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Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

Ammon, Saint

Egyptian hermit in the desert of Nitria ( b. about 350)

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Ammon, Saint sometimes called AMUN or Amus, b. about 350; an Egyptian who, forced into marriage when twenty-two years old, persuaded his wife on the bridal night to pronounce a vow of chastity, which they kept faithfully, though living together for eighteen years; at the end of this time he became a hermit in the desert of Nitria, and she formed a congregation of religious women in her own house. Nitria, to which Ammon betook himself, is a mountain surmounted by a desolate region, seventy miles south of Alexandria, beyond Lake Mareotis (which Palladius calls Maria). At the end of the fourth century there were fifty monasteries there inhabited by 5,000 monks. St. Jerome called the place “The City of God“. As to whether Ammon was the first to build a monastery there, authorities disagree, but it is certain that the fame of his sanctity drew many anchorites around him, who erected cells not only on the mountain but in the adjacent desert. St. Anthony came to visit him and induced him to gather his scattered solitaries into monasteries. When Ammon died at about the age of 62 Anthony, though thirteen days’ journey distant, saw his soul entering heaven. He is honored on October 4.

T. J. CAMPBELL


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