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St. Anthony the Abbot

Saint Anthony the Great

Abbot & Confessor

Anthony was born in the year of Our Lord 251, to wealthy Christian parents in Roman Egypt, and was raised sheltered from corrupting worldly influences. When he inherited the family estate, he sold or gave away everything except what was necessary to care for himself and his young sister, until she was old enough to enter a house of consecrated virgins. Anthony then went into solitude near his village, and experienced many terrifying tests and temptations by the devil. He withstood these attacks through strength of will and devotion to prayer and fasting, often eating only every few days. For decades Anthony lived in almost total solitude, but in his fifties he finally began his first monastery, fulfilling the desires of many fellow ascetics and hermits who desired a pious leader. For establishing this early communal—or “cenobitic”—monastic life, Anthony is regarded as the Father of Monasticism. He also ministered to Christians in Alexandria at the height of a great persecution, and preached effectively against Arianism. Anthony died at the age of 105, and he is regarded as a patron of monasticism, animals, and against skin diseases.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for January 17th

IN Thebais, St. Anthony, abbot and spiritual guide of many monks. He was most celebrated for his life and miracles, of which St. Athanasius has written a detailed account. His sacred body was found by divine revelation, during the reign of the emperor Justinian, and brought to Alexandria, where it was buried in the church of St. John the Baptist.

At Langres, in the time of Marcus Aurelius, the saints Speusippus, Eleusippus, and Meleusippus, born at one birth, who were crowned with martyrdom, together with their grandmother Leonilla.

At Borne, the finding of the holy martyrs Diodorus, priest, Marian, deacon, and their companions. Whilst they were commemorating the birthdays of the martyrs in a sand-pit, the entrance was closed by the persecutors, and the vault over them broken down, and they thus obtained the palm of martyrdom in the reign of pope St. Stephen.

At Bourges, the demise of St. Sulpicius, surnamed Pius, whose life and precious death are adorned with glorious miracles.

At Rome, in the monastery of St. Andrew, the blessed monks Anthony, Merulus, and John, of whom pope St. Gregory speaks in his writings.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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