“The rich people at his time studied sciences, engineering, medicine, astrology. But since he was a child, Anthony sought the divine science: the knowledge of God.”
His Eminence Metropolitan Antonios, Patriarchal Vicar, celebrated his patronal feast of St. Anthony the Great during his visit to Arizona on Jan. 16-17, 2023. He conveyed the love and blessings of His Beatitude Patriarch John X of Antioch and All the East.
Sayidna Antonios remarked that this was the first time he celebrated his patron saint in the U.S. On Monday, he met with local clergy, celebrated the divine services and greeted the laity in a reception at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Phoenix.
“When he was 20 years old, Anthony sold everything,” His Eminence preached in the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy. “He went to live in the desert. What do we find there? The desert and the darkness are places of evil spirits. This means that we, as faithful, should not be afraid of fighting evil spirits and thoughts.”
St. Anthony lived from 250-355 and is the model for monastics, but also for clergy and laity in the world, Sayidna Antonios continued.
“In the monastic life, the monk or nun must repeat unceasingly verses of the Scriptures – the gospels and psalms – and ‘the prayer of the heart,’ the Jesus Prayer: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, the sinner.’
“When we repeat this prayer, God will come into our hearts. We need to repeat this prayer as much as we can. If you are working, repeat it. If you are eating, repeat it. If you are about to sleep, repeat it.”
On Tuesday, His Eminence journeyed to St. Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery in Florence where Abbot Paisios, the brotherhood and the pilgrims received his blessing. Sayidna Antonios prayed a Trisagion service for the monastery’s founder, Elder Ephraim. He then presented Abbot Paisios with relics and an icon of St. Raphael of Brooklyn.
“What a blessing to have this monastery in this country,” His Eminence said to Abbot Paisios. He replied that he hoped this would be the first of many visits by His Eminence.
More photos at https://www.antiochian.org/regulararticle/1475. #orthodoxy