St. Macarius the Spiritbearer: Coptic Texts Relating to Saint Macarius the Great
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Macarius the Great (also called Macarius of Egypt or Macarius the Egyptian) came to preside, in a loose manner, over the monks of Scetis in Wadi al-Natrun. These monks lived alone or in small groups in scattered cells and came together as a larger community only on Saturday and Sunday, when they celebrated the Eucharist together and participated in a communal meal. Later architectural and organizational structures, such as defensive high walls or rules and regulations of medieval Benedictine monasticism, were unknown to them.
This work is a companion volume to Four Desert Fathers, which contains four monastics Lives-Pambo, Evagrius, Macarius of Egypt, and Macarius of Alexandria-preserved in Coptic (the Coptic Palladiana) and clearly related to the Greek Lausiac History of Palladius. The two volumes together, introducing the thought and practice of these desert dwellers through their Sayings, Virtues, and Lives, offer the best access to their world. Translated by Tim Vivian.