Black Saints: Anthony of Alexandria

St. Anthony the Great [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
This article appears in the Black Saints feature series. View the full series.

Nov. 22 St. Anthony of Alexandria

Did you know that a black African Catholic, Saint Anthony of Alexandria, is known as the patriarch of monks?

He was born at Aama, a village of Memphis, near Thebes. His parents were rich Christians. Shortly after inheriting his parents’ fortune, he sold all of his vast fortune and gave the proceeds to the poor, sent his sister to a nunnery and retired to an old ruin of a tomb. He only ate every three of four days and spent his time at manual labor and prayer.

This is copyrighted material, used with the permission of the Archdiocese of Washington, Office of Black Catholics.

More about Black Catholic history

Support Catholic journalism. Join our new membership program for as little as $5 a month.

Blacks in Catholic Christianity have a long and vibrant history.

Much of that history is generally unknown to Black Catholics as well as to the rest of the faithful. On July 24, 1990, the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus of the United States designated November as Black Catholic History Month to celebrate this long history and proud heritage of Black Catholics. During this month we celebrate the presence of our ancestors who kept the faith and are models of living the Gospel life.

November is Black Catholic History Month.

Sign up for our daily Black Catholic Saints email during the month of November to learn more about these holy men and women.

Just $5 a month supports NCR's independent Catholic journalism.

We are committed to keeping our online journalism open and available to as many readers as possible. To do that, we need your help. Join NCR Forward, our new membership program.


Looking for comments?

We've suspended comments on for a while. If you missed that announcement, learn more about our decision here.