To conclude our post series on Saint Anthony the Great (the inventor of the Orthodox prayer rope), we are going to focus on his later life.
After spending 20 years in solitude cut off from society in an old and abandoned Roman Fort in the desert by a mountain called Pispir, he emerged and went back amongst the people. People were surprised how vital and full of energy the Saint was, they expected that he would have gone insane from the solitude and his health would be diminished after all the trials he went through.
After he visited Fayyum and confirmed the people to the Christian faith he returned to his Old Roman Fort again. In the year 311 the Saint decided he would want to be a Martyr and went to Alexandria. He visited and comforted those who were imprisoned for following Christ. After the Governor found out what the Saint was doing he forbid him to come to the city. But the Saint did not listen, he even started to argue with the Governor hoping to enrage him so he would be tortured and martyred. But his efforts were in vain.
At the end of the persecutions the Saint returned to his Old Roman Fort again, where many came to hear his teachings. But the Saint found that these visits kept him from his worship. For this reason he went even deeper into the Desert of Egypt to settle in the deep wilderness near water and a couple of palm trees. He stayed there with his disciples where he regularly spoke words of enlightenment to his followers. On this spot now stands the monastery of Saint Anthony the Great.
Saint Anthony the Great lived to become 105 years old. His soul went on to heaven in the year 365. He wanted to be buried in an unmarked secret grave to prevent his body to be divided in pieces which was custom at the time in Egypt. And so it was done.
This concludes our post series on Saint Anthony the Great. Hope you enjoyed reading our posts on this remarkable person and his extraordinary life. A true Saint.
Previous two blog posts about St. Anthony: