Posted in PATRONAGE - against EPIDEMICS, PATRONAGE - DOMESTIC ANIMALS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 5 January – Saint Gerlach (c 1100-c 1170)

Saint of the Day – 5 January – Saint Gerlach (c 1100-c 1170) Hermit – born in c 1100 at Valkenburg, Netherlands and died in 1172 – 1177 at Houthem,  in the Province of Limburg in the Kingdom of the Netherlands of natural causes. Also known as Gerlac von Houthem, Gerlac of Maastricht, Gerlac of Valkenberg, Gerlach, Gerlache, Gerlacus, Gerlachus, Gerlak. Patronages – against cattle disease, against plague/epidemics, of domestic animals.

The Vita Beati Gerlaci Eremytae, written around 1227, describes his legend and life. Originally a licentious soldier and brigand, Gerlach became a pious Christian upon the death of his wife and went on pilgrimage to Rome and Jerusalem. At Rome, he performed rites of penance for the sins of his youth, made a general confession of his sins to Pope Eugene III and then proceeded to Jerusalem where the latter had sent him. There he tended the sick, which he did for seven years.

Upon returning to the Netherlands, he gave up all of his possessions to the poor and took up residence in a hollow oak on his former Estate near Houthem. He ate bread mixed with ash and travelled by foot, each day on pilgrimage to Maastricht, to the Basilica of Saint Servatius.

Neighbouring Monks wished to see him enter their Monastery, especially since they were convinced that Gerlach was very rich and hid his treasure in the hollow of the tree where he lived. The local Bishop, therefore, intervened and ordered that the oak be felled. When he saw that there was no hidden treasure, he ordered that the tree be made into boards and be used to build a new hermitage for Gerlach.

The people of the neighbourhood already considered him a saint and he also enjoyed the protection of great figures, such as Hildegard of Bingen .

Legend states that when Gerlach had done enough penance, water from the local well transformed itself into wine three times, as a sign that his sins had been forgiven. He died shortly after, barely fifty and legend has it that the last rites were administered to him by the Saint Servatius himself.

The Order of Premontre (Norbertines) claims his as one of theirs, due to his “rough white habit” and has him on its liturgical calendar as a “Blessed.” Below is the Church of St Gerlac in Houthem where his relics now rest. The Abbey of St Gerlac, which was named after him, is now a hotel.

Posted in PATRONAGE - DOMESTIC ANIMALS, PATRONAGE - EYES, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 14 January – St Felix of Nola (Died c 253)

Saint of the Day – 14 January – St Felix of Nola (Died c 253) Priest, Confessor, Apostle of Charity – born in the 3rd century at Nola, near Naples, Italy and died c 253 of natural causes.   Patronages – against eye disease, against eye trouble, against false witness, against lies, against perjury, domestic animals, of Nola, Italy.

The Roman Martyrology states of him today: “At Nola in Campania, the birthday of St Felix, Priest, who (as is related by Bishop, St Paulinus of Nola), after beomg subjected to torments by the persecutors, was cast into prison and extended, bound hand foot, on (snail) shells and broken earthenware. During the night, however, his bonds were loosened and he was delivered by an Angel. The persecution over, he brought many to the Faith of Christ by his exemplary life and teaching and renowned for many miracles, he rested in peace.

Much of the little information we have about Felix comes from the letters and poetry of Saint Paulinus of Nola (354-431), written 100 years after St Felix’s death.

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Felix was the elder son of Hermias, a Syrian centurion who had retired to Nola, Italy. After his father’s death Felix sold off most of his property and possessions, gave the proceeds to the poor and pursued a clerical vocation.   After Felix divested himself of all his possessions, St Maximus, the bishop of Nola, a town near Naples, Italy, ordained him a priest and made him his assistant.   In 250, when Emperor Decius decreed a ferocious persecution, Maximus installed himself in a desert hiding place from which he safely governed the church.   Because soldiers could not find Maximus at Nola, they tortured and jailed Felix in his place.   However, just as St Peter had had a miraculous escape from prison, an angel is said to have released Felix.   Then the angel guided Felix to rescue Maximus, who was near death.

The persecution subsided in 251.   Upon the death of Maximus the people wanted to name Felix as bishop but he declined. Instead he retired to a small farm, where for the rest of his life he raised crops to feed himself and provide alms for the poor.   St Felix died around 260.

