Saint Anthony of Padua, also venerated as Anthony of Lisbon, particularly in Portugal (1195 - June 13, 1231) is a Catholic saint born in Lisbon as Fernando de Bulhões, to a wealthy family.
He received in baptism the name of Fernando. He became a Franciscan in 1221 taking the new name of Anthony when he joined the Order of Friars Minor in honor of Saint Anthony the Great (251-356).
He later moved from his native Lisbon to teach theology in Padua, Italy.
He is said to have been an eloquent preacher with a loud and clear voice, a winning smile, a wonderful memory, and profound learning. With the zeal of an apostle he undertook to reform the morality of his time by combating in an especial manner the vices of luxury, avarice, and tyranny.
He holds the record for the fastest canonization in history: he was declared a saint 352 days after his death (Pentecost, May 30, 1232). His feast day is on June 13th, his birthday, a day of popular and sumptuous celebrations in Lisbon. Saint Anthony is the patron saint of Lisbon and the patron of Padua, where his relics remained after his death.
The numerous miracles attributed to him, made the name of Anthony celebrated throughout the world. The inhabitants of Padua erected to his memory a magnificent basilica, where his relics were transferred in 1263. When the vault in which, for thirty years, his sacred body had reposed was opened, the flesh was found reduced to dust but the preacher's tongue was seen to be uninjured, fresh, and of a lively red colour, it was reported at the time. St Bonaventure, beholding this wonder, took the tongue affectionately in his hands and kissed it, exclaiming: "O Blessed Tongue that always praised the Lord, and made others bless Him, now it is evident what great merit thou hast before God."
The fame of St Anthony's miracles has never diminished, and even at the present day he is acknowledged as the greatest miracle worker of the times. A gifted speaker, he attracted crowds everywhere he went, speaking in multiple tongues; the legend being that even the fishes in the Brenta loved to listen.
One of the most beloved of saints, his images and statues are found everywhere. Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on January 16, 1946, and is sometimes called the "Evangelical Doctor." He is especially invoked for the recovery of things lost. Also, against starvation, against American Indians, barrenness; patron of amputees, animals, boatmen, Brazil, diocese of Beaumont, domestic animals, the elderly, expectant mothers, faith in the Blessed Sacrament, Ferrazzano, fishermen, harvests, horses, Lisbon, lost articles, lower animals, mail, mariners, oppressed people, Padua, paupers, Portugal, sailors, seekers of lost articles, sterility, swineherds, Tigua Indians, travel hostesses, travellers, and watermen.
Last updated: 09-03-2005 18:37:12