Saint Anthony the Great, Our Godbearing Father

Feast Day: January 17th


The Life of Saint Anthony the Great: and he cried out, “Where have You been, O Merciful Jesus? Why didn’t You appear from the very beginning to end my pain?” The Lord replied, “I was here, Anthony, but wanted to see your struggle. Now, since you have not yielded, I shall always help you.”…

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Prayers

Apolytikion: O Father Anthony, you imitated the zealous Elijah. You followed the straight paths of the Baptist and became a desert dweller. By Prayer you confirmed the universe. Wherefore, intercede with Christ our God to save our Souls.

Kontakion: Forsaking the uproars of life O Venerable one, you completed your life in quiet, fully imitating the Baptist. Therefore, we honour you with him, O Anthony, Father of Fathers.

Idiomelon: The Angel upon the Earth, and man of God in the Heavens, the adornment of the world, and the nourishment of good things and of virtues, the boast of Ascetics, let us honour Anthony. For he was planted in the house of God, and blossomed righteously as a cedar in the desert, and multiplied the flocks of the rational sheep of Christ, in Holiness and righteousness.

Oikos: Heeding the Voice of the Lord, you followed after His Commandments. You stripped off the worldly life, and rid yourself of all concern for money, property, and servants, and even the love of your sister, O God-bearer Anthony. Then you most clearly conversed with God alone, and you received the Grace of Spiritual knowledge. Send me this knowledge, as I am about to sing your praise, most Holy Father of Fathers, Saint Anthony.

Doxastikon of the Praises: You boarded a chariot that rode the Heavens, and by Ascetic endeavor you reached the pinnacle of the virtues, O God-inspired Saint. And coming from the desert, you reached the transcendent destination of the Jerusalem on high. You worthily received the honours for your laborious efforts, and you rejoice together with the Celestial Hierarchies, O All-Blessed one, as an heir to Eternal Blessings and a resident of the Kingdom. We pray you, O God-bearing Father Anthony, to intercede with the Saviour of all, that He grant peace to the world and that He save our Souls.


Saint Anthony the Great – The Father of Monasticism

Then he entered the Church and heard the Gospel passage where Christ speaks to the rich young man: “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven; and come follow Me” (Mt.19:21). Anthony felt that these words applied to him…


“The fruits of the Earth are not brought to perfection immediately, but by time, rain and care; similarly, the fruits of men ripen through ascetic practice, study, time, perseverance, self-control and patience.”

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“If a Soul gives herself to God with all her heart, then God will have compassion for her and gives her the spirit of repentance.”

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“The devil is afraid of us when we Pray and make sacrifices. He is also afraid when we are humble and good. He is especially afraid when we love Jesus very much. He runs away when we make the Sign of the Cross.”

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“With all my strength I Pray to God for you, that He may send into your hearts that fire, which our Lord Jesus Christ has come to send on the Earth (Luke 12:49), that you may have power to govern rightly your intentions and senses and to distinguish good from evil.”

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“Go away and cling to a man who feareth God, and by being near him you will learn from him to fear God.”

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Someone asked Abba Anthony, “What must one do in order to please God?” The old man replied, “Pay attention to what I tell you: whoever you may be, always have God before your eyes, whatever you do, do it according to the testimony of the Holy Scriptures; in whatever place you live, do not easily leave it. Keep these three precepts and you will be saved.”

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“If you wish, you can be a slave of passions, and if you wish, you can remain free and not submit to their yoke; for God has created you with that power.”

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“Everyday I say to myself, today I will begin.”

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“I no longer fear God, but I love Him. For love casts out fear.”

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“Do not neglect the fast; it constitutes an imitation of Christ’s way of life.”

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Once, Saint Anthony tried hiding in a cave to escape the demons that plagued him. There were so many little demons in the cave though that Saint Anthony’s servant had to carry him out because they had beaten him to death. When the hermits were gathered to Saint Anthony’s corpse to mourn his death, Saint Anthony was revived. He demanded that his servants take him back to that cave where the demons had beaten him. When he got there he called out to the demons, and they came back as wild beasts to rip him to shreds. All of a sudden a bright light flashed, and the demons ran away. Saint Anthony knew that the light must have come from God, and he asked God where was He before when the demons attacked him. God replied, “I was here but I would see and abide to see thy battle, and because thou hast manly fought and well maintained thy battel, I shall make thy name to be spread through all the world.”

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“I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I said groaning, ‘What can get through from such snares?’ Then I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Humility’.”

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It was revealed to Abba Anthony in his desert that there was one who was his equal in the city. He was a doctor by profession and whatever he had beyond his needs he gave to the poor, and every day he sang the Sanctus with the Angels.

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“Strive to be united first with the Lord, and then with the Saints, so that after death they may receive you as familiar friends into everlasting dwellings.”

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“Whoever has not experienced temptation cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven… Without temptations no-one can be saved.”

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Once again he was sitting on the mountain, and looking up saw in the air someone being borne upwards, and there was much joy among those who met him. Then wondering and deeming a company of that kind to be blessed, he Prayed to learn what this might be. And immediately a voice came to him: ‘This is the soul of Amun, the monk at Nitria.’ Now Amun had persevered in the discipline up to old age; and the distance from Nitria to the mountain where Antony was, was thirteen days’ journey. The companions of Anthony therefore, seeing the old man amazed, asked to learn, and heard that Amun was just dead. And he was well known, for he had stayed there very often, and many signs had been wrought by his means. And this is one of them.

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“Our life and our death is with our neighbor. If we gain our brother, we have gained God, but if we scandalize our brother, we have sinned against Christ.”

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“Do not open your thoughts to everyone, but only to those who can heal your Soul.”

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“When you close the doors of your dwelling and are alone, you should know that there is present with you the Angel whom God has appointed for each man… The Angel, who is sleepless and cannot be deceived, is always present with you; he sees all things and is not hindered by darkness. You should know, too, that with him is God. “

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“Let’s force ourselves to put the guards to the lips so as not to say anything bad about anyone, because the worst speech is worse than any poisons. All wounds are healed, and the wound from the tongue has no healing.”

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“Do not establish your previously committed sins in your Soul by thinking about them so that they not be repeated in you. Be assured that they were forgiven you from the time that you gave yourself to God and to repentance. In that, do not doubt.”

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“If we have a strong relationship with God, this will distinguish our relationship with others. We will be able to be a source of peace, tranquility, and comfort to them.”

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“The truly Blessed are not the ones who can work miracles or see Angels, the truly Blessed are the ones who can see their own sins.”

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When Anthony thought about the depth of God’s judgements, he asked, “Lord, how is it that some die when they are young, while others drag on to extreme old age? Why are there those who are poor and those who are rich? Why do wicked men prosper, and why are the just in need?” He heard a voice answering him, “Anthony, keep your attention on yourself, these things happen according to God’s judgement, and it is not to your advantage to know anything about them.”

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