able to put down most of what we heard, but only part.’

(10.)   Ταῦτα δὲ ἐγνώκαμεν ἀπὸ τῶν ἀρχαίων πατέρων τῶν συναναστραφέντων αὐτῷ χρόνον ἱκανόν. ᾿Εξηγεῖτο γὰρ αὐτοῖς καὶ ταῦτα πολλάκις μετὰ τὰ εἰρημένα ἀπὸ τῶν θείων γραφῶν. Οὐκ ἂν δὲ δυνηθείημεν γράψαι ὅσα ἠκούσαμεν, ἀλλ’ ἀπὸ μέρους τινά.

 

 

11. Around that mountain was a desert full of thorns where he was frequently sent to gather and carry wood. And since he was barefoot, he was sorely troubled for some time by the thorns which fixed themselves in his feet.’ But he endured them, remembering the nails in the hands and feet of the Saviour on the Cross. He used to stand especially in the desert for prayer, asking God to deliver him and all men from the deceitfulness of the enemy. And so was he greatly beloved of God.

(11.)   Περὶ τὸ ὄρος ἐκεῖνο ἔρημος ἦν ἀκανθῶν πλήρης. Πεμπόμενος οὖν ὁ Παχώμιος πολλάκις ἀνυπόδετος ἐπόνει τοὺς πόδας πρὸς χρόνον δεινῶς ἀπὸ τῶν ἐμπησσομένων σκολόπων ἐν αὐτοῖς.

 

 

 12. Once, journeying through that desert a considerable distance, he came to a deserted village called Tabennesi. There he prayed to express his love of God. And as he protracted his prayer a voice came to himuntil that time he had not yet had a vision and the voice said to him, `Stay here and build a monastery; for many will come to you to become monks’. When he heard this and in purity of heart discerned according to the Scriptures that the voice was holy, he returned to his father and told him about it. He had to use great persuasion, for his father was greatly grieved, because he held him as his true son. Then they both made their way to the place and they built a cabin or a small cell. Then the old man said, `Since I believe this has come to you from God, let us make a covenant between us, that we shall visit each other in turn, you and I, so as not to be separated from each other from now on.’ This they did as long as Palamon, the true athlete of Christ, lived.

 

 

 

13. After this the holy Palamon suffered in his spleen from ascetic practices which were beyond his capacity. His body was weak all over. For often he ate without drinking water and at other times he drank without eating anything. Having been counselled and persuaded by some brothers and a doctor to take care of himself so that he might be healed, for a few days he ate what was appropriate to his sickness. Then, having realized that the trouble was still continuing, he put those foods aside, saying, ‘If the martyrs of Christ, having their limbs cut off and being beheaded or burnt, persevered to death in their faith in God, shall I be a coward in a very minor  trouble and must I give in? Although I was persuaded to eat the foods thought capable of giving comfort, there has been no improvement. So if I return to the rigorous ascesis in which is all comfort I will be healed, for I do it not according to men but according to God.’ So courageously giving himself to ascesis, he fell ill after a month. Pachomius was visiting him from Tabennesi. Sitting at his side, he tended his father as was appropriate until God visited him. Our father Pachomius buried him and returned to his own place of ascesis.

 

 

 

14. His brother according to the flesh, who was called John, heard [about him] and came to him. Pachomius rejoiced greatly when he saw him, for he had never visited his relatives since coming back after his discharge. John, choosing the same life, remained with him. And there they both were, having nothing save the law of God. For if they obtained anything from their labors, they gave the surplus to those in need, keeping for themselves what was necessary to live. In clothing, too, they were exceedingly poor, so [poor] that they did not soon have a second tunic to wear while they washed the one they wore. Our father Pachomius often put on a hair garment to humble the flesh. And for a long time whenever he wanted to refresh his body with sleep after growing weary in keeping awake for prayer, he would simply sit on something in the middle of the place without leaning his back against the wall. This he did for about fifteen years. Many of the ancient fathers, hearing or rather seeing this, tried also to humble the flesh by this and similar practices to enhance the salvation of their souls.

 

 They contended mightily to accomplish the will of God. Later on they made reclining seats for themselves. For each of them practised ascesis with faith according to his capacity.

 

 

 

15. Remembering the promise he had made to God, Pachomius began with his brother to build a larger monastery, to receive those who would come to this life. As they were building, Pachomius was extending the place with this aim in view while his brother, thinking of withdrawal apart, was making it smaller. And once John, who was older according to the flesh, was vexed and said to him, ‘Stop being conceited!’ When Pachomius heard this he became angry as if for a good cause, but did not say anything in reply to him. As he kept control of his heart, he went down to a little cavern’ during the following night and began to weep in sorrow. He prayed, ‘O God, the mind of the flesh is still in me. I still live according to the flesh; alas for me, I am going to die, as it is written. Practising such ascesis and having such a preparation of heart, I am again caught up in anger, although for a good cause. Have mercy on me, OLord, lest I be destroyed. If the enemy finds a place in me, I will fall under his hand unless you strengthen me.’  For if a man keeps the whole of your law but fails in one point, he is guilty of breaking it all. But I  believe that if your many mercies help me I will be taught henceforth to walk in the way of the saints, stretching out towards what lies ahead.For with your help they put the enemy to shame as they ought. And how will I teach those whom you call to choose this life with me, OLord, if I have not first conquered myself?”

 

 

 

 16. Having said this prayer, he spent the whole night weeping and repeating it until dawn. From his sweat the ground under his feet became like mud, for it was summer and the place was very warm. He also had the habit when he extended his hands in prayer, of not right away drawing them a little to himself for rest. Rather, by extending them as if on a cross he would wear down the body to stay awake for prayers.’

 

 

 

17. Instructed by the holy Scriptures and especially by the Gospel, he endured many temptations from the demons. The holy Scriptures did not mention in detail the saints’ struggle, since they used concise language in showing us the way to eternal life. Thus, for example, the law given to our father Abraham was complete in one saying, Be wellpleasing before me and be blameless.’ But since we are like infants, when our fathers break the bread for us, we need to be given as well the true water, as it is written. Therefore, what we have heard and known and our fathers have told us should not be hidden from the next generation. For, as we have been taught, we know that these words of the psalm are about the signs and portents accomplished by God for Moses and those after him. And after the model of the benefit given by them, we have also recognized in the fathers of our time their children and imitators, so that to us and to the rising generation, until the end of the world, it might be made known that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and for ever.

(17.)   τετελειωμένος «εὐαρέστει ἐνώπιόν μου καὶ γίνου ἄμεμπτος.» ῾Ημεῖς δὲ ὡς νήπιοι χρείαν ἔχομεν πατέρων διακλώντων ἡμῖν ἄρτον, ὡς γέγραπται, καὶ ποτιζόντων ἡμᾶς ὕδωρ τὸ πιστόν. ῞Οθεν ἃ ἠκούσαμεν καὶ ἔγνωμεν αὐτὰ καὶ οἱ πατέρες ἡμῶν διηγήσαντο ἡμῖν οὐκ ἀναγκαῖον ᾠήθημεν κρύψαι ἀπὸ γενεᾶς ἑτέρας. Εἰ γὰρ καὶ ἐν ψαλμοῖς εἴρηται ταῦτα περὶ Μωσέως καὶ τῶν δι’ ἐκεί νου γενομένων σημείων τε καὶ δυνάμεων, ἀλλ’ ὅμως ἐξ αὐτῆς τῆς ἐκείνων ὠφελείας καὶ ἡμεῖς τούτους (5) τοὺς νῦν πατέρας ἔγνωμεν τέκνα καὶ μιμητὰς ὄντας ἐκείνων. Διὸ καὶ τὰ αὐτῶν καταγγέλλομεν ὅπως ἂν γνωσθῇ ἡμῖν καὶ τῇ ἐπερχομένῃ γενεᾷ ἕως αἰῶνος ὅτι ᾿Ιησοῦς Χριστὸς χθὲς καὶ σήμερον, ὁ αὐτὸς καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας.

