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John Cassian (360 – 435)

Timeline for John Cassian
360 born in the region of Scythia Minor, which at that time straddled two empires: East-West, (now Dobruja in modern-day Romania and Bulgaria), thirteen years after the death of Anthony.

383? Monastic experience, John and his friend Germanus were received into a cell of the monastery of Bethlehem where he stayed for two years, young, about 17 or 18 years old.

385? Pilgrimage to Egypt, where he joined a group of Origenist monks and shared their fate when they were expelled.

399 Cassian and Germanus fled the Anthropomorphic controversy provoked by Theophilus, Archbishop of Alexandria, with about 300 other Origenist monks. John Cassian and Germanus went to Constantinople, where they appealed to the Patriarch of Constantinople, Saint John Chrysostom, for protection.

400 At Constantinople, having been expelled from Egypt, John and Germanus sought a refuge and a protector in John Chrysostom. Germanus was ordained a priest and Cassian a deacon. John fell foul of the emperor who sent him into exile.

405 Rome - Antioch - Rome, Cassian stayed a short while in Rome, then went to Antioch. The bishop there incorporated him into his clergy and ordained him priest against his will. That is why, in a passage in the Institutes, he quotes a saying of the Elders: "A monk must flee absolutely women and bishops".

Then the bishop sent him to Rome again as an ambassador. He returned there and made friends with the pope, Innocent I, who held him in high regard and confided in him. he also got to know a young deacon who later became Pope: St Leo the Great. It is more than likely that Germanus died in Rome because we hear nothing more of him after this.

421-426 John wrote the Conferences and Institutes

430 John wrote a treatise against Nestorius at the request of Pope Leo.

435 died in Marseille.
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