Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Anthony of Egypt (251–356)

The Death of Anthony of Egypt

When Saint Anthony felt that the day of his departure had approached, he commanded his disciples to give his staff to Marcus, and to give one sheep skin cloak to  Athanasius and the other sheepskin cloak to Serapion, his disciple. He further instructed his disciples to bury his body in an unmarked grave. He died in 356 on Mount Kolzin by the Red Sea, 105 years old..

He probably spoke only his native language, Coptic, but his sayings were spread in a Greek translation. He himself left no writings. His biography was written by  St.Athanasius and titled Life of Saint Anthony the Great. Many stories are also told about him in various collections of sayings of the Desert Fathers.

Though Anthony himself did not organize or create a monastery, a community grew around him based on his example of living an ascetic and isolated life. Athanasius' biography helped propagate Anthony's ideals. Athanasius writes, "For monks, the life of Anthony is a sufficient example of Asceticism.

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