Friday 17 January 2014

Feast of St. Anthony of Egypt on the Irish Calendars, January 17

Pictorial Lives of the Saints (1878)

In the first volume of his Lives of the Irish Saints, Canon O'Hanlon notes the commemoration on some of the earliest Irish calendars of the Feast of Saint Anthony of Egypt:

Feast of St. Anthony, Monk and Apostle of the Thebaid in Egypt. [Third and Fourth Centuries.]

Although this great monastic master had no particular connexion with Ireland, he was specially venerated there, as would appear from our most ancient calendars. At the 17th of January the following stanza occurs in the Leabhar Breac copy of the Felire of St. Oengus. The original Irish and the English translation have been supplied by Professor O'Looney :—

C. xui. kl. We should often praise
Though they are not in our conversation
The band who were crucified without crime
On the feast of the monk Anthony.

The Franciscan copy of the Martyrology of Tallagh places him likewise among the native saints, at this date, although no less than twenty-seven foreign saints precede these, according to the generally observed plan in this ancient calendar. Hence we may infer, that the patriarch of eastern monasticism was greatly honoured in the early Irish Church, where his spirit of asceticism was wonderfully emulated by so many self-denying members.

St. Anthony was born at Coma in Upper Egypt, A.D. 251; when still a very young man he retired to the desert; about the beginning of the fourth century he engaged in the work of founding monasteries; after great labours and mortifications his death took place A.D. 356. The great St. Athanasius has written his life.

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1 comment:

Χρήστος said...

One hymn for saint Anthony in Greek: