St Antony, Abbot

I Samuel 17.32-33,37,40-51; Psalm 143; Mark 3.1-6

Antony (c. 251-356) is considered the father and founder of Christian monasticism.  A disciple of Paul of Thebes, he began to practice an ascetic life at the age of 20; about 15 years later he withdrew into complete solitude at Mount Pispir near the Nile.  There he entered on a series of combats with the devil.  After the Edict of Milan in 313 made the practice of Christianity licit in the Empire he moved to a mountain between the Nile and the Red Sea; the monastery he established there still stands today.  He ventured twice to Alexandria to preach against Arianism (the heresy which held that Jesus Christ was in some way different from or subordinate to God). Antony attracted disciples who endeavoured by imitating his holy life to combat evil and make the Church a more effective force against the devil, his works and his ways.

Posted in Daily Reflection.