Sunday, May 12, 2013

Desert Fathers

St. Anthony of Egypt
I came across this fascinating on a Coptic Orthodox monastery in Egypt. The community dates to the mid-twentieth century and the monastery is even newer, but the film contains some fascinating material toward the end. The beginning of the documentary recounts the formation of the community and the middle segment displays how the physical plant developed into its own sort of town, replete with a hotel for tourists/retreaters. The last third interested me, as it shows desert hermits living in caves in much the same manner as the Desert Fathers like Ss. Anthony the Great, Macarius, and John Cassian. Indeed, the last few moments feature the cave and tunnel dug by St. Macarius, into which he would flee unruly guests.

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