Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lyon
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lyon the Archdiocese of Lyon–Vienne–Embrun, is a Roman Catholic Metropolitan archdiocese in France. The current Archbishop is His Eminence Philippe Cardinal Barbarin, he is the successor of Saint Pothinus and Saint Irenaeus, the first and second bishops of Lyon and is called Primate of the Gauls. It is one of the more prestigious archbishoprics within the French church, its holder is promptly elevated to being a Cardinal; the "Deacon of Vienne", martyred at Lyon during the persecution of 177, was a deacon installed at Vienne by the ecclesiastical authority of Lyon. The confluence of the Rhône and the Saône, where sixty Gallic tribes had erected the famous altar to Rome and Augustus, was the centre from which Christianity was propagated throughout Gaul; the presence at Lyon of numerous Asiatic Christians and their daily communications with the Orient were to arouse the susceptibilities of the Gallo-Romans. A persecution arose under Marcus Aurelius, its victims at Lyon numbered forty-eight, half of them of Greek origin, half Gallo-Roman, among others Saint Blandina, Saint Pothinus, first Bishop of Lyon, sent to Gaul by Saint Polycarp about the middle of the 2nd century.
The legend according to which he was sent by Saint Clement dates from the 12th century and is without foundation. The letter addressed to the Christians of Asia and Phrygia in the name of the faithful of Vienne and Lyon, relating the persecution of 177, is considered by Ernest Renan as one of the most extraordinary documents possessed by any literature; the successor of Saint Pothinus was the illustrious Saint Irenaeus. The discovery on the Hill of Saint Sebastian of ruins of a naumachia capable of being transformed into an amphitheatre, of some fragments of inscriptions belonging to an altar of Augustus, has led several archæologists to believe that the martyrs of Lyon suffered death on this hill. Ancient tradition, represents the church of Ainay as erected at the place of their martyrdom; the crypt of Saint Pothinus, under the choir of the church of St. Nizier was destroyed in 1884, but there are still revered at Lyon the prison cell of Saint Pothinus, where Anne of Austria, Louis XIV, Pius VII came to pray, the crypt of Saint Irenaeus built at the end of the 5th century by Saint Patiens, which contains the body of Saint Irenaeus.
There are numerous funerary inscriptions of primitive Christianity in Lyon. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries, the See of Lyon enjoyed great renown throughout Gaul, witness the local legends of Besançon and of several other cities relative to the missionaries sent out by Saint Irenaeus. Faustinus, bishop in the second half of the 3rd century, wrote to Saint Cyprian and Pope Stephen I, in 254, regarding the Novatian tendencies of Marcian, Bishop of Arles, but when Diocletian's new provincial organization had taken away from Lyon its position as metropolis of the three Gauls, the prestige of Lyon diminished for a time. At the end of the empire and during the Merovingian period several saints are counted among the Bishops of Lyon: Saint Justus who died in a monastery in the Thebaid and was renowned for the orthodoxy of his doctrine in the struggle against Arianism, Saint Alpinus and Saint Martin; the prestige of Saint Nicetius was lasting. At the end of the 5th century Lyon was the capital of the Kingdom of Burgundy, but after 534 it passed under the domination of the kings of France.
Ravaged by the Saracens in 725, the city was restored through the liberality of Charlemagne who established a rich library
The Holy See called the See of Rome, is the apostolic episcopal see of the bishop of Rome, known as the Pope, ex cathedra the universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholic Church, a sovereign entity of international law. Founded in the 1st century by Saints Peter and Paul, by virtue of Petrine and Papal primacy according to Catholic tradition, it is the focal point of full communion for Catholic bishops and Catholics around the world organised in polities of the Latin Church, the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches, their dioceses and religious institutes; as a recognised sovereign subject of international law, headed by the Pope, the Holy See is headquartered in, operates from, exercises "exclusive dominion" over the independent Vatican City State enclave in Rome, Italy. The Holy See maintains bilateral diplomatic relations with 172 sovereign states, signs concordats and treaties, performs multilateral diplomacy with multiple intergovernmental organizations, including the United Nations and its agencies, the Council of Europe, the European Communities, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe the Organization of American States and the Organization for African Unity.
