Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saturday, July 14, 2012 Asceticism, Mt 10:24-33, Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha, Part IV of IV Old Christian Monasteries in Europe

Saturday, July 14, 2012
Asceticism, Mt 10:24-33, Bl. Kateri Tekakwitha, Part IV of IV Old Christian Monasteries in Europe

Good Day Bloggers! 
Wishing everyone a Wonderful Weekend! 

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience, tranquility and of course, resolution...God's always available 24/7.

We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift knowledge and free will as well, make the most of it. Life on earth is a stepping to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


Today's Word:  asceticism   as·cet·i·cism [uh-set-uh-siz-uhm]

Origin: 1640–50; ascetic  + -ism

1. the manner of life, practices, or principles of an ascetic.
2. the doctrine that a person can attain a high spiritual and moral state by practicing self-denial, self-mortification, and the like.
3. rigorous self-denial; extreme abstinence; austerity.

Example Sentences
  • In its horror of sensuality, it made an idol of asceticism, which has been gradually compromised away into one of legality.
  • His ardent asceticism has only recently been leavened with a dollop of luxury.
  • Asceticism, the rapt attention of a soul to theories, has never thriven so well before or since

Reference: Courtesy of


Today's Gospel Reading - Matthew 10: 24-33


 Jesus said to his disciples: "The disciple is not superior to teacher, nor slave to master. It is enough for disciple to grow to be like teacher, and slave like master. If they have called the master of the house "Beelzebul", how much more the members of his household? 'So do not be afraid of them. Everything now covered up will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops. 'Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. 'So if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of human beings, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven. But the one who disowns me in the presence of human beings, I will disown in the presence of my Father in heaven. 

• Today’s Gospel presents to us diverse instructions of Jesus on the behaviour that the disciples have to adopt in the exercise of their mission.  What strikes most in these instructions are two warnings: (a) the frequency with which Jesus refers to the persecutions and suffering which they will have to bear; (b) the insistence repeated three times to the disciples not to be afraid.

• Matthew 10, 24-25: Persecutions and sufferings which mark the life of the disciples.  These two verses constitute the final part of a warning of Jesus to the disciples concerning persecutions. The disciples should know that, because of the fact of being disciples of Jesus, they will be persecuted (Mt 10, 17-23). But this should not be a reason for worrying, because a disciple should imitate the life of the Master and share the trials with him. This is part of discipleship.  “A disciple is not greater than the Teacher or a servant than his master; it is sufficient for the disciple to grow to be like his teacher and the servant like his master”. If they called Jesus Beelzebul, how much more will they insult his disciples. In other words, the disciple of Jesus should be worried if in his life there are no persecutions.

• Matthew 10, 26-27: Do not be afraid to say the truth.  The disciples should not be afraid to be persecuted. Those who persecute them, succeed to pervert the sense of the facts and to spread calumnies which change truth into lie, and the lie into truth. But no matter how great is the lie, truth will triumph at the end and will make the lie crumble down. This is why we should not be afraid to proclaim truth, the things which Jesus has taught.  Every day, the means of communication succeed to pervert the meaning of things and the persons who proclaim the truth are considered as criminals; they make the neo-liberal system to appear as just and it perverts the sense of human life.  

• Matthew 10, 28: Do not be afraid of those who kill the body. The disciples should not be afraid of those who kill the body, who torture, who strike and cause suffering.  Those who torture can kill the body, but they cannot succeed to kill liberty and the spirit in the body.  They should be afraid, yes, that the fear of suffering may lead them to hide or to deny the truth, and that this will lead them to offend God, because anyone who draws away from God will be lost forever.

• Matthew 10, 29-31: Do not be afraid, but trust in Divine Providence. The disciples should not fear anything, because they are in God’s hands. Jesus orders to look at the birds in the air. Two sparrows are sold for a penny, but not one of them will fall to the ground without the Father wanting.  Every hair on our head has been counted.  Luke says that not one hair falls without our Father wanting it (Lk 21, 18). And so many hairs fall from our head!  Because of this “Do not be afraid. You are worth more than many sparrows”. This is the lesson which Jesus draws from the contemplation of nature.

