Patron of Gravediggers
St. Anthony was born at Coma, Upper Egypt, in 251, of rich and virtuous Christian parents. After dividing all his possessions among the poor while still a young man, he retired into the desert. Here he lived the life of a hermit for many years, practicing heroic mortification and devoting himself to silence, prayer, and manual labors.
The fame of Anthony’s sanctity and miracles, and the power of his example and word, drew hundreds of followers, to whom he gave guidance and a rule of life. In 305, he founded a religious community of cenobites who lived in detached cells. He died in 356, at the age of 105.
PRAYER: Lord God, You gave St. Anthony the Abbot the grace of serving in the desert in prayer with You. Aided by his intercession, may we practice self-denial and hence always love You above all things. Amen.