Reverend Ioan Istrati
Anthony fled into the desert to hear the voice of God. People, hearing that he was in the desert came by the thousands to the Saint for blessings and healing. Hundreds of carts with the sick and paralyzed came to the heart of the desert. Anthony prayed for them. Most of them were healed. Once, the Saint saw that out of all those who had come, none had been healed. And he fell on his face in his cell, crying and praying: “Lord, where have I erred, that Your Grace does not work in me anymore?”
And after three hours of crying with his face to the ground, he heard a voice: “Anthony, My Grace has not diminished in you. However, the people who come to you in the desert NO LONGER BELIEVE in My power. They come out of curiosity to test My power out of hearsay or with the crowd.”
Upon hearing this, Anthony was comforted in spirit and increased his prayer and asceticism.