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Bulgarian Orthodox Church honors St. Anthony the Great

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Today the Bulgarian Orthodox Church honors the memory of St. Anthony the Great. Bulgarians call the day Antonovden. St. Anthony was born about 251 in a wealthy Egyptian family and when he lost his parents at the age of 20, he distributed his inheritance and began an ascetic life.

Anthony had the gift of working miracles and the ability to cast out demons. When he healed the sick, he urged them to give thanks only to God. A year before he passed away at the age of 105, the saint defeated the heretics in Alexandria in an open dispute and his success was called "celebration of Christianity."

People named Anton, Andon, Doncho, Antonia, Antoaneta, Donka and others celebrate on January 17.

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