Today the Primitive Catholic Community commemorates Anthony of Egypt, accounted by many as the founder of Christian monasticism.
Born in 251 in upper Egypt, Anthony died in 356. He gave away his possessions and sought the austere life and solitude of the desert at an early age. He attracted disciples who formed communities of hermits. The account of his life by Athanasius was extremely influential in the development and spread of monasticism. Yet Anthony remained involved in the theological controversies of his day, defending the divinity of Christ. He is remembered as the father of Christian monasticism.