Every year Paulinus wrote a poem to celebrate Felix’s feast day.   In one he said that while Felix did not die a martyr he was willing to offer his life as a sacrifice to God. Paulinus thus provided one of the earliest definitions of a “confessor”:

st felix head

“This festive day celebrates Felix’s birthday, the day on which he died physically on earth and was born for Christ in heaven, winning his heavenly crown as a martyr who did not shed his blood.   For he died as confessor, though he did not avoid execution by choice, since God accepted his inner faith in place of blood.   God looks into the silence of hearts and equates those ready to suffer with those who have already done so, for He considers this inward test as sufficient and dispenses with physical execution in case of true devotion. Martyrdom without bloodshed is enough for Him if mind and faith are ready to suffer and are fervent towards God.

Paulinus adopted Felix as his patron saint, a custom that had its roots in the early church.   But for Paulinus, a patron was more than a namesake.   Felix not only interceded for him in heaven.   He also accompanied him spiritually as an encourager, guide, and protector, as Paulinus explained in the following passage:

Father and lord, best of patrons to servants however unworthy, at last our prayer is answered to celebrate your birthday within your threshold. . . .You know what toils on land and sea have . . . kept me far from your abode in a distant world, because I have always and everywhere had you near me and have called on you in the grim moments of travel and in the uncertainties of life.. . . I never sailed without you, for I felt your protection in Christ the Lord, when I overcame rough seas.   On land and water my journeying is always made safe through you.   Felix, I beg you, address a prayer on behalf of your own, to that Embodiment of the calm of eternal love and peace, to Him on whose great name you depend. Amen

Five churches have been built at, or near the place, where St Felix was first interred, which was without the precincts of the city of Nola.   His precious remains are kept in the cathedral but certain portions are at Rome, Benevento, and some other places.   In time a new church in Nola was dedicated in the name of St Felix.   People travelled from far away to see the burial place of this revered saint.   St Paulinus, who acted as porter to one of these churches, testifies to numerous pilgrimages made in honour of Felix.

st felix wall mural
An ancient mural of St Felix in one of these Churches

The poems and letters of Paulinus on Felix are the source from which St Gregory of Tours, Venerable Bede, and the priest Marcellus have drawn their biographies.   There is another Felix of Nola, bishop and martyr under a Prefect Martianus. He should not be considered to be the same as the above.

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Burial place of Felix of Nola in Cimitile
st feliz and the spider

One of the most well-known legends of St Felix relates to a spider.   It goes as follows:
Shortly following the imprisonment of Bishop Maximus, Felix was taken into custody by Roman soldiers, imprisoned, scourged and tortured and wrapped with heavy chains in his prison cell.   He miraculously escaped from his cell, following visitation from an angel who instructed him to go to the aid of his ailing bishop.   As the angel encouraged Felix, his chains fell off and his prison cell was opened.   Felix rescued Maximus, bearing him on his back (despite weakness and small stature) and effectively hiding both men from Roman authorities until the end of Decius’ reign.
The second attempt to imprison Felix and Maximus was miraculously prevented by a spider!   Upon hearing Roman soldiers approaching, Felix crawled into a small hole in the building he was staying, where it is said a spider immediately spun a web over the opening.   The guards saw the spider web and ceased searching for the men, assuming that the room had been undisturbed for some time.

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PATRONAGE - BISHOPS, PATRONAGE - DOMESTIC ANIMALS, PATRONAGE - SCHOOLS, COLLEGES etc AND STUDENTS, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 7 December – St Ambrose (c 340-397) – Father and Doctor of the Church

Saint of the Day – 7 December – St Ambrose (c 340-397) – Father and Doctor of the Church

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the memory of St Ambrose, the brilliant Bishop of Milan who influenced St Augustine’s conversion and was named a Doctor of the Church.

