Biography of St. Anthony the Great


Anthony the Great, St., the founder of monastic institutions, was born A.D. 251 near Heraclea in Upper Egypt. In 285, having sold all his property and given the proceeds to the poor, he withdrew into the desert, whither a number of disciples were attracted by his reputation for sanctity, and thus was formed the first community of monks. He afterwards went to Alexandria to seek the honor of martyrdom amid the persecutions there raging against the Christians but, as his life was spared, he again returned to the desert, and died at the great age of 105.