St. Anthony The Great

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On January 17th, we remember St. Anthony the Great. Known as the “Father of all monks,” he was one of the Desert Fathers, a group of hermit monks who lived mainly in the Egyptian desert of Scetes around the third century AD. The majority of what we know about St. Anthony comes from a work written by Athanasius of Alexandria called “Life of Anthony.” It became a very famous book after being translated into Latin (from the original Greek), and was well known throughout the Middle Ages. His life’s example helped to spread the idea of Christian monasticism, and there are accounts of him enduring supernatural temptation which his readers found most inspiring. His followers credited him with being able to cure them of diseases, most especially of ergotism which became known as “St. Anthony’s Fire.”

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