Sunday School Lesson : Saint Anthony the Great – Desert vs. Jacuzzi

Saint-Anthony the Great, the first Coptic Monk

I had the blessing of teaching the lesson about Saint-Anthony the Great, the first Coptic Monk.

As I teach the first and second graders this year, I try to keep the lessons short and to incorporate a game to illustrate the point of the story.

The Story of Saint Anthony 

Saint Anthony lost his parents and the age of 19 (although the video clip I attached below mentions the age of 20 and the link I shared indicates 18).

While attending liturgy, this Bible verse touched his heart:

“If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”Mathew 19:21

Saint Anthony decided to donate his vast inheritance to the poor and retreated into the desert to lead a solitary life devoted to prayers and fasting. He is regarded as the father of monasticism.

Illustrative Game to explain the choice Saint Anthony made

In order to illustrate how Saint Anthony followed the verse in the Bible and forsake worldly riches, I distributed paper money to all of the children in the class.

Each child had a turn to explain how they would spend their “wealth” – we had all agreed that the money they had in their hands represented 3 million dollars.

Here is a sampling of the children’s answers

  • more than 5 children would purchase dogs
  • a few would purchase cats
  • one child would spend it on a Bugatti and a Lamborghini
  • My own son would spend it on a Jacuzzi (no idea where that came from!!!)
  • 3 angelic children were going to donate all their money to the poor (I nearly hugged them).

The game served as an introduction to the lesson.

After the story, we watched this clip about the life of Saint Anthony the Great – may his blessings be with us all.


Other posts you might enjoy: Teaching Children Proper Church Etiquette

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