You must know Antony was by descent an Egyptian: his parents were of good family and possessed considerable wealth, and as they were Christians he also was reared in the same Faith.
St. Paul of Thebes is the first known hermit in Christianity and he settled in the middle of the wilderness of Egypt's eastern desert around year 250 A.D. to escape the persecution of the Emperor Decius.
The monastery that bears his name is located on the same place he later was buried, in a valley south of the St. Antony monastery. In year (340 or 341 A.D). St. Antony visited the hermit St. Paul just before he died. When St. Paul then passed away the story goes that two lions dug his grave where then St. Antony placed the hermit's body.