ST ANTONY THE GREAT – HIS LIFE


Born in
Herakleopolis Magna ‘Middle Egypt’ in 251 AD and died on Mount Colzim – site of the present day Monastery of St Antony the Great – in 356. He was granted the title ‘Father of Monasticism’.


The son of well-to-do parents, he was orphaned at the age of 18 and upon hearing the words of the Gospel, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Matthew 19:21), followed this biblical instruction literally. He gave his possessions to the poor and placed his younger sister in a house for virgins, and sought to live a solitary life with God.

His fame spread not only throughout Egypt but throughout the entire Roman Empire and many scholar, philosophers and emperors, including
Emperor Constantine and his sons, sought his advice and spiritual guidance. St Antony prophesied about the persecution and heresies that were to come upon the Church; namely the Arian heresy, and also prophesied about its victory.

When the day of the departure of
St Paul the First Anchorite drew near, God sent St Antony to him to take his blessings and also to bury him. St Antony died on Mount Colzim – the site of the present day Monastery of St Antony the Great where a community was formed shortly after the saint’s death in memory of him – at the age of 105.


His feast day is celebrated in the Coptic Church on 30 January, which corresponds to 22 Tuba according to the Coptic calendar.



     
     
      St Antony
      His Life
      His Spirituality
      His Legacy
      His Sayings