The Church calls Anthony the father of monks. Before his time, many men and women went out into the desert to pray and do penance. These hermits lived alone, far apart from other people. Anthony of Egypt formed a community—or monastery—of hermits. The monks spent most of their time alone, but they met each day to worship and to eat together.

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When there’s a job to get done, you don’t always win a popularity contest getting people to do their share. Especially if you think you’re right and everyone else (who doesn’t agree with you) is wrong. That pretty much describes Bernard of Clairvaux. He may not have had the most friends in the world, but he sure got things done!

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