Cassian, St. John

, was a celebrated solitary, a native of Scythia, of the fifth century, who spent part of his life in the monastery of Bethlehem with the monk Germain, his friend. They engaged openly in the defence of St. Chrysostom, against Theophilus, patriarch of Alexandria. Cassian went to Rome, and from thence to Marseilles, where he founded two monasteries, one of men, the other of virgins. He ranks among the greatest masters of the monastic life, and died about the year 448. He left “Collations,” or conferences of the fathers of the desert, and “Institutions,” in 12 books, translated iHto French by Nic. Fontaine, 1663, 2 vols. 8vo; and seven books upon the Incarnation. These are all written in Latin, with a clearness and simplicity of style excellently calculated to inspire the heart with virtuous dispositions. They were printed at Paris, 1642, and at Leipsic, 1722, folio, and are in the library of the fathers. St. Prosper has written against the “Conferences.” Cassian is reckoned among the first of the Semi-Pelagians, of which sect Faustus of Riez, Vincent of Lerins, Gennadius of Marseilles, Hilerias of Aries, and Arnobius the younger, were the principal defenders. The semi-pelagians were opposed by the whole | united forces of St. Augustin and Prosper, without being extirpated, or overcome by them. This sect was condemned by some synods, and was rejected by the church. 1

1 Moreri.