Anthony of Padua
Feast Day: June 13
Canonized: May 30, 1231
Anthony of Padua felt that God called him to try many new and different things. As he felt the tug of God’s love, he gave up one job to work at another. He did this over and over.
Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1195 to a wealthy and noble family. His father chose to serve God as a soldier, but Anthony chose something different.
When he was 15, he became an Augustinian Canon. He spent the next eleven years praying and studying the Bible.
Then, in 1221, when Anthony was 26, God called him to something new. That year, Anthony saw the bodies of the first martyred Franciscans. He, too, wanted to die for his faith by preaching to the Moors in Africa. So he joined the Franciscans. But when he went to Morocco to preach, he fell ill and had to return home. His ship was swept off course and he landed in Sicily. For a time he lived as a hermit, praying and studying in solitude.
One day, a Franciscan superior asked Anthony had to preach a sermon without any preparation. His words amazed people. Now God was calling Anthony to something new again. He was to become a great preacher throughout Italy and at his home church in Padua.
There are legends that reflect how great a speaker he was. One says that when he preached on a beach in Italy, the fish stuck their heads out of the ocean to hear him!
In 1231, when he was 36, Anthony died. Within a year, the Church declared him a saint because of the many miracles that he had performed in his life. People remembered his sermons. Many had lost God, and he helped them find God again. So still today, many people ask Anthony to help them find things they have lost, so he is the patron of lost items. In 1946, Pope Pius XII declared St. Anthony of Padua a Doctor of the Church.
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