A beautiful portrait of the radical devotion of St. Antony and his call to holy living.
"It was truly amazing that being alone in such a desert Antony was niether distracted by the demons who confronted him, nor was he frightened of their ferocity when so many four–legged beasts and reptiles were there. But truly he was one who, as Scripture says, having trusted in the Lord, was like Mount Zion, keeping his mind unshaken and unruffled; so instead the demons fled and the wild beasts, as it is written, made peace with him."––from The Life of Antony
Athanasius (c. 295–373) was an Alexandrian whose life was committed at an early age to the Christian community growing there. He became a controversial bishop and one of the most vivid and forceful personalities in political and religious affairs. His famous account, The Life of Antony, inaugurated the genre of the lives of the saints and established the frame of Christian hagiography, quickly attaining the status of a classic and becoming one of the most influential writings in Christian history. It tells the spiritual story of St. Antony, the founder of Christian monasticism. A pioneer in spiritual experience, he marked a new epoch in the Christian experience and set the terms for the Church's ideal of the life of devotion. He transferred the center of monastic life from the periphery of established communities to the barren and isolated setting of a hermitage, away from civilization, in a location of solitude and serenity. The Life of Antony is a beautiful portrait of what a life committed to God demands and promises.