 

(18.)  Περὶ τῶν πειρασμῶν Παχωμίου. (t)

18. If he had to endure many temptations this was by God’s permission for his own testing as well as for the benefit of others. In his period of withdrawal before the Community was formed, he paid great attention to the Beatitudes, striving especially to be found pure in heart.’ In his struggle he did not allow a foul thought to settle in his heart. He was always meditating on the fear of God, the thought of the judgement, and the torments of everlasting fire. His heart was as vigilant as a bronze door secured against robbers. And the Lord, seeing him exceedingly eager to fear Him, granted him the request of his fathers, who said to Him in the words of one of them, May my heart be blameless in your statutes, that I be not put to shame. When the demons saw this they envied him and sought to cast him down. They began to attack him openly! Sometimes, when he was going to bend his knees during his prayer, they made an apparent pit in front of him, so that fear would prevent him from kneeling down. But understanding the wiles of the tempters, he knelt with faith, putting them to shame and blessing God. At other times they came to march in front of him on both sides, as people do in escorting a commander, saying to each other, `Make way to the man of God’. But by his hope in the Lord, he mocked them as helpless creatures.

   Τὸ δὲ πειρασθῆναι τὸν μέγαν Παχώμιον ποικίλοις πειρασμοῖς ἐκ θείας συγχωρήσεως ἐγένετο (1) ὑπέρ τε δοκιμῆς αὐτοῦ καὶ τῆς ἑτέρων ὠφελείας ἕνεκεν. ᾿Αναχωρῶν γὰρ πρὸ τοῦ γενέσθαι τὸ κοινόβιον σχολάζων ἦν λίαν καὶ ἀγωνιζόμενος σὺν τοῖς ἄλλοις μακαρισμοῖς καθαρὸς τῇ καρδίᾳ εὑρεθῆναι, μὴ συγχωρῶν ἐγκαθέζεσθαι αὐτῇ ῥυπαρὸν λογισμόν. ᾿Εμελέτα γὰρ ἀεὶ τὸν φόβον τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ τὴν μνήμην τῆς κρίσεως καὶ τὰς βασάνους τῶν αἰωνίων κολάσεων. Καὶ ἦν ἡ καρδία αὐτοῦ (5) νήφουσα τοσοῦτον ὡς θύρα χαλκῆ ἠσφαλισμένη κατὰ λῃστῶν. Βλέπων δὲ αὐτὸν ὁ κύριος πάνυ φροντίζοντα φοβεῖσθαι αὐτόν, ἐχαρίσατο αὐτῷ τὸ αἴτημα τῶν πατέρων αὐτοῦ λεγόντων δι’ ἑνὸς πρὸς τὸν θεόν· Γενηθήτω ἡ καρδία μου ἄμωμος ἐν τοῖς δικαιώμασί σου, ὅπως ἂν μὴ αἰσχυνθῶ.   ῾Ορῶντες οὖν οἱ δαίμονες ταῦτα ἐφθόνουν αὐτῷ, καταβαλεῖν ἐθέλοντες· καὶ ἤδη φανερῶς ἤρξαντο ἀντικεῖσθαι αὐτῷ. ᾿Ενίοτε γὰρ εὐχομένου αὐτοῦ καὶ μέλλοντος κλίνειν γόνατα, ἐποίουν τὰ ἔμπροσθεν (10) αὐτοῦ ὡς λάκκον τῇ φαντασίᾳ, ἵνα τῷ φόβῳ μὴ κλίνῃ γόνατα. Καὶ αὐτὸς τῶν πειραζόντων τὰς τέχνας συνιῶν, μετὰ πίστεως ἐγονυπέτει, καταισχύνων μὲν αὐτοὺς καὶ εὐλογῶν τὸν θεόν. ῎Αλλοτε ἐλθόντες ἔμπροσθεν αὐτοῦ ἔνθεν καὶ ἔνθεν ὡς ἐπὶ ἄρχοντος ἐπορεύοντο λέγοντες ἀλλήλοις· «Δότε τόπον τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ τοῦ θεοῦ.» ῾Ο δὲ τῇ εἰς θεὸν ἐλπίδι κατεγέλα αὐτῶν ὡς ἀχρείων.

 

 

19. They also tried to shake his cell’ to make him afraid that it should collapse upon him. Then against them he would recite the psalm, God is our shelter, our strength, a help in the afflictions that try us exceedingly. So we shall not be afraid when the earth is shaken. Another time, when he sat down to work, [a demon] came to tempt him in another way; taking the form of a cock he crowed in his face. Or again they would bring into the middle of the place a tree leaf and  tie it securely with thick ropes. Then they would stand on each side as though they were about to drag a big stone, shouting to each other, so that he would laugh with a relaxed heart and they would overcome him. When he saw it, he sighed at them, and since he paid no attention [to them], they withdrew. When he sat to eat, they would come in the form of naked women to sit with him to eat. But he closed the eye of his mind to them and the enemies disappeared without accomplishing anything against him. He was indeed preserved by the Lord who says to all the upright, Do not be afraid, for I am with you.

(19.)   ᾿Επεχείρουν δέ ποτε καὶ τὸ ἀσκητήριον αὐτοῦ συσσείειν, φοβερίζοντες ὡς μέλλον ἐπ’ αὐτὸν πεσεῖν. ῾Ο δὲ κατ’ αὐτῶν ἐμελέτα τὸν ψαλμόν· «῾Ο θεὸς ἡμῶν καταφυγὴ καὶ δύναμις, βοηθὸς ἐν θλίψεσι ταῖς εὑρούσαις ἡμᾶς, σφόδρα. Διὰ τοῦτο οὐ φοβηθησόμεθα ἐν τῷ ταράσσεσθαι τὴν γῆν καὶ μετατίθεσθαι ὄρη ἐν καρδίαις θαλασσῶν.» Καὶ ἄλλοτε καθημένου αὐτοῦ ἐργάζεσθαι, ἦλθεν ἕτερος δαίμων πειράσαι αὐτόν· καὶ τύπον ἀλεκτρυόνος λαβὼν ἐφώνησεν εἰς τὸ πρόσωπον αὐτοῦ. ῎Αλλοτε (5) πάλιν ἐλθόντες φύλλον δένδρου ἔφερον εἰς τὸ μέσον· καὶ περιστάντες κυκλόθεν ἐδέσμουν αὐτὸ σχοινίοις παχυτάτοις ὥσπερ λίθον μέγαν σύροντες καὶ προσφωνοῦντες ἀλλήλοις, ὅπως ἐν ἐκλύσει καρδίας γελάσῃ καὶ ἐν τούτῳ κυριεύσωσιν αὐτοῦ. Αὐτὸς δὲ ἰδὼν ἀνεστέναζε κατ’ αὐτῶν. Καὶ μὴ προσέχοντος αὐτοῦ ἀνεχώρησαν. Καθημένου δέ ποτε φαγεῖν, ἐν σχήμασιν ἤρχοντο γυμνῶν γυναικῶν συγκαθεσθῆναι αὐτῷ καὶ συμφαγεῖν. Καὶ οὕτω καμμύοντος αὐτοῦ τὸν ὀφθαλμὸν τῆς διανοίας, (10) ἠφανίζοντο οἱ ἐχθροὶ μηδὲν ἀνύοντες κατ’ αὐτοῦ. ῾Ο γὰρ κύριος συνετήρει αὐτὸν ὁ λέγων πᾶσι τοῖς εὐθέσι· «Μὴ φοβοῦ, μετὰ σοῦ γάρ εἰμι.»

 

 

20. He was tempted in many other cruel ways. His body was beaten and he suffered visibly from evening till morning, without any consolation except the remembrance of God who was chastening him.

(20.)   Καὶ ἐν ἄλλοις δὲ πολλοῖς ἐπειράζετο σκληροτέρως, ὥστε καὶ εἰς σῶμα δαρῆναι καὶ ἀλγεῖν αὐτὸν φανερῶς ἀπὸ ὀψὲ ἕως πρωΐ, μηδαμόθεν ἑτέρας οὔσης παραμυθίας εἰ μὴ τῆς μνήμης τοῦ παιδεύοντος θεοῦ.

