St Athanasius of Alexandria, whom we remember today, is well known amongst monastics for his ‘Life’ of St Antony, whose monastery near the Red Sea still exists today and is shown below.


Here is an extract from the ‘Life’, which describes St Antony’s last will, and his death: ‘“Bury my body, therefore, and hide it underground yourselves, and let my words be observed by you that no one may know the place but you alone. For at the resurrection of the dead I shall receive it incorruptible from the Saviour. And divide my garments. To Athanasius the bishop give one sheepskin and the garment whereon I am laid, which he himself gave me new, but which with me has grown old. To Serapion the bishop give the other sheepskin, and keep the hair garment yourselves. For the rest fare ye well, my children, for Antony is departing, and is with you no more’. Having said this, when they had kissed him, he lifted up his feet, and as though he saw friends coming to him and was glad because of them — for as he lay his countenance appeared joyful — he died and was gathered to the fathers. … But each of those who received the sheepskin of the blessed Antony and the garment worn by him guards it as a precious treasure. For even to look on them is as it were to behold Antony; and he who is clothed in them seems with joy to bear his admonitions’.


May St Athanasius pray for us all in our different vocations, and may God bless you this day.