• Matthew 10, 32-33: Do not be afraid to be the witnesses of Jesus. At the end Jesus summarizes everything in this sentence: “If anyone declares himself for me in the presence of human beings, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven; 33: the one who instead will disown me in the presence of human beings, I will disown him in the presence of my Father in heaven”. Knowing that we are in God’s hands and that God is with us, at every moment, we have the necessary courage and the peace to render witness and to be disciples of Jesus.

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Items from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha 

**Will be canonized Saint Kateri Tekakwitha on 10/21/12

Feast Day: July 14
Patron Saint: of the environment and ecology
1656 - April 17, 1680
Beatified By: Pope John Paul II
**To be Canonized on 10/21/12

Blessed Kateri Tekawitha
to be canonized on 10/21/12

1696 Father Chauchetière
Kateri Tekakwitha (pronounced [ˈgaderi degaˈgwita] in Mohawk), originally known as Catherine Tekakwitha informally known as Lily of the Mohawks (1656 – April 17, 1680) was an Algonquin and Iroquois Native American religious lay woman from New France and an early convert to Roman Catholicism. Consequently, she was shunned and exiled by her tribe. 

 She died at the age of 24 after professing her vows of virginity. Known for her chastity and corporal mortification of the flesh, she is the first Native American woman to be venerated in the Roman Catholic Church.  Kateri was declared venerable by the Catholic Church in 1943 and she was Beatified in 1980. Work is currently underway to have her Canonized by the Church. Hundreds of thousands have visited shrines to Kateri erected at both St. Francis Xavier and Caughnawaga and at her birth place at Auriesville, New York. Pilgrimages at these sites continue today. 

On February 18, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI officially announced at Saint Peter's Basilica that Tekakwitha will be canonized on October 21, 2012


Kateri Tekakwitha (the name "Kateri" is derived from French "Catherine", the name under which she was baptized) was born in the Mohawk village Gandaouagué, in northern New York, around the year 1656. She was the daughter of Kenneronkwa, a Mohawk chief, and Tagaskouita, a Roman Catholic Algonquin. Tekakwitha was born in the Mohawk community of Ossernenon near present-day Auriesville, New York. Tekakwitha's mother was baptized and educated by French missionaries in Trois-Rivières. She was captured at the start of a war with the Iroquois and taken to the Mohawk homeland.

She eventually married a Mohawk man and became a part of the community. The village Kateri was born into was incredibly diverse, as a result of the constant influx of captured natives. She was most likely part of the Turtle clan. When she was a toddler, her village moved to a different location, and a smallpox epidemic spread from 1661 to 1663. This epidemic killed the young girl’s family, and destroyed her own good health. This disease outbreak also took the lives of her brother and both her parents. She was then adopted by her uncle, who was a chief of the Turtle Clan. Her mother was Christian and had given Tekakwitha a Rosary but her uncle discouraged religious conversion.

The Jesuits’ record of Kateri states that she was a shy and modest girl who avoided social gatherings and wore a blanket over her head because of the small pox that had destroyed her skin as a child. It was also stated that as an orphan, she was left to the care of uninterested relatives. However, this was probably not the case; the Jesuits wanted to make her seem isolated so as to stand out from the “pagan savages”, in reality she was probably well taken care of by the women she lived with in the longhouse. She was very skilled with traditional women’s work, which included making clothing, belts, mats, baskets, boxes, and preparing food. She was also a part of seasonal planting and intermittent weeding. She was pressured to consider marriage around age thirteen, but she ran away and would not agree to it.

The atmosphere that Kateri grew up in was one of constant change, as the Mohawks interacted with European colonists. Her people were attacked by the French in 1666, and raiding and war were continually a huge part of life for her people. She was not in favor of the torture of captives. After the French defeated her people, Jesuit missionaries flooded her village. She first interacted with a missionary in the spring of 1675 at age eighteen, while resting in bed after sustaining a foot injury. The Jesuit who visited her was named Father Jacques de Lamberville. At the age of 20, Tekakwitha was baptized on Easter Sunday, April 18, 1676, by Father Jacques de Lamberville, a Jesuit.

