St. Antony was born in Egypt in 250 AD. He came from a very wealthy family and was deeply moved by Jesus’ teachings. He felt particularly challenged and called to embrace the words of Jesus, “Go and sell what you have and give it to the poor." He went to live alone in the Egyptian desert. He is considered by the church to be one of the first great Christian hermits. He lived on bread and water and tried to pray constantly.
St. Antony died at the age of 105 in a cave near the Red Sea. He is considered to be the father of all monks. He is also known as a Desert Father of Egypt. He heavily influenced Christian monastic movements throughout the world and was made famous by the biography, “The Life of St. Anthony the Great” by Athanasius.
Legend has it that St. Antony was tempted by Satan in the desert. Every time Satan tempted Antony, he would come in the form of a different animal and every time Antony would resist temptation. The legend says that the last form that Satan took was that of a pig and still St. Antony resisted. That is why many countries eat roast pig on this day and why St. Antony is usually depicted with a pig beside him.
An easy way to celebrate this day is to eat pork! I am making a super easy recipe, Pesto Pork Chops. They are moist and flavorful and take no time to prepare. If you'd like an amazing homemade pesto recipe you can find it here.
Pesto Pork Chops
8 boneless pork chops
3/4 to 1 cup of homemade pesto or jarred pesto
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with oil. Rub salt and pepper into both sides of your pork chops. In a small bowl, mix pesto and olive oil. Brush each side of the pork chops with pesto mixture and lay on baking sheet. Drizzle remaining pesto over pork chops. Roast for 6-8 minutes until pork chops are cooked through.
Remove pork chops from pan and place on a plate or serving dish. Cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
Drizzle pork chops with any remaining juice and serve.