January 17, 2016

Synaxarion of Saint Anthony the Great

On the seventeenth of this month [January], we commemorate our Holy Father Anthony the Great.


Having the stature of heaven and intelligent beings,
You are the leader of ascetics Anthony.
On the seventeenth Anthony thereupon was lifted up.

Our Holy Father Anthony was from Egypt, and was taught the Christian faith by his father and mother. He flourished during the reigns of Diocletian (284-305) and Maximianus (286-305), attaining in age also the reign of Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337). Having therefore given himself over to a life of asceticism, and exceeding all the ascetics and venerable ones of his time, he became for all those that came after him an example and model of asceticism. And the amazing thing is, that he was the first, or among the very few, who originated such a super human asceticism and angelic state, and practically alone attained the highest peak of such a state, as his extensive biography records.

We are unable to record these things, due to our short treatment of the subject, however this Anthony the Great is famous to many. It is only necessary to say the following, that this Great Father even while wearing his corruptible body, would be taken out of his body, and would see the ascension of souls, when they came out of the bodies of men. And he would see the souls of some of these men ascend higher than the demons, who sought to capture them, while others would be captured, alas! and were brought down into a deep abyss.

Having lived one hundred and five years, he departed to the Lord in the year 366. His Synaxis and Feast is celebrated in the most holy Great Church. (His extensive biography was written by Athanasius the Great of Alexandria in Greek and sent to the Monks of Egypt.)

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Thou didst follow the ways of zealous Elijah, and the straight path of the Baptist, O Father Anthony. Thou didst become a desert dweller and support the world by thy prayers. Intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Thou didst abandon the world's tumult and live in silence, and emulate the Baptist, O Anthony. Wherefore we acclaim thee with him, thou summit of the Fathers.