Saint Anthony of Padua is the most
loved and admired saint. His work was in Italy, He was born
in Portugal. He first joined the Augustinian Order. When he
was 26 years, he joined the Franciscan Order in 1221. After
the death of the St. Bernard, St. Peter, St. Otto, St.
Accursius, and St. Adjutus, who shed their blood for the
Catholic Faith in the year 1220, Anthony became a
Franciscan. St. Anthony became a Franciscan in the hope of
shedding his own blood and becoming a martyr. He lived 10
years after joining the Franciscan Order.
Anthony was born in a wealthy family.
They wanted him to be a great nobleman, but for the sake of
Christ he became a poor Franciscan Priest. When the remains
of Saint Bernard and his companions, the first Franciscan
martyrs, were brought to be buried in his church, Anthony
left his order, entered the Friars Minor, and went to
Morocco to evangelize.
When Anthony was
shipwrecked at Sicily, he joined some
other brothers who were going to Portiuncula. Leaving only
to attend Mass and to sweep the nearby monastery, Anthony
lived in a cave at San Paolo. One day when a scheduled
speaker failed to appear, the brothers asked Anthony to
speak.. He impressed them so much that he was thereafter
constantly traveling, evangelizing, preaching, and teaching
theology throughout Italy and France.
Anthony spoke many languages. As a
gifted speaker, he attracted crowds everywhere he went.
Legend says that even the fish loved to listen to Anthony.
So simple and resounding was his
teaching of the Catholic Faith, so that even the most
uneducated and innocent might understand it, that he was
made a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946.
Saint Anthony was only 36 years old
when he died. He is called the “hammer of the Heretics” His
great protection against their lies and deceits in the
matter of Christian doctrine was to utter, simply and
innocently, the Holy Name of Mary. When St. Anthony of Padua
found he was preaching the true Gospel of the Catholic
Church to heretics who would not listen to him, he then went
out and preached it to the fishes. This was not, as some
say, for the instruction of the fishes, but rather for the
glory of God, the delight of the angels, and the easing of
his own heart.
With his mind and his heart, at every
moment St. Anthony professed his Faith.
Wonder worker. One of the most beloved
of saints, his images and statues are found everywhere.
Encyclopedia, Vol. I Copyright © 1907 by Robert Appleton