Icon of Saint Anthony – S106

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Saint Anthony the Great, an Egyptian, was born in a.d. 250, was the first person in the Christian Church to live the distinctly monastic life, and became a hermit.  He heard the call from Christ when he was young, hearing the story of the rich young man called to sell what he had, give to the poor, and follow Him.   Saint Anthony lived in a tomb, and later up on a mountain in the Western Desert of Egypt, where there is still a monastery dedicated to his memory today.  In this icon he carries a scroll which reads, “I beheld the snares of the devil spread out upon the earth.”

Because of his excellent life and spiritual stature many who met him joined this most excellent monastic life with zeal, either near him, or in other monasteries inspired by such ideals.   Saint Athanasios the Great met Saint Anthony and treasured him.  When Saint Anthony died in great old age in a.d. 356, Saint Athanasios wrote his life, which created a great flood of young men and women following this shining example of dedication and love, and gave themselves up to enter the narrow but holy gates of monasticism.  Saint Anthony is called the “Father of Monks” to this day.

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