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Sarabaites

A class of monks widely spread before the time of St. Benedict

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Sarabaites, a class of monks widely spread before the time of St. Benedict. They either continued, like the early ascetics, to live in their own homes, or dwelt two or three together in or near cities. They acknowledged no monastic superior, obeyed no definite rule, and disposed individually of the product of their manual labor. St. Jerome speaks of them under the name of Remoboth, and John Cassian tells of their wide diffusion in Egypt and other lands. Both writers express a very unfavorable opinion concerning their conduct, and a reference to them in the Rule of St. Benedict (c. i) is of similar import. At a later date the name Sarabaites, the original meaning of which cannot be determined, designated in a general way degenerate monks.

N.A. WEBER


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