On June 13, we remember Saint Anthony of Padua, a Franciscan Friar born on August 5, 1195, in Lisbon, Portugal by the name of Fernando de Boullion. St. Anthony of Padua is the patron saint of lost and stolen articles, he was also a powerful Franciscan preacher and teacher. He’s typically portrayed holding the child Jesus—or a lily—or a book—or all three—in his arms. Many people give alms to St. Anthony Bread in thanksgiving to God for blessings received through the prayers of St. Anthony. (Source: stanthony.org)
After entering religious life with the Canons Regular of St. Augustine, a keen desire for martyrdom prompted Anthony to join the Friars Minor in 1221. In 1223, Saint Francis himself appointed Anthony to be the very first professor of theology for the friars. This entrustment by the founder of the community permanently placed the Franciscan Order into the heart of theological and academic development.
Beyond his illustrious academic achievements, Anthony was renowned as a popular preacher and is credited with preserving the faith of countless Christians in a time of widespread heresy. Anthony’s famous sermons were accompanied by a genuine concern for the plight of the poor. He zealously fought against injustice and advocated for the needs of the helpless. Anthony’s dedication to others reached a supernatural dimension through the numerous miracles attributed to his powerful intercession.
Saint Anthony of Padua died in 1231 at the age of 36 and was canonized the following year.
Pope Pius XII named him a Doctor of the Church in 1946.
For more history and a reflection on St. Anthony of Padua visit Franciscanmedia.org