Anthony the Great, also known as Saint Anthony, was a 3rd century Egyptian Christian hermit and saint. He is considered one of the first Christian ascetics and greatly influenced the development of Christian monasticism in Egypt and around the world.
Antony was born into a peasant family in Upper Egypt in 251. At the age of 20, he decided to sell all his possessions and give the money to the poor. He then left to live in the desert, where he led a hermit's life for nearly 20 years. During this period, he was tempted by the devil on several occasions, but he managed to resist his temptations by relying on prayer and fasting.
Engraving The temptation of Saint Anthony on Relics.es
Due to his austere lifestyle, Antony became famous in Egypt and attracted many followers. He founded several monasteries in the desert, one of which was located next to the Red Sea. Antoine kept in touch with the outside world and wrote letters of advice to his followers and other Christians.
Antoine is also known to have participated in the fight against the Arian heresy in Egypt. He supported Saint Athanasius in his fight against the Arians, a sect that denied the divinity of Christ. Antoine played a key role in promoting the Orthodox doctrine of Christ, which was eventually adopted by the Church.
Saint Anthony's life was chronicled in the Vita Antonii, written by Athanasius of Alexandria shortly after his death. This work became a source of inspiration for many artists, who created depictions of the temptation of Saint Anthony in painting, sculpture, and literature.
Among the most famous works inspired by the life of Saint Anthony is the triptych by Hieronymus Bosch, entitled The Temptation of Saint Anthony, which depicts the saint being attacked by a multitude of demonic creatures. Gustave Flaubert also wrote a three-part work entitled La Tentation de saint Antoine, in which he imagines hallucinations in which Antoine sees religions and heresies from the first centuries of Christianity appear.
In sculpture, the theme of the Temptation of Saint Anthony is much rarer. However, a capital at the Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine in Vézelay shows the saint resisting two large, grimacing devils who try to take off the mantle he is holding. Auguste Rodin also created a sculpture representing the Temptation of Saint Anthony, in which the saint is prostrate on the ground, clinging to a cross while a female figure symbolizes the temptation.
The relics of Anthony the Great, one of Eastern Christianity's most revered saints, have been the subject of many stories and legends over the centuries. The relics have been kept in several different places throughout history, and have been the object of veneration and pilgrimage for many believers.
Anthony the Great, also known as Anthony of Egypt, is considered the founder of the Christian monastic movement. Born in Egypt around 251, Antony led an ascetic life in the desert for many years, subsisting on bread and water and spending long periods in prayer and meditation. According to stories, he was tempted by the devil many times, but managed to resist his temptations through his faith and determination.
After his death in 356, Antony was buried in a tomb in the desert of Egypt. According to tradition, the monks who buried Antony kept the exact position of his tomb secret in order to prevent the desecration of his remains. For several centuries, Antoine's tomb remained hidden in the desert.
In the 5th century, a church was built on the presumed site of Antony's tomb, but it was destroyed by the Arabs in 641. Antony's relics were then moved several times, and were kept in churches and monasteries across Egypt.
In the 10th century, the relics were transported to Constantinople by Egyptian monks, who handed them over to the Byzantine Emperor Roman I Lecapene. The emperor placed the relics in a chapel dedicated to Antony, where they were venerated for several centuries.
In 1219, the relics were transported to Padua, Italy, at the request of the bishop of the city. The relics were placed in the Basilica of Saint Anthony, which became an important place of pilgrimage for Catholics. The basilica still houses the relics of Antony today, and is considered one of the most important sanctuaries in Europe.
Anthony's relics have been the subject of many legends and tales over the centuries. According to some accounts, the relics were carried to Padua by angels, who guided Egyptian monks across the Mediterranean. Other accounts claim that the relics were miraculously carried away by flames, which scorched the sails of the galley carrying them, but did not damage the relics themselves.
Whatever the story, the relics of Anthony the Great continue to attract millions of pilgrims each year.