The soul-searching Saint who just wanted to be left alone with his visionary temptations at his hermit abode in Mount Pispir-on-the-Nile in Upper Egypt.
But all the world loves a hermit — admirers flocked from miles around and he just couldn’t get rid of them. He even tried to barricade himself in but it was no use.
’Look — leave me alone.’
’Aw come on Tony — tell us about them wimmin’ doin’ all that flauntin’ in front of your cave — showin’ their naughty bits and doin’ all that temptin’.
’Yeah — and them monsters — the big scaly ones with claws droolin’ blood an’ red beams comin’ out their eyes and spittin’ flames at you.’
’Oh — alright then — I won’t get any peace until I do. You did bring a basket of stale bread for me didn’t you?’
With a spiritual sigh, St Anthony spent the rest of his solitary hermitude surrounded by people. In fact, a thriving community sprang up around him and he was forced to found monasteries for them all. At least one of his followers, St HILARION-OF-GAZA, became a Saint too.
He was just too good. He healed people, he taught them, he counseled them, he advised them. On of his specialties was the miraculous healing of a nasty disease subsequently known as St Anthony’s Fire. The usual cure was to apply pork fat to the afflicted areas; St Anthony used the spiritual equivalent but became associated with pigs nonetheless.
Note: St Anthony’s Fire is a pestilential disease causing a red rash due to eating rye bread with a fungal infection. This sort of thing could also cause vivid hallucinations. Although not officially listed as such we also regard him as the Patron of Surrealism.