Welcome to the St. Anthony's Monastery website (Καλῶς Ὁρίσατε!)

A Spiritual Oasis in the Desert

In the summer of 1995, six monks arrived in the southern Arizona desert to establish St. Anthony’s Monastery, carrying with them the sacred heritage of the Holy Mountain, Athos. For over a thousand years, this steep and rocky peninsula in northern Greece has maintained the traditions of the greatest monastic establishments of ancient Christianity in Egypt, Cappadocia, and Constantinople, thus preserving intact the wisdom of the Holy Fathers and the sacred traditions of the ancient Church. Today, the Holy Mountain consists of 20 independent monasteries and numerous sketes and hermitages, housing thousands of Orthodox Christian monks from all over the world.

Geronda Ephraim, a disciple of the renowned Saint Joseph the Hesychast (+1959), restored and repopulated four Mt. Athos monasteries and established over a dozen monastic communities in Greece and North America. Then in 1995 he transferred several monks from the Philotheou Monastery on Mt. Athos to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona to start a new monastery. Upon their arrival, the fathers began the necessary construction, building the main church, living quarters for monks, a dining hall, and guest quarters.

As the monastery expanded, more chapels were built; a vegetable garden, a small vineyard, citrus orchards, and an olive grove were soon planted. An elaborate system of gardens, pathways, gazebos, and Spanish fountains make the monastery and its extensive grounds a true oasis in the desert.

St. Anthony’s Monastery is a Greek- and English-speaking monastery in the Metropolis of San Francisco of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. The monastery is named after St. Anthony the Great (ca. 251–356), the renowned Egyptian ascetic, known as “the father of monasticism.” The monastery follows the cenobitic rule of monastic life: the brotherhood of over 50 monks and novices holds all things in common and follows a daily schedule of prayer and work under obedience to the abbot, their spiritual father.
The monks’ daily program begins two hours before midnight with personal prayer time and spiritual reading, followed by the cycle of morning prayers and the Divine Liturgy. After a light breakfast and a rest period, the monks begin their work day, attending to prayer and their tasks until evening. Tasks include construction, woodworking, publishing, food preparation, offering hospitality, grounds keeping, tending the vineyard and the various gardens and orchards. To support themselves, the monks translate and publish books, sell their agricultural products, and rely on donations from the thousands of pilgrims and tourists visiting the monastery every year. The day ends with evening Vespers followed by dinner and Compline.
† May our Lord and God Jesus Christ bless you!