Wednesday, 17 January 2018

# Saints

Saint Anthony the Great

A Coptic icon, showing, in the lower left,
St. Anthony with St. Paul the First Hermit
The 17th of January is the feast day of Saint Anthony the Great. He is also known as Anthony of Egypt, Anthony the Abbot, Anthony of the Desert, Anthony the Anchorite, and Anthony of Thebes. He is the patron saint of skin diseases, basket makers, brushmakers, gravediggers, Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, and Rome.

The following is from Butler’s Lives of the Saints:

ST. ANTONY was born in the year 251, in Upper Egypt. Hearing at Mass the words, “If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell what thou hast, and give to the poor,” he gave away all his vast possessions. He then begged an aged hermit to teach him the spiritual life. He also visited various solitaries, copying in himself the principal virtue of each. To serve God more perfectly, Antony entered the desert and immured himself in a ruin, building up the door so that none could enter. Here the devils assaulted him most furiously, appearing as various monsters, and even wounding him severely; but his courage never failed, and he overcame them all by confidence in God and by the sign of the cross. One night, whilst Antony was in his solitude, many devils scourged him so terribly that he lay as if dead. A friend found him thus, and believing him dead carried him home. But when Antony came to himself he persuaded his friend to carry him, in spite of his wounds, back to his solitude. Here, prostrate from weakness, he defied the devils, saying, “I fear you not; you cannot separate me from the love of Christ.” After more vain assaults the devils fled, and Christ appeared to Antony in glory. His only food was bread and water, which he never tasted before sunset, and sometimes only once in two, three, or four days. He wore sackcloth and sheepskin, and he often knelt in prayer from sunset to sunrise. Many souls flocked to him for advice, and after twenty years of solitude he consented to guide them in holiness—thus founding the first monastery. His numerous miracles attracted such multitudes that he fled again into solitude, where he lived by manual labor. He expired peacefully at a very advanced age. St. Athanasius, his biographer, says that the mere knowledge of how St. Antony lived is a good guide to virtue.

Reflection.—The more violent were the assaults of temptation suffered by St. Antony, the more firmly did he grasp his weapons, namely, mortification and prayer. Let us imitate him in this if we wish to obtain victories like his.

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Our Lady of Medjugorje

February 2, 2018 Message to Mirjana

Dear children, you whom my Son loves, you whom I love with an immeasurable motherly love, do not permit for selfishness, for self love, to rule the world. Do not permit for love and goodness to be hidden. You who are loved, who have come to know the love of my Son, remember that to be loved means to love. My children, have faith. When you have faith you are happy and are spreading peace; your soul trembles with joy. My Son is in such a soul. When you are giving yourself for the faith, when you are giving yourself for love, when you are doing good to your neighbor, my Son smiles in your soul. Apostles of my love, I am turning to you as a mother. I am gathering you around myself and I desire to lead you on the way of love and faith, on the way which leads to the light of the world. I am here for the sake of love, for the sake of faith, because with my motherly blessing I desire to give you hope and strength on your way - because the way which leads to my Son is not easy. It is full of renunciation, giving, sacrifice, forgiveness and much, much love. But this way leads to peace and happiness. My children, do not believe lying voices which speak to you about false things, false glitter. You, my children, return to the Scripture. I am looking at you with immeasurable love, and through God's grace am making myself evident to you. My children, set out with me. May your soul tremble with joy. Thank you.

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