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January 17

Saint Anthony, Abbot


“And again his soul was free from blemish, for it was neither contracted as if by grief, nor relaxed by pleasure, nor possessed by laughter or dejection, for he was not troubled when he beheld the crowd, nor overjoyed at being saluted by so many. But he was altogether even as being guided by reason, and abiding in a natural state. Through him the Lord healed the bodily ailments of many present, and cleansed others from evil spirits. And He gave grace to Antony in speaking, so that he consoled many that were sorrowful, and set those at variance at one, exhorting all to prefer the love of Christ before all that is in the world.”[1]

St. Anthony was born in the 3rd century in Egypt. He felt called to give away all his possessions, follow Christ, and become a hermit. His moderate asceticism attracted many followers. As such, he is often hailed as the father of Christian monasticism. During the Arian controversy, St. Anthony supported the Nicene party and became friends with St. Athanasius, who would later write The Way of St. Antony. [1][2]

Written by Sarah Ciotti

Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD

[1] St. Athanasius, “The Way of St. Anthony,” in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, ed. Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, (T&T Clark, Edinburgh), 200,

[2] F.L. Cross and E.A. Livingstone, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (London: Oxford University Press, 1974), 67.

The English translation of The Liturgy of the Hours (Four Volumes) ©1974, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission by Surgeworks, Inc for the Divine Office Catholic Ministry. website, podcast, apps and all related media is © 2006-2015 Surgeworks, Inc. All rights reserved.