The Holy See is administered by the Roman Curia, similar to a centralised government, with the Cardinal Secretary of State as its chief administrator, in addition to various dicasteries, comparable to ministries and executive departments. Papal elections are carried out by the College of Cardinals. Although the Holy See is sometimes metonymically referred to as the "Vatican", the Vatican City State was distinctively established with the Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy to ensure the temporal and spiritual independence of the Papacy; as such, ambassadors are accredited to the Holy See and not the Vatican City State. Conversely, Papal nuncios to states and international organisations are recognised as representing the Holy See and the integrity of the Catholic Church along with its 1.3 billion members, not the Vatican City State, as prescribed in the Canon law of the Catholic Church. The "Holy See" thus refers to the See of Rome viewed as the central government of the Catholic Church.
The Catholic Church, in turn, is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world, while the diplomatic status of the Holy See facilitates the access of its vast international network of charities. The word "see" comes from the Latin word "sedes", meaning "seat", which refers to the Episcopal throne; the term "Apostolic See" can refer to any see founded by one of the Apostles, when used with the definite article, it is used in the Catholic Church to refer to the see of the Bishop of Rome, whom that Church sees as successor of Saint Peter, the Prince of the Apostles. While Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City is the church most associated with the Papacy, the actual cathedral of the Holy See is the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran within the city of Rome; every see. In Greek, the adjective "holy" or "sacred" is applied to all such sees as a matter of course. In the West, the adjective is not added, but it does form part of an official title of two sees: besides the Diocese of Rome, the Bishopric of Mainz bears the title of "the Holy See of Mainz".
The apostolic see of Rome was established in the 1st century by Saint Peter and Saint Paul the capital of the Roman Empire, according to Catholic tradition. The legal status of the Catholic Church and its property was recognised by the Edict of Milan in 313 by Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, it became the state church of the Roman Empire by the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. After the Fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, the temporal legal jurisdisction of the Papal primacy was further recognised as promulgated in Canon law; the Holy See was granted territory in Duchy of Rome by the Donation of Sutri in 728 of King Liutprand of the Lombards, sovereignty by the Donation of Pepin in 756 by King Pepin of the Franks. The Papal States held extensive territory and armed forces in 756–1870. Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as Roman Emperor by translatio imperii in 800; the Papal coronations of the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire from 858 and the Dictatus papae in 1075 mark the peak of the pope's temporal power claims.
Several contemporary states still trace their own sovereignty to recognition in medieval Papal bulls. Sovereignty of the Holy See was retained despite multiple sacks of Rome during the Early Middle Ages. Yet, relations with the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy Roman Empire were at times strained, reaching from the Diploma Ottonianum and Libellus de imperatoria potestate in urbe Roma regarding the "Patrimony of Saint Peter" in the 10th century, to the Investiture Controversy in 1076-1122, settled again by the Concordat of Worms in 1122; the exiled Avignon Papacy during 1309-1376 put a strain on the Papacy, however returned to Rome. Pope Innocent X was critical of the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 as it weakened the authority of the Holy See throughout much of Europe. Following the French Revolution, the Papal States were occupied as the "Roman Republic" from 1798 to 1799 as a sister republic of the First French Empire under Napoleon, before their territory was reestablished. Notwithstanding, the Holy See was represented in and identified as a "permanent subject of general customary international law vis-à-vis all states" in the Congress of Vien
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
Sherborne is a market town and civil parish in north west Dorset, in South West England. It is sited on the edge of the Blackmore Vale, 6 miles east of Yeovil; the A30 road, which connects London to Penzance, runs through the town. In the 2011 census the population of Sherborne parish and the two electoral wards was 9,523. 28.7% of the population is aged 65 or older. Sherborne's historic buildings include Sherborne Abbey, its manor house, independent schools, two castles: the ruins of a 12th-century fortified palace and the 16th-century mansion known as Sherborne Castle built by Sir Walter Raleigh. Much of the old town, including the abbey and many medieval and Georgian buildings, is built from distinctive ochre-coloured ham stone; the town is served by Sherborne railway station. The town was named scir burne by the Saxon inhabitants, after a brook that runs through the centre of the town, a name meaning "clear stream", is referred to as such in the Domesday book. In 705 the diocese of Wessex was split between Sherborne and Winchester, King Ine founded an abbey for St Aldhelm, the first bishop of Sherborne, which covered Wiltshire, Dorset and part of Devon.
