CHAPTER 1 – The Kinds of Monastics - Part 1

“There are clearly four kinds of monastics.” – RB 1:1

The first kind of monastic Benedict mentions in the Rule is the cenobite, a label derived from a Greek word meaning “living in common.” The entire Rule is set up for this type of monastic.

According to John Cassian (ca. 37o – 435) cenobites first appeared in history as a continuation of the early Church, where the faithful “were of one heart and one soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common” (Acts 4:32). Since the time of the apostles communities of Christians existed. Benedict models his community in a similar fashion with a rule for a common life and a leader (RB 1:2).