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St. Anthony the Great

Saint Anthony, the Father of monks, was born in Egypt in 251. He had devoted Christian parents who died when he was very young. On 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 treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Matt. 19:21), he immediately put it into action. He gave all that he had to the poor, and fled to the desert.

 

For twenty years, he resisted lots of temptations. He lived a simple life in the desert, praying, fasting (not eating much), and working hard. Many people came to learn from him because he was very wise. Even people in cities knew about how good he was. When Christians were being hurt and killed by Maximinus in 312, he hurried to help and comfort them. And when there was a problem in the Church with some people called the Arians, he went to Alexandria in 335 and fought against them to protect the beliefs he thought were right. During this time, he used his words really well to make many people who didn't believe in Christ start to believe.

 

Saint Anthony started his simple life near his village in Egypt. He learned from wise people there and became even better than them. He wanted to challenge himself more, so he went to live in the desert. He found an old abandoned fortress on a mountain and lived there. He trained himself to eat very little, pray a lot, and fight against bad spirits. He stayed there for about twenty years. A famous person named Saint Athanasius, who knew him well, wrote that Anthony came out of that place as a special person filled with God's spirit. Later, because a lot of people wanted to be around him, he decided to go on a journey with some desert travelers. He ended up on a mountain near the Red Sea and spent the rest of his life there.

Saint Athanasius, who knew him well, said that Saint Anthony had a special and wonderful way about him. When he was in a group of monks, if someone who didn't know him wanted to see him, they would immediately go to Anthony because of how he looked and acted. It wasn't because he was taller or bigger than others, but because he had a calm and pure way about him. Anthony lived his life as a great example of how to be good, and he became a guide for monks. He passed away on January 17, in the year 356, after living for about 105 years in total

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