 

Περὶ τοῦ μοναχοῦ ῾Ιερακαπόλλωνος. (4t)

As he was enduring these afflictions with perseverance, an ancient monk called Hieracapollon came to visit him. After embracing him, [Pachomius] began to tell him about his struggle. The other replied, ‘Be valiant. The devil knows that if carelessness overtakes you, he will also dominate us, for you are our model. Therefore endure, lest you have to answer for our blood if you are defeated.’ He was greatly strengthened by these words. They prayed not to be separated from each other for ever. A while later Hieracapollon made a beautiful death in the Koinonia, as the Lord knows.’

   ᾿Επὶ τούτοις οὖν αὐτοῦ θλιβομένου καὶ καρτεροῦντος, ἦλθέ τις ἀρχαῖος μονάζων, ῾Ιερακαπόλλων (5) ὀνόματι, ἐπισκέψασθαι αὐτόν. Καὶ ἀσπασάμενος αὐτὸν ὁ Παχώμιος ἤρξατο τὰ κατ’ αὐτὸν ἀνατίθεσθαι τούτῳ. ῾Ο δὲ λέγει αὐτῷ· «᾿Ανδρίζου· ἔγνω γὰρ ὁ διάβολος ὡς, εἴπερ καταβάλῃ σε δι’ ὀλιγωρίας, καὶ ἡμᾶς τοὺς ἔχοντάς <σε> σκοπὸν εἰς ἀρετὴν ὑποχειρίους ἕξει. ῞Οθεν ὑπόμεινον, μήπως ἐκζητηθῇ τὸ αἷμα ἡμῶν παρὰ σοῦ τοῖς ἐχθροῖς ὑποκλιθέντος.» Καὶ ἀκούσας ὁ Παχώμιος ἐνεδυναμώθη μᾶλλον. Καὶ ηὔξαντο μὴ διαχωρισθῆναι ἀπ’ ἀλλήλων εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα. Μετὰ δὲ χρόνον (10) ἐτελεύτησεν οὗτος ὁ πρὸς κοινωνίαν συνελθὼν Παχωμίῳ καλῶς, ὡς ὁ κύριος ᾠκονόμησε.

 

(21.)  Περὶ τῆς πίστεως Παχωμίου καὶ τελει<ότητος>. (t)

21. And even before he had received perfect knowledge from the Lord, [Pachomius] manifested such perfect faith as to tread underfoot serpents and scorpions openly, and to stand on crocodiles in the water and to brave wild beasts fearlessly and daringly without being harmed by them.’ Since he was doing these things then through the uprightness of his heart and not yet through perfect knowledge, he was being preserved by the Lord who intended to teach him later how to act. For Moses, when he saw his own staff turned into a serpent, was frightened by it until the Lord ordered him to take hold of it. Then the serpent turned into a staff again in his hand. Before [God] gives power to the saints, fearful things are fearful and impossible things are impossible to men. Since Pachomius knew this, he wept over his ignorance and said in his prayer, ‘0 Lord, guide of the blind, I thank you that in this also you have not allowed me to be led astray, condescending to my ignorance until you teach me your whole will.

   Πρὸ τοῦ γνῶσιν τελείαν κτήσασθαι παρὰ κυρίου τὸν μέγαν Παχώμιον, τοιαύτην εἶχε πίστιν τελείαν (1) ὡς καὶ φανερῶς ἐπάνω ὄφεων καὶ σκορπίων πατεῖν καὶ ἐπὶ κροκοδείλων διαβαίνειν ἐν ὕδασι καὶ θηρίων κατατολμᾶν καὶ μὴ βλάπτεσθαι ὑπ’ αὐτῶν.

 

 

22. Because he had spent a good deal of time wrestling with the demons as an athlete of the truth, like the most holy Antony, he asked the Lord to keep sleep away from him, that being awake night and day alike he might put to rout the adversaries, as it is written, I will not turn away till they have vanished. They are powerless l indeed against faith in the Lord. And God granted him the request for a long time. And because of the purity of his heart he was, as it were, seeing the invisible God as in a mirror.

(22.)   Καὶ ἐπειδὴ πολλοὺς χρόνους ἐποίησε πρὸς τοὺς δαίμονας πυκτεύων ὁ τῆς ἀληθείας ἀθλητὴς καθάπερ ὁ ἁγιώτατος ᾿Αντώνιος, τούτου χάριν ᾐτήσατο παρὰ κυρίου τὸν ὕπνον ἀπ’ αὐτοῦ ἀποστῆναι ἄχρι καιροῦ πρὸς τὸ νυκτὸς καὶ ἡμέρας ἄϋπνον ὄντα τοὺς ὑπεναντίους κατατροπώσασθαι, καθὼς γέγραπται· «Καὶ οὐκ ἀποστραφήσομαι ἕως ἂν ἐκλείψωσιν·» ἀδύνατοι γάρ εἰσι πρὸς τὴν ἐν κυρίῳ πίστιν. Καὶ ἐχαρίσθη αὐτῷ παρὰ τοῦ θεοῦ χρόνον ἱκανὸν τὸ αἴτημα τοῦτο. Καὶ ἦν ὡς (5) ὁρῶν τὸν ἀόρατον θεὸν καθαρότητι καρδίας ὡς ἐν ἐσόπτρῳ.

 

(23.)  ᾿Αποκάλυψις τοῦ θείου θελήματος. (t)

23. After this, he went with (his brother)’ to an island to cut rushes for mats. And as he was keeping vigil alone, praying to be taught the , whole will of God,  an angel appeared to him 1 from the Lord, just as one appeared to Manoah and his wife about the birth of Samson. The an gel said to him, ‘The will of God is to minister to  the race of men in order to reconcile them to himself.’ He said this three times and went away.’

   Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα συνελθόντων ἀδελφῶν, ἦν ἐν νήσῳ τινὶ θρύα μετ’ αὐτῶν κόπτων εἰς ψιάθους· (1) καὶ αὐτοῦ ἀγρυπνοῦντος καρδίαν καὶ ἐπὶ πολὺ εὐχομένου καὶ αἰτουμένου γνωρισθῆναι αὐτῷ τὸ τέλειον θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ, ὤφθη αὐτῷ ἄγγελος κυρίου, ὡς καὶ Μανωὲ καὶ τῇ γυναικὶ αὐτοῦ ὤφθη περὶ τῆς γεννήσεως Σαμψών, καὶ λέγει τῷ Παχωμίῳ· «Τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ ἐστι τὸ διακονεῖν τῷ γένει τῶν ἀνθρώπων καὶ ἀποκαταλλάσσειν αὐτοὺς αὐτῷ.» Καὶ τρὶς τοῦτο εἰπὼν (5) ἀπῆλθε.

 

 

24. He thought about the voice which he had heard and was reassured. Then he began to receive those who came to him. After appropriately testing them and their parents, he clothed them in the monks’ habit. He introduced them to the life gradually. First, they had to renounce all the world, their parents, and themselves, and follow the Saviour who taught doing so, for this is to carry the Cross. t Being well taught by him according to the Scriptures, they bore fruits worthy of their vocation.

(24.)   Διαλογιζόμενος οὖν περὶ τῆς ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πρὸς αὐτὸν γενομένης φωνῆς καὶ νῦν μᾶλλον πληροφορηθεὶς ἤρξατο ὑποδέχεσθαι τοὺς προσερχομένους αὐτῷ. Καὶ οὕτως μετὰ δοκιμασίας αὐτῶν, ἀξιούντων καὶ τῶν γονέων, ἐνεδίδυσκεν αὐτοὺς τὸ ἅγιον σχῆμα τῶν μοναζόντων, προσβιβάζων αὐτοὺς  κατὰ μέρος ἐπὶ τὸν πνευματικὸν βίον, ὥστε πρῶτον μὲν ἀποτάξασθαι παντὶ τῷ κόσμῳ καὶ τοῖς κατὰ σάρκα συγγενέσιν, εἶτα διδάσκοντι τῷ σωτῆρι προθύμως ἀκολουθεῖν· τοῦτο γάρ ἐστι τὸ (5) βαστάζειν τὸν σταυρόν. Καὶ αὐτοὶ δὲ διδασκόμενοι ἱκανῶς ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ κατὰ τὰς γραφὰς ἐκαρποφόρουν ἀξίως τῆς κλήσεως.

