On Saturday, January 30, 2021, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem celebrated the Feast of Saint Anthony the Great at the chapel dedicated to him inside the Holy Monastery of Saint Nikolaos, near the Patriarchate.
On this feast the Church commemorates that Saint Anthony, Egyptian in descent, was born in AD 251 and following the Gospel narrative, he sold his belongings and retreated in the desert. There, he lived in strict poverty, austerity and without any material possessions, and became a prototype of utmost virtue. Saint Anthony was the first person who met Paul from Thebes a few days before the latter’s death and made him known to the Church, as he was also a citizen and leader of the monastic life of the desert, guiding thousands of monks. He often went to the city of Alexandria to help the persecuted by Maximin Christians, in AD 312, and likewise, he helped the Christians who had been led astray by Arianism in AD 333. Having lived a long life, until the reign of Constantine the Great, he departed this life at the age of 112 years old around AD 356. He received by God the gift of clairvoyance and could see the departure of the souls from this world and their course to heaven. His biography has been written by Saint Athanasius the Great, who knew him personally. Saint Anthony told his monks to give his fleece and his garment to Saint Athanasius from Alexandria after his death (P.G. 26, 972B).
This great luminary of the Holy Spirit was honoured by the Church of Jerusalem in the aforementioned chapel with Vespers in the afternoon, led by Elder Kamarasis Archimandrite Nectarios and with the Divine Liturgy in the morning, which was officiated by His Eminence Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina, with the co-celebration of Archdeacon Mark. The chanting was delivered by Hierodeacon Simeon and Nun Kyriaki, as the service was attended by monks, nuns and laity, members of the Church and inhabitants of the Monastery of Saint Nikolaos.
All present were offered a reception after the Divine Liturgy at the Hegoumeneion by the excellent Caretaker of the Monastery and renovator of the Church and the Hegoumeneion, Archdeacon Mark.
Source: Patriarchate of Jerusalem