Pachomius was an Egyptian soldier won to Christ by the kindness of Christians in Thebes. After his release from the military around A.D. 315, he was baptized. Serious about his new faith and determined to grow, Pachomius became a disciple of Palamon, an ascetic who taught him the self-denial and solitary life of a religious hermit.
In early Christianity, the model of devotion was the recluse dedicated to resisting the corruption of society. These hermits wandered the desert alone—fasting, ...