November 21, 2011
St. Anthony of the Desert was a wealthy landowner in the third century. Upon walking into church one day when he was 34, he heard Jesus’ words proclaimed: “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me” (Matthew 19.21).
Anthony took those words literally. He gave away some of the family estate and sold the rest, giving the proceeds to the poor. He spent his remaining 57 years in the desert, living a life of asceticism and prayer, counselling people and inspiring the development of monasticism.