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St. Anthony the Great

An icon of St. Anthony the Great.

The Icon

Feast Day - January 17

St. Anthony was born in Egypt of pious parents and is known as the Father of Monasticism. His parents died when he was 18 years old after which he live with his sister. One day during Liturgy, he heard the words of Jesus, "if you would be perfect, go sell all that you have and give it to the poor and come follow me." He then sold off his land, gave the money to the poor and entrusted his sister to a Christian home. He built a cell a short distance from the city and went to live there. Following the example of an old hermit who lived there, he spent his time praying, meditating and fasting in order to overcome temptations. When he was 35, he departed for the desert where he found an old fortress and continued his ascetic life. As the years passed, many men came to join him and in 305 AD, the fortress became the first monastery. From it, many more grew throughout the world. St. Anthony instructed his monks to bury him secretly. He lived to be 105 years old.

Troparion in tone 4

O Father Anthony,
By your zeal you equaled Elijah;
You imitated the life of John the Baptist;
You founded a city in the wilderness;
You established the Church on the firm foundation of your prayers.
Pray to Christ our God
That our souls may be saved!

Kontakion in tone 2

You rejected the cares of this world
Fulfilling your life in meekness,
Imitating the forerunner in righteousness:
Together with him we honor you,
O Father of fathers, Anthony.

For information concerning the life of St. Anthony the Great please click here