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Blessed Cassian the Roman

Blessed JohnCassian was born in the 350ís in the Gallic province (Marseilles) to famous and rich parents that provided him with a good education. From a young age, he cherished the God-pleasing life and, longing to achieve spiritual perfection, traveled east and entered the Bethlehem monastery as a monk. After 2 years, in the company of another monk, he set out to Egypt to see the Egyptian "starets" (elders) so as to learn from them. Up to the year 400, they lived among the Egyptian recluses in various hermitages, caves & monasteries, familiarizing themselves with ascetic life. Later, they left for Constantinople, where Saint John the Golden Tongue (Chrysostomos), consecrated John Cassian as a deacon.

After Saint Johnís arrest, Cassian returned to his motherland and continued to live an ascetic life that he learned in Egypt. After a few years, he became renowned for his pious life and was consecrated into priesthood. His followers organized a monastery similar to those in Egypt. Soon after, a womenís convent was established. Upon the request of a father superior of one of the Gallic monasteries, Saint Cassian wrote 12 books on regulations for novices, in the form of 24 conversations. He reposed in the year 435. Thanks to Saint Cassian, monasticism was very successful in spreading throughout the west, while his writings on ascetic life exerted great influence on the Eastern as well as the Western Churches.

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