He began to rethink his life
His mother and father were dead and he needed to move on.
But to what?
Unlike many his age, he did not choose to escape into the arms of this world's comforts and pleasures.
He chose to cling more fervently to Christ.
He sold everything he had, gave the proceeds to the poor (after ensuring for the care and education of his younger sister), went alone into the desert, and devoted himself entirely to prayer and solitude.
It turned out to be a cutting-edge move. Many people came to hear about the radical Christian lifestyle that Anthony was pursuing in the desert and decided to imitate him in his imitation of Christ.
St. Anthony of Egypt came to be known as the Father of Monasticism. He died at the age of 105 in the year 356 and his memory is celebrated on this day.
(adapted from an earlier post)