King Alfred the Great's elder brothers King Æthelbald and King Æthelberht are buried in the abbey. The large Sherborne diocese lasted until about 909 when it was further sub-divided into three sees, with Sherborne covering Dorset. In 933, King Æthelstan granted land at Sherborne to the nuns of Shaftesbury Abbey under the condition that they would recite the Psalter once a year on All Saints' day and say prayers for the king; the bishop's seat was moved to Old Sarum in 1075 and the church at Sherborne became a Benedictine monastery. In the 15th century the church was burnt down during tensions between the town and the monastery, rebuilt between 1425 and 1504 incorporating some of the Norman structure remains. In 1539 the monastery became a conventional church. Sherborne was the centre of a hundred of the same name for many centuries. See the article Sherborne Abbey for more on the history of the abbey. In the 12th century Roger de Caen, Bishop of Salisbury and Chancellor of England, built a fortified palace in Sherborne.
The palace was destroyed in 1645 by General Fairfax, its ruins are owned by English Heritage. In 1594 Sir Walter Raleigh built an Elizabethan mansion in the grounds of the old palace, today known as Sherborne Castle. Sherborne became home to Yorkshireman, Captain Christopher Levett who came to the West Country as His Majesty's Woodward of Somersetshire, who remained in Sherborne when he turned to a career as a naval captain and early explorer of New England. In the UK national parliament, Sherborne is within the West Dorset parliamentary constituency, represented by Sir Oliver Letwin of the Conservative Party. In local government, Sherborne is administered by Dorset Council at the highest tier, Sherborne Town Council at the lowest tier. In national parliament and local council elections, Dorset is divided into several electoral wards, with Sherborne forming two of these: Sherborne West and Sherborne East. In county council elections, Dorset is divided into 42 electoral divisions, with Sherborne's two wards together forming Sherborne Electoral Division.
There has been a school in Sherborne since the time of King Alfred, educated there. The school was re-founded in 1550 as King Edward's grammar school, using some of the old abbey buildings, though it is now known as Sherborne School; the school is one of the independent schools in Britain, with alumni such as Alan Turing, Jeremy Irons, Chris Martin, John le Carré, Hugh Bonneville and John Cowper Powys. Sherborne School for Girls was founded in 1895, its notable alumnae include the scientist Rosa Beddington. Until 1992 there were two grammar schools, Foster's School for Boys and Lord Digby's School for Girls. Both schools merged with another local school to form The Gryphon School; the Gryphon School Sherborne Abbey Primary School Sherborne Primary School Sherborne School Sherborne School for Girls Sherborne International Sherborne Preparatory School Sherborne Learning centre Other notable historic buildings in the town include the almshouses of saints John the Baptist and John the Evangelist, founded in 1438 and expanded in the Victorian era in indistinguishable medieval style architecture.
