ANTHONY was born in the year 251 in Egypt. Our Lord spoke to him saying: "If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell, what thou hast, and give to the poor.
He gave away all he had tried and stated learning how to live a holy life. He lived in the desert, where he lived the life of a hermit for many years. He devoted himself to prayer and penance. For more than twenty years Anthony was tempted by the devil, but he overcame temptation by prayer and sacrifice. Many people flocked to him for advice. He consented to guide them in holiness. He started the first monastery, so people call him the father of monastic life and the patriarch of monks.
His miracles drew so many people so he left and went into the desert again, where he lived by hard work and prayer.
In 305, Anthony founded a religious community of hermits who lived in separate cells. He died in 356 at the age of one hundred and five.
Lord God, You gave St. Anthony the Abbot the of grace of serving in the desert in prayer with You. Aided by his intercession, may we practice self-denial and hence always love You above all things.
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