After that, the persecution, that occurred under Maximin, took over the Church. So while the holy Martyrs were being arrested and they were taken to Alexandria, Antony left his monastery as well and he followed them, saying; Let us go too to enter the combat, if the Lord calls us, or in order to support to the martyrs who struggle.
And although he yearned to suffer martyrdom, yet, not wanting to surrender himself on his own, he was contenting himself in serving the confessors of faith in the mines and in the prisons.
And he was showing a great interest in the law court, attempting to strengthen the readiness of the confessors who had been called to martyric death, while after the martyrdom, he made sure to receive their bodies and to prepare them for burial.
So when the judge saw the fearlessness of Antony and of those who were with him, and their interest about the martyrs, he issued the order, that none of the monks were to appear in the law court, nor were they to remain in the city at all.
Then, all the other monks decided to hide on that day; Antony, however, did not pay any attention to this prohibition, but on the contrary, he washed his upper garment well, and the next day he stood on a prominent place in front of the prefect, so that he could clearly see him.
And while everyone marveled at this and the prefect was seeing him as he was walking by along with his entourage, Antony stood there fearless, showing in this way the great purposefulness that we Christians have; because, as I said before, he also wished to become martyr.
And he seemed like one who grieved, because he did not become a martyr, the Lord, however, protected him for our own benefit and for the benefit of the others, in order to become a teacher of many into the ascetic life, which he had been taught by the Scriptures.
For simply by seeing his way of life, many were showing great zeal to imitate him. He continued therefore serving the confessors, and, as if he was a prisoner too, he was toiling with them.
So when the persecution ceased and the blessed bishop Peter had already died as martyr, Antony left Alexandria and went back to the monastery, where he was becoming martyr every day inside his consciousness, and he was struggling the feats of the faith. Because he already subjected himself to an even greater and more strenuous asceticism.
Because he was always fasting, while the clothing that he was wearing was with hair on the interior and skin on the exterior, which he was wearing until his death, and he never washed his body in order to clean it, nor he ever washed his feet, nor he ever put them in the water, without being necessary.
And no one ever saw him undressed, nor anyone ever saw the whole body of Antony, except only when he died and was buried.
So while Antony had departed, with the intention of spending a long time without going out on his own nor accept anyone else, someone, named Martinianus, an army officer, presented himself to Antony along with many people because some demon was bothering his daughter.
And as he remained for a long time and was insistently knocking on the door, and was begging him to come and pray to God on his daughter's behalf, Antony did not accept to open, but he leaned out of the window and said;
«Man, why are you yelling at me so loud? I too am a man like you. But if you believe in Christ, Whom I adore, go, and in the same way you believe, pray to God and what you ask will be done.
He immediately believed, therefore, and after he prayed to Christ, he departed with his daughter being purified of the demon.
And many other miracles made through him the Lord, Who says; «Ask, and it will be given you». Because as Antony was not opening the door, the only thing they were doing the most of those who suffered, was merely to remain and to sleep outside the monastery, and thus, by believing and sincerely praying, they were being cleansed of their diseases.
When Antony saw that he was disturbed by the many visitors, who did not let him practice the asceticism as he wished, and also because he got scared lest he should fall into arrogance, from everything the Lord does through him, or lest someone else considers him for something more than what he truly is, and thus the egoism defeats him, he thought and he decided to depart to the upper Thebaid, where the people did not know him.
And indeed, after he received bread from the brothers, he went and he sat on the banks of the river and he observed lest any ship should pass, in order to embark on it and travel with them.
And while he was thinking about this, a voice came to him from on high that was saying; «Antony, where are you going and why?» After he had heard without getting nervous, as he was accustomed to being frequently called in this way, he responded, saying;
«Because the crowds of the people who visit me do not allow me to be calm, for this reason I want to move up to the upper Thebaid, because of the many annoyances that are causing to me those who visit me here and because they even demand from me to do things to them which are beyond my power».
Then the voice answered him; «Even if you go up to Thebaid and even if, as you are contemplating, you go down to the pastures with the oxen herders, you will have toil to endure even more and twice as much. But if you really want to settle in peace, go now up into the inner desert».
And when Antony asked; «And who will show me the way? because I don't know it»; then the voice immediately showed him some Saracens, who were about to travel that route.