 

Περὶ τῆς ὑπηρεσίας καὶ διακονίας Παχωμίου. (8t)

They marvelled greatly when they saw that not only was his body broken by mortifications, but he also had nearly all the care of the monastery. He prepared the table for them for mealtime; he sowed the vegetables and watered them; and he also answered the door when anyone knocked. If any of them was sick, he eagerly took care of him and ministered to him at night. For the neophytes had not yet attained to such a disposition as to serve each other. Therefore he set them entirely free from care, saying, ‘Strive, brothers, to attain to that to which you have been called: to recite psalms and teachings from other parts of the Scriptures, especially the Gospel. As for me, it is by serving God and you according to God’s commandment that I find rest.’

   Βλέποντες δὲ αὐτὸν οὐ μόνον ταῖς τοῦ σώματος κακουχίαις κάμνοντα, ἀλλὰ γὰρ καὶ πᾶσαν φροντίδα (9) τῆς μονῆς ἔχοντα ὑπερεθαύμαζον. ῾Ητοίμαζε γὰρ αὐτοῖς τράπεζαν κατὰ τὴν ὥραν τοῦ φαγεῖν· (10) ὁμοίως καὶ λάχανα σπείρων ἐπότιζε καὶ τῷ κρούοντι τὴν θύραν ἀπελογεῖτο· καὶ εἴ γέ τις αὐτῶν ἀσθενὴς ἦν, ἐσπούδαζεν ἡμέρας τε καὶ νυκτὸς ὑπηρετεῖν αὐτῷ· οὔπω γὰρ οἱ νεόφυτοι ἀδελφοὶ ἔφθασαν εἰς τοιαύτην διάθεσιν ὡς ἄλλοις δουλεύειν· ἀλλὰ ἀμερίμνους αὐτοὺς παντελῶς πρῶτον κατέστησε λέγων· «᾿Εφ’ ᾧ ἐκλήθητε, ἀδελφοί, ἀγωνίσασθε τυχεῖν τούτου· ψαλμοὺς μελετᾶν καὶ τὰ ἀπὸ τῶν ἄλλων βιβλίων μαθήματα, ἐξαιρέτως δὲ τὸ εὐαγγέλιον. Κἀγὼ δουλεύων τῷ θεῷ καὶ (15) ὑμῖν κατὰ τὴν ἐντολὴν αὐτοῦ ἀναπαύομαι.»

 

 

25. The name of the first to come was Pgentaesi; then there were Sourous and Poi. And so, speaking the word of God to them, he edified them and led them to the zeal of good works. And even when he kept silent, they saw his conduct and it was for them a word. They marvelled and said to each other, ‘We used to think that all the saints were made holy and unswerving by God without regard to their free will, from their mothers’ womb, and that sinners were not able to have life because they had been created that way. But now we see the goodness of God manifested in our father who, although born from pagan parents, has become so dear to God and has clothed himself with all God’s commandments) Then we, too, and all men can follow him, for he follows the saints. So is realized what is written, Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest.’ Let us die with 1 this man and we shall also live with him, for he guides us straight to God.’

(25.)   Τὸ δὲ ὄνομα τοῦ πρώτου ἐλθόντος ἀδελφοῦ Ψενταΐσης ἦν, εἶτα Σοῦρος καὶ Ψώϊος. Καὶ οὕτω λαλῶν αὐτοῖς τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ πολλάκις ὠφέλει αὐτοὺς εἰς ζῆλον ἀγαθῶν ἔργων ὑποθήγων. ῾Εώρων δὲ αὐτοῦ καὶ σιωπῶντος τὴν πρᾶξιν ἔλλογον οὖσαν· καὶ ἐθαύμαζον πρὸς ἀλλήλους λέγοντες· «᾿Ενομίζομεν πάντας τοὺς ἁγίους οὕτως πεποιῆσθαι ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ ἁγίους καὶ ἀτρέπτους καὶ μὴ αὐτεξουσίους, καὶ τοὺς ἁμαρτωλοὺς πάλιν μὴ δυναμένους ἀμέμπτως ζῆν διὰ τὸ οὕτως (5) κτισθῆναι αὐτούς. ῎Αρτι δὲ βλέπομεν τὴν ἀγαθότητα τοῦ θεοῦ φανερῶς ἐπὶ τοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν τούτου, ὅτι ἐξ ἑλλήνων γονέων ὑπάρχων τοσοῦτον θεοσεβὴς γέγονεν ὡς πάσας τὰς ἐντολὰς τοῦ θεοῦ ἐνδεδυμένος εἶναι. Οὐκοῦν καὶ ἡμεῖς καὶ πάντες δυνάμεθα ἀκολουθῆσαι αὐτῷ. ῎Αρα τὸ γεγραμμένον τοῦτό ἐστι· Δεῦτε πρός με, πάντες οἱ κοπιῶντες καὶ πεφο<ρ>τισμένοι, κἀγὼ ἀναπαύσω ὑμᾶς. Συναποθάνωμεν οὖν ἵνα καὶ συζήσωμεν τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ τούτῳ, ὅτι ὀρθῶς ὁδηγεῖ ἡμᾶς πρὸς τὸν θεόν.» 

They also said to him, ‘Why do you toil alone in all the works of the monastery, Father?’ He replied, ‘Who yokes his beast to a water wheel and without caring lets it toil until it falls? So the merciful Lord himself, looking upon my poverty, will strengthen you or will bring others able to assist me in caring for the monastery.’

(10) Καὶ προσελθόντες λέγουσιν αὐτῷ· «Διὰ τί σὺ μόνος κάμνεις, πάτερ, εἰς ὅλα τὰ ἔργα τῆς μονῆς;» Καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς· «Τίς ζεύγνυσι κτῆνος αὐτοῦ εἰς μηχανὴν καὶ παρορᾷ κάμνειν αὐτὸ μέχρις οὗ πέσῃ; Αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ οἰκτίρμων κύριος στηρίξει ποτὲ καὶ ὑμᾶς πρὸς τοῦτο ἢ ἄλλους πέμψει δυναμένους συναντιλαβέσθαι μοι περὶ τὴν μέριμναν τῆς μονῆς.»

They lived a cenobitic life. So he established for them in a rule an irreproachable lifestyle and traditions profitable for their souls. These he took from the holy Scriptures: proper measure in clothing, equality in food, and decent sleeping arrangements.

Οὕτως οὖν διδάσκων ἐκανόνισεν αὐτοῖς τύπον ἀπρόσκοπον καὶ παραδόσεις ὠφελίμους τῶν ψυχῶν, συντάξας ἀπὸ τῶν θείων γραφῶν τὸ ἔνδυμα (15) αὐτῶν εὐμέτρως, τὴν τροφὴν ἐν ἰσότητι καὶ τὸ κοιμηθῆναι εὐσχημόνως.

 

 

26. And so, as God called and increased them . others came to practise ascesis with him: Pecoc, P Cornelios, Paul, another Pachomius, and John, d who had heard about his sound faith. And after a few days there came a certain Theodore, a boy of about fourteen years,’ who became for Pachomius a true child after his likeness. Then  for the first time he assigned to those who were able the material cares of the monastery. The brothers multiplied and reached the number of one hundred.

