Antonians

The name used by several communities claiming descent from the Egyptian hermit Antony:

(1) The original disciples of Antony organized by him around 305 into the first hermit community to possess a rule.

(2) The Hospital Brothers of St. Antony, founded in 1095 by Gaston de Dauphine. It survived in France, Italy, and Spain until the time of the French Revolution.

(3) An order of the Armenian Church founded in the seventeenth century to maintain the connection with the Roman Catholic Church.

(4) A community founded in Flanders in 1615.

The Antonians are to be found also among the Chaldean and Maronite Uniats of Eastern Christendom. The Orthodox monastery of Mt. Sinai, dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria, claims to follow the Rule of Antony. “Antonians” was also the name used by a Swiss sect founded by Anton Unterhäher (1759-1824), who claimed to be the ruler of the world.