Orthodox Saint Pachomius History and Name Day Information
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Learning about the saints is an important part of being a Greek Orthodox Christian. Saint Pachomius is one of those individuals who made an impact on the church. Those who are named after him would celebrate their name day on his feast day, which takes place on May 15th of each year. Here’s more information about this saint:
About Saint Pachomius
Saint Pachomius is one of the early saints of the Orthodox Church. He was born in Upper Egypt, which is still part of modern-day Egypt to this day. He had pagan parents, and he didn’t convert to Christianity until later since he was raised in the traditional, pagan religion that was present in Upper Egypt of the time. However, he was always known as someone who had great moral character, even before he was baptized into the faith.
At the time, Upper Egypt was part of the Roman Empire. When Pachomius was around 20 years old, he was asked to serve in the Roman Army. One of this tasks was to spend time with prisoners. As a guard, he was exposed to the Christians, who were being heavily persecuted by the Roman Empire at the time. He was so impressed with the character of the Christians in prison that this eventually led to him converting to Christianity. He was baptized in 314 AD.
In 317 AD, he traveled to the desert to a Christian monastery named Tabbenisi where he studied the faith and prayed. At the time, monastics lived quite lives in relative isolation and there wasn’t a sense of community at these places. While he was here, an angel is said to have appeared to him in order to encourage the monks to live with a greater sense of community with one another. He became in charge of the monastery and followed the angel’s instruction. Thus, it is Saint Pachomius who is credited with cenobitic monasticism.
Pachomius Invents the Prayer Rope
There is some lore surrounding him concerning the traditional prayer ropes that are still being used today. It was in this monastery where Saint Pachomius is said to have made the first prayer rope. As Christians, we were taught by Saint Paul to pray without ceasing. The prayer rope is a tool that serves as a reminder to say our prayers. At the time, some of the monks were illiterate and the rope was a reminder to do their prayers. The angel is said to have instructed him to create this prayer rope to help the monks.
Pachomius’s rope is still being used today, and it is an expression of what is now referred to as the Pachomian Rule of Prayer. In this method, there are 12 total prayers throughout the day, 12 in the evening, and 12 during all night vigils. Each group of “12 prayers” represented saying the Jesus prayer 1200 times. So for many monks, that amounted to 3600 Jesus prayers in a day!
Each monk at the time was given a rope with these words:
Accept, O brother (or sister) the spiritual sword which is the word of God in the everlasting Jesus prayer by which you should have the name of the Lord in your soul, your thoughts, and your heart, saying always: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.
Hymns of Pachomius
Saint Pachomius’s feast day is on May 15th of each year. Here are the hymns that are chanted or sung during this day:
Apolytikion of Pachomius the Great – Plagal of the First Tone
Thou didst prove a chief pastor of the Chief Shepherd, Christ, guiding the flocks of monastics unto the heavenly fold, whence thou learntest of the habit and the way of life that doth befit ascetic ranks; having taught this to thy monks, thou now dancest and rejoicest with them in heavenly dwellings, O great Pachomius, our Father and guide.
Kontakion of Pachomius the Great – Second Tone
Since thou hadst shown forth the life of the Angels while in a body, O God-bearing Pachomius, thou wast also counted worthy of their glory; and with them thou standest before the Lord’s throne, interceding that divine forgiveness be granted unto all.
Saint Pachomius one of the early saints of the Orthodox Christian Church. His feast day is on May 15th. Check the Name Day page for more information about other Orthodox Christian name days.
Categorized in: Greek Orthodox Religious Information
This post was written by GreekBoston.com