(26.)   Καὶ οὕτω τοῦ θεοῦ καλοῦντος καὶ αὐξάνοντος, ἦλθον καὶ ἄλλοι ἀσκηταὶ σὺν αὐτῷ· Πεκύσιος, Κορνήλιος, Παῦλος, Παχώμιος ἄλλος καὶ ᾿Ιωάννης, ἀκούοντες τῆς φήμης τῆς ὑγιαινούσης διδασκαλίας αὐτοῦ. Μετὰ δὲ ὀλίγας ἡμέρας ἦλθε Θεόδωρός τις, παιδίον  ὡς ἐτῶν δεκατεσσάρων· καὶ γέγονεν αὐτῷ γνήσιον τέκνον καθ’ ὁμοιότητα αὐτοῦ. ῎Εταξε δὲ τοὺς δυναμένους αὐτῶν ἐπὶ τὰς φανερὰς μερίμνας τοῦ μοναστηρίου πρῶτον. ᾿Επληθύνθησαν γὰρ οἱ (5) ἀδελφοὶ ὑπὲρ τὰ ἑκατὸν ἤδη ὀνόματα.

 

 

27. When there was need for the Eucharist, he called in from the nearest churches a priest who made the celebration for them. For among them there was no one invested with the clerical office. He had deliberated on the subject and often told them that it was good not to ask for rank and honor, especially in a community, for fear this should be an occasion for strife, envy, jealousy, and then schisms to arise in a large community of monks. He told them, ‘In the same way as a spark of fire, however small at the beginning, if cast into a threshingfloor and not quickly quenched, destroys the year’s labor, so the clerical dignity is the beginning of a temptation to love of power. It is better to be subject modestly to the Church of God and to consider as minister of this sacred rite the one we find at any time and who has been established by our fathers the bishops. In the past also not all the people were Levites. But if a monk from another place is ordained a cleric, we must not heaven forbid!vilify him as someone who loves power, but rather consider him as someone who has been ordained unwillingly. We reckon him an obedient father and an imitator of the saints, if only he performs the service blamelessly. And likewise if someone, being human, is found blameworthy, we do not judge him. God is the judge, and in each case he has as judges under himself the successors of the Apostles, able in Spirit to judge according to what is right. As for us among the flock, we must be compassionate  and merciful to each other.’ When someone from the clergy came to him and wanted to become a monk, he submitted himself to the law of God normally, according to his rank, but he would willingly be as all of them in regard to the rules of the community of the brothers.’

(27.)   ῞Οτε οὖν χρεία προσφορᾶς ἦν αὐτοῖς, μετεκαλεῖτο πρεσβύτερόν τινα τῶν ἔγγιστα ἐκκλησιῶν καὶ οὕτως ἐποίει τὴν ἑορτήν. Οὐ γὰρ ἦν ἐν αὐτοῖς τις ἐν καταστάσει κλήρου ἐκκλησιαστικοῦ γενόμενος, τοῦ μεγάλου Παχωμίου λογιζομένου καὶ πολλάκις λαλοῦντος αὐτοῖς, ἀγαθὸν εἶναι μὴ ζητεῖν ἀρχὴν καὶ δόξαν ἐν κοινοβίῳ μᾶλλον, ἵνα μὴ τῇ τούτου ἀφορμῇ ἔρις καὶ φθόνος γένηται καὶ ζῆλος ἐν μέσῳ μοναχῶν πολλῶν παρὰ τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ καὶ λοιπὸν σχίσματα συμβῇ. «῝Ον γὰρ τρόπον σπινθὴρ (5) πυρὸς ἐλάχιστος κατὰ τὴν ἀρχήν, εἰς ἅλωνα βληθεὶς καὶ μὴ τάχιον σβεσθεὶς ἀπόλλυσι τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ τοὺς πόνους, οὕτως ἀρχὴ λογισμοῦ φιλαρχίας ὁ κλῆρος ὢν τοὺς καρποὺς ἀφανίζει τῶν μοναχῶν. Καλὸν οὖν μᾶλλον τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐπιεικῶς ὑποτάσσεσθαι καὶ ὃν ἂν εὕρωμεν κατὰ καιρὸν ὑπὸ τῶν πατέρων ἡμῶν τῶν ἐπισκόπων κατασταθέντα, ἔχειν αὐτὸν λειτουργὸν τῆς ἱερατείας ταύτης. Οὐδὲ γὰρ οὐδὲ τὸ παλαιὸν ὁ λαὸς ἅπας λευῗται ἦσαν. Κἂν δέ τις τῶν ἀλλαχοῦ μοναχῶν εἰς ἱερωσύνην (10) καταστῇ, οὐκ ἐξουδενοῦμεν αὐτὸν ὡς φίλαρχον, μὴ γένοιτο· μᾶλλον δὲ ὡς ἑκούσιον αὐτὸν λογιζόμεθα πατέρα ὑπήκοον καὶ μιμητὴν τῶν ἁγίων, ἐὰν ἀμέμπτως τελειώσῃ τὴν λειτουργίαν. Καί τινα πάλιν ἐν μέμψει γενόμενον ἴσως ὡς ἄνθρωπον, οὐ κρίνομεν αὐτόν· ὁ γὰρ θεὸς κριτὴς ὢν ὑφ’ ἑαυτὸν ἔχει τοὺς κατὰ καιρὸν κριτάς, τοὺς διαδόχους τῶν ἀποστόλων δυναμένους τῷ πνεύματι κρῖναι δικαίαν κρίσιν. ῾Ημεῖς δὲ οἱ ἐλάχιστοι συμπαθεῖς καὶ οἰκτίρμονες ἀλλήλοις ὀφείλομεν (15) γίνεσθαι.» Καὶ ταῦτα μὲν ἔλεγεν ὁ Παχώμιος. —῞Οτε δὲ παρεγένετό τις κληρικὸς βουλόμενος παρ’ αὐτοῖς εἶναι μοναχός, τῇ μὲν τάξει τῆς ἱερωσύνης νομίμως ὑποτασσόμενος τῷ νόμῳ τοῦ θεοῦ τὴν ἰδίαν ἐτέλει λειτουργίαν· κατὰ δὲ τοὺς κανόνας τῆς συστάσεως τῶν ἀδελφῶν ἑκουσίως ὡς πάντες ὑπήκοος κἀκεῖνος ἐγίνετο.

 

(28.)  Περὶ τῆς τάξεως τῶν διακόνων ἐν τῷ κοινοβίῳ. (t)

28. He was full of mercy for the old men or the sick or for the younger ones, and he cared for their souls in every thing. And he rejoiced at those who made progress in virtues and increased in faith, for they pursued what was good with great zeal. Then he appointed some of them as his assistants to take care of the brothers’ souls. He established one as steward of all the bodily needs of the monastery, and a second under him to help him.’ And he appointed a housemaster in each house, with a second as helper. The first house is the one of the lesser stewards who prepare the table for the brothers and cook foods according to their needs. For among the great number of the brothers, there were diverse dispositions. And anyone who wanted to return to abstinence did so eagerly and unhindered! After that, he appointed another house of stewards to give comfort to all the sick brothers with attentive care according to their rules, and over them a housemaster and a second in the same way. And at the doors he appointed religious, strict, hospitable brothers to receive visitors according to each one’s rank. These porters also kept with themselves those who were going to become monks, teaching them the way to salvation until he clothed them in the habit. Similarly he appointed other faithful brothers noted for their devotion to sell the monks’ handiwork and to buy what they needed. Apart from this service, each one of the three housemasters had to replace every three weeks with a new class those who served the brothers. Then these had to do the manual work that was determined for them by the housemaster according to the direction of the Great Steward, that is, the father of the monastery. He established as well other houses’ with their housemasters and seconds to work at the crafts and at the matmaking and to be ready for every obedience without any personal wish in their hearts, so that they might bear fruit to God. When the father of the monastery is absent, the second has full authority until his return, without any pride or boasting but in humility and meekness, for the edification of the brothers. The same applies to the housemaster and his second. The father of the monastery should give three instructions a week, one on Saturday and two on Sunday, while the housemaster does it on the two fastdays.5