Sherborne House, famed for its mural by Sir James Thornhill. was a subject for the BBC's "Restoration" programme in 2004, was sold in 2008 by Dorset County Council to a developer, Redcliffe Homes, for £3 million. Its renovation included rebuilding an unstable rear wall. There are 378 listed buildings within the town and 23 in Castleton, totalling 401, including 14 Grade I listed buildings and 21 Grade II* listed buildings; the social reformer and moralist Rev Sir James Marchant died here in 1956. Olympic field hockey player Michael Walford died here in 2002. Olympic sailor Andrew Simpson lived here. Sherborne has an active green community, with various environmental and sustainability organisations in the area; the Quarr Local Nature Reserve at the northern end of the town makes use of an old quarry and landfill site, Sherborne Area Partnership oversees a successful environment forum and, in 2009, Sherborne became an official Transition Town, running a number of projects and events as a community response to climate change and peak oil.
The town has for centuries hosted an annual street fair, Pack Monday Fair, starting on the Monday following 10 October. An agricultural fair, it is now devoted
Burgundy is a historical territory and a former administrative region of France. It takes its name from the Burgundians, an East Germanic people who moved westwards beyond the Rhine during the late Roman period. "Burgundy" has referred to numerous political entities, including kingdoms and duchies spanning territory from the Mediterranean to the Low Countries. Since January 2016, the name Burgundy has referred to a specific part of the French administrative region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, an entity comprising four departments: Côte-d'Or, Saône-et-Loire, Nièvre; the first recorded inhabitants of the area that became Burgundy were Celts, who were incorporated in the Roman Empire as Gallo-Romans. During the 4th century, the Burgundians, a Germanic people, who may have originated in Bornholm, settled in the western Alps, they founded the Kingdom of the Burgundians, conquered in the 6th century by another Germanic tribe, the Franks. Under Frankish dominion, the Kingdom of Burgundy continued for several centuries.
The region was divided between the Duchy of Burgundy and the Free County of Burgundy. The Duchy of Burgundy is the better-known of the two becoming the French province of Burgundy, while the County of Burgundy became the French province of Franche-Comté meaning free county. Burgundy's modern existence is rooted in the dissolution of the Frankish Empire. In the 880s, there were four Burgundies, which were the Kingdom of Upper and Lower Burgundy, the duchy and the county. During the Middle Ages, Burgundy was home to some of the most important Western churches and monasteries, including those of Cluny, Cîteaux, Vézelay. Cluny, founded in 910, exerted a strong influence in Europe for centuries; the first Cistercian abbey was founded in 1098 in Cîteaux. Over the next century, hundreds of Cistercian abbeys were founded throughout Europe, in a large part due to the charisma and influence of Bernard of Clairvaux; the Abbey of Fontenay, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is today the best-preserved Cistercian abbey in Burgundy.
The Abbey of Vezelay a UNESCO site, is still a starting point for pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela. Cluny was totally destroyed during the French Revolution. During the Hundred Years' War, King John II of France gave the duchy to his youngest son, Philip the Bold; the duchy soon became a major rival to the crown. The court in Dijon outshone the French court both economically and culturally. In 1477, at the battle of Nancy during the Burgundian Wars, the last duke Charles the Bold was killed in battle, the Duchy itself was annexed by France and became a province; however the northern part of the empire was taken by the Austrian Habsburgs. With the French Revolution in the end of the 18th century, the administrative units of the provinces disappeared, but were reconstituted as regions during the Fifth Republic in the 1970s; the modern-day administrative region comprises most of the former duchy. The region of Burgundy is both larger than the old Duchy of Burgundy and smaller than the area ruled by the Dukes of Burgundy, from the modern Netherlands to the border of Auvergne.
Today, Burgundy is made up of the old provinces: Burgundy: Côte-d'Or, Saône-et-Loire, southern half of Yonne. This corresponds to the old duchy of Burgundy. However, the old county of Burgundy is not included inside the Burgundy region, but it makes up the Franche-Comté region. A small part of the duchy of Burgundy is now inside the Champagne-Ardenne region. Nivernais: now the department of Nièvre; the northern half of Yonne is a territory, not part of Burgundy, was a frontier between Champagne, Île-de-France, Orléanais, being part of each of these provinces at different times in history. The climate of this region is oceanic, with a continental influence; the regional council of Burgundy was the legislative assembly of the region, located in the capital city Dijon at 17 boulevard de la Trémouille until its merger to form the regional council of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté. Burgundy is one of France's main wine producing areas, it is well known for both its red and white wines made from Pinot noir and Chardonnay grapes although other grape varieties can be found, including Gamay, Pinot blanc, Sauvignon blanc.
