January 17, 2024
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 17 of January, repeating indefinitely
A few days after St. Paul, the first hermit, the Church today celebrates the feast of St. Antony, the father of monks. Antony retired to the desert at about the age of eighteen in order to live in perfect solitude. The devil, for the purpose of making him give up his solitary life, appeared to him in hideous shapes to frighten him. In the hard struggle with the evil one Antony gave evidence of immense courage. The example of his life soon attracted disciples round him. Grouping them together under his direction, Antony laid the first foundations of community life, and gave to his disciples that profound broad and sane instruction, the mature result of solitude and prayer, which forms the surest basis of Christian asceticism. He died in 356. St. Athanasius, who honored him with his friendship, wrote his life and made him known to western Christendom.