Saint Anthony Of Egypt – January 17th

Saint Anthony battling demons by MichelangeloToday we celebrated our school Mass for Saint Anthony of Egypt, a well-known Christian hermit. Anthony spent most of his life alone in the desert, praying, fasting, and battling demons.

I first discovered Anthony around the time I became interested in the liturgical year. I have great memories of reading the story of his life by St. Athanasius. I was inspired by the dedication and commitment Anthony had to Christ. According to Athanasius, Anthony kept retreating deeper and deeper into the Egyptian desert to escape the crowds that would visit him. He set up a “home” near a small oasis, and lived by eating very little, and sleeping on the floor of a cave. He lived to be over a 100 years old, and was an ardent defender of the Trinity against the Arians.

I am a very extroverted and social guy, yet when I think about Saint Anthony, I often desire his life. Anthony heeded the literal words of the Lord, and sold everything he had. He left everything behind to spend all day in prayer. While I don’t think I could take the Egyptian desert, I often wonder what life would be like to retreat to the foothills of Kentucky.

However, there is no need to retreat anywhere to find what Anthony found. Soon after Anthony, monastic communities sprung up. Many communities today offer chances for retreats and getaways that allow believers to focus on prayer and fasting in the same vein as Saint Anthony.

Saint Anthony the Great, pray for us

About David Bennett

David Bennett is an author, speaker, and small business owner. He started ChurchYear.Net in 2004, along with his brother Jonathan. The site gets over one million visitors a year, and Bennett's writings have appeared in church bulletins, newspapers, and other media.

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