Like Augustine himself, the older Ambrose (born around 340) was a highly educated man who sought to harmonise Greek and Roman intellectual culture with the Catholic faith. Trained as a lawyer, he eventually became the governor of Milan.  He manifested his intellectual gifts in defence of Christian doctrine even before his baptism.st ambrose

While Ambrose was serving as the governor of Milan, a bishop named Auxentius was leading the diocese.   Although he was an excellent public speaker with a forceful personality, Auxentius also followed the heresy of Arius, which denied the divinity of Christ.   Although the Council of Nicaea had reasserted the traditional teaching on Jesus’ deity, many educated members of the Church – including, at one time, a majority of the world’s bishops – looked to Arianism as a more sophisticated and cosmopolitan version of Christianity.   Bishop Auxentius became notorious for forcing clergy throughout the region to accept Arian creeds.

At the time of Auxentius’ death, Ambrose had not yet even been baptised.   But his deep understanding and love of the traditional faith were already clear to the faithful of Milan.   They considered him the most logical choice to succeed Auxentius, even though he was still just a catechumen.   With the help of Emperor Valentinan, who ruled the Western Roman Empire at the time, a mob of Milanese Catholics virtually forced Ambrose to become their bishop against his own will.   Eight days after his baptism, Ambrose received episcopal consecration on 7 December 374.   The date would eventually become his liturgical feast.

St. Ambrose ordained as Bishop. Painting by Juan de Valdés.
St Ambrose consecrated as Bishop

Bishop Ambrose did not disappoint those who had clamoured for his appointment and consecration.   He began his ministry by giving everything he owned to the poor and to the Church.   He looked to the writings of Greek theologians like St Basil for help in explaining the Church’s traditional teachings to the people during times of doctrinal confusion.

Like the fathers of the Eastern Church, Ambrose drew from the intellectual reserves of pre-Christian philosophy and literature to make the faith more comprehensible to his hearers.   This harmony of faith with other sources of knowledge served to attract, among others, the young professor Aurelius Augustinus – a man Ambrose taught and baptised, whom history knows as St Augustine of Hippo.

STS AUGUSTINE AND AMBROSE
St Augustine and St Ambrose

Ambrose himself lived simply, wrote prolifically and celebrated Mass each day.   He found time to counsel an amazing range of public officials, pagan inquirers, confused Catholics and penitent sinners.   The people of Milan never regretted their insistence that the reluctant civil servant should lead the local church.   His popularity, in fact, served to keep at bay those who would have preferred to force him from the diocese, including the Western Empress Justina and a group of her advisers, who sought to rid the West of adherence to the Nicene Creed.   Ambrose heroically refused her attempts to impose heretical bishops in Italy, along with her efforts to seize churches in the name of Arianism.st ambrose 1435

Ambrose also displayed remarkable courage when he publicly denied communion to the Emperor Theodosius, who had ordered the massacre of 7,000 citizens in Thessalonica. The chastened emperor took Ambrose’s rebuke to heart, publicly repenting of the massacre and doing penance for the murders.

“Nor was there afterwards a day on which he did not grieve for his mistake,” Ambrose himself noted when he spoke at the emperor’s funeral.   The rebuke spurred a profound change in Emperor Theodosius.   He reconciled himself with the Church and the bishop, who attended to the emperor on his deathbed.

St. Ambrose died in 397.   His 23 years of diligent service had turned a deeply troubled diocese into an exemplary outpost for the faith.   His writings remained an important point of reference for the Church, well into the medieval era and beyond.st ambrose

At the Catholic Church’s Fifth Ecumenical Council – which took place at Constantinople in 553, and remains a source of authoritative teaching for both Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians – the assembled bishops named Ambrose, along with this protege St Augustine, as being among the foremost “holy fathers” of the Church, whose teaching all bishops should “in every way follow.4 original latin fathes - jerome, gregory, ambrose, augustine - 3 sept 2018

4 ORIGINAL LATIN FATHERS - JEROME, AMBROSE, GREGORY & AUGUSTINE

Posted in PATRONAGE - ANIMALS / ANIMAL WELFARE, PATRONAGE - DOMESTIC ANIMALS, PATRONAGE - EPILEPSY, PATRONAGE - GARDENERS, FARMERS, PATRONAGE - SKIN DISEASES, RASHES, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 17 January – St Anthony Abbot (c 251-356) 

Saint of the Day – 17 January – St Anthony Abbot (c 251-358) Also known as: • Abba Antonius • Anthony of Egypt• Anthony of the Desert• Anthony the Anchorite• Anthony the Great• Anthony the Hermit• Antonio Abate• Father of Cenobites• Father of All Monks• Father of Western Monasticism.  PATRONAGES – against eczema/skin diseases/skin rashes, epileptics; against ergotism, against pestilence, , of amputees, anchorites, animals, basket makers and weavers, brushmakers, butchers, cemetery workers, domestic animals, farmers, gravediggers, graveyards, hermits, pigs, monks, relief from pestilence, swineherds, Hospitallers, Tempio-Ampurias, Italy, Diocese of 9 Cities.