Indeed, Antony went and approached them, and he besought them to allow him to travel with them into the desert, and they, as if they were ordered by the Divine Providence, received him willingly.
After he marched with them three days and three nights, he reached a very high mountain, which had water at its feet, sweet and crystal clear water and very cold. Beyond there were plains and a few untended date palms.
Antony therefore, as if stirred by God, fell in love with that place, for this was the place which the One who spoke to him on the banks of the river had indicated to him.
In the beginning, then, after receiving some loaves of bread from his fellow travelers, he remained alone in the mountain, without anyone else being with him, and since then he was considering that place as his own home.
As the Saracens saw the great willingness of Antony, they were passing on purpose from that road and were joyfully bringing loaves to him;
Antony was also receiving some little food from the date palms. In time, when the brothers found out the place where he lived, they took care to send him bread, like sons who remember their father.
When Antony saw however, that, under the pretext of the bread, some monks were suffering and were getting tired by going there, and because for this reason he was feeling pity for the monks, he thought about the issue and he begged some people that were coming to him, to bring him a hoe, an axe, and a little grain.
When they brought him these things, he toured the place around the mountain, and after he found a small suitable place, he plowed it and, having abundant water for irrigation, he sowed it.
Doing the same thing every year he earned his bread from there, and he was happy because he wouldn't become annoying to anyone and because he wouldn't become a burden anymore for no reason.
But even after that, seeing again the people coming, he also cultivated some cabbages, in order for his visitors to have some small relief from the fatigue of that hard trip.
In the beginning, however, the beasts of the desert who were coming for water, very often were causing damages to him in the crops and the harvest. Then he caught with kindness one of the beasts, and he was saying to all of them;
«Why are you hurting me, while I am not harming you in anything? Leave and, in the name of the Lord, do not come near here any longer». And since then, as if being afraid of the command, they never approached ever again in that place.
He lived alone, therefore, in the mountain and he was devoted in the prayers and the ascesis; the brothers who were ministering him pleaded with him to allow them to come visit him every month and bring him olives, legumes and oil, for he was an old man already.
From those who visited him we heard how many wrestlings Antony endured, during the time that he lived there, not against flesh and blood, but against the adversaries demons, as the Scripture says.
And indeed, they were hearing noises even there in the desert, and many voices and beats as if from weapons, and they were seeing the mountain filled with beasts at night; and they were also seeing him, as if he was fighting against visible opponents, and praying against them.
And all those who come to him he encouraged them greatly, while he was fighting on his knees and was praying to the Lord.
And it was truly worthy of admiration, that, although he was alone in such a desert, he was not distracted neither by the demons who were attacking him, nor was he afraid of the ferocity of the so many four-legged beasts and reptiles that were there.
But truly, he had his conviction unwavering in the Lord like Mount Sion, according to the word of the Scripture, and his mind was unchanging and unshakable, so that, as the Scripture says again, the demons are rather fleeing from him, while the wild beasts are at peace with him.
The devil, therefore, as David writes in his psalms, was observing Antony and he was gnashing his teeth against him. Antony, however, had the protection and the help of the Savior, and remained unharmed by his various treacheries and ploys.
So one night, while Antonio was on vigil, the devil unleashed beasts against him, and almost all the hyenas of that desert came out of their nests and they surrounded him and he was in the middle.
And while each one of the hyenas was opening her mouth and threatened to bite him, as soon as he realized the trick of the enemy, he said to all of them; «If indeed you have received authority against me, I am ready to be eaten by you; but if the demons have sent you, don't waste your time, but get out of here, because I am a servant of Christ».
After a few days, while he was working (because he also made sure to toil with his own hands), someone came near the door and he was spoiling the product of his work; because she was weaving baskets and he was giving them to the visitors, in exchange for the food that they were bringing him.
As soon as he stood up, he saw a beast, who looked like a man in the body down to the thighs, while his legs and his feet were like the ones of a donkey. Then Antony simply sealed with the sign of the Cross, and said; I am a servant of Christ; if you have been sent against me, here I am at your disposal.
Then the beast left so quickly along with its demons, so that due to its haste it fell down and died, and the death of the beast it actually meant the defeat of the demons. Because they were using all tricks to bring him down from the desert but they didn't succeed.
When one time the monks begged him to come down from the mountain and to visit them for a short period of time both them and their places, Antony traveled on foot together with the monks who had come to meet him.
