The desert monks in Egypt asked Athanasius to write an account of Saint Antony's life because they saw in it the ideal pattern for how to live the ascetical life: a life of steadfast devotion, complete dependence on God, and ruthless trust. Antony is often called the father of Christian monasticism. With his resolute commitment to reject anything that might hinder his communion with God, Antony shifted the center of monastic life from the periphery of established communities to the hermitage, separated from civilization, in a location of solitude and serenity. By spending days out in the desert and even living for a while in a tomb, he exemplified the life of total dependence on God. Saint Antony's story is a riveting account of both what a life committed to God demands and what it promises.Athanasius (c. 295-373) was a controversial bishop in Alexandria who became a force in political and religious affairs. His famous account of the life of Antony was the first volume to detail the life of a saint. The book soon became a classic and one of the most influential writings in Christian history.
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