Tag: St. Anthony of Egypt

St. Anthony Of Egypt Vs The Devils

St. Anthony Of Egypt Vs The Devils

​Saint Anthony Of Egypt Vs The Devils.

Once, St. Anthony decided to spend a night alone in a large tomb. A huge group of demons descended upon him and attacked his body. The devil “so cut him with stripes that he lay on the ground speechless from the excessive pain. For he affirmed that the torture had been so excessive that no blows inflicted by man could ever have caused him such torment.”

The next day, a friend bringing him supplies found him and brought him back to the nearby village. But that evening, he regained consciousness and asked for the friend to carry him back to the tomb. After his friend shut him back in the tomb, St. Anthony called out, “Here am I, Anthony, I flee not from your stripes, for even if you inflict more, nothing shall separate me from the love of Christ.” The demons returned, and here’s how St. Athanasius describes what happened next:

“In the night, they made such a din (a loud continued noise, especially, a welter of discordant sounds) that the whole of that place seemed to be shaken by an earthquake, and the demons as if breaking the four walls of the dwelling, seemed to enter through them, coming in the likeness of beasts and creeping things. 

And the place was all of a sudden filled with the forms of lions, bears, leopards, bulls, serpents, asps, scorpions, and wolves, and each of them was moving according to his nature. The lion was roaring, wishing to attack, the bull seeming to toss with its horns, the serpent writhing but unable to approach, and the wolf as it rushed on was restrained. Altogether the noises of the apparitions, with their angry ragings, were dreadful. Though he was in terrible pain, he responded boldly to the demons:

“If there had been any power in you, it would have sufficed had one of you come, but since the Lord has made you weak, you attempt to terrify me by numbers, and a proof of your weakness is that you take the shapes of brute beasts. If you are able, and have received power against me, delay not to attack, but if you are unable, why trouble me in vain? For faith in our Lord is a seal and a wall of safety to us”. 

Suddenly, the roof opened up and a bright light filled the tomb. The demons vanished and his pain ceased. Realizing that God had saved him, he prayed, “Where were you? Why did you not appear at the beginning to make my pains to cease?” And God replied to him: “Antony, I was here, but I waited to see your fight, since you have endured, and have not been beaten, I will ever be a succor to you, and will make your name known everywhere.”

St. Athanasius writes that “having heard this, Antony arose and prayed, and received such strength that he perceived that he had more power in his body than formerly”.

How St. Anthony The Great ‘Crushed’ Satan

How St. Anthony The Great ‘Crushed’ Satan

He lived in solitude in the desert, but he wasn’t alone.

St. Anthony the Abbot (sometimes called St. Anthony of Egypt or St. Anthony the Great), lived a life of solitude, penance and prayer in the Egyptian desert. He was inspired by the Gospels to sell all his possessions and ‘move away from the world’ to go live in the desert. 


He established for himself a quiet hermitage away from the world, but he wasn’t able to completely escape from his most persistent enemy.

The devil, knowing that St. Anthony was a very holy man and close to God, threw everything he had against him. If the devil couldn’t turn Anthony away from God through the riches of the world, he would try to attack him both physically and spiritually. St. Athanasius records several of these encounters in his Life of St. Anthony.


After failing to tempt him with the lure of wealth, the devil “attacked the young man, disturbing him by night and harassing him by day, so that even the onlookers saw the struggle which was going on between them.” After each temptation, however, St. Anthony would “fortify his body with faith, prayers, and fasting.”


Frustrated, the devil tried to confront Anthony by taking on the shape of a boy and conversing with him. Anthony replied, “You are very despicable then, for you are black-hearted and weak as a child. Henceforth I shall have no trouble from you, ‘for the Lord is my helper, and I shall look down on mine enemies.’”

For a time the devil left Anthony alone, but returned again to test him, this time with a multitude of demons. The devil severely beat Anthony physically, hoping that Anthony would return to his former way of life out of fear. Remaining steadfast in his faith, Anthony called out to the devil: 

“Here am I, Anthony; I flee not from your stripes, for even if you inflict more nothing shall separate me from the love of Christ … ‘though a camp be set against me, my heart shall not be afraid.’”

After each encounter Anthony was strengthened in his faith and God came to his aid. In teaching his many disciples Anthony taught them how to defeat the demons, “Sign yourselves therefore with the cross, and depart boldly, and let these make sport for themselves.” And elsewhere he said to them, “But we need not fear their suggestions, for by prayer, fasting, and faith in the Lord their attack immediately fails.”


St. Anthony of Egypt, pray for us! 

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