Tekakwitha exercised physical mortification of the flesh as a route to sanctity. She occasionally put thorns upon her sleeping mat and lay on them, while praying for the conversion and forgiveness of her kinsmen. Piercing the body to draw blood was a traditional practice of the Hurons, Iroquois, as well as the Mohawks. Tekakwitha also believed that offering her blood through penances was a way to imitate Christ's crucifixion. She changed this practice to stepping on burning coals when her close friend, Marie Therese, expressed her disapproval.


In 1666, French troops attacked the Mohawk people, burning their villages and food supply. When a peace treaty was drawn up, one of the conditions for this alliance was that they accept Jesuit missionaries. These missions were located near Montreal and came to be known as Kahnawake, the place where Catherine lived.[10] It is clear that most converts were female and they were experiencing a new way of life that they thought came with Christianity. They lived in poverty and depended on people giving then charity. They gave their bodies and souls to God completely and also participated in mortification of their flesh.[7] Although the Jesuits were against this practice and it did not last very long, the women of the village continued to practice it, usually in groups, claiming that it was in order to relieve their people of their past sins. The people of Kahnawake usually understood what was required from a Christian and followed the directions of the Jesuits and other times evaded their control in certain areas. On the whole, they wanted to experience the sacred and spiritual life and they were determined to do this with or without the Jesuits there.

In 1667, when Catherine was 11 years old, she had her first encounter with Jesuit missionaries. Jacques Fremin, Jacques Bruyas, and Jean Pierron had arrived in the village in order to deal with a peace treaty with the Iroquois. Her uncle was extremely against any contact with them because he did not want her to convert to Christianity. She was however enchanted by the teachings of these men and began attending catechism given by Lamberville who, in 1676, judged her to be so advanced in her learning that he suggested baptism for her. This is significant because according to the Jesuit policy, baptism was withheld for new converts usually until they were on their deathbed or until the missionaries could be certain that they would not back down. This shows that Catherine was extremely devout and was prepared to take on this life forever.

After Catherine was baptized, she only remained in the village for another 6 months because her life became more difficult facing the natives. She was continually harassed and was accused of sins such as sorcery and sexual promiscuity, including incest with her uncle. Lamberville suggested that she leave the village and go to the Jesuit mission where she lived for the last 2 years of her life. There, she learned even more about Christianity under her mentor Anastasia, who taught her about the practice of repenting for one’s sins. Catherine, like any devout Christian, feared that she would not be saved and therefore took up mortification of the flesh with a group of women in the mission.When the women learned of the existence of female convents, they wanted to form their own, and although this was discouraged by the Jesuits, Catherine devoted the rest of her short life to her virginity to Christ.

There were pressures by some people in the mission for Catherine to get married, just as there had been in her village. She sought the help of Father Cholenec who asked what she truly wanted. According to his writings, her response was: “I have deliberated enough. For a long time my decision on what I will do has been made. I have consecrated myself entirely to Jesus, son of Mary, I have chosen Him for husband and He alone will take me for wife”. It is therefore in 1679, on the Feast of the Anunciation, that her conversion was truly completed and she became the “first virgin”.

Mission du Sault St. Louis: Kahnawake

When she died, Catherine Tekakwitha had been settled at the Christian Iroquois village of Kahnawake since 1677. Since her arrival, she had shared her sister’s longhouse. Many of the people in the longhouse she would have known from her previous village of Gandaouagué. Her mother’s close friend, Anastasia Tegonhatsiongo, was matron of the longhouse. Tekakwitha’s introduction to Christianity (as an actual practice) was done by Iroquois women, including Anastasia

The main purpose of Kahnawake was the religious conversion of the natives. When it began, longhouses were built by the natives, and a longhouse was used for a Chapel by the Jesuits. Being a missionary settlement, Kahnawake was at risk of being attacked by the Iroquois Confederacy.

The Christian Iroquois of Kahnawake honored Tekakwitha after her death, but rarely asked her for any help. It was not in Iroquois custom to ask help from the dead. However, even before being beatified, Tekakwitha was seen as an “unofficial cult figure” in the Kahnawake/Montreal region of Canada. On the Kahnawake reservation, the effects of residential schooling imposed by Christian churches being still fresh in many people’s minds, many do not share such strong feelings for Tekakwitha as a possible Catholic Saint.