The biography of Anthony’s life by Athanasius of Alexandria helped to spread the concept of Christian monasticism, particularly in Western Europe via its Latin translations.   He is often erroneously considered the first Christian monk but as his biography and other sources make clear, there were many ascetics before him.   Anthony was, however, the first to go into the wilderness (about ad 270), which seems to have contributed to his renown.   Accounts of Anthony enduring supernatural temptation during his sojourn in the Eastern Desert of Egypt inspired the often-repeated subject of the temptation of St Anthony in Western art and literature.   St Anthony is appealed to against infectious diseases, particularly skin diseases.   In the past, many such afflictions, including ergotism, erysipelas, and shingles, were referred to as St Anthony’s fire.HEADER - ST anthonyab

Anthony was born in Egypt in 250.   At age 20, when his parents died, Anthony made sure his younger sister’s education could be completed in a community of holy women.   He then sold all his possessions and left for a life of solitude in the desert.   There an elderly hermit taught him about prayer and penance.   For 20 years, he lived in isolation. Anthony wanted to know God deeply.   He did penance by taking only bread and water once a day at sunset.   The devil appeared to him in terrible shapes to tempt him.   But Anthony had great confidence in God.   Anthony’s unusual life did not make him harsh but radiant with God’s love and compassion.

Annibale_Carracci_-_The_Temptation_of_St_Anthony_Abbot_(detail)_-_WGA4426
The Temptation of St Anthony (detail) – Carracci

Stories of Anthony’s holiness spread and people came to learn from him how to become holy.   Some admirers wanted to stay, so Anthony—at age 54—founded a type of monastery consisting of hermitages near one another.   Anthony wrote a rule that guided the monks.   Later when Anthony heard of the persecutions of the Christians, he wanted to die a martyr.   At 60, he left the desert to minister to the Christians in prisons, fearlessly exposing himself to danger.   He came to realise that a person can die daily for Christ by serving him in ordinary ways with great love.  st-anthony-abbot-LARGE - 1519Martín_Bernat_-_Saint_Anthony_the_Abbot_and_Donors_-_Google_Art_Projectanthony - LARGE

So he returned to the desert to his life of prayer and penance.   His life of solitude was again interrupted, however, when at age 88 he had a vision in which he saw the harm Arian followers were doing to the Church by denying the divinity of Christ.   Anthony left for Alexandria to preach against this heresy.   At age 90, another vision sent Anthony searching the desert for Saint Paul, the first hermit.   These two holy men met and spoke of the wonders of God. Anthony is said to have died peacefully in a cave at age 105.SAVOLDO-Giovanni-Girolamo-St-Anthony-Abbot-And-St-Paul.jpg

The life of Anthony will remind many people of St Francis of Assisi.   At 20, Anthony was so moved by the Gospel message, “Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor” (Mark 10:21b), that he actually did just that with his large inheritance.   He is different from Francis in that most of Anthony’s life was spent in solitude.   At 54, he responded to many requests and founded a sort of monastery of scattered cells.   Again like Francis, he had great fear of “stately buildings and well-laden tables.”   Like Francis and of course, many saints, Anthony too desired martyrdom.
Anthony is associated in art with a T-shaped cross (which St Francis adopted), a pig and a book.   The pig and the cross are symbols of his valiant warfare with the devil—the cross his constant means of power over evil spirits, the pig a symbol of the devil himself.   The book recalls his preference for “the book of nature” over the printed word.ST ANTHONY ABBOT AND ST FRANCIS OF ASSISI

Posted in ADVENT, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, PATRONAGE - BISHOPS, PATRONAGE - DOMESTIC ANIMALS, PATRONAGE - SCHOOLS, COLLEGES etc AND STUDENTS, SAINT of the DAY

More on today’s Saint – 7 December – St Ambrose (c340-397) Confessor, Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church

More on today’s Saint – St Ambrose (c 340-397)Confessor, Bishop, Father and Doctor of the Church –  Theologian, Apostle of Charity, Writer, Musician, Preacher, Reformer and protector – all-in-all a brilliant, charismatic, vibrant man.  Patronages – • bee keepers• bees• Bishops• candle makers• chandlers• domestic animals• French Commissariat• geese• honey cake bakers• learning• livestock• police officers • students, school-children• security personnel• starlings• wax melters• wax refiners• Archdiocese of Milan, Italy• 8 Cities.

