Saint Anthony the Abbot

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Anthony was born in Upper Egypt to wealthy Christian parents in the year 251. Around the year 269, his parents died and left him and his sister a sizable inheritance, including three hundred acres of land. One day when he was attending Mass he heard the Scripture reading from Matthew 19:21: “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

Anthony wasted no time giving away his property and inheritance, keeping only enough to meet the most basic needs of himself and his sister. Then at another Mass, he heard a different Scripture reading: “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Mt 6:34). Anthony then gave away the rest of what he had, placed his sister in a convent under the care of the nuns and went to live a life of prayer, fasting, and manual labor.

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Anthony always strove to do more to become holy. For a time, he lived enclosed in a tomb in a cemetery near Koman. His reputation as a wise man grew, however, and people came to seek his advice. He brought about healings and his popularity continued to grow until he decided to move into the desert for fear that he might become prideful or that people would worship him rather than God. He lived in the desert for 20 years, locked in a small fort atop Mount Pispir, in complete solitude. He wrestled with temptations from the evil one the entire time. He had anxieties about his sister, missed his relatives, and longed for company. Satan caused him to think that he may have made the wrong choice and should perhaps have used his inheritance for some better purpose.

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Saint Anthony the Abbot

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