The region is divided into the Côte-d'Or, where the most expensive and prized Burgundies are found, Beaujolais, the Côte Chalonnaise and Mâcon. The reputation and quality of the top wines, together with the fact that they are produced in small quantities, has led to high demand and high prices, with some Burgundies ranking among the most expensive wines in the world. With regard to cuisine, the region is famous for the Burgundian dishes coq au vin, beef bourguignon, époisses de Bourgogne cheese. Tourist sites of Burgundy include the Rock of Solutré, the Tournus cathedral, Brancion, the castles of Cormatin and Couches, the palace of the dukes of Burgundy in Dijon, the Pézanin Arboretum, Vézelay Abbey. Earlier, the southeastern part of Burgundy was industrial, with coal mines near Montceau-les-Mines and iron foundries and crystal works in Le Creusot; these industries declined in the second half of the twentieth century, Le Creusot has tried to reinvent itself as a tourist town. Lecomte, Bernard.
Burgundy, What a Story!. ISBN 978-2-902650-02-6. Davies, Norman. "Ch.3: Burgundia: Five, Six or Seven Kingdoms (c. 411-1
Cîteaux Abbey is a Roman Catholic abbey located in Saint-Nicolas-lès-Cîteaux, south of Dijon, France. Today it belongs to Cistercians of the Strict Observance. Cîteaux spelled Cisteaux, is the mother house of the Cistercian order; the abbey has about 35 members. The monks produce a cheese branded under the abbey's name, as well as caramels and honey-based candies. Cîteaux Abbey was founded on Saint Benedict's Day, 21 March 1098, by a group of monks from Molesme Abbey seeking to follow more the Rule of St. Benedict, they were led by Saint Robert of Molesme. The site was swampy, in a sparsely populated area; the toponym predates the abbey. Theories include a derivation from cis tertium, "this side of the third " of the Roman road connecting Langres and Chalons sur Saône, or alternatively from cisternae "cisterns", which in Middle Latin could refer to stagnant pools of a swamp; the second abbot was Saint Alberic, the third abbot Saint Stephen Harding, who wrote the Charta Caritatis, that described the organisation of the order.
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a monk of Cîteaux Abbey, left it in 1115 to found Clairvaux Abbey, of which he was the first abbot. His influence in the Cistercian order and beyond is of prime importance, he reaffirmed the importance of strict observance to the Rule of St. Benedict; the great church of Cîteaux Abbey, begun in around 1140, was completed in 1193. The Dukes of Burgundy subsequently used it as their dynastic place of burial; the influence of the Cistercian order grew rapidly, owing much to Saint Bernard, at the beginning of the 13th century the order had more than 500 houses. Cîteaux was an important center of Christianity. In 1244, King Louis IX of France and his mother Blanche of Castile visited the abbey. During the Hundred Years' War, the monastery was pillaged in 1360, 1365, 1434 and 1438. In 1380, the Earl of Buckingham stayed at L'Aumône Abbey, a daughter house of Cîteaux located in the forest of Marchenoir whilst his army was quartered in the surrounding Forest. In the beginning of the 16th century, the abbey was a strong community of about 200 members.