On a camel they had loaded the breads and water, because all that desert is dry and there is no drinking water anywhere, except on that mountain where his monastery is located, and where they filled the waterskins for their journey.
On the way, however, the water ran out and the heat was so unbearable that everyone would be in danger from thirst.
So after they searched all the places around there and they did not find water, and they could neither walk any more, they released the camel and they fell to the ground and they fell into despair.
Then the old man, seeing them all being in danger, he got very sad and groaned, and after he moved away a little from them, he knelt down and raised his hands towards the sky and he was praying. Immediately then the Lord caused water to flow in the place where he was standing praying. And so everyone drank and they were revived.
And after they filled the waterskins, they looked for the camel and they found her, because it happened that her rope had been coiled around a certain stone and thus they caught her. After they brought her and watered her, they loaded the waterskins on her and they continued their journey unharmed.
When they reached the outer monasteries everyone embraced him, because they considered him like a father. And him, as if he were bringing spiritual provisions from the mountain, he was greeting them with his words and he was transmitting spiritual benefit to them.
And so there was joy again in those mountains and zeal for spiritual progress, and mutual encouragement through the confidence that they had among themselves.
He was also happy therefore not only for seeing the good disposition of the monks, but also for his sister, whom he found grown old in the life of virginity, and being also herself the abbess of other virgins.
A few days later Antony departed and returned to the mountain; since then, many people started coming to him and in fact, several patients dared to come.
To all the monks, therefore, who were coming to him, he was constantly giving this order; To believe in the Lord and to love Him, to guard themselves from impure thoughts and from carnal pleasures and, as it has been written in Proverbs, «to not be deceived by the satiety of the belly».
To flee vanity, to pray constantly, to sing holy songs before and after sleeping, to take to heart the precepts in the Scriptures, to keep in mind the deeds of the saints, so that the soul thinks of the commandments and be in accordance with the zeal of the saints.
In particular, however, he was advising them to continuously study the saying of the Apostle Paul which says; «Don't let the sun go down on you still being infuriated».
And to consider that this saying has been spoken in general, for every commandment of God, that is, not just on anger but neither over any other sin we should not let the sun go down.
Because it is good and necessary, not even the sun to be able to condemn us for the wickedness of the day, nor the moon for the nocturnal sins or the evil thoughts in general.
In order to achieve this, therefore, it is good to listen and keep yet another saying of the Apostle which says; «Examine yourselves and test yourselves».
Let each one, then, ask every day a recount from himself for his actions of the day and of the night, and, if he has sinned let him cease from sinning; and if he has not sinned let him not boast, but persist in the good and not become negligent, nor criticize the neighbor, nor justify himself, as the blessed Apostle Paul said; «Until the Lord comes, Who will scrutinize the hidden things of the people».
Because many times the things that we ourselves do escape our attention; but of course, even if we ourselves do not know our sins, the Lord knows everything. So after we entrust the right of judgment to the Lord, let us treat each other with compassion, and bearing one another's burdens, let us examine ourselves and let us take care, where we fall short, to make up for our shortcomings.
But for our safety, let us keep in mind also the following remark so that we might not sin; Let each one of us take note and write down his actions and the desires of his soul, as if we are going to make them known to each other.
And be sure, that, because we shall be ashamed lest all these should be known, we shall cease sinning, and we shall not even think about anything sinful. Because, who is the one who sins? and wants others to see him? Or who sins and does not lie, wanting to remain anonymous?
So as we cannot fornicate when the others see us, for the same reason, if we write our thoughts as if we were going to make them known one to another, then it's probably better we will protect ourselves from impure thoughts, because we will be ashamed lest they become known.
Let it be for us therefore this recording of the thoughts, as a substitute for the eyes of our fellow ascetics, so that we can finally succeed not having any bad thoughts at all and to not blush with shame with the things we are writing, as if the others would see them. By patterning ourselves in this way we will be able to subdue the body, so as to please the Lord and to trample upon the wiles of the enemy.
These advices he gave to those who approached him; he sympathized those who suffered and he prayed with them and frequently for many of them the Lord listened and accepted his prayer.
And he wasn't bragging when he was heeded, nor he was grouching when he was not heeded; He was always giving thanks to God and he exhorted those who suffered to have patience and to know that their healing does not depend neither on him nor on any other man in general but only on God, Who heals whoever He wants and whenever He wants.
