Saint of the Month

St. Anthony of Padua, a native of Portugal, was born in Lisbon, in the year 1195. When he was 15, he joined the Canon regular of St. Augustine and remained a monk for ten years.

Filled with missionary ardor St. Anthony entered the Franciscan Order in which he spent the remaining 11 years of his short life. He died in Italy at Vercelli on June 13, 1231, and was canonized by Pope Gregory IX within a year.

In contrast to the brevity of St. Anthony’s life is the university of his appeal which remains undimmed today after almost 800 years. He is recognized by many observers as the most popular of all the Saints of God.

As a Franciscan friar his time was devoted to prayer, study, and preaching. St. Francis selected him to be the first theologian of the Franciscan Order, and he was finally proclaimed a Doctor of the Church in 1946 by Pope Pius XII. So powerful was his preaching, and so astounding the miracles that accompanied his proclamation of the word of God that St. Anthony was revered in his own day by the faithful of every rank.

The miracles attributed to him were so many that we here mention but a few: his sermon to the fish at Rimini, his protection of his audience during a furious rainstorm, his appearance at the same time the pulpit and in a distant friary choir, the healing of a boy’s amputated food, the deliverance of his brethren from temptations, and the preservation of the people from injury.

The miracles continued after his death, and even today the reports of favors received through his intercession with God are literally innumerable. He is particularly invoked as the finder of things lost.

When St. Anthony’s tomb was opened 30 years after his death, although his body had turned to dust, his tongue was miraculously preserved. In venerating this symbol of his sacred eloquence St. Bonaventure, then Minister General of the Franciscan Order, said, “O blessed tongue that always praised the Lord, and caused others to bless Him, now it is manifest how great your merits were before God.”

The followers and clients of St. Anthony are legion in every Christian land. They have over the centuries observed Tuesday as a special day consecrated to his honor.

St. Anthony is rightly celebrated as the Wonder-Worker of Padua, the city which guards his tomb, and by Catholics the world over as the Saint of Miracles.

You are invited to join in the two Special Novenas of Masses and Prayers.