Orthodox Monk: Orthodox Monasticism 5 — Syrian Monasticism

Orthodox Monk: Orthodox Monasticism 5 — Syrian Monasticism: We would like to say a few words about Syrian monasticism. The best source on Syrian monasticism is a work by the Bishop of Cyrrh, Theodoret. This work is made up of the Lives of a number of Syrian monastic saints, including St Symeon Stylites, whom Theodoret knew personally. What comes through in these lives is the severity of Syrian asceticism. For example, it was common for these ascetical monks to live completely enclosed or to live completely restricted to the environs of a house without a roof (winter and summer, without protection from the elements). One can understand what is involved from the Life of St Symeon Stylites, who invented the practice of living on top of a pillar. (Incidentally St Symeon really did exist and really did have his name go out through the Roman Empire: the location of the ruins of his pillar complex is well known.)


Popular Posts