olgakaravanos wrote: Is the monk himself supposed to know this?
Pretty much everyone knows this, laypeople and secular people. Certainly monks know this. Monochos mean "alone" and, like being married, being a lesser schema monk/nun or great schema monk/nun involves a life-long commitment to God to remain "alone" from marriage. Monasticism is a sacrament every bit as important as marriage. Being married is also supposed to be a life-long commitment to God and spouse. There can be divorce in rare instances. In the case of schema-monasticism, however, there is no "divorce" due to sin. Monasticism is supposed to be a life that is devoted completely to repentance. So, if a man or woman sins as a monastic, the solution is not a "divorce" from monasticism, but more monasticism, that is, more devotion to a life of repentance. If a priest-monk or a bishop is deposed from his priestly or episcopal rank because of sin, he is still supposed to remain a monk. If a monk became a mass murderer, still, there should be no divorce or legitimate release from monasticism, rather, the solution is to return to the monastic life of repentance. That is what monasticism means, being alone from marriage and living a life entirely devoted to penitence. Some Orthodox married couples after a lifetime of loving marriage (and raising children) will decide to physically separate (to "lay aside" their marriage) and to join a women's convent and a man's monastery, respectively, so as to live out their remaining time in celibacy, poverty, obedience, fasting, prayer, and repentance, in preparation from the Final Judgment. There were several kings, queens, and nobles in the Byzantine Commonwealth who gave up their worldly status to live out their lives as monastics. Occasionally, a married priest who becomes a widower will "lay aside" his priesthood if he feels he must remarry, and he will in fact remarry. He cannot continue as a priest after a second marriage. However, monasticism is not like that. If one fails in the monastic life, the solution is not to "set aside" monasticism, rather, the solution is to return to the monastic life of repentance as soon as possible --- especially before one dies, as a preparation for the Final Judgment.