Saint of the Day – 28 December – Saint Anthony of Lérins (c 428-c 520) Monk, Hermit, miracle-worker. Born in c 468 at Valeria, Lower Pannonia (in modern Hungary) and died in c 520 at Lerins, Provence, France of natural causes. Also known as – Antony of Lérins, Anthony the Hermit.
The Roman Martyrology states: “Commemoration of Saint Anthony, a Monk, who, a man distinguished by grace and preparation, after having led a solitary life, retired, by now an old man in the Monastery of Lérins in Provence, where he piously fell asleep in the Lord.”
He was born in the ancient Roman Province of Valeria (now Hungary), then part of the Hunnic Empire. When he was eight years old, his father died and he was entrusted to the care of the holy Abbot Severinus of Noricum, in modern-day Austria. Severinus, however, died when the boy was in his early teens and Anthony moved in with his uncle, Bishop Constantius of Lorsch, Bavaria (in modern Germany).
When he was of age, Anthony entered the monastic life, making himself immediately appreciated for his great humility.
In 488, at about 20 years of age, Anthony moved to Italy to take up an eremitical life with a small group of hermits living on an island in Lake Como. He was eventually joined by numerous disciples seeking to emulate his holiness.
Anthony’s fame, which soon spread to the surrounding areas, caused him a curious accident. A man, who had been sentenced to death for killing his wife in a fit of jealousy, took refuge with Anthony to escape punishment, simulating the desire to become his disciple. But Anthony unmasked the hypocrite and threw him out of his cell to face his crime. Naturally, this episode greatly increased his fame and he, disturbed by numerous visitors, finally crossed the Alps and settled in Lérins, where he found the peace he had always sought
He lived in various solitary places until two years before his death he became a Monk at the Abbey of Lérins, where he again was an icon of piety locally and attracted those seeking spiritual aid. The holiness of his life and the miracles he performed, encourage many to visit him.
Saint Ennodius of Pavia wrote a Life of Saint Anthony.