   Βλέπων δὲ ὁ Παχώμιος γέροντας ἢ ἀσθενεῖς τῷ σώματι ἢ παιδία ἐκήδετο τῶν ψυχῶν αὐτῶν (1) οἰκτείρων κατὰ πάντα. Ζηλωτὴς γὰρ ἦν σφόδρα τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ. ῎Εταξε δέ τινας ἐκ τῶν προκοπτόντων καὶ τῇ πίστει αὐξανομένων συναντιλαμβάνεσθαι αὐτῷ εἰς περιποίησιν ψυχῶν, πρῶτον οἰκονόμον τῆς μονῆς ἐν πάσαις ταῖς σωματικαῖς χρείαις καὶ δεύτερον ὑπ’ αὐτὸν συνεργόν, εἶτα οἰκιακοὺς καθ’ ἑκάστην οἰκίαν καὶ δευτέρους εἰς συνέργειαν αὐτοῖς. ῾Η μὲν οὖν πρώτη οἰκία τοῖς μικροῖς (5) οἰκονόμοις ἀφώριστο· ἑτοιμάζουσί τε τράπεζαν καὶ ἑψήματα ἕψουσι κατὰ τὴν ἑκάστου διαφοράν. Λοιπὸν γὰρ πλῆθος ἀδελφῶν ἦν διαφόρων· καὶ εἴ τις αὐτῶν ἤθελεν ἐγκρατεύεσθαι πάλιν, ἐποίουν  αὐτῷ προθύμως καὶ ἀκωλύτως κατὰ τὴν ἐγκράτειαν ὡς ἠδύνατο. ῎Εταξε δὲ καὶ ἄλλην οἰκίαν οἰκονόμων ὅπως πάντας τοὺς νοσοῦντας ἀδελφοὺς ἀναπαύσωσιν ἐν ἐπιμελείᾳ γνησίᾳ κατὰ τοὺς κανόνας αὐτῶν· καὶ ἐν αὐτῇ κατέστησεν οἰκιακὸν καὶ δεύτερον κατὰ τὸ αὐτό. Πρὸς δὲ ταῖς θύραις τῆς μονῆς (10) ἔταξεν εὐλαβεῖς ἄνδρας ἐστυμμένους τῷ τοῦ θεοῦ φόβῳ καὶ φιλοξένους, ὅπως ὑποδέχωνται τοὺς παραβάλλοντας πρὸς τὴν ἀξίαν ἑκάστου καὶ τοὺς μέλλοντας γενέσθαι μοναχοὺς παρ’ ἑαυτοῖς ἔχωσι νουθετοῦντες τὰ πρὸς σωτηρίαν, ἕως αὐτοὺς ἐνδύσῃ τὸ σχῆμα τῶν μοναχῶν. ῾Ομοίως ἔταξε καὶ ἄλλους πιστοὺς καὶ τῇ θεοσεβείᾳ κοσμίους ἐπὶ τοῖς ἔργοις τῶν ἀδελφῶν, ὥστε πωλεῖν καὶ ἀγοράζειν τὰς χρείας. ῞Εκαστος δὲ οἰκιακὸς τῶν τριῶν οἰκιῶν ἔχειν ὡρίσθη τὴν φροντίδα ταύτην ὥστε κατὰ (15) τρεῖς ἑβδομάδας ἀλλάσσειν τοὺς ὑπηρετοῦντας τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς καὶ ἄλλο τάγμα εἰς τοῦτο τάξαι, ἐκείνους δὲ τὸ ἔργον τῶν χειρῶν ἐργάζεσθαι ὅπερ ἂν τάξῃ αὐτοῖς ὁ οἰκιακὸς κατὰ τὴν γνώμην τοῦ μεγάλου οἰκονόμου ἤτοι τοῦ πατρὸς τῆς μονῆς. ᾿Ετάχθησαν δὲ καὶ ἄλλαι οἰκίαι ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ σὺν τοῖς οἰκιακοῖς καὶ δευτέροις αὐτῶν ἐργάζεσθαι τέχνας διαφόρους καὶ τὸ ἔργον τῶν ψιάθων, ἑτοίμους δὲ πρὸς ὑπακοὴν εἶναι καὶ μὴ ἔχειν θέλημα καρδίας ἐν μηδενί, ἵνα καρποφορήσωσιν τῷ θεῷ. ᾿Απόντος (20) δὲ τοῦ πατρὸς τῆς μονῆς, ὁ δεύτερος ἱκανός ἐστιν εἰς πᾶσαν διαταγὴν ἕως ἔλθῃ ἐκεῖνος, χωρὶς μέντοι πάσης ὑψηλοφροσύνης καὶ καυχήματος, ἐν ταπεινοφροσύνῃ καὶ πραότητι εἰς οἰκοδομὴν τῶν ἀδελφῶν· οὕτως καὶ ἐπὶ τοῦ οἰκιακοῦ καὶ δευτέρου οἰκίας. Κατηχήσεις δὲ τὸν μὲν οἰκονόμον τῆς μονῆς τρεῖς ποιεῖν τῆς ἑβδομάδος, σαββάτῳ μὲν μίαν, τῇ δὲ κυριακῇ δύο· τοὺς δὲ οἰκιακοὺς ἐν ταῖς δύο νηστείαις. (25)

 

(29.)  Περὶ τῆς ἐπιμελείας Παχωμίου ... (t)

29. Our great father Pachomius also took great care to build a church in the deserted village’ for the shepherds of the surrounding region, who were common folk, so that they might assemble on Sunday and Saturday to hear the word of God. This he did not on his own accord, but on the advice of Sarapion, the bishop of the Church of Nitentori.2 He would go there with the brothers and would do the reading for them at the time of the synaxis, since there was no lector. He took care of the expenses [of the offering] for them and for the strangers who came, until a priest was appointed there.’ Thus he would do the reading for them, with the understanding and reverence that he had, guarding his eyes as is befitting, and also his mind and his mouth.

   Καὶ τοῦτο δὲ ἐσπούδασε Παχώμιος ἐκκλησίαν οἰκοδομῆσαι ἐν τῇ ἐρήμῳ κώμῃ τοῖς περὶ τὸν (1) τόπον ποιμέσι, μετρίοις οὖσιν, ὅπως συναγόμενοι ἐν τῇ κυριακῇ καὶ τῷ σαββάτῳ ἀκούωσι τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ. Τοῦτο δὲ ἀφ’ ἑαυτοῦ οὐκ ἐποίησεν, ἀλλὰ γνώμῃ Σεραπίωνος τοῦ ἐπισκόπου Τεντύρων. ᾿Απερχόμενος οὖν ἐκεῖ μετὰ καὶ ἄλλων ἀδελφῶν, διὰ τὸ μὴ εἶναι παρ’ αὐτοῖς ἀναγνώστην αὐτὸς ἦν ἀναγινώσκων αὐτοῖς κατὰ τὴν ὥραν τῆς συνάξεως. ᾿Ανήλισκε δὲ καὶ εἰς τὰς (5) χρείας αὐτῆς· καὶ τοῖς παραβάλλουσι ξένοις ἐπήρκει, ἕως οὗ κατεστάθη τις πρεσβύτερος ἐκεῖ. Μέχρι δὲ τότε ἀναγινώσκων αὐτοῖς ὁποίαν εἶχε τήν τε ἐπιστήμην καὶ τὴν εὐλάβειαν, τούς τε ὀφθαλμοὺς τηρῶν ὡς πρέπει καὶ τὴν διάνοιαν σὺν τῷ στόματι

When the men of the world saw a man of God in their midst, they were very eager to become Christians and faithful. For he was full of mercy and a lover of souls. And many times when he saw men who did not recognize God their maker, he wept copiously by himself, desiring to save all men if he could.

. Βλέποντες οὖν οἱ κοσμικοὶ ἄνθρωπον τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν, μᾶλλον προθυμίαν ἔσχον χριστιανοὶ καὶ πιστοὶ γενέσθαι. Πολὺ γὰρ οἰκτίρμων  καὶ φιλόψυχος ἦν· καὶ πολλάκις βλέπων τοὺς ἀνθρώπους μὴ ἐπιγινώσκοντας τὸν ποιήσαντα αὐτοὺς (10) θεόν, κατ’ ἰδίαν ἔκλαιεν ἱκανῶς, ἐπιθυμῶν εἰ δυνατὸν ἦν σῶσαι πάντας.