Chauchetière and Cholenec

Claude Chauchetière and Pierre Cholenec were Jesuit priests who played important roles in Tekakwitha’s life. Both were based in New France, an area which was considered dangerous and unappealing, due to wars with the Iroquois and the cold weather. Chauchetière was the first to write a biography of Tekakwitha’s life, followed by Cholenec.

Cholenec was present in New France before Chauchetière, having left for Canada in 1672. It was Father Cholenec who introduced whips, irritating hair shirts and iron girdles to Kahnawake in order to regulate Tekakwitha and her sisters’ practices of mortification of the flesh.

Both Chauchetière and Catherine arrived in Kahnawake the same year, in 1677. He was very impressed by Catherine; he had not expected a native to be so pious. He was certain Catherine Tekakwitha was a saint. Jesuits believed that natives needed the guidance of Christians in order to be set on the right path. Chauchetière says that such close contact with natives in Kahnawake changed some of his set notions about natives (his notion of human difference, mostly, changed).

Her sisters, Marie-Thérèse, and Corporal Mortification

Jesuits wanted to guide natives and share their religion with them, but this did not signify that they were willing to share all of their secrets with them. For example, natives were not allowed to join the clergy.[7] The most religious of natives, however, wanted to know more about these secrets that were being kept from them. They wanted full access to the religion. Most converts to Catholicism were women, therefore a lot of the more devout tended to be women also.

Tekakwitha met Marie-Thérèse Tegaiaguenta for the first time in the spring of 1678. Both aspired to better themselves, and this led to their practice of mutual flagellation in secret, away from the Jesuits. Cholenec says that Catherine could flog herself between one thousand and twelve hundred blows in one session. The two native women were attempting to gain a better understanding of Christianity, and wanted to learn more. Marie Skarichions influenced them by letting them know about female nuns and their role in the Catholic religion. Through their mutual quest, the two women had a strong multi-faceted relationship, one described as a very “spiritual friendship” by the Jesuits.

What began with two women eventually became a small group of associates. They asked the Jesuits for permission to form a group of native disciples, and were told they were too “young in faith” for such a group. The women still practiced together, and mortification of the flesh remained in their practices. Marie-Thérèse eventually left the group, supposedly due to personal issues. Catherine tried to reintegrate her into the group until her death.

Baptismal name

Catherine stumbled upon Christianity in 1675, when she was approximately 18 years old. She was baptized on Easter Day in 1676 in the bark-covered chapel of Gandaouagué, which provided her with a new identity. she took the name Catherine, in honor of Saint Catherine of Siena. Catherine of Siena was a 14th-century mystic ascetic saint and it is said that she lived again through the Mohawk woman, poetically speaking Catherine was a very popular name, and as Cholenec specifies, no one knows who chose that exact baptismal name for her. An important aspect to consider is that ‘Catherine’ was an easy name to pronounce for the natives.

The word Kateri is an Iroquois pronunciation of the French name. Given that the Christian community in Quebec had at least minimal education, it is likely that Tekakwitha also knew how to pronounce her chosen baptismal name in French. Tekakwitha means 'one who puts things in order'. Writing in French, Tekakwitha's earliest biographers, Father Chauchetière and Father Cholenec, from the years 1695 and 1696, give her name as Catherine.

She was beatified on June 22, 1980 by Pope John Paul II. The official beatification register postulated by Rev. Anton Witwer, S.J. to the Roman Catholic Church bears her name as Catherine. The 1961 edition of Acta Apostolicae Sedis refers in Latin to her cause of beatification as that of "Ven. Catharinae Tekakwitha, virginis".

On February 18, 2012, in the consistory for the canonization of causes of canonization held in Saint Peter's Basilica immediately after the consistory for the creation of new cardinals, Pope Benedict XVI decreed that she be canonized. Speaking in Latin, he used the form "Catharina Tekakwitha", but the official booklet of the ceremony called her, both in English and in Italian, "Kateri Tekakwitha".