Traditionally, Ambrose is credited with promoting “antiphonal chant”, a style of chanting in which one side of the choir responds alternately to the other, as well as with composing Veni redemptor gentium, an Advent hymn.   Ambrose is one of the four original Doctors of the Church and is the Patron saint of Milan.   He is notable for his influence on St Augustine, whom he Baptised.

This politician-turned churchman was profoundly aware of his lack of preparation for this great responsibility as Bishop and so set himself immediately to prayer and the study of Scripture.    His deep spirituality and love of God’s Word married together with the oratorical skill acquired in law and politics made St Ambrose one of the greatest preachers of the early church.

His feast day in the Roman calendar is 7 December, the day he was Ordained Bishop. From the Roman liturgy for the Feast of St. Ambrose:   “Lord, you made Saint Ambrose an outstanding teacher of the Catholic faith and gave him the courage of an apostle.   Raise up in your Church more leaders after your own heart, to guide us with courage and wisdom.   We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.”  

Here is Jimmy Akin’s article “St Ambrose: Strangest Life Story Ever?”
1) Who was St Ambrose?

St Ambrose of Milan was born around A.D. 338 and died in 397.
He was the bishop of Milan, Italy.

2) What makes is his life story so strange?

Originally, he was a government official, he became bishop in a most extraordinary way.
After the death of the local bishop, the Catholics and Arians got into a vehement conflict about who should be the new bishop.
Ambrose was trying to keep the peace and settle the two groups down when someone—allegedly a small boy—began chanting “Ambrose, bishop!”
Soon the two groups began chanting together that Ambrose should be the new bishop.
(The Arians, apparently, felt that although Ambrose was Catholic in belief he would be a kinder bishop than they otherwise would likely get.)
This set of circumstances is extraordinary enough, but what’s even more extraordinary is that Ambrose wasn’t even a Christian yet. He was an unbaptised catechumen!

3) Can it get any stranger?

Ambrose did not want to be bishop and so he went into hiding.
The Emperor Valentinian then got word of all this and declared severe penalties on anyone who would give Ambrose shelter.
He was thus forced to come out of hiding and accept his ordination as bishop.
They quickly ran him through the preliminary grades of orders and he was consecrated a bishop about a week later.

4) How did he do as bishop?

He was great!   That’s part of why he ended up as a doctor of the Church.
He left many wonderful writings.   He helped convert St Augustine.   And he combated heresy.
He also introduced a practice into the West that has remained with us to this day.

5) What practice was that?

Lectio Divina. Pope Benedict XVI explained:
Culturally well-educated but at the same time ignorant of the Scriptures, the new Bishop briskly began to study them.
From the works of Origen, the indisputable master of the “Alexandrian School”, he learned to know and to comment on the Bible.
Thus, Ambrose transferred to the Latin environment the meditation on the Scriptures which Origen had begun, introducing in the West the practice of lectio divina.
The method of lectio served to guide all of Ambrose’s preaching and writings, which stemmed precisely from prayerful listening to the Word of God.

6) How did Ambrose help with Augustine’s conversion?

That also involved a rather dramatic story, in which Ambrose stood up to the emperor at the risk of his own life.
Pope Benedict explained:
A passage from St Augustine’s Confessions is relevant.
He had come to Milan as a teacher of rhetoric;   he was a sceptic and not Christian.  He was seeking the Christian truth but was not capable of truly finding it.
What moved the heart of the young African rhetorician, sceptic and downhearted and what impelled him to definitive conversion was not above all Ambrose’s splendid homilies (although he deeply appreciated them).
It was rather the testimony of the Bishop and his Milanese Church that prayed and sang as one intact body.
It was a Church that could resist the tyrannical ploys of the Emperor and his mother, who in early 386 again demanded a church building for the Arians’ celebrations.
In the building that was to be requisitioned, Augustine relates, “the devout people watched, ready to die with their Bishop”.
This testimony of the Confessions is precious because it points out that something was moving in Augustine, who continues: “We too, although spiritually tepid, shared in the excitement of the whole people” (Confessions 9, 7).