 

(30.)  Περὶ τοῦ μεγάλου ᾿Αθανασίου. (t)

30. At that time, Athanasius, the most holy 5 archbishop of Alexandria, was beginning his episcopate’ and he wanted to go to the Upper Thebaid, up to Aswan, to give comfort to the Church of God. And as he sailed through Tabennesi, Pachomius and the brothers came out before him with joy and psalmsinging. There was a great crowd about [Athanasius], glorifying God for his coming. Now the aforesaid bishop of Nitentori had already made this request to pope Athanasius; ‘I have a father of monks in my place and since he is a man of God, I want you to set him over all the monks in my diocese as father and priest.’ Pachomius who had heard about this hid from the pope among the brothers until he had passed by. But he gazed at [Athanasius] on the boat, and recognized him as a holy servant of God, all the more as he had heard of the trials which Athanasius had endured for the sake of the Gospel and of his right faith for the sake of which he was also going to suffer later on.’

   ῾Ο δὲ ἁγιώτατος ἐπίσκοπος ᾿Αλεξανδρείας ᾿Αθανάσιος κατὰ τὸν καιρὸν ἐκεῖνον (1) ἀρχόμενος ἦν τῆς ἐπισκοπῆς· καὶ τηνικαῦτα τὰς ἐκκλησίας τοῦ θεοῦ στηρίζων, εἰς τὴν ἄνω Θηβαΐδα μέχρι Συήνης ἀπῄει. Διαπλέοντος οὖν αὐτοῦ τὸ Ταβεννῆσιν, συνεξ ῆλθε τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ἐν ἀγαλλιάσει μετὰ ψαλμῶν ἔμπροσθεν αὐτοῦ ὁ μέγας Παχώμιος. ῏Ην δὲ πολὺς ὁ ὄχλος περὶ αὐτὸν δοξάζοντες τὸν θεὸν ἐπὶ τῇ παρουσίᾳ αὐτοῦ. Καὶ ἐπειδὴ ὁ προειρημένος ἐπίσκοπος (5) Τεντύρων προῃτήσατο τὸν πάπαν ᾿Αθανάσιον λέγων· «῎Εχω πατέρα μοναζόντων ἐν τῷ τόπῳ μου καὶ θέλω ἵνα καταστήσῃς αὐτόν, θεοῦ ἄνθρωπον ὄντα, πατέρα καὶ πρεσβύτερον ἐπὶ πάντων τῶν μοναχῶν τῆς ἐνορίας μου», τοῦτο ἀκούσας ὁ Παχώμιος εἰς ὄψιν μὲν οὐκ ἦλθε τῷ πάπᾳ, κρυβεὶς ἐν μέσῳ τῶν ἀδελφῶν ἕως παρῆλθεν. ῞Ομως δὲ μακρόθεν ἀτενίσας ἐπέγνω τὸν μέγαν ᾿Αθανάσιον ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ ἅγιον ὑπάρχειν καὶ δοῦλον τοῦ θεοῦ, μάλιστα τοὺς ποικίλους πειρασμοὺς (10) ἀκούων οὓς ὑπέμεινεν κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, καὶ τὴν ὀρθὴν αὐτοῦ πίστιν ἧς ἕνεκεν καὶ μετὰ ταῦτα ἔπασχεν.

 

(31.)  Περὶ ᾿Ωριγένους. (t)

31. [Pachomius] also hated the man called Origen, first of all because he was cast out of the Church by Heraclas, the archbishop of Alexandria, before Arius and Melitius, who had uttered blasphemy against Christ.’ He hated him also because he recognized him as a blasphemer, having heard that there were dreadful things in his writings, and because he had acted rashly against his own life. [Origen] had mingled things he thought plausible with the true words of divine Scripture, to the ruination of the ignorant,’ just as a poisonous drug is mingled with honey. Therefore the great Pachomius emphatically ordered the brothers not only not to dare to read that man’s writings but not even to listen to his sayings. One day, having found a book of Origen, he threw it into the water and destroyed it, saying, ‘If the name of the Lord were not written in it, I would have burnt his blasphemies and nonsenses.’

   ᾿Εμίσει δὲ καὶ τὸν λεγόμενον ᾿Ωριγένην, οὐχ ὅτι μόνον ἐξεβλήθη τῆς ἐκκλησίας ὑπὸ (1) ῾Ηρακλᾶ τοῦ τῆς ᾿Αλεξανδρείας ἀρχιεπισκόπου πρὸ ᾿Αρείου καὶ Μελετίου τῶν κατὰ Χριστοῦ βλασφημησάντων, ἀλλ’ ὅτι κἀν τοῖς συγγράμμασιν αὐτοῦ δεινά τινα ἀκούσας ἐπέγνω αὐτὸν βλάσφημον εἶναι καὶ τολμηρὸν κατὰ τῆς ἰδίας ζωῆς· συνέμιξε γὰρ τὰ δοκοῦντα πιθανὰ τοῖς ὀρθοῖς ῥήμασι τῆς θείας γραφῆς εἰς ἀπώλειαν τῶν ἀγνοούντων, ὃν τρόπον ἀναμιγνύει (5) τις μέλιτι δηλητήριον φάρμακον. ῞Οθεν ὁ μέγας Παχώμιος τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ἐνετείλατο σφόδρα μὴ μόνον μὴ ἀναγνῶναι τολμῆσαι τὰ ἐκείνου συγγράμματα, ἀλλὰ μηδὲ ὅλως ἀκοῦσαι τῶν λεγομένων ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ. Εὑρὼν γοῦν ποτε βιβλίον ᾿Ωριγένους ἔβαλεν εἰς τὸ ὕδωρ καὶ ἀπώλεσεν αὐτὸ λέγων· «Εἰ μὴ τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ γεγραμμένον ἦν ἐν αὐτῷ, κατέκαυσα ἂν τὰς βλασφημίας καὶ φλυαρίας αὐτοῦ.»

The Holy Man gave to the orthodox bishops and successors of the apostles and of Christ himself the heed of one who sees the Lord ever presiding upon the episcopal throne in the church and teaching through it.’ If he heard anyone speaking against them in any way at all, he would not allow it, estranging himself from such people as from a snake even if they were men of repute. He would say, ‘No good man utters an evil word, especially against the holy fathers.’ He remembered Miriam,4 the sister of Moses, and her murmuring against him. So exceedingly forthright was he and profitable to those who met with himl

Οὕτως δὲ ἦν ὁ ἅγιος τοῖς ὀρθοδόξοις ἐπισκόποις καὶ διαδόχοις τῶν ἀποστόλων καὶ (10) αὐτοῦ Χριστοῦ προσέχων ὡς τὸν σωτῆρα βλέπων ἀεὶ ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ προκαθήμενον ἐπὶ τοῦ θρόνου καὶ διδάσκοντα δι’ αὐτοῦ. Καὶ εἴ τινός ποτε ἤκουσε καταλαλοῦντος αὐτῶν ἐν οἱῳδήποτε τρόπῳ, οὐκ ἠνείχετο, ἀπαλλοτριῶν ἑαυτὸν τῶν τοιούτων ὡς ἀπὸ ὄφεων, εἰ καὶ τῶν δοκούντων εἶέν τινες. «Οὐδεὶς γὰρ ἀγαθός, φησίν, προφέρει τὸ πονηρόν, μάλιστα κατὰ πατέρων ἁγίων.» ᾿Εμνημόνευε δὲ καὶ Μαρίας τῆς ἀδελφῆς Μωσέως καὶ τῶν κατ’ αὐτοῦ γογγυσμῶν. Οὕτως ἦν λίαν εὐθὴς (15) καὶ τοῖς ἐντυγχάνουσιν αὐτῷ ὠφέλιμος.

