Venerable Anton of Martqopi, the Stylite (6th century)

Memory 19 January (1 February)

Our holy father Anton of Martqopi arrived in Georgia in the 6th century with the rest of the Thirteen Syrian Fathers and settled in Kakheti to preach the Gospel of Christ. He always carried with him an icon of the Savior “Not-Made- By-Hands.” Anton made his home in the wilderness, and deer visited him every evening to nourish him with their milk. One day the deer arrived earlier than expected, and they were followed by a wounded fawn. Clearly something had frightened them.

When Anton retraced the animals’ path, he discovered a nobleman, the head of a nearby village, hunting in the fields. Astonished to see the old monk with his icon, standing amidst a gathering of deer, the nobleman, being a pagan, became convinced that he was dangerous and ordered his servants to take him to a smith and chop off his hands.

Anton was led at once to the smith, but when the craftsman heated his sword and drew it above the monk’s hands in preparation, he fell down suddenly and his arms became like wood.

The daunted smith fell mute, but blessed Anton made the sign of the Cross over him and he was immediately healed.

Having heard about this miracle, the nobleman perceived that Abba Anton was truly holy, and he began to hold him in reverence. “Tell me what you need, and I will provide it for you,” he told Elder Anton. The monk requested a single piece of salt, and they brought him two large blocks. He broke off a small piece and placed it near his cell for the deer.

After the incident at the smith’s, many people began to visit Anton, and the holy father constructed a monastery for the faithful. But before long their attention became burdensome, and Elder Anton fled from the world to the peak of a mountain. There he began to preach from the top of a pillar, where he would remain the last fifteen years of his life.

When God revealed to Fr. Anton the day of his repose, the monk-stylite gathered his pupils, imparted to them a few last words of wisdom, blessed them, and died on his knees in front of his beloved icon.

St. Anton’s body was taken down from the pillar and buried in the monastery that he had founded, before the icon of the Theotokos.

O Holy Father Anton, who didst bring to the Georgian people the icon of the Savior “Not-Made-By-Hands,” save those who pray unto thee!

Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze


For further information on the book THE LIVES OF THE GEORGIAN SAINTS by Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze contact St. Herman Press:
St. Herman Press, P.O. Box 70, Platina, CA 96076
http://www.stherman.com/catalog/chapter_five/Lives_of_the_georgian_saints.htm

2/10/2008

See also
Holy Hierarch Anton of Chqondidi and His Disciple Hieromonk Iakob the Elder (18th–19th centuries) Holy Hierarch Anton of Chqondidi and His Disciple Hieromonk Iakob the Elder (18th–19th centuries)
Commemorated October 13/26
Holy Hierarch Anton of Chqondidi and His Disciple Hieromonk Iakob the Elder (18th–19th centuries) Holy Hierarch Anton of Chqondidi and His Disciple Hieromonk Iakob the Elder (18th–19th centuries)
Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze
Saint Anton of Chqondidi was born to the family of Otia Dadiani, the prince of Egrisi (now Samegrelo). Anton’s mother, Gulkan, was the daughter of the prince Shoshita III of Racha. There were six children in the family: five boys and one girl. Anton’s sister, Mariam, later married King Solomon the Great of Imereti.
Holy Catholicos Arsen the Great (†887) Holy Catholicos Arsen the Great (†887)
Commemorated September 25/October 8
Holy Catholicos Arsen the Great (†887) Holy Catholicos Arsen the Great (†887)
Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze
Saint Arsen the Great, a pupil and spiritual son of Grigol of Khandzta, was the youngest son of a certain aristocrat, Mirian, from Meskheti in southern Georgia.
Venerable Father Pimen, Fool-for-Christ and Enlightener of Dagestan, and His Companion Anton Meskhi, the Censurer of Kings (13th century) Venerable Father Pimen, Fool-for-Christ and Enlightener of Dagestan, and His Companion Anton Meskhi, the Censurer of Kings (13th century)
Archpriest Zachariah Machitadze
Venerable Father Pimen, Fool-for-Christ and Enlightener of Dagestan, and His Companion Anton Meskhi, the Censurer of Kings (13th century) Venerable Father Pimen, Fool-for-Christ and Enlightener of Dagestan, and His Companion Anton Meskhi, the Censurer of Kings (13th century)
Commemorated March 16/29
Archpriest Zakaria Machitadze
Saint Pimen the Fool-for-Christ and Anton Meskhi (of Meskheti, in southern Georgia) lived in the 13th century, when the Mongols were regularly invading Georgia. The entire country, and the Church in particular, languished under the yoke of Mongol oppression. The Georgian people were once again faced with a terrible choice: to preserve their temporal flesh or attain spiritual salvation. Most would not yield to the temptation of the enemy and chose instead to die as martyrs for Christ.
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