[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Anthony the Great

III/IV Centuries
The Patriach of All Monks, St. Anthony of Egypt, was born c. 251 in Koma, Middle Egypt. Orphaned at 20, he gave his sister enough to live on and gave the rest of his inheritance to the poor. He joined a monastery and became a disciple of Paul of Thebes. Anthony became a solitary at 35. On Mt. Pispir, he suffered visions from the devil, which many artists have attempted to represent. In 313, when Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, Anthony moved to another mountain, where Dayr Mari Antonios still stands. Anthony left the desert only once to travel to Alexandria to fight Arianism. Anthony gathered hermits into loose communities and was one of the first to create guidelines for monastics. He died in 356.

Karen Rae Keck


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