Celebration: Who celebrates today – don’t forget to wish them well
Today, Sunday, January 17, 2021, the Church honors the memory of St. Anthony the Great.
The famous Christian hermit of Egypt and the founder of a lonely life in the East.
Antonios was born about 250 in the city of Coma in Upper Egypt, to wealthy and pious parents. He lived in the years of Roman emperors, such as Diocletian (284-305), Maximian (285-305) and Constantine the Great. From childhood he was an oligarch and self-sufficient and showed an interest in the venerable life of the church.
At the age of 20, he lost both parents. Six months later he divided his estate among the poor, obeying the evangelical cutting of a rich young man, and retired to a desert cave, where he lived an ascetic life for 25 consecutive years. His fame soon spread to local churches, and many Christians fled to the same area practicing and listening to his teachings.
In 311, during the persecution of Emperor Maximinus (307-313), he landed in Alexandria, to encourage and assist the faithful of the local church. When the persecution ceased, Antonios returned to the desert. However, he was annoyed by the presence of many believers who came to meet him, so he sought new refuge on Mount Kolxim in the Red Sea. And there many Christians came to receive his blessing and to be healed. His fame reached even the highest rungs of the empire. Constantine the Great and his sons, Constantius and Constantine, corresponded with him regularly and advised him on various matters.
During his ascetic life he never changed his clothes, nor did he wash his body or feet with water. He taught his disciples not to consider anything superior to the love of Christ and not to think that they were deprived of something of worldly goods, deprived of something valuable. Leaving earthly goods, he said, is the same as despising the copper drachma, earning a hundred gold. He stressed that we must not forget that human life is temporary compared to eternal life and that we must not strive to acquire temporary goods, which we cannot take with us, but to acquire eternal goods, ie wisdom, justice, wisdom, courage, prudence. and love.
Saint Anthony, named by the church of Megas, slept in 356 at the age of 105, having absolute physical and mental health. Shortly before emigration, he donated his two most distinguished disciples, Serapion and Athanasius the Great, his unique goods, a coat and two apples (sheepskin). According to his wishes, the place of his burial remained secret. Later, his remains were transferred to the church of St. John the Baptist in Alexandria during Justinian’s reign (561), and thence in 635 to Constantinople. In the 11th century, they were received by the French nobleman Joslen, who stored them in the abbey of Agios Antonios, in the eponymous town of SE. France (Saint-Antoine-l’Abbaye), where they are today.