The ones who suffered received the words of the old man as healing, because they were also learning to not dwell on their infirmities but rather to be more patient. Also, the ones who were cured were taught not to give thanks to Antony but to God alone.
Someone, named Fronto, descended from a royal family, suffered from a terrible condition, that is, he was eating his own tongue and he was in danger of losing his eyes as well; therefore, after he ascended to the mountain, he begged Antony to pray for him.
After Antony had prayed he said to Fronto; «Go and you shall be healed». But because he was pressing him annoyingly and continued remaining inside the monastery, Antony persisted, telling him; «You will not be able to heal by staying in here. Go out and when you arrive in Egypt, you will see the sign that is going to happen to you».
He believed him and left and as soon as he saw Egypt from afar, he was cured of his passion and he became healthy, according to the word of Antony, who had learned from the Saviour, at the time that he was praying, that the things would happen this way.
A certain young woman who came from Busiris in Tripoli, had a terrible and very hideous illness, because both her tears along with her mucus and the fluids that were running from her ears, as soon as they fell to the ground, were immediately transformed into worms. She was also paralyzed in the body while her eyes were not normal either.
When her parents found out that some monks were going to visit Antony, and believing in the Lord, Who cured the woman with the blood issue, they begged the monks to go along with them together with their daughter.
Since the monks accepted, the parents with the daughter stayed outside the mountain near Paphnutius, the confessor and monk, while the monks entered the monastery and as soon as they tried just to tell Antony about the young woman, he caught up with them and he spoke to them both about the illness of the girl and how she came with them.
After that, when the monks begged him to allow them as well to enter, he did not allow them to do this, but he said; «Go and you will find her healed, if in the meantime she has not died.
For this good deed is not mine, so that the daughter would come to me as well, a pitiable man, but the healing is work of the Savior, who works his mercy everywhere for those who call on him.
And the Lord has granted her prayer, and His benevolence has shown me that He would cure the illness of the girl while she would still be there». And indeed, the miracle took place, and when the monks went out, they found the parents rejoicing and their daughter being healthy.
Two brothers were coming to the mountain in order to visit Antony. On the way, however, they ran out of water and one of them died, while the other was soon going to die because not having more strength to continue walking, he had fallen, on the ground, and he waited for death.
And Antony, as he was sitting on the mountain, he urgently called two monks who happened to be there present and he said to them; «Quick, take a jar of water and run on the road to Egypt, because of the two who were coming here, one died and the other is in danger if you don't hurry. For this was revealed to me just now that I was praying.
When the monks arrived there, indeed they found the one to be lying dead and they buried him, while the other they revived with water and they took him to the old man; The distance was a day's journey.
And if anyone wants to know, why Antony had not spoken out before the other died, this question of his is not correct. Because the decision of death was not from Antony but from God, who both passed judgment on the one and revealed about the other.
Miracle of Antony was only this, that while sitting on the mountain he had his heart alert and pure and the Lord showed him what was happening away from him.
Another time, while he was sitting on the mountain, he lifted his gaze up high and he saw the Angels in the sky lifting someone up in the air and great joy emanating from those who met him.
After that, while he was admiring and blessing that celestial dance, he was praying to know what could that be. A voice immediately came to him, that this was the soul of Amun, the monk in Nitria.
Amun had remained an ascetic until old age. And the distance from Nitria to the mountain where Antony was staying, was a thirteen days journey.
The ones who were there together with Antony, seeing the old man in wonderment, they begged him to know the reason, and they heard him say to them that just a while ago Amun had died.
Amun was well known to them because he often went there and many miracles had been made through him, one of which is also this.
When the need once arose for Amun to cross the river which is called Lycus, at a time when it's waters had flooded, he asked Theodore who accompanied him, to move at some distance from him, in order not to see each other naked, while they would be swimming in the water.
But even when Theodore had moved away, again Amun was embarrassed to see himself naked. So as he was contemplating what to do, he got suddenly transferred to the other bank of the river.
So when Theodore, who was also a pious man, crossed the river and approached Amon, who had already crossed it without getting wet from the water at all, he begged him to know in what way he had crossed.
And since he saw that he didn't want to tell him, he grabbed his feet and insisted that he wouldn't let him go, if first he wouldn't learn from him what had happened.
