Feast Day – June 13
St. Anthony of Padua is popular the world over. There is devotion to him in every region and corner of the world. Not surprisingly, he has a special place in the hearts of even those not of the Catholic faith. Portugese by birth, he is universally called St. Anthony of Padua, since he died near Padua and the region of northern Italy benefitted from his priestly ministry.
Originally, a member of the Canon Regular of St. Augustine, he later became a Franciscan in 1220. St. Francis of Assisi, himself, appointed Anthony as the first theology teacher of the Franciscans. Anthony excelled in this ministry, was a very persuasive preacher in northern Italy and southern France and was a devoted minister to the people of God. What gave vibrancy to his priestly ministry was his close union with God in prayer – the source of the spiritual good he was able to effect in the span of 36 years, when he died on June 13, 1231.
Pope Gregory IX canonized him in 1232. Since then, countless miracles have occurred through prayers invoking St. Anthony’s intercession, so he is called the Wonder-Worker of Padua. In 1946, he was named a Doctor of the Church.