|The founder of Monasticism, Pachomius|
Pachomius was a good polytheist who got gaffled up by his local military induction drive. Back then (fourth century), you didn't get injected, inspected, detected, and infected when you were selected. You were, however, neglected. Pachomius and his fellow inductees (what a euphemism for military conscripts, which itself is just a fancy term for prisoners) were herded into pens and held until more bodies were needed. If the need never came, they were to be released.
|The Cradle of Monasticism|
Pachomius revolutionized the Way of the Monk. Macarius had already organized larvae, or clusters of cells where hermits could live near each other but remain independent. Pachomius organized these into self-governing religious communities with rules and roles. Each would be headed by an abba, the Semitic root word for father which later evolved into abbot and abbess. Pachomius himself was called Abba at the first true monastery, the community in Tabennisi, Egypt.
Sometimes a market is full of pent-up demand just waiting for an innovation. Egypt in the fourth century must have been one of those markets. Pachomius himself attracted more than 100 followers to his first monastery, and founded nine in his career. But that's nothing that compared to the 3000 monasteries that sprang up throughout Egypt by his death in 348.
Since he was Coptic, I should probably have celebrated his feast on May 9, but the Orthodox Church celebrates him on the 15th.