Antony of Padua

(1195–1231)
   Saint.
   Antony was born in Lisbon, Portugal. He joined the Augustinian Order at the age of fifteen, but later he transferred to the Franciscans with the intention of becoming a missionary. He sailed for Morocco, but because of poor health was forced to return. Then he was sent to the Hermitage of San Paolo, near Forlí in Italy, but he was soon appointed the first Lector in Theology of the Franciscan Order. He taught at Bologna, Montpellier and Toulouse, but his fame as an orator was so great that he ultimately retired to Padua to concentrate on preaching. His sermons attracted huge crowds. He died at the age of thirty-six and his relics have always been venerated in Padua. He is known as the saint who specialises in the finding of lost articles. The origin of this is obscure, but may relate to an incident when a novice borrowed his Psalter without asking. He was compelled to return the book after being confronted by an appalling monster! Antony is also thought of as the patron of the poor; in many countries the Church maintains a charitable fund known as ‘St Antony’s bread’. Many miracles are ascribed to him and he remains one of the most popular saints. He was canonised almost immediately after his death and he was named a Doctor of the Church in 1946.
   V. Gambosa, St Antony, translated by H. Partridge (1991);
   E. Gilliat-Smith, St Antony of Padua According to his Contemporaries (1926).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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