Pray and work
When Anthony was living in the desert, just praying and getting food from charity, he had a vision, which moved him to work to get food. An angel appeared to him in a dream and urged him not to neglect the work, which is also a form of prayer.
Anthony replied that it was not possible to do any work in the desert, but the angel invited him to climb a palm tree, collect leaves, weave them so to create a mat and other tools, that could be sold, allowing Anthony to give more completeness to his life.
Image: "The meeting of St Anthony and St Paul the Hermit", 1440 ca, by the Master of the Osservanza, an Italian 15th century painter.
Source: Master of the Osservanza [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
It is told that Anthony, conscious of his exemplary life, began to consider himself as the biggest hermit. A voice from the sky contradicted him: "No! Someone else is greater than you." Anthony began the search until he found Paul the Hermit (St Paul of Thebes), as indicated by the voice. The two of them expressed their respect and honored each other, and a raven, which brought to Paul half a loaf every day, that same day brought a whole bread, so that the two hermits split it up and ate together.
Image: "St Anthony and St Paul" by Giovanni Gerolamo Savoldo (c. 1480-85 - c. 1548), Italian painter.
Source: Giovanni Gerolamo Savoldo [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
The satyr and the centaur
Anthony was travelling in the desert to meet Paul of Thebes, when one day he met a centaur and a satyr and was stopped by them. So he asked them: "Who are you?" The satyr replied, "I am one of those whom the pagans call satyrs and whom they snared into idolatry." The satyr then tried to terrify the hermit, but Anthony was not struck by him, while the centaur acknowledged the overthrow of the pagan gods. In the end, the centaur showed Anthony the way to his destination, while the satyr asked for his blessing.
Image: “Legend of Saint Anthony the hermit” (detail) by Meister der Heiligen Sippe, anonymous 15/16th century German painter.
Source: By Meister der Heiligen Sippe der Ältere (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Silver and gold
When Anthony was in the desert, he found a plate of silver coins on his path. He pondered for a moment, being astonished that a plate of silver coins could be in the desert, where no one else travels. Then he realized the devil must have laid it out there to tempt him. Anthony cried: "Ha! Devil, thou weenest to tempt me and deceive me, but it shall not be in thy power." Once he said this, the plate of silver vanished. Anthony continued walking along and saw a pile of gold on his way, which again the devil had laid there to deceive him. Anthony prepared a fire and threw the gold into it. The gold vanished just like the silver coins did. After these events the hermit had a vision, where the whole world was full of snares. He cried to the Lord, "Oh good Lord, who may escape from these snares?" A voice said back to him, "Humility shall escape from them and nothing else.”
Image: "Saint Anthony the Abbot shunning the mass of gold" by Fra Angelico (born Guido di Pietro; c. 1395 - 1455), an Italian painter.
Source: Fra Angelico (circa 1395–1455) [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Demons in the cave
Once Anthony tried hiding into a cave, so to escape the demons that plagued him. But numerous little demons expected him even there and beat him nearly to death. Anthony's disciples were hardly able to carry him out. When the faithful gathered around Anthony's corpse to mourn his death, Anthony regained his forces and asked them to take him back to the same cave where the demons had beaten him. When he got there, he called out to the demons. They came back as wild beasts to rip him to shreds. Suddenly a bright light flashed and the demons ran away. Anthony knew that the light must have come from God, and he asked God where He was before, when the demons attacked him. God replied: "I was here but I would see and abide to see thy battle, and because thou hast manly fought and well maintained thy battle, I shall make thy name to be spread through the entire world."
Image: "The torment of Saint Anthony" by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475 – 1564),
an Italian Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer.
Source: Michelangelo Buonarroti [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Flesh and money
There was an hermit that had renounced the world and the goods, but not completely, because he had kept something for himself. One day Anthony sent him to the market to buy some meat. He bought it, and while he was coming back with the meat, some dogs assailed him and took the meat away. When he came back and told Anthony what had happened to him, then the hermit replied: "Thus as the hounds have done to thee, so do the devils do to monks that keep money and have some proper to themselves".