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Sarabaites

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Sarabaites

Sarabaites were a class of Catholic monks widely spread before the time of St. Benedict.

History

They either continued like the early ascetics, to live in their own homes, or dwelt together in or near cities. They acknowledged no monastic superior, obeyed no definite rule, and disposed individually of the product of their manual labour.

St. Jerome speaks of them under the name of Remoboth, and John Cassian tells of their wide diffusion in Egypt and other lands. Both writers express a very unfavourable opinion concerning their conduct, and a reference to them in the Rule of St. Benedict is of similar import.

At a later date the name Sarabaites, the original meaning of which cannot be determined, designated in a general way degenerate monks. The Rule of St. Benedict considered their nonadherence to church canon only to be exceeded by the Gyrovagues.

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