The Rule Of Pachomius, Part 3
Translated by Esmeralda Ramirez de Jennings
Edited by Rev. Daniel R. Jennings
Prescriptions and Sentences also from our Father Pachomius
The fullness of the law is charity; for us that know which times we are living in, it is the time for us to wake up
from sleep, salvation is much closer to us than when we began to believe. The night is almost over and the daylight
is near, so let us discard the works of darkness (Rom 13:10-20): discussions, murmuring, hatred and pride that
inflates the heart (Gal 5:20).
If a brother, quick to defame and say whatever is not true is surprised in flagrant crime, they will warn him
twice. If he refuses with contempt to listen to the observations, he will be separated from the community of the
brothers for seven days and will not have more food than bread and water until he commits himself formally to
abandon his vice and proves it (because of his behavior), then he will be forgiven.
If a choleric and violent brother gets upset often without a reason because of things that do not have any
importance, he will be rebuked six times. The seventh time he will be told to get up from the place where he usually
sits and will be placed between the last people. Like that, he will learn to purify himself from that disorder of his soul.
When he can present three sure witnesses that promise in their names that he will not do anything like that, he will
recover his position. But if he perseveres in the vice, he will remain among the last ones. Then he will have lost his
That one who desires to impute something false to another to oppress somebody innocent will receive three
warnings, then he will be considered guilty of sin, whether he is among the most prominent or among the most
Whoever has the hateful vice of deceiving his brothers by using perverting words with the simple ones he will
be warned three times: if he gives proofs of his sin, is obstinate and persevering in hardness of his heart, he will be
put apart outside the monastery and he will be beaten with twigs at the door. Then they will take him food, but only
bread and water, until he purifies his spots.
If a brother has the habit of whispering or lamenting himself, with the excuse that he is overwhelmed by a
heavy load, he will be told up to five times that he whispers without a reason and they will make reality clear to him. If
after this he disobeys, and if this is an adult, they will consider him sick and they will install him at the infirmary, he will
eat there as an unemployed person until he returns to reality.
But if his laments are justified and he has been oppressed with wickedness by his superior, this one, that has
induced him to sin, will be under the same punishment.
If anyone is disobedient, stubborn, contradictory or a liar, if he is an adult, he will be warned ten times to get
rid of his vices. If he will not listen, he will be reprimanded depending on the rules of the monastery. But if he falls in
his sins for the lack of another person and if this is proven, the guilty one will be the one who was the cause of the
sin of his brother.
If a brother is fond of laughing and/or playing freely with children; if he has a friendship with the younger ones,
he will be warned three times that he should break those ties and remember the honor and fear of God. If he does
not abandon such behavior, he will be lectured as he deserves, with the most severe punishment.
The ones who underestimate the precepts of the elders and the rules of the monastery (that have been
established by the order of God), and the ones who do not pay attention of the warnings of the elders, will be
punished according to the established form until they correct themselves.
If the one that judges concerning the sins abandons the truth with perversity of spirit or by negligence, twenty,
ten or even five holy men who are fearful of God, accredited by the testimony of all of the brothers, will sit to judge
him and will degrade him; and he will be assigned the last place until he reforms himself.
The one who troubles the hearts of the brothers and has a quick word to seed discords and quarrels will be
warned ten times, and if he does not reform himself, he will be punished according to the rule of the monastery until
he corrects himself.
If a superior or a chairman, seeing one of his brothers on trial, refuses to seek the cause and in doing so
disvalues him, the aforesaid judges will put in the clear the matter between the brother and the chairman. If they find
out that the brother has been oppressed by the negligence or the selfishness of the chairman and this one takes his
decisions not according to the truth but according to people, they will degrade his rank for not having taken into
consideration the truth but instead taking into consideration people and for having made himself a slave of the
vileness of his heart before the judgment of God.
If anyone promised to keep the rules of the monastery, he started to practice them and then he abandoned
them only to immediately return to them, repentant, excusing himself on the pretext that the weakness of his body did
not allow him to carry on with what he had promised, they will place him among the sick brothers, until he fulfills what
he has promised, after having made penance.
If in the house, the children give themselves to the idleness without effective punishments, the chairman
himself will admonish them and punish them for thirty days. If he states that they persevere in their wrong
dispositions and discovers any sin but does not inform the father of the monastery, he himself, in his place, will be
put under a proportional punishment to the sin that he discovered.
The one who judges unjustly will be punished by the others due to his injustice.
If one, two or three brothers have been scandalized by any thing and leave their house but return afterwards,
they will inquire what has scandalized them and when they have discovered the guilty one, they will correct him
according to the rules of the monastery.
The one that becomes an accomplice with the ones who sin and defends a brother who has committed any
fault, he will be cursed by God and the men, and will be punished with the most severe correction. If he has let
himself be taken by ignorance, without thinking that he was actually doing that, he will be forgiven.
In the beginning, all the ones who sin by ignorance will obtain forgiveness easily, but the one who sins with
knowledge will be put under a punishment proportional to his action.
End of the third part.