When we examine asceticism in Christianity, we see that in the early Christian communities virgins and unmarried males held an important position. The first Christian communities accepted only unmarried males as full members. In general, diet, fasting and midnight mass made their mark on early Christian lifestyle. During the early centuries, ascetics did not break away from the church communities they attended; they focused on the practices of asceticism, on death and chastity for religion’s sake. Toward the end of 3rd century, the monasterial movement gained ground in Mesopotamia and Egypt. When, in 392 CE, the Roman Empire had been formally converted to Christianity, the monasterial movement spread rapidly throughout the western world. Vast monastic orders were established in the Roman Catholic Church. The desire to avoid forming human relationships brought about the spread of the way of life hermits living in deserts or on mountain – tops or in inaccessible rocky regions. In the monasterial orders, great efforts were made to attain their ideal of renunciation by giving up all worldly benefits. Early Christian monks lived by begging alms, and they tried to avoid engendering material domination through the accumulation of these donations, as later the Franciscans and other orders did. A few orders are mixed but usually monks and nuns are separated in different houses. The pioneers of the Reformation, although opposed to asceticism, in Calvinism, Puritanism, Pietism, Methodism and in the Anglican movements did carry out certain ascetic practices.