CASSIA'NUS, JOHANNES, also called Johan nes Massiliensis, or Johannes Eremita (e.390 e.435). A teacher of the ancient Church. Ile was born probably in Provence. He received a good education. went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and became a monk at Bethlehem; then removed to Egypt. and lived there as an ancho rite from 385 to 400. In the latter year he went to Constantinople, and there was made a deacon br Chrysostom. After the exile of the latter he went to Rome to lay the ease before the bishop. 1. (405). and lived in Rome for some years. Ile next is found in Marseilles, where he established a monastery for monks and a con vent for nuns. and there died. His monastery was afterwards known as that of Saint Victor, of which the present Church of Saint Victor is the retie. It served as a model to a multitude of monastic institutions in Gaul and Spain. Bc also employed his pen in the promotion of mo nasticism, and his great work, dating from 420, and one which has been strongly influential, is The Institutes of the Cornobia, and the Remedies for the Eight Principal Faults, in twelve books, four on the monastic rule and eight on the sins against which the monks had tu contend—glut tony. incontinence, covetousness, anger, dejection, distress of heart, vainglory, pride. His second chief work is his twenty-four Conferences with various eminent monks upon monastic interests and the vexed questions of theology. It is the supplement to the Institutes.
Cassianus's Grecian erudition, and his dislike of dogmatic subtleties, led him to take part in two doctrinal controversies. He wrote The Incur
nation of the Lord, against Nestorius, and in it pointed out the connection between Nestorianism and Pelagianism. Deeming that Saint Augustine had gone too far in his theory of irresistible grace, he utilized one of his Conferences to set forth his view that the grace of God always co operates with our will for its advantage. This view certainly was an approach to that of Pela gins, and later was called semi-Pelagianism. (See PELAGIANISM. ) As it gained support from the Massilian monks, Saint Augustine, having been informed of it by his friend. Prosper of Aquitaine, wrote strongly against it in his trea tises The Prcdestination of the Saints and The (lift of Perseverance. The distinction has been thus wittily expressed: Saint Augustine regards the natural man as dead. Pelagius as sound and well, and Cassianus as sick.
Cassianus's works, which are all in Latin, ap peared fur the first time in entirely satisfactory form edited by 31. Betsehenig 12 vols., Vienna. 18811-88), and in English, translation by E. C. S. Gibson, in Vol. XI. of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. 241 series (London and New York. 11384), except that certain parts are untranslated. be cause considered indelicate. For the life and teaching of Cassianus, see the prolegomena of the editions named, and also Lombard (Strass burg, 1863).