Monday, July 23, 2007

Saint John Cassian

Saint John Cassian

Although today is the Memorial of Saint Bridget, today is also the Commemoration of Saint John Cassian.

He is mentioned in the 2004 Roman Martyrology for today:

Massíliæ in Província Gálliæ, sancti Ioánnis Cassiáni, presbýteri, qui duo monastéria, álterum pro viris, álterum pro muliéribus, cóndidit et, longo rerum monasticárum usu perítus, de Cœnobíticus Institútis et Collatiónes Patrum scripsit ad ædificatiónem monachórum.
[Quick and rough translation](Marsalles in the Province of Gaul (France), Saint John Cassian, priest, who founded two monasteries, one for men, the other for women, learned in the longstanding practice of monastic things, he wrote the Monastic Institutes and the Conferences of the Fathers for the encouragement of monks.

Saint John Cassian travelled with his friend Germanus to the Holy Lands and to Egypt, visiting various monasteries and hermits and learning how to live monastic life. He then recorded much of what he learned in his writings and brought them back to Italy and France to help encourage the growth of monastic life in the West.

Saint John Cassian's writings and Saint Basil the Great's Monastic Rule are specifically mentioned by Saint Benedict in his Rule as recommended reading for monks.

Then, besides, the Conferences of the Fathers, their Institutes and their Lives, there is also the rule of our holy father Basil. For observant and obedient monks, all these are nothing less than tools for the cultivation of virtues; but as for us, they make us blush with shame at being so slothful, so unobservant, so negligent. Are you hastening toward your heavenly home?
Rule of Saint Benedict, Chapter 73

EDIT - Found his writings online over at

The Institutes

The Conferences


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