St. Antony of Egypt: Toothful Abbot

Thanks to science, Vitamins (especially Vitamin C) were discovered.

But there’s also something in solitude that is analogous, if not superior, to Vitamins. It’s not that solitude must be pursued for the sake of health; health is simply a gift solitude brings. Take the case of St. Antony of Egypt, pioneer of monastic solitude. After 20 years of solitary life sleeping and living in caves, huts, and cemeteries; fighting demons of spiritual and psychological in nature; battling with thirst and hunger; facing lions, snakes, scorpions in the wilds; eating bread for years; fasting, still came out of his long solitude physically robust, his body agile as of an Olympian. According to his biographer St. Athanasius:

“…not only was he a picture of health (not a single tooth was missing!”), but his face was illuminated by compassion and joy.”

He died at the age of 105…

Robert Ellsberg
All Saints (Claretian Publications: Quezon City, Philippines, 2008)


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