The abbey was badly hit by the French Wars of Religion. The abbey slowly declined for the next century. In 1698, the abbey only had 72 professed monks. In 1791, during the French Revolution, the abbey was sold by the government. In 1898, the remains of the abbey were repopulated by monks of other abbeys. Plouvier, M. and Saint-Denis, A. 1998: Pour une histoire monumentale de Cîteaux, 1098-1998, Cîteaux. Official site History of Cîteaux Abbey Photo Abbey Stamp Illumination of an Abbey Manuscript
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism by monastic living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicate his life to serving all other living beings, or to be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live his or her life in prayer and contemplation; the concept is ancient and can be seen in many religions and in philosophy. In the Greek language the term can apply to women, but in modern English it is in use for men; the word nun is used for female monastics. Although the term monachos is of Christian origin, in the English language monk tends to be used loosely for both male and female ascetics from other religious or philosophical backgrounds. However, being generic, it is not interchangeable with terms that denote particular kinds of monk, such as cenobite, anchorite, hesychast, or solitary. In Eastern Orthodoxy monasticism holds a special and important place: "Angels are a light for monks, monks are a light for laymen".
Orthodox monastics separate themselves from the world in order to pray unceasingly for the world. They do not, in general, have as their primary purpose the running of social services, but instead are concerned with attaining theosis, or union with God. However, care for the poor and needy has always been an obligation of monasticism, so not all monasteries are "cloistered"; the level of contact though will vary from community to community. Hermits, on the other hand, have little or no contact with the outside world. Orthodox monasticism does not have religious orders as are found in the West, nor do they have Rules in the same sense as the Rule of St. Benedict. Rather, Eastern monastics study and draw inspiration from the writings of the Desert Fathers as well as other Church Fathers. Hesychasm is of primary importance in the ascetical theology of the Orthodox Church. Most communities are self-supporting, the monastic’s daily life is divided into three parts: communal worship in the catholicon.
Meals are taken in common in a sizable dining hall known as a trapeza, at elongated refectory tables. Food is simple and is eaten in silence while one of the brethren reads aloud from the spiritual writings of the Holy Fathers; the monastic lifestyle takes a great deal of serious commitment. Within the cenobitic community, all monks conform to a common way of living based on the traditions of that particular monastery. In struggling to attain this conformity, the monastic comes to realize his own shortcomings and is guided by his spiritual father in how to deal with them. For this same reason, bishops are always chosen from the ranks of monks. Eastern monasticism is found in three distinct forms: anchoritic and the "middle way" between the two, known as the skete. One enters a cenobitic community first, only after testing and spiritual growth would one go on to the skete or, for the most advanced, become a solitary anchorite. However, one is not expected to join a skete or become a solitary. In general, Orthodox monastics have little or no contact with the outside world, including their own families.
The purpose of the monastic life is union with God, the means is through leaving the world. After tonsure, Orthodox monks and nuns are never permitted to cut their hair; the hair of the head and the beard remain uncut as a symbol of the vows they have taken, reminiscent of the Nazarites from the Old Testament. The tonsure of monks is the token of a consecrated life, symbolizes the cutting off of their self-will; the process of becoming a monk is intentionally slow, as the vows taken are considered to entail a lifelong commitment to God, are not to be entered into lightly. In Orthodox monasticism after completing the novitiate, there are three ranks of monasticism. There is only one monastic habit in the Eastern Church, it is the same for both monks and nuns; each successive grade is given a portion of the habit, the full habit being worn only by those in the highest grade, known for that reason as the "Great Schema", or "Great Habit". The various profession rites are performed by the Abbot, but if the abbot has not been ordained a priest, or if the monastic community is a convent, a hieromonk will perform the service.
The abbot or hieromonk who performs a tonsure must be of at least the rank he is tonsuring into. In other words, only a hieromonk, tonsured into the Great Schema may himself tonsure a Schemamonk. A bishop, may tonsure into any rank, regardless of his own. Novice, lit. "one under obedience"—Those wishing to join a monastery begin their lives as novices. After coming to the monastery and living as a guest for not less than three days, the revered abbot or abbess may bless the candidate to become a novice. There is no formal ceremony for the clothing of a novice, he or she simply