Does the way you act really make a difference? The story of St. Pachomius shows that little acts of kindness can have huge consequences!
by Christine Henderson
Way back in the year 292, St. Pachomius was born a pagan in Egypt. (Egypt is the place where the great pyramids are.) Like many young men of today, when he turned twenty, he decided to join the army. (The army he joined was in his own country of Egypt.)
He was sent to work as a soldier in the city of Thebes. The Christians of the city treated Pachomius and the other soldiers kindly.
“Would you like to join us for dinner?”
“How are you feeling?”
“Can I get you anything?”
“Have a pleasant day!”
Don’t you love it when people are kind to you? Pachomius did. It wasn’t unusual for Pachomius to hear these types of comments as he walked down the streets of Thebes.
When Pachomius left the army, he began to think a lot about how the Christians had treated him. “Maybe there is something special about their religion,” he thought. Those acts of kindness led him to become a Christian too.
After converting, Pachomius joined a monk named Palemon and began to wear a habit. The two dedicated the rest of their lives to God. Throughout the day and night, they continually prayed and worked. (Everything they did was for God. Do you do everything for God? Try!)
Eventually, Pachomius felt that God was calling him to build a monastery along the bank of the Nile River. Not long after the two finished building it, one hundred monks had joined Pachomius! He organized these monks and established a communal way of life and a rule for them to follow. (All monasteries have a rule of life that they follow. These rules state when to pray and work, and what things are done during the day.)
Over time, more and more people flocked to Pachomius. Before his death in 346, he had built ten other monasteries totaling 7000 monks! He also had established two convents for women.
Think about what might have happened if those Christians hadn’t been so kind to Pachomius. He might never have become a Christian or a great saint. Little acts of kindness can have HUGE consequences!
Feast day: May 9
St. Pachomius, pray for us!
Brainstorm with your family three acts of kindness that you could do together for someone. Some examples of things you could do are:
- Draw pictures and/or write letters to residents of a nursing home. Your parents can drop them off at one. These will really cheer up the residents.
- If you have flowers in your yard, pick a pretty one and give it to someone who looks sad or give it to an elderly neighbor.
- Set the table for dinner without being asked or do some other chore that would be appreciated.
Now, go and do those acts of kindness. Who knows? Your acts of kindness may lead someone into becoming a saint!