Tekakwitha's grave stone reads:

Because of Tekakwitha's notable path to chastity, she is often referred to as a Lily flower, a traditional symbol of purity among Roman Catholics. Religious images of Tekakwitha are often decorated with a lily flower and cross, with feathers or turtle as cultural accessories. Other colloquial terms for Tekakwitha are The Lily of the Mohawks (most notable), the Mohawk Maiden, the Pure and Tender Lily, the Flower among True Men, the Lily of Purity and The New Star of the New World. Her tribal neighbors called her The fairest flower that ever bloomed among the redmen.[18] Many devotees often use Tekakwitha's virtues as an ecumenical bridge for many Native Americans who were discriminated against by many early European Christians.

Religious veneration

The process for her canonization began in 1884. In January 3, 1943, she was declared venerable by Pope Pius XII. She was later beatified on June 22, 1980 by Pope John Paul II. On December 19, 2011, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints certified a second miracle through her intercession, signed by Pope Benedict XVI, thereby paving the way for pending canonization. She is the first Native American woman to qualify for Sainthood by the Roman Catholic Church. She is scheduled for canonization in October 2012.

Devotion to Tekakwitha is found in three national shrines in the United States, namely the National Shrine of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha in Fonda, New York, the National Shrine of the North American Martyrs in Auriesville, New York, and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. A statue of Tekakwitha is on the outside of the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré in Quebec, Canada. In 2007, Tekakwitha was featured along with Junipero Serra, St. Joseph, and Francis of Assisi in the Grand Retablo, a newly installed work by Spanish artisans, standing over forty feet high behind the main altar of the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano in Orange County, California.

A bronze statue of Blessed Kateri kneeling in prayer was installed in 2008, created by artist Cynthia Hitschler, is featured along the devotional walkway leading to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, Wisconsin. Another life-size statue of Blessed Kateri resides at the National Shrine Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima in Lewiston, New York. A bronze figure of Kateri is also on the bronze front doors of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City.

Tekakwitha was for some time after her death considered an honorary yet unofficial patroness of Montreal, Canada, and Native Americans. Fifty years after her death a convent for Native American nuns was opened in Mexico, who prays and supports her canonization.

Post Mortem

Around the period of the Holy week, there were indications of her weak physical state. When people knew she had but a few hours left some villagers assembled together, along with Chauchetière and Cholenec. Pierre Cholenec provided the last rites.By her side stood Marie-Therèse and another woman to whom Catherine brought guidance. “Take courage, despite the words of those who have no faith”; “Be assured that you are pleasing in the sight of God and that I shall help you when I am with Him”; “Never give up mortification” are examples of advice Catherine shared. Catherine Tekakwitha died on April 17, 1680 at the age of 24 in the arms of Marie-Therèse Tegaiaguenta. Chauchetière reports her final words as “I will love you in heaven”, in a murmur, before she died.

After her death, the people surrounding her body noticed a change in her appearance and as Cholenec reports “This face, so marked and swarthy, suddenly changed about a quarter of an hour after her death, and became in a moment so beautiful and so white that I observed it immediately”. Catherine Tekakwitha is said to have appeared before three individuals after her death; Anastasia Tegonhatsiongo (her mentor), Marie-Therèse tegaiaguenta (her companion) and Claude Chauchetière. Anastasia’s account begins when she was crying over the death of her daughter and looked up to notice Catherine “kneeling at the foot” of her mattress “holding a wooden cross that shone like the sun”. Marie-Thérèse reports that she was awakened at night by an individual who knocked on her wall to ask if she was awake and added “I’ve come to say good-bye; I’m on my way to heaven”; feeling intrigued she went outside but there was no one. She heard a distant murmur: “Adieu, Adieu, go tell the father that I’m going to heaven”. The last visitation supposedly occurred to Chauchetière himself, at her grave. He depicted her as a “baroque splendour; for 2 hours he gazed upon her” and “her face lifted toward heaven as if in ecstasy”.

Claude Chauchetière had the project of building a chapel where she rests and so, in 1684, pilgrimages began in order to honour her. There they turned her bones to dust and set the ashes within the “newly rebuilt mission chapel”. This symbolized her presence on earth. Her physical remains were sometimes used as relics for healing. Written accounts of her life were completed by Chauchetière and Cholenec, ensuring that her narrative lives on.

