St. Anthony of Egypt
‘Father of monasticism’ lived as a hermit
Feast: January 17
Associated with the beginnings of monasticism, Anthony gave his inherited lands and wealth in Egypt to the poor. From the age of about 20 until his death at 105, he lived as a hermit in remote hilltop and desert locations. What is known about him comes from a life written by St. Athanasius of Alexandria. Around 306 he began to accept disciples, founding his first monastery as a collection of hermits’ cells. He cultivated a garden, wove rush mats, and fought many temptations and demons. Visitors sought his wise counsel, collected in the sayings of the “desert fathers,” and the bishops of Alexandria summoned him at age 87 to help refute Arianism. He is the patron of basket and brush makers, butchers and gravediggers.
Blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto
Brother and sister saw Mary 100 years ago
Feast: February 20
Two of the three Fátima visionaries, this sister and brother were beatified in 2000. With their cousin, Lucia dos Santos, they had monthly visions of Mary at Fátima, Portugal, from May to October 1917. Mary asked the shepherd children to promote devotion to her Immaculate Heart and pray the rosary daily. Both Martos died of influenza, Francisco at age 10 in 1919, and Jacinta at age 9 in 1920. Their cousin, who became a Carmelite nun, died in 2005 at age 97. Fátima is among the world’s great Marian shrines and pilgrimage sites.
- Catholic News Service
Northwest Catholic - January/February 2017