St. Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal in the year 1195. When he was born he was christened Fernando Martins. He was born into a healthy family. He was sent to the Abbey of Santa Cruz to learn Theology. Thus started his ordination as a priest. There he learnt Latin too. At the abbey he was fully responsible for the hospitality.
When he saw the Franciscan priests settle a hermit for St.Anthony of Egypt, he felt tempted to join them. He asked permission and left the abbey. It was by then he converted his name to Anthony. He then started travelling to spread the word of God. Once when he was travelling to Morocco he fell ill and he was supposed to return to Portugal to recover.
But the party with him went off course and landed at sicily and reached the hermitage of San Paolo to care for his health. It was there once the Dominican priests came to visit. There was a small confusion on who should preach between the Dominican priests and the Franciscan priests and St.Anthony was asked to give the shermon at the end.
Though he initially hesitated he gave a inspiring speech and everyone was both awe struck and pleased. And he grew close to St.Francis of Assisi through his work. The latter then made St.Anthony responsible for the pursuit of studies of the priests. St.Anthony started proving his worth as a great teacher. He had a book of Psalms in which he writes notes , comments and everything for teaching. Once a student stole the book and ran away from the order.
St.Anthony got sad but did not lose hope. He started praying and behold, the student returned the book back and also came back to the order with a renewed hope and faith. It was because of this incident, St.Anthony was termed the Patron for lost things. His teachings were very simple that even the illiterate could easily apprehend and came close to God.
Once St. Anthony was to teach to a set of non believers and they left the hall before he could even start the sermon. He then went to the pond nearby and started preaching. He was so gentle in his words and so easy to understand that even the fishes started to listen and they began to gather in numbers. The people were astonished to see this and they were ashamed to have treated him that way.
His constant travel and odd teaching hours without food and rest led to his death at the age of 36 in 1231. When he was exhumed after 336 years of his death, it was found that all organs were decayed but his tongue remained the same. The tongue was so powerful in helping people find their way to the Lord that maybe the tongue remained untouched. People were so overwhelmed and celebrated the miracle.
Feast Day – June 13
Patron – Lost things.
St. Anthony of Padua – Prayer
Holy Saint Anthony, gentle and powerful in your help, your love for God and charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your word, which you were always ready to request for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me [request]. The answer to my prayer may require a miracle. Even so, you are the Saint of miracles. Gentle and loving Saint Anthony, whose heart is ever full of human sympathy, take my petition to the Infant Savior for whom you have such a great love, and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.