 

(32.)  Περὶ τῆς ἀδελφῆς Παχωμίου. (t)

32. The Great Man’s sister heard [about him] and came to see him.’ He sent the brother attending the gate to tell her, `Behold, you have heard that I am alive. Do not be distressed because you have not seen me. But if you too wish to share in this holy life, so that we may find mercy  before God, examine [yourself].’ The brothers will make a monastery for you to live in quietly there, and perhaps the Lord will call others as well to be with you. For man has no other hope in the world than to do good for himself and for his neighbor before he departs from his body to the place where he shall be judged and rewarded according to his works.’ Hearing this she wept, and touched by compassion she inclined her heart to salvation. So a monastery of women was built in the village, a short distance from the brothers. And as they grew in number little by little, she became their mother.

   ᾿Ακούσασά ποτε ἡ ἀδελφὴ τοῦ μεγάλου ἦλθεν ἰδεῖν αὐτόν. Καὶ πέμπει τὸν προσέχοντα τῇ θύρᾳ (1) ἀδελφὸν εἰπεῖν αὐτῇ· «᾿Ιδοὺ ἤκουσας περὶ ἐμοῦ ὅτι ζῶ· μὴ λυπηθῇς ὅτι οὐκ εἶδές με. ᾿Αλλ’ εἰ καὶ θέλεις καὶ σὺ τούτου τοῦ ἁγίου βίου μετασχεῖν ὅπως εὕρωμεν ἔλεος παρὰ τῷ θεῷ, σκέψαι καὶ οἱ ἀδελφοὶ ποιοῦσί σοι μονὴν εἰς τὸ ἡσυχάσαι ἐκεῖ· καὶ ἴσως καλέσει καὶ ἄλλας σὺν σοὶ εἶναι ὁ κύριος. Οὐδεμίαν γὰρ ἔχει ἄλλην ἐλπίδα ἄνθρωπος ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ εἰ μὴ τὸ ποιεῖν ἀγαθὸν ἑαυτῷ καὶ τῷ πλησίον,  (5) πρὶν ἐξέλθῃ ἀπὸ τοῦ σώματος εἰς τὸν τόπον οὗ μέλλει κρίνεσθαι καὶ ἀπολαβεῖν κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ.» Καὶ ταῦτα ἐκείνη ἀκούσασα ἐδάκρυσε· καὶ κατανυγεῖσα ἔκλινε τὴν καρδίαν αὐτῆς πρὸς τὸ σωθῆναι. Περὶ τῆς γυναικείας μονῆς καὶ Πέτρου τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτῆς. (8t)

He appointed a certain Peter, a man very religious and advanced in age, to visit them. His speech was seasoned with salt, and his eyes as well as his mind were full of dignity. He would often stand to preach to them the words of salvation from the divine Scriptures. Pachomius wrote down for them the rules of the brothers and sent them by the old man Peter, that they might govern themselves by keeping them. If ever any of the brothers who had not yet attained to perfection wished to visit a relative [among the sisters], he would send him through the housemaster’s [direction] to the old man Peter, and so information was imparted either to his mother or sister. In the presence of another sister capable in the Lord he would visit his relative with great discretion, forgetting at the same time their kinship according to the flesh. He would bring her nothingfor he owned nothingand would not receive anything either, for sufficient to them both was the hope and the remembrance of eternal goods.

   Καὶ οὕτως ἐγένετο μοναστήριον γυναικῶν ἐν τῇ κώμῃ μακρὰν ὀλίγον τῶν ἀδελφῶν. Καὶ ὅσον ὅσον (9) πληθυνομένων, μήτηρ αὐτῶν ἦν. Πέτρον οὖν τινα εὐλαβέστατον καὶ πρεσβύτην τὴν ἡλικίαν ἔταξεν (10) εἰς τὸ ἐπισκέπτεσθαι αὐτάς. ῏Ην γὰρ ὁ λόγος αὐτοῦ ἅλατι ἠρτυμένος καὶ σεμνοὶ λίαν σὺν τῇ διανοίᾳ οἱ ὀφθαλμοί. Πολλάκις τε στήκων ὡμίλει αὐταῖς τὰ τῆς σωτηρίας ἀπὸ τῶν θείων γραφῶν. ῎Εγραψε δὲ καὶ αὐταῖς ὁ Παχώμιος τοὺς κανόνας τῶν ἀδελφῶν, πέμψας διὰ τοῦ γέροντος Πέτρου, ὅπως κατὰ κυβέρνησιν στοιχήσωσιν αὐτοῖς. Καὶ ὅτε τις τῶν ἀδελφῶν, μήπω εἰς τελειότητα φθάσας, ἤθελεν ἐπισκέψασθαι ἰδίαν ἑαυτοῦ, ἔπεμπεν αὐτὸν διὰ τοῦ οἰκιακοῦ εἰς τὸν γέροντα (15) Πέτρον. Οὕτω δὲ μετεδίδοτο φάσις τῇ μητρὶ αὐτοῦ ἢ ἀδελφῇ· καὶ παρούσης ἄλλης ἱκανῆς ἐν κυρίῳ, ἐπεσκέπετο τὴν διαφέρουσαν αὐτῷ ἐκεῖνος μετὰ πολλῆς εὐλαβείας, ἐπιλανθανόμενος ἅμα τῆς σαρκικῆς συγγενείας, μηδὲν φέρων αὐτῇ (οὐ γὰρ εἶχε) μηδὲ λαμβάνων ὁμοίως. ῎Ηρκει γὰρ ἀμφοτέροις ἡ ἐλπὶς καὶ ἡ μνήμη τῶν αἰωνίων ἀγαθῶν.

 

 When there was some building or other kind of work that needed to be done there, he would choose out an intelligent and discreet brother and would send him there with others like him to do it. They would work until mealtime and they would return to the monastery at the time of eating.When one of the virgins there died, those advanced in age among them would first order a shroud to be cast over the body of the deceased. Then the brothers sent and appointed for this would stand with dignity under the portico there in the synaxis, and they would sing psalms decently until she was prepared for burial. The virgins would stand at a distance in the other part. After this the men would lead the way to the mountain singing psalms with great dignity, while the virgins followed behind the bier. Their father Peter would not leave them at all until, in the fear of God, they had entered their own monastery.4

῞Οτε δὲ χρεία ἐγίνετο οἰκοδομῆσαί τι ἐκεῖ ἢ ἐργάσασθαι ὧν εἰκός, ἐκλεγόμενος ἐπιστήμονα καὶ εὐλαβῆ ἀδελφὸν μετὰ καὶ ἄλλων ὁμοίων ἔπεμπεν (20) ἐκεῖ ἐπὶ τούτῳ· καὶ ἐργαζόμενοι μέχρις ἀρίστου, τῇ ὥρᾳ τοῦ φαγεῖν ἤρχοντο εἰς τὴν μονήν.   Καὶ ἡνίκα τις τῶν ἐκεῖ παρθένων ἐτελεύτα τὸν βίον, αἱ μὲν προβεβηκυῖαι ἐν αὐταῖς σινδόνα πρῶτον εἰς τὸ σῶμα τῆς ἀποιχομένης ἐπιβληθῆναι παρεκελεύοντο· ἔπειτα τῶν ἀποσταλέντων ἀδελφῶν καὶ εἰς τοῦτο ταχθέντων ἑστηκότων σεμνῶς ὑπὸ τὴν ἐκεῖσε στοὰν ἐν συνάξει καὶ ψαλλόντων κοσμίως ἕως ἐνταφιασθῇ, ἐκεῖναι μακρὰν εἰς τὸ ἕτερον μέρος παρίσταντο· καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο τῶν ἀνδρῶν εἰς τὸ (25) ὄρος προαγόντων καὶ σεμνοτέρως ψαλλόντων, αὗται τῆς ἁμάξης ὄπισθεν ἠκολούθουν, τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτῶν Πέτρου μὴ ἀφισταμένου αὐτῶν ὅλως, ἕως ἔλθωσιν εἰς τὴν μονὴν ἑαυτῶν ἐν φόβῳ θεοῦ. 

 

 

 

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