August 3rd – St. Anthony the Roman

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Aug 3, 2022, 2:58:31 AMAug 3
August 3rd – St. Anthony the Roman

St. Anthony was born in Rome in 1067, soon after the Church of
Rome had separated itself from the Universal Church. His parents
remained faithful to the Orthodox teachings of the Eastern Churches,
and raised their son in a spirit of Orthodox piety. St. Anthony was
given a good education, and was able to read the Holy Scriptures in
both Latin and Greek.

Still a teenager when his parents died, he had already determined
to dedicate his life to serving God. He took no interest in his
material inheritance and, distributing it among the poor, left the
noisy city with its many distractions in search of solitude. In a
remote area of the country the youth joined a small Community of monks
who had likewise preserved their Orthodox faith. He spent twenty years
there in ascetic labors, until the community was discovered by the
Latins who demanded that the monks submit to the authority of the
Roman Church· The persecuted monks were forced to disperse.

St. Anthony settled on a large rock at the very edge of the sea.
There he labored for more than a year in solitary prayer, nourishing
himself with wild grasses and roots. One day a violent storm arose. An
enormous wave lifted the rock on which the Saint was standing and
miraculously transported it--as if it were a light boat-- across the
sea, north to the river Neva, across Lake Ladoga, then upstream along
the river Volkhov, until it arrived, by God's will, at Great Novgorod.

The Saint was overjoyed to learn from a Greek merchant that he was
among Orthodox people. He gradually learned the language and was
warmly received by the ruling bishop, St. Nikita (commemorated January
31). The bishop, hearing of St. Anthony's miraculous voyage, marveled
and looked upon him as an angel of God. 'The Lord has granted you
great gifts, like unto those bestowed upon the ancient God-pleasers.
God transported Elijah in a fiery chariot, the holy apostles flew
through the air on clouds, and you have come to us across the waters
on a rock. Through you the Lord has visited and blessed these
newly-converted peoples."

There on the shore where the Saint had landed the bishop blessed him
to build a church. A small group of monks soon gathered and a
monastery was established dedicated to the Nativity of the Mother of
God (the Saint had arrived on the eve of this Feast). St. Nikita's
successor, Bishop Niphont, persuaded St. Anthony to become a priest
and elevated him to the rank of abbot. St. Anthony wisely guided the
monks in his care, without relaxing his ascetic labors. His cell and
cell-chapel were so small that his spiritual struggle could be
compared to that of the stylite saints.

In his humility, St. Anthony had begged Bishop Nikita never to
reveal the story of his miraculous voyage, but, nearing the end of his
life, the Saint related the story to one of his monks, Andrew, and
after his repose, on August 3, 1147, the miracle was made known to the
glory of God and the edification of the faithful.

The monastery preserved St. Anthony's cenobitic rule, the rock on
which he had been miraculously transported to Novgorod, a reed which
he had held during his voyage, his vestments, and six icons dating
from the Saint's lifetime.

St. Anthony's relics lay incorrupt in an open reliquary in the
cathedral. His glorification in 1597 was promoted by Archimandrite
Cyril of Trinity St. Sergius Lavra, who received healing after praying
before the Saint’s relics.

St. Anthony the Roman is considered the father of monasticism in the
Novgorod region

Saint Quote:
If we wish to make any progress in the service of God we must begin
every day of our life with new eagerness. We must keep ourselves in
the presence of God as much as possible and have no other view or end
in all our actions but the divine honor.
--Saint Charles Borromeo

Bible Quote:
Is the Law contrary, then, to God's promises? Out of the question! If
the Law that was given had been capable of giving life, then certainly
saving justice would have come from the Law. As it is, Scripture makes
no exception when it says that sin is master everywhere; so the
promise can be given only by faith in Jesus Christ to those who have
this faith." [Galatians 3:21-22:]

My God, my Life, my Love, To Thee, to Thee, I call;
O come to me from heaven above, And be my God my all.

My faith beholds Thee, Lord! Conceal'd in human food;
My senses fail, but in Thy word, I trust and find my God.

Anonymous: Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. (In Caswall's Lyra Catholica)
(19th cent.)

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