Piero di Cosimo, c. 1480: St. Antony of Egypt. Born to wealthy Christian parents, he was orphaned early, then heard the Parable of the Rich Young Man and took Christ’s advice; he gave his money to the poor and became a desert hermit, living alone for 20 years. Then one day he left his save and established a kind of monastery which was little more than a collection of tents. These attracted young men who wanted to live ascetically. He wrote a Rule for them, becoming a father of monasticism, though he was not the first. He was good friends with St. Athanasius and willed him a goatskin tunic and a cloak at his death.

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