Book of Saints – Saint Anthony the Abbot

statue of Saint Anthony the Abbot; date and artist unknown; Gandesa, Spain; photographed on 17 January 2015 by Marc Jornet Niella; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

January 17

Anthony was born in Egypt in the year 251. While still a young man, he gave away all his goods and begged an old hermit to teach him how to live a holy life. He lived the life of a hermit in the desert for many years, devoting himself to prayer and penance.

Many people came to Anthony for advice. He taught them the way to holiness. He founded a monastery and was the first Abbot to form a rule for his family of monks dedicated to Divine Service. For this reason he is called the “Patriarch of Monks.”

His miracles drew so many people to him that he fled again into the desert where he lived by hard work and prayer.

In the year 305, Anthony founded a religious community of hermits who lived in separate cells.

He died in 356, at 105 years of age.

Anthony is called the Father of monastic life.

MLA Citation

  • Father Lawrence George Lovasik, S.V.D.. “Saint Anthony the Abbot”. Book of Saints. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 January 2019. Web. 19 September 2019. <>