Upon seeing therefore Amun the persistence of Theodore and especially because he wouldn't let go his feet, he also demanded from him not to tell it to anyone until his death.
Thus he announced to him that someone had lifted him into the air and had put him down on the other bank, and that he had neither walked on water, nor anything like that is possible for the people, but only to the Lord and to those who He allows it, as he had done to the great Apostle Peter.
Therefore Theodore recounted this miracle after the death of Amun, and the monks, to whom Antony spoke concerning the death of Amun, made a note of the date that this happened, and when thirty days later the brothers of Nitria came up the mountain, they asked them and were informed that indeed Amun had died at that same day and time during which the old man had seen his soul ascending towards heaven.
And then they all admired the purity of the soul of Antony, that is, how he had instantaneously learned something that happened at a distance of thirteen days, and how he saw the soul ascending to the heavens.
When once Archelaus the count met Antony on the outer mountain, he begged him to just pray for the wonderful virgin Polykratia, who lived in Laodicea and was dedicated to Christ, and due to her strict asceticism she was suffering severe pains on her stomach and on her one side, and her entire body had grown weak.
Antony, therefore, prayed for her, while the count took note of the day on which the prayer was spoken, and when he returned to Laodicea he found the virgin healthy.
When he asked her on what day and what time she had been cured of the disease, he immediately took out the paper, where he had noted the time of the prayer, and he showed the note and everyone admired, when they realized that precisely at that moment the Lord had stopped her pains when Antony was praying and he was imploring the goodness of the Savior for her.
But also many times he predicted the arrival of those who would visite him days or even months in advance, as well as the reason for which they were coming. Others were coming only to see him, others due to illness and others, because they suffered from demons.
And no one considered the toil of the journey as an annoyance or a loss. Because everyone returned feeling the benefit from everything they received from him.
And while Antony could see the benefit of his words upon the souls of the people, he was begging them not to admire him for that, but rather to admire the Lord, because, although we are simple humans, He gave us His grace to know Him each one of us in proportion with his spiritual power.
Once that he had come down again to the outer monasteries, and they begged him to enter a ship and pray together with other monks, he alone sensed a pungent and extremely horrible odor.
And while the people on the ship were saying that the stench was coming from the fish and the dried meat that were stored inside the ship, he was saying that this stench was different.
And while Antony was still speaking, some young man who had a demon, who had previously entered and was hiding inside the ship, suddenly cried out.
As soon as the demon was rebuked however, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, he immediately came out; and while the man became healthy, everyone understood that the stench was of the demon.
Some other young man, a person of nobility, had a demon and he came to Antony. That demon was so awful, that the possessed man did not know that he was taken to Antony; besides, he was eating his own droppings.
The ones, therefore, who brought him begged Antony to pray for him, and Antony who took pity on the young man, was praying all night long and remained awake with him.
At dawn, however, the young man suddenly rushed against Antony and pushed him, and because those who had brought him were outraged by this act of his, Antony told them;
«Do not be angry with the young man; because it's not him who pushes me but the demon that is inside him, who raged and did this, because I censured him and commanded him to flee far away, to arid places. Glorify the Lord, therefore; because the fact that he pounced on me like that It's a sign for you that the demon came out.
As soon as Antony said this, immediately the young man became healthy and after he regained his senses, he understood where he was and he embraced the old man giving thanks to God.
Most of the monks therefore, unanimously affirm and recount many other similar miracles that occurred through him. These miracles, however, do not seem so worthy of admiration as others still more admirable.
Once when he was going to eat, around the ninth hour in the afternoon, and he got up in order to pray, he felt his intellect as if it were carried off; and the paradox was that, while he was standing there he could see himself as if he was outside his body, and as if he were being led by certain beings through the air.
Then he could also see some vicious and terrible demons standing in the air, and wanting to prevent him from ascending to the sky. And because the Angels of God who were leading him, were fighting back and defending him, the demons demanded to know the reason considering that it was them who were responsible for him.
And while they wanted to demand an account of his life since the day of his birth, those who were leading Antony were hindering them, saying;
The sins that he committed since the day of his birth, the Lord has wiped them clean. We allow you however, to ask an account for what he has done since the day he became a monk and gave a promise to God.
And then, since the demons were accusing him but without having any arguments, the passage opened free before him without anyone obstructing him, and immediately he saw himself recovering in a certain way and being again the same Antony as before.
