Hyrcania; Kh. Mird; el Mird - CASTELLION


After having established the coenobium of Castellion, our father Sabas made every effort to plant there men advanced in age and prominent in monastic life. Whenever he received laymen, who desired to renounce the world, he would not let then stay at the Castellion, nor in a cell at the Laura but he founded a small coenobium to the north of the Laura: there he settled hardened, sober men, and ordered the retreating laymen to remain there until they had learnt the Psaltery by rote, as well as the Canonical office, and had been instructed in the most rigid monastic discipline. For he used to say that the cell-dwelling monk must be discriminating and zealous, a good fighter, sober, temperate, orderly, apt for teaching, not in need of teaching, capable of harnessing all the members of his body and of keeping unfailing watch over his mind. I know that the Scripture calls such a man ‘simple’ where it says: ‘The Lord settles the simple in his house’ <Ps. 68:6>. When he had put to the test the laymen who had renounced the world (and was convinced) that they had learnt perfectly the divine office and had become capable of watching over their own mind of purifying their spirit of the memory of worldly matters and of struggling against extraneous thoughts, then (Sabas) gave them cells in the Laura; but if they were persons of means, he encouraged them to have cells built for themselves, since he maintained and affirmed that anyone who founds or renews a cell in this place, is like the founder of a church of God.

(transl. Leah Di Segni)

Instruction of laymen for the monastic life.
Key quotation(s): 
Ps. 68:6