Saint Anthony of Padua was a Portuguese Catholic priest and Franciscan friar.
He is the patron saint of Lisbon, Padua, Brazil and lost things. He is known for reconciling couples. I can attest to that. His namesake reconciled me with a past love.
The Feast of Saint Anthony is June 13.
The Life of Saint Anthony
Fernando Martins de Bulhões was born into a wealthy noble family in Lisbon, Portugal on August 15, 1195.
He started his religious life in Lisbon, then transferred to Coimbra. After joining the Franciscans, he adopted the name of the early Christian monk Saint Anthony of Egypt.
Saint Anthony began his work in Morocco. He got sick there and while returning home to recover, his ship got blown off course to Sicily. He went to work in Tuscany.
The man had a gift for speaking. A powerful sermon got him noticed and Saint Anthony was sent to Bologna where he came to the attention of Saint Francis of Assisi.
Saint Anthony became associated with finding lost things in Bologna when a student stole his annotated prayer book. In those times, books were very valuable. Saint Anthony prayed for its return and the student returned the book.
After a spell of teaching in southern France, Saint Anthony settled in Padua, Italy.
He became sick and died on June 13, 1231 from long-term poisoning by the ergot fungus which lives in rye. The disease caused by this fungus is known as Saint Anthony’s Fire.
Symbols of Saint Anthony
Saint Anthony is usually depicted in a brown monk’s robe, carrying the Christ child. He is often shown with a lily that represents purity. He is often depicted holding a bible, perhaps a nod to his gift for speaking.
God bless you.