Saint Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal, on august 15th, 1195. His name was Fernando Bulham. He was born in a time that there was much oppression from the Muslims.
Brave Knights, Crusaders, came to live in Lisbon to fight the Muslims and get them out of Portugal. The father of Fernando was one of these Crusaders.
After the Muslims were defeated and driven out of Portugal, the King of this country encouraged monastic life, by building monasteries around the country.
At the age of fifteen Saint Anthony entered the religious life, joining the Canons Regular of St. Augustine. He was a brilliant man and had an excellent memory. Very fast he gathered a treasure of theological knowledge from the Sacred Scriptures as well as from the writings of the Holy Fathers.
In the year 1220 Ferdinand left the Canons Regular of St. Augustine and joined the order of Friars Minor, founded by St. Francis of Assisi. Here he took the name Anthony. He was a very humble person and never said a word to anyone about the theologic studies he achieved.
Once Anthony was present at the ordination of some Dominican and Franciscan monks. Due to the fact that there was no one appointed to preach, the Superior commanded him to preach. Soon they all were struck with astonishment because of his sublime doctrine knowledge. It was then that his life as a public preacher started.
Many miracles happened during his preachings, like:
Although he did not live more than a decade in Italy, it's with this country that he is most often identified. For the Italians he is known and loved as saint Anthony of Padua.
He is the patron of lost and stolen articles.
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.
O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of saints. Your love for God and Charity for His creatures made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your word, which you were ever ready to speak for those in trouble or anxiety.
Encouraged by this thought, I implore of you to obtain for me (request). The answer to my prayer may require a miracle. Even so, you are the saint of Miracles. O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the Sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms, and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours.
Amen. (Say 13 our Fathers, hail Mary's and Glories)
His feast day is June 13th.
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