5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great

Nika Kravchuk
30.01.2017

5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great

He is called the flower of the desert, the founder of hermit monasticism, the zealot of the prophet Elijah and the imitator of John the Baptist. He lived 105 years, 85 of whom spent in the wilderness, in unceasing prayer and work. Episodes from his life inspired Bosch, Cezanne and Dali to write The Temptation of St. Anthony. That was Anthony the Great, whose Orthodox Day is celebrated on January 17 (30). Read in our article 5 of the most interesting facts from the life of the saint.

Anthony the Great

1. Execution of the commandment for those who want to be perfect

Rev. Anthony was born in 251 in Egypt, near the Thebaid desert. His parents were Christians, so they raised their children — a son and a daughter — in faith. Anthony since childhood was distinguished by seriousness, attentiveness. He prayed a lot and read the Holy Scriptures, verifying it with his own life.

Anthony was not yet twenty, as his parents died. Father and mother left him a rich heritage and commanded to take care of a younger sister.

Once, when Anthony the Great was standing in the temple, he heard the words of the Gospel:

If you want to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give to the poor; and you will have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me ().

So in the Gospel Christ addressed the rich young man. But at that moment it seemed to Anthony that the Savior was speaking specifically for him.
Therefore, the young man fulfilled the commandment: he sold all his wealth, distributed it to the needy, took care of his sister - entrusted her to pious Christians, and he went after Christ.

2. Founder of desert breeding

Anthony the Great is considered the founder of hermit monasticism. Over 85 years of desert breeding, he experienced a lot. At first, the young monk settled near his native city and, in order not to fall into the beauty, was led by the elder's advice. When spiritually strengthened, retired in the Thebaid desert. After some time, he went even further, taking with him only a supply of bread, which would be enough for a maximum of six months. But at this place he labored a couple of decades.

For almost 35 years, Anthony the Great spent in solitude, only occasionally seeing people. During this time he grew so spiritually that the Lord instructed him to become a mentor for the monks - many followers gathered near Anthony.They saw in Antonia an example to follow.

Anthony the Great - icon with a living

This is how hermit monasticism arose. What did it look like? The monks, who dedicated their lives to God, lived separately, prayed and worked, getting together except for worship. They were also united by the spiritual guidance of one old man. In his time, Anthony the Great became a mentor for many young monks. The monk gave wise advice, as he faced many temptations himself. Read about them further.

3. The winner in the war with the devil

Symbolically, the saint is depicted with a staff with a bell to scare away demons. And this is no accident: the monk during his life repeatedly succumbed to the demonic attack.

In the living literature one can even find the dialogues of the saint with the devil, who tried to kindle prodigal passion in the ascetic. But Anthony was not afraid of the evil one, because he understood that without God's will the demons would not harm him.

"The Temptations of St. Anthony"became a classic storyline for writers and artists. This is the name of the famous triptych of Hieronymus Bosch, the work of Paul Cézanne and Salvador Dali.

And Michelangelo painted a picture called"The torment (martyrdom) of St. Anthony"where he described the most famous episode of the Reverend's war with demons.

The torment of St. Anthony

It was one of the few examples when disembodied spirits could cause physical harm. The demons not only destroyed the ascetic's dwelling (and he then lived in a half-destroyed tomb), but even dragged the saint outside and beat him badly. And after all this they raised high above the ground and thrown down. After such a fall, an ordinary man would have died to death, but it was Anthony the Great. He survived.

4. Award for faith and patience

His demons, weak and weak, were still terrified by demons, but he was not afraid of them, but in everything he hoped for God. The faith and patience of the saint did not go unnoticed: after all the temptations of the monk Christ appeared.

The demons could not stand the presence of the Son of God and fled, leaving Anthony alone with the Messiah. According to legend, the monk asked the Savior:

“Why, Lord, have you not come to my rescue earlier?” Where have you been?

Christ answered him:

“I was here, but I wanted to see your courage.”

For steadfastness in the spiritual struggle, Christ healed the saint and promised to help him in everything.

5. Meeting Pavel of Thebes

Among the monks whom Anthony the Great was spiritually taking care of, he was the oldest. Demons began to tempt his proud thoughts: they say,you are the most senior hermit on earth.

Anthony the Great and Paul of Thebes

In one of the prayers, the saint received a revelation: there is one ascetic who has been living in the desert for 90 years. He wasPavel of Thebes. By God's providence, St. Anthony found this hermit, talked with him, and even saw the demise of St. Paul.

According to legend, Anthony the Great buried a monk in a tomb, which was specifically dug by two lions.

See also: How the saints were friends with wild animals

After that, in deep humility, the saint returned to his ministry and lived for another 15 years.

You can find out what example Anthony the Great showed to other monks from this video:


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  • 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great

    5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great

    5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great

    5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great

    5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great

    5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great

    5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great

    5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great

    5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great

    5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great

    5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great 5 most interesting facts about Anthony the Great