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Bible Dictionaries

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography

Ammon (or Amon), Saint

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Ammon (or Amon ), St., the founder of the celebrated settlement of coenobites and hermits on and near Mons Nitria (Ruf. de Mon. 30); he is often styled the "father of Egyptian monasticism." He was contemporary with St. Anthony, and filled the same place in Lower Egypt as Anthony in the Thebaid. Being left an orphan by his parents, wealthy people near Alexandria, he was forced by his uncle to marry. But on the wedding day he persuaded his bride to take a vow of celibacy, and for eighteen years they lived together as brother and sister: afterwards with her consent he withdrew to Nitria, and from that time only visited his wife twice a year (Pall. Hist. Laus. 8). A great multitude of zealous disciples soon gathered round him; so that Palladius not many years later found about five thousand monks, some living quite alone, some with one or more companions; while six hundred "advanced in holiness" ( τελείοι ) dwelt apart from the rest in more complete isolation (ib. ). Several miracles are related of Ammon (Socr. Hist. iv. 23; Soz. Hist. i. 14; Niceph. Hist. viii. 41).


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Bibliography Information
Wace, Henry. Entry for 'Ammon (or Amon), Saint'. A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography. 1911.

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