Anthony was born in Lyubech in present day Ukraine in 983. From an early age he was interested in spiritual life which inspired him to join the Greek Orthodox Esphigmenou Monastery and live as a hermit on Mount Athos. Kiev had just started to convert to Christianity and so he was sent back there to promote the monastic life amongst the people.
Although he founded several monasteries, he himself, lived in a small cave. People began to join him and soon the cave had to be expanded to accommodate a church and cells for the monks, thus forming the Kiev Cave Monastery. Again, he moved to a small cave to be by himself. The type of monastic life he lived inspired many others and was taken up across a huge swathe of Eastern Europe.
When, in 1073, he died aged 90, his fellow monks carried out his request of hiding his body. It has never been found, but people who go to pray in his cave report that their prayers are answered. His feast day is 7 May.
Prayer St Anthony of Kiev
St Anthony of Kiev,
As we contemplate your life,
help us find the time for solitude
so that we can clear our minds of everyday
pressures in order to be open
and receptive to God’s voice.
We ask this through Jesus Christ Our Lord
St Anthony of Kiev. Pray for us.