St Anthony the Great, Venerable, Desert Father; more on Theophany

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A much better role model than that lionized today in liberal America, MLK. The latter was a known womanizer and associated with known members of communist party USA.

Some uplifting info on someone worth admiring, St Anthony the Great from the 3rd century AD, a Coptic desert father and hermit, whose feast is today, 17 Jan :

Apolytikion (Fourth Tone)

O Father Anthony, you imitated the zealous Elijah.
You followed the straight paths of the Baptist and became a desert dweller.
By prayer you confirmed the universe.
Wherefore, intercede with Christ our God to save our souls.

Kontakion (Second Tone)

Forsaking the uproars of life O venerable one,
you completed your life in quiet, fully imitating the Baptist.
Therefore, we honor you with him, O Anthony, Father of Fathers.
Our venerable and God-bearing Father Saint Anthony the Great was born in to a wealthy family in upper Egypt about 254 AD. Also known as Anthony of Egypt, Anthony of the Desert, and Anthony the Anchorite, he was a leader among the Desert Fathers, who were Christian monks in the Egyptian desert in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Orthodox Church celebrates his feast on January 17.
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Life

One day after a teaching on Jesus saying to the people, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Matthew 19:21), St. Anthony sold everything he owned, gave the proceeds to the poor, and left the city behind to live in the desert.

Although he held no titles or position, his holiness marked him as one whose wisdom commanded respect. When the Synod of Nicea was convened, he was invited to participate. His eloquent defense of the Orthodox doctrine concerning the person of Jesus Christ was instrumental in weakening the position of Arianism. His witness led to the eventual and complete elimination of Arianism.

He instructed his followers to bury his body in an unmarked, secret grave, lest his body become an object of veneration. The monastic rules of Saint Anthony, the “patriarch” of monastic life, have served as the basis for countless monasteries.

Quotes

“I saw the snares that the enemy spreads out over the world and I said groaning, “What can get through from such snares?” Then I heard a voice saying to me, “Humility.” ”

Now there’s a REAL man with Catholic virtue whom we can admire!

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Theophany – The Holy Festival of the Lights

Icon of Theophany (Baptism) St. Gregory Nazianzus

Christ is bathed in light; let us also be bathed in light.  Christ is baptized; let us also go down with Him, and rise with Him.

John is baptizing when Jesus draws near.  Perhaps He comes to sanctify His baptizer; certainly He comes to bury sinful humanity in the waters.  He comes to sanctify the Jordan for our sake and in readiness for us; He Who is spirit and flesh comes to begin a new creation through Spirit and water.

The Baptist protests; Jesus insists.  Then John says: “I ought to be baptized by You.”  He is the lamp in the presence of the Sun, the voice in the presence of the woman in the presence of the Firstborn of all creation, the one who leapt in his mother’s womb in the presence of Him Who has already come and is to come again.  “I ought to be baptized by You”; we should add: “and for You,” for John is to be baptized in blood, washed clean like Peter, not only by the washing of his feet.

Read more: Theophany – The Holy

[adapted from Wikipedia and Byzantine.com]

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