St. Athanasius—Life of St. Anthony, pt. 1
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“Do not hesitate to believe what you have heard from those who have brought you accounts of him; believe, rather, that they have told but little... for it is probable that, when each one has told what he knows, the account will not do Anthony justice.”
Happy Feast of St. Anthony, Abbot!
You may know him from the countless recurrences, across art and literature, of “The Temptation of St. Anthony.”
Well, The Life of St. Anthony—of which the temptations are only part—is, perhaps, one of the most influential works in the history of Christian literature.
Setting aside the unique authority and influence of the biographer (the great Church father, St. Athanasius of Alexandria), the work itself describes the life of a singularly holy man. In fact, it is the earliest biographical account of a saint who had become such without having had to suffer martyrdom.
Though St. Anthony was not the first Christian hermit, he was the most popular: this account of his life did much to spread his ascetic and monastic ideals throughout the East and West. Anthony has been called not only the father of Christian monasticism, but even the founder of the religious life.
Needless to say, we are very excited to be bringing you, over the course of several episodes, St. Athanasius’ Life of St. Anthony in its entirety. If you’ve not done so, now is the time to register with us at catholicculture.org/getaudio to ensure that you don’t miss a minute of this exhilarating Christian classic.
Translation courtesy of Catholic University of America Press: https://verbum.com/product/120446/early-christian-biographies
Alternate Translation at CatholicCulture.org: https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/fathers/view.cfm?recnum=3080
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Theme music: 2 Part Invention, composed by Mark Christopher Brandt, performed by Thomas Mirus. ©️2019 Heart of the Lion Publishing Co./BMI. All rights reserved.
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