Saint Antony the Great of Egypt

 Commemorated on january 17

Saint Antoine le Grand
Image from:
CopticChurch.net

Antony was by descent a Chritian Egyptian, he is born in the year 251. He had an ascetic life and he is known for the spiritual struggle that he led successfully against big temptations and trials coming from the devil. Then he spent twenty years in complete isolation and constant struggle with the demons, and he finally achieved a state of perfect calm and was filled by the Holy Spirit. Saint Antony the Great is known as the Father of monasticism, he was giving spiritual instruction to all who came to ask him.

In the fifteenth century his relics were brought to Arles (in France), to the church of Saint-Julien (Saint-Antoine) website

 

About his life and his writings:

Athanasius of Alexandria: Vita S. Antoni [Life of St. Antony], Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second series, volume IV, under the editorial of Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. Read online or PDF Archive.org

 

Exerpt:

VITA S. ANTONI (WRITTEN BETWEEN 356 AND 362):
The Life of St. Antony is included in the present collection partly on account of the important influence it has exercised upon the development of the ascetic life in the Church, partly and more especially on the ground of its strong claim to rank as a work of Athanasius. If that claim were undisputed, no apology would be needed for its presence in this volume.

If on the other hand its spurious and unhistorical character had been finally demonstrated, its insertion would be open to just objections. As it is, the question being still in dispute, although the balance of qualified opinion is on the side of the Athanasian authorship, it is well that the reader should have the work before him and judge for himself. To assist his judgment, it will be attempted in the following paragraphs to state the main reasons on either side. In doing so, I can honestly disclaim any bias for or against the Vita, or monasticism.

Monasticism, with all its good and evil, is a great outgrowth of human life and instinct, a great fact in the history of the Christian religion; and whether its origin is to be put fifty years earlier or later (for that is the net value of the question at issue) is a somewhat small point relatively to the great problems which it offers to the theologian, the historian, and the moralist. But the point is at any rate worthy of careful and dispassionate examination. In attempting this, while holding no brief for either side, I may as well at once state my opinion on the evidence, namely that, genuine as are many of the difficulties which surround the question, the external evidence for the Vita is too strong to allow us to set it aside as spurious, and that in view of that evidence the attempts to give a positive account of the book as a spurious composition have failed.

 

The Life of Antony and The Letter to MarcellinusTranslation and introduction by Robert c. Gregg, Paulist Press (January 1, 1979).

Antony by Athanasius

 

Letters - There are seven letters in latin, arabic and georgian; plus 13 letters  in arabic, translated into French

Letters of Saint Anthony the Great, Derwas Chitty, Cistercian Pubns (June 1978). 

 letters of St Antony

 

Studies

Letters of St. Antony: Monasticism and the Making of A Saint, Samuel Rubenson, Trinity Press,1998. (Note in French: voir la remarque sur cet ouvrage, page 17, de Saint Antoine, ascète selon l'Evangile par Père Matta El-Maskine). Exerpts online and the complete text on Scribd

Antony by Rubenson

 

In Philokalia (not regarded as an authentic work of St Anthony)

Philokalia Complete Text. Page 327 (page 228 - PDF). St Antony the Great (251 – 356) (Volume 1, pp. 327-55). On the Character of Men and on the Virtuous Life - One Hundred and Seventy Texts. PDF Archive.org online

The monastic rules of St Antony are not regarded as an authentic work of St Anthony neither.

 

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