Venerable and God-bearing Father Anthony the Great

Commemorated on January 17

Saint Anthony the Great is known as the Father of monasticism, and the long ascetical sermon in The Life of Saint Anthony by Saint Athanasius (Sections 16-34), could be called the first monastic Rule.

He was born in Egypt in the village of Coma, near the desert of the Thebaid, in the year 251. His parents were pious Christians of illustrious lineage. Anthony was a serious child and was respectful and obedient to his parents. He loved to attend church services, and he listened to the Holy Scripture so attentively, that he remembered what he heard all his life.

When Saint Anthony was about twenty years old, he lost his parents, but he was responsible for the care of his younger sister. Going to church about six months later, the youth reflected on how the faithful,in the Acts of the Apostles (4:35), sold their possessions and gave the proceeds to the Apostles for the needy.

To learn more, read

Troparion — Tone 4

You imitated the ways of zealous Elijah, / and followed the straight path of John the Baptist. / You became a desert dweller / and strengthened the world by your prayers. / Father Anthony, intercede with Christ God that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion — Tone 2

You rejected the tumult of this life / and lived your life to the end in solitude, / imitating the Baptist in every way. / With him we honor you, most venerable Anthony, foundation of the Fathers.