7) Was Ambrose remarkable in other ways?

He was remarkable in many ways, one of them we today would find quite surprising.
Pope Benedict explained:
[Augustine] writes in his text that whenever he went to see the Bishop of Milan, he would regularly find him taken up with catervae [Latin, “crowd”]of people full of problems for whose needs he did his utmost.
There was always a long queue waiting to talk to Ambrose, seeking in him consolation and hope.
When Ambrose was not with them, with the people (and this happened for the space of the briefest of moments), he was either restoring his body with the necessary food or nourishing his spirit with reading.
Here Augustine marvels because Ambrose read the Scriptures with his mouth shut, only with his eyes (cf. Confessions, 6, 3).
Indeed, in the early Christian centuries reading was conceived of strictly for proclamation and reading aloud also facilitated the reader’s understanding.
That Ambrose could scan the pages with his eyes alone suggested to the admiring Augustine a rare ability for reading and familiarity with the Scriptures.

Got that?

Ambrose was known for the ability to read with his mouth shut, not using his voice or moving his lips.
We’re all taught to do this today, but it was rare in the ancient world! Back then, if you even could read, you usually had to at least move your lips.
Ambrose also passed on to Augustine a very famous piece of advice, that many people quote today without even knowing where it comes from.

8) What advice was that?

Augustine noted that the liturgical customs in Rome were different than those used in other places and Ambrose told him something we still quote today.

We paraphrase it in English, but it’s the same thought: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”Some-Advice-On-Prayer-2-saint-ambrose-of-milan-1St_AmbroseSome-Advice-On-Prayer-2-St.-Ambrose-Stained-Glass

Posted in PATRONAGE - ANIMALS / ANIMAL WELFARE, PATRONAGE - DOMESTIC ANIMALS, PATRONAGE - EPILEPSY, PATRONAGE - GARDENERS, FARMERS, PATRONAGE - SKIN DISEASES, RASHES, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 17 January – St Anthony Abbot t (c 251-358)

Saint of the Day – 17 January – St Anthony Abbot (c 251-358) Also known as: • Abba Antonius • Anthony of Egypt• Anthony of the Desert• Anthony the Anchorite• Anthony the Great• Anthony the Hermit• Antonio Abate• Father of Cenobites• Father of All Monks• Father of Western Monasticism.  PATRONAGES – against eczema/skin diseases/skin rashes, epileptics; against ergotism, against pestilence, , of amputees, anchorites, animals, basket makers and weavers, brushmakers, butchers, cemetery workers, domestic animals, farmers, gravediggers, graveyards, hermits, pigs, monks, relief from pestilence, swineherds, Hospitallers, Tempio-Ampurias, Italy, Diocese of 9 Cities.

The life of Anthony will remind many people of St Francis of Assisi. At 20, Anthony was so moved by the Gospel message, “Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor” (Mark 10:21b), that he actually did just that with his large inheritance.   He is different from Francis in that most of Anthony’s life was spent in solitude. He saw the world completely covered with snares and gave the Church and the world the witness of solitary asceticism, great personal mortification and prayer.   But no saint is antisocial and Anthony drew many people to himself for spiritual healing and guidance.

At 54, he responded to many requests and founded a sort of monastery of scattered cells. Again like Francis, he had great fear of “stately buildings and well-laden tables.”

At 60, he hoped to be a martyr in the renewed Roman persecution of 311, fearlessly exposing himself to danger while giving moral and material support to those in prison.   At 88, he was fighting the Arian heresy, that massive trauma from which it took the Church centuries to recover. “The mule kicking over the altar” denied the divinity of Christ.

Anthony is associated in art with a T-shaped cross, a pig and a book.   The pig and the cross are symbols of his valiant warfare with the devil—the cross his constant means of power over evil spirits, the pig a symbol of the devil himself.   The book recalls his preference for “the book of nature” over the printed word.   Anthony died in solitude at age 105.