Then, he completely forgot about the food and he remained for the rest of the day and the whole night groaning and praying. For he was amazed to see with how many foes we have to wrestle, and how many labors someone has to endure in order to pass through the air and ascend to heaven.
And he recalled that this was that the Apostle was saying; «According to the wishes of the lord of the power of the aerial spirits». In this indeed lies the power of the enemy, in fighting against those who are passing through and in attempting to prevent them in their ascension towards heaven.
And for this he especially exhorted; «Put on the armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day», so as to put the enemy to shame, because he won't have anything evil to say against us».
And since we have learned this that happened to Antony, let us also remember the Apostle who was saying; «Whether in the body, I do not know, whether out of the body, I do not know, God knows».
Paul was caught up to the third heaven, and after he heard words that human languages cannot express, he descended again, whereas Antony saw himself having reached up to the air and struggling until his way seemed clear.
He also possessed this spiritual favor. If sometime while he was sitting alone on the mountain, had any question and was asking himself to find out the answer, as soon as he was praying, the truth would be revealed to him by the Divine Providence, and thus the blessed one was taught by God according to the Holy Bible.
On another occasion, he was discussing with some people who had visited him regarding the passage of the soul and what her place will be after this life. The following night someone called him from above and he told him; Antony, get up, go outside and look.
He went out therefore, because he knew to which voices he ought to obey, and as soon as he looked up he saw someone awful and terrible, of a very large stature who reached up to the clouds, and he also saw certain beings ascending as if they had wings while he was stretching out his hands.
And he saw some of these beings being obstructed by this terrible giant, while he saw others flying even higher and ascending to heaven, while he was not able to prevent them anymore.
And while to those who were passing by that giant was gnashing his teeth, for the others whom he was obstructing he was happy to see them falling down.
Immediately then, a voice was heard towards Antony; «Pay attention to understand what you are seeing».
And after his mind was enlightened, he understood that what he was seeing was the passage of the souls and that the very tall giant was the devil himself, the enemy who envies the believers, and that while he was capturing his own and prevented them from passing, the others, those who did not obey him, he couldn't prevent them, because they were flying higher and they were surpassing him
When he also saw this vision, it was like a reminder for him, and he was striving every day more and more, in order to advance in his spiritual life.
And all these visions he was not making them known voluntarily, but, as he was delaying in his prayers, and he himself was also marvelling with everything that was revealed to him, like a father who could not hide anything from his children, he was forced to tell these to them, when his companions were asking him and were pressing him to know.
He also knew that his conscience was clean of pride for the visions, and that these narratives were for the benefit of the brothers, because they were learning that the ascesis yields good fruits and that most often the visions become consolation and relief for the labors of the spiritual struggles.
Although he was so great, he honored in an admirable way the rule of the Church, and he wanted all the clergy to be held in higher regard than himself and he was not ashamed to bow his head to the bishops and the priests.
If some deacon visited him sometimes in order to be spiritually benefited, then he would talk with him the things that would be beneficial to him in prayer however he would concede to him the initiative and did not consider embarrassing for him to be learning as well.
And indeed, many times he was asking to learn and was begging to hear something from those who were with him and he acknowledged that he was helped, if someone would say something useful. His face had a lot of paradoxical grace.
He also had the following gift from the Savior. That is, if he was in between a multitude of other monks and someone wanted to see him, without knowing him from before, as soon as he would approach him, he would pass by the others and would run to him, as though drawn by his face.
He was certainly no different from the others in the height or width of the body, but in the stability of his character and the purity of the soul. And as his soul was peaceful, his outer senses were also undisturbed.
Because from the joy of the soul the face looks cheerful as well, and from the movements of the body somebody can sense and perceive the condition of the soul as well, as the Holy Scriptures says; «When the heart rejoices the countenance is cheerful, but when it is in sorrow the countenance is gloomy».
In this way Jacob understood Laban that he had a bad purpose and he said to his wives; «The face of our father is not like yesterday and the day before». In this way Samuel also reconoció a David because he had cheerful eyes and teeth white as milk.
This way Antony was also recognized; he was never troubled because his soul was calm, and he was never becoming gloomy, because mentally and intellectually he was always happy.
