Jean Cassien

His life

Great saint of Provence (360435), Saint Cassian is a contemporary of saint Augustin (354430), of saint Jérôme (347420) and of saint Honorat/Honorat de Lérins/Honorat d’Arles (v.375 430),

Monk. Man of the Church. Theologian, saint Cassiena decisive action on the beginnings of the “official” church in Provence in 5e s. by his thought, his Faith and his actions.

Cassien would have been born around 360 in Scythia Minor, but some have him born in Provence in La Ciotatwhose name would have been modified by copyists (confusionLa Ciotat / Scythe). What we know for sure is that Cassien came from a wealthy family which gave him a solid education. Very young, Cassien left for Bethlehem / Provence in Syria with his friend Germanos with whom he wasa spirit and a soul in two bodies (Coll., 1, 1). The 2 men discovered cenobitic monasticism there for 2 years.

Cenobitism came from the Greek words koinos meaning in common and bios meaning life. The monastic life in community of the cenobites is opposed to the solitary way of life of the hermits and anchorites who dedicate themselves to prayer and contemplation.

Around 390, Cassien left for Egypt with Germanos in order to meet anchorites from the Thebaid.

400. The bishop Theophile of Alexandriahavingdispersed the followers of Evagrius the Ponticus, disciple ofOrigène, Jean Cassien amounts to Bethlehem before joining Constantinople with the Origenist monks. Jean Cassien then receives the teachings of Saint John Chrysostom who ordains him deacon with the charge of the treasures of the cathedral.

414 – 415. Cassien is back in Palestine in the company of Lazare, former bishop of Aix-en-Provence before settling in Provence, in Marseille, where he founded 2 monasteries: Saint Victor, for men. Saint Sauveur, for women. The first superior of the nuns of Saint-Sauveur, order founded by Saint Cassien, was his own sister.

v. 420Cassien publishes his Cenobitic Institutions (De Institutis cœnobiorum et de octo principalium vitiorum remediis).

435. Died in Marseille but this date is not perfectly established, some set it in 458.

The 5th Christian Century

Abbey of Saint-Victor

In the 5th century, Provence was the realbeacon of Christianityin a decaying Roman world. The Abbey of Saint-Victor, in Marseille, and the Abbey of Lérins, in Cannes, were its two poles with Cassien and Honorat. as founders.


5th century Christianity. is marked in Africa and the Middle East, by the personalities of Saint Augustine of Hippone(current Algeria) andSaint Jerome, the translator of the Bible into Latin.


Monastère St Joseph