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St. Anthony of the Kiev Caves

X/XI Centuries
A native of Ukraine, Anthony (c. 983-1073) brought monasticism to Russia. A solitary, he travelled c. 1028 to the Balkans or to Mt. Athos. He became a hermit attached to the Esphigmenon monastery on the Holy Mountain, at which the community followed the rule of Basil. The Primary Chronicle relates that the abbot encouraged Anthony to take Athonite practice to his native land. On his return, Anthony settled in a cave in Mt. Berestov on the Dnieper, and disciples gathered around him. He hoped to combine in the monastery, which came to be the Pechersky Lavra, the communal life as practiced at the Studion and the solitary life as taught by the Desert Fathers. Anthony's monastery, says The Primary Chronicle, was founded, not through the donations of the wealthy, but through the prayer and ascetical efforts of the monks. Desiring greater solitude, Anthony resigned as abbot and appointed Theodosius to succeed him. Anthony moved to a hermitage on Mt. Boldin but returned to the Lavra of the Caves to die.

Karen Rae Keck

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