Because he never had any communication neither with the Meletian schismatics, since he knew well their wickedness and their apostasy which they revealed since the beginning, nor did he ever converse amicably with the Manichaeans or with other heretics except only in order to give them advice to return to the Orthodox faith, because he believed and he advised that the friendship and the association with them is damage and loss of the soul.
In the same way he abhorred the heresy of the Arians as well, and he ordered everyone neither to go near them nor to follow their erroneous belief.
When one time some fanatic Ariomaniacs went to meet him, after he questioned them and realized that they were impious, he threw them off the mountain, saying that their words were even worse than the poison of snakes.
And when one time the Arians were falsely claiming that Antony allegedly was having the same beliefs as they, he was quite irritated and angry at them.
Then, because the bishops and all the brothers begged him, he came down from the mountain and when he entered Alexandria he publicly renounced the Arians, saying that this heresy is the worst of all and a forerunner of the Antichrist.
And he was teaching the people, that the son of God is not a creation, and that He was not made out of nothing, but rather that he is eternal Word and Wisdom from the essence of the Father. For this it is sacrilegious to say that there was a time that the Son didn't exist, because the Word always coexisted with the Father.
For this reason, do not have no communication whatsoever with the most ungodly Arians; «because there is no relationship between light and darkness». Because you are devout Christians; but those who say as the Son and Word of God the Father is a creature, they do not differ at all from the pagans, because they worship the creation and not the creator God.
And do believe, that the whole creation itself is angered at them, because they number among the creatures the Creator and Lord of everything, in Whom all things were made.
And all the people rejoiced as they heard from such a man to be condemned the heresy of Arius that contends against Christ. And all the residents of the city were running in order to see Antony.
And even the idolatrous Greeks, even these so-called priests of theirs, were coming to the Church and were saying; We ask you to see the man of God, because everyone called him that.
There in Alexandria on the other hand, through the prayers of Antony, the Lord cleansed many from their demons, and others who were mentally sick he healed them. And many were asking, even the Greek idolaters, if only to touch the old man, believing they would be benefited.
And there is no doubt that so many became Christians during those few days, more than anyone would have seen converting within a year.
Then, because some thought that the crowd was bothering him, and for this reason they were trying to turn everyone away from him, he was telling them without being disturbed, that all these people are not more numerous than the demons with which we monks are fighting on the mountain.
When he was finally departing from Alexandria and as he was leaving we accompanied him, as soon as we reached the city gate, behind us a woman was screaming;
«Stay, oh man of God, my daughter is severely tortured by demon. Please hold, and I am in risk of falling while I am running to reach you».
When the old man heard her and we also implored him, by his will he remained. And as the woman approached, the child was hurled to the ground, but, as soon as Antony prayed and he called upon the name of Christ, the child was raised healthy, because the impure demon had left her.
Then the mother was praising God and everyone thanked Him, while Antony was rejoicing because he was returning to the mountain, and he was feeling as if he was returning to his home.
Antony was a very wise man. And the admirable thing is that, although he had not learned letters, he was smart and prudent.
Two Greek philosophers once came to him, thinking that they would be able to put Antony to the test. He was then in the outer mountain.
Judging by their faces he understood what kind of people they were, and after he went out to meet them, with the help of an interpreter he told them; «Why did you go through so much toil, oh you philosophers, in order to meet a foolish man?»
When they told him that he is not foolish at all, but on the contrary he is very prudent, he replied to them; So if you have come to a foolish man, your toil is superfluous; but if you think I am prudent, then you should become as I am, because we must imitate what is good.
If I had come to you, I would have imitated you. But since you came to me, then you should become as I am, because I am a Christian. And the philosophers departed in amazement, because they could see that even the demons were afraid of Antony.
When again other philosophers went and encountered him in the outer mountain, and they thought that they would mock him, because he had not learned letters, Antony said to them;
So what do you say? Which one was first, the mind or the letters? And which one is the cause of the other? The mind is the cause of the letters or the letters of the mind?
And when they said that the mind is first and the inventor of the letters, Antony answered to them; «In the person therefore whose mind is sound there is no need for the letters». This answer amazed both them as well as all those who were present. They went away therefore marveling, because they saw so much prudence in an untrained man.
And he didn't have a wild character, although he had been raised in the mountain and remained there until old age, but he was both gracious and civil. And his speech was seasoned with divine salt, so that no one would envy him, but rather everyone who came to him rejoiced over him.