The Great Abba Anthony
The following is the Synaxarium reading of the 22nd of Toubah of the Coptic year.
St. Anthony is considered the father of all monks and one ruler of Christian Monasticism
He was born at about the year 250 A.D. in a city in upper Egypt called Kamen-El -Aroos, city of Beniswef. His father died before he reached the age of twenty. He heard the deacon in the Church reading this verse of the Bible:" If thou wilt be perfect go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven" (Matt.19:21). So, he distributed all his wealth among the poor and left to the desert starting his monastical life, to where it is today near the coast of the Red sea.
People started visiting him and asking him for prayers and blessings. A certain king, from a foreign land, asked him, by means of messengers to come and heal his sick son. The messengers brought gifts to St. Anthony but he did not accept them and decided not to go to that foreign land.
St. Anthony prayed the same day and by the power of Jesus Christ lifting him upon a cloud, he went into that foreign land where he was invited to eat at a Minister's house. That minister had a pig whose youngsters were blind and limb, St. Anthony healed them. The king had heard of this and invited St. Anthony to his house to heal his son. He went there, healed the son and then returned to the monastery.
The following day, the messengers still being at the monastery, were unaware of St. Anthony's trip and asked him to accompany them to heal the King's son. So St. Anthony asked them to return back and he will follow later. After several days of a long trip they heard about the healing of that son and thought that it was St. Anthony after they reached the King's palace but he didn't tell them so that he may avoid falling into temptation. The messengers praised God for what they had witnessed.
St. Anthony passed away in the year 356 A.D. after a life full of good deeds and valuable spiritual experience. We celebrate his departure on the 30th of January (22 Touba of the Coptic calendar) every year.
The blessing Of our blessed St. Anthony be with us. Amen.
St. Antonious Coptic Orthodox Church