Antony
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St. Antony’s Monastery

Antony
THE ABBOT: Father Anastasi Saint Antony leads a service at St. Antony Coptic Orthodox Monastery, 25 miles northeast of Barstow. In about AD 285, St. Antony pioneered the ascetic and monastic tradition that would spread throughout the Christian world. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
Antony
VISIT BY THE FAITHFUL: Orange County residents Cherie Anderegg, left, and Sarah Nicola attend a prayer service. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
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RETREAT: Visitors follow a reading. “I feel comfort, I feel joy, I feel peace,” says one. “The monks are like angels on Earth. (Irfan Khan /LAT)
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ONE FOCUS: Father Maximos Saint Antony attends to an icon of St. Antony at the monastery’s entrance. Much of the monks’ lives are spent alone in tiny rooms called cells, with only a bed and a chair. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
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THE WORD: Monks recite vast portions of Scripture from memory and often repent of their sins. They take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. (Irfan Khan / LAT)
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