Reputed miracles

One miracle that has been recorded was experienced by Joseph Kellogg, a non-Catholic who as a young child was captured by Natives in a raid, but eventually brought back to his home. Twelve months after he was kidnapped he caught smallpox and failed to be cured by the ordinary means used by the Jesuits. The Jesuits possessed relics from Catherine Tekakwitha’s grave, but did not want to use them on a non-Catholic. One Jesuit told him that if he would confess and truly embody a Roman Catholic, help would come to him and so Joseph did as asked. The Jesuit gave him rotten wood from Catherine’s coffin, which is said to have made him heal. This example demonstrates that Catherine Tekakwitha’s name was already circulating in the 18th century New France and it also shows that she was becoming known for her professed healing abilities.

Joseph Kellogg’s situation is not the only example of miracles related to Catherine; Father Rémy's hearing was recovered and a nun in Montreal was cured by using Catherine Tekakwitha‘s tooth and by drinking from a dish belonging to her. In those times, this could be used as evidence to show that Catherine was possibly a saint. Sainthood is symbolized by death and rejection of death itself. It is also represented by a duality of pain and a neutralisation of the other’s pain (all shown by her reputed miracles in New France). Claude Chauchetière spread the belief of Catherine’s Sainthood to La Prairie as he told settlers to pray to her to get over their sickness. His words and Catherine’s fame spread all the way to La Chine.

People faithfully believed in her healing powers on the sick, and this is why some wore small bags of earth coming from her grave as a relic. One woman is said to have been saved from a kind of pneumonia (“grande maladie du rhume”), and when she gave the pendant to her husband he was healed from his ills also.
Tradition holds that Tekakwitha's smallpox scars vanished at the time of her death in 1680, causing Pope Pius XII to investigate and declare as an authentic miracle in 1943. There are also claims that many pilgrims at her funeral were healed. It is also held that Tekakwitha appeared to two different individuals in the weeks following her death.

On December 19, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI signed and approved the miracle needed for Blessed Kateri's canonization. The authorized miracle dates from 2006 when a young boy who had suffered a flesh-eating bacterium after sustaining a lip wound during a sports practice caused facial disfigurement. Unable to survive the surgeries, the parents allegedly claim to have prayed to Jesus Christ through Tekakwitha for divine intercession. The boy had already received his Last Rites from a Roman Catholic priest before the alleged miracle took place.


  • Courtesy of Wikipedia, and Catholic Online, 
  • Pierre Cholenec, S.J. (1696). The Life of Catherine Tekakwitha, First Iroquois Virgin. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
  • Greer, Allan (2005). Mohawk Saint: Catherine Tekakwitha and the Jesuits. Oxford University Press. pp. 3–205


Today's Snippet: Part IV of IV - Christian Monasteries in Europe

It was St. Pachomios who developed the idea of having monks live together and worship together under the same roof (Coenobitic Monasticism). Soon the Egyptian desert blossomed with monasteries, especially around Nitria, which was called the "Holy City". Estimates are the upwards of 50,000 monks lived in this area at any one time.

Hermitism never died out though, but was reserved only for those advanced monks who had worked out their problems within a cenobitic monastery. The idea caught on, and other places followed:

  • Upon his return from the Council of Sardica, Saint Athanasius established the first Christian monastery in Europe circa 344 near modern-day Chirpan in Bulgaria.
  • Saint Eugenios founded a monastery on Mt. Izla above Nisibis in Mesopotamia (~350), and from this monastery the cenobitic tradition spread in Mesopotamia, Persia, Armenia, Georgia and even India and China.
  • Saint Saba organized the monks of the Judean Desert in a monastery close to Bethlehem (483), and this is considered the mother of all monasteries of the Eastern Orthodox churches.
  • St. Benedict of Nursia founded the monastery of Monte Cassino in Italy (529), which was the seed of Roman Catholic monasticism in general, and of the order of Benedict in particular.
  • The Carthusian Order was founded by Saint Bruno of Cologneat La Grande Chartreuse, from which the Order takes its name, in the 11th century as an eremitical community, and remains the motherhouse of the Order.