Today we monks celebrate Saint Pachomius (c. 292-346 AD) an early Egyptian ascetic regarded by many as the founder of cenobitic monasticism. Born to pagan parents in Upper Egypt, he received an excellent education and in his early twenties was called to serve in the Roman army. As a new conscript he was housed in an old prison building operated by local Christians. He was so impressed by their kindness and generous love for him and the other recruits, that he vowed to become a Christian when his military service ended. The love that had touched and converted him would characterize Pachomius’ ministry and gentle leadership for years to come.