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Evagrius Ponticus

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Evagrius was born in Pontus around the year 345 and studied under the [[Cappadocians|Cappadocian Fathers]]. St. [[Basil the Great]] tonsured Evagrius a [[reader]], and St. [[Gregory the Theologian]] elevated him to the [[deacon|diaconate]]. As a deacon, Evagrius Ponticus would attend the [[Second Ecumenical Council]] (First Constantinople) in 381, which formulated the last portion of the [[Nicene Creed]] (the article dealing with the [[Holy Spirit]]). After visiting Jerusalem, Evagrius became a [[monk]] in the Egyptian desert in 383. There his life would touch those of two other [[saint]]s: St. [[Makarios of Alexandria]], his mentor; and St. [[John Cassian]] ("Cassian the Roman"), his disciple. (Many believe he also met St. [[Makarios the Egyptian]].) He died in Kellia, Egypt, in 399.
Evagrius passed on his firsthand knowledge of the [[Desert Fathers]] to many visitors and disciples, becoming particularly well known for his teaching on [[prayer]]. He exhorted his followers to practice the virtues, engage in regular Psalmody, and refrain from making any physical/mental images during prayer. However, like so many others, he became influenced by the teachings of [[Origen]], believing in the doctrines of [[apokatastasis]], the "restitution of all things" (including the reconciliation of [[Satan]]), and in the Platonic notion of the pre-existence of the soul. The [[Fifth Ecumenical Council]] (Second Constantinople) in 553 deemed both these doctrines (and Origen himself) [[heresy|heretical]]. Although never [[canonization|canonized]] a saint by the Orthodox, he has since Vatican II been canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. In any case, Evagrius' teachings on [[asceticism]], prayer, and the spiritual life had a profound impact upon both Christian East and West.

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