Saturday, January 17, 2009

Feast Day of St. Antony of Egypt

Go to Wounded Bird for the whole story. But from her link, I was struck by this from the summary of the saint's life:

They did not simply renounce the world, but were diligent in prayer for their fellow Christians, worked with their hands to earn money that they might distribute it as alms, and preached and gave personal counseling to those who sought them out.

In 321, Christians in Alexandria were being persecuted by the Emperor Maximinus (the rule of Constantine was not yet universal), and Antony visited Alexandria to encourage those facing the possibility of martyrdom. He visited again in 335, when Arianism was strong in the city, and converted many, by his preaching and testimony, and by prayer and the working of miracles. His biography was written by Athanasius, who said of him: "Who ever met him grieving and failed to go away rejoicing?"
An excellent statement on the Desert Fathers. And of what Athanasius said of Anthony: what more could any of us aspire to in this life?

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