CHAPTER 1 – The Kinds of Monastics - Part 3

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

The third kind of monastic Benedict mentions in the Rule is the sarabaite. Although the original meaning of the word cannot be determined it is defined as a Coptic term signifying “separated from monasteries.”

Benedict tells us that the sarabaites have not been “tried as gold in the furnace” (Prv. 27:21). They differ from the cenobites because they lack leadership and do not live a common life. Because they live alone sarabaites resemble anchorites but they differ greatly in that they lack formation and therefore seem to do whatever they wish.