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In the fourth century, thousands of men and women fled into the Egyptian desert seeking to recapture the passion of the earliest Christians through lives of prayer and solitude. As records of the wisdom and purity of these "Desert Fathers and Mothers" spread through the Roman Empire, Christians streamed to their caves seeking counsel on the interior life. The hermits' ascetic practices and sagacious words were a shining witness to a living faith that could be woven into the fabric of daily life—offering timeless wisdom for Christians of any era. This volume contains Athanasius' famous The Life of St. Antony, St. Jerome's The Life of Paul the Hermit, and the collected sayings of many of the desert fathers and mothers. Encouraging humility, patience, prayer, introspection, and love, they teach that contemplative practice opens the door to eternal wisdom for daily life.