PALAMON, SAINT, fourth-century hermit who was the teacher of Saint PACHOMIUS. He is known only through the Life of Pachomius. He is important for having transmitted to young Pachomius the ascetic traditions of early Christian monasticism.
When Pachomius decided to become a monk, he went to the anchorite Palamon, who had become a model for many monks near the village of Sheneset (Chenoboskion), and asked him for the grace to become a monk in his company. Palamon explained to Pachomius "the rule of monastic life, according to what we have learned from those who went before us." Pachomius lived for seven years with him, until he settled at Tabennese. Palamon died shortly afterward.
Palamon was a typical charismatic father of the Egyptian desert: A man of frightfully severe asceticism, dedicated to vigils, fasting, and manual work, he was first of all a man of continuous prayer. Although he did not try to set up some form of community, he nevertheless accepted the task of leading in the paths of ascetic life all those who were disposed to take upon themselves the cross of Christ. "Abrupt in speech," he could also love his disciples with great tenderness, and was very sad when Pachomius left him to follow his own calling. Nevertheless, he said, "May the will of God be done."
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