Franciscan Thaumaturgist, born at Lisbon, 1195; died at Vercelli [actually Arcella –Ed.], 13 June, 1231. He received in baptism the name of Ferdinand. Having been educated in the Cathedral school, Ferdinand, at the age of fifteen, joined the Canons Regular of St. Augustine, in the convent of St. Vincent, just outside the city walls (1210). Two years later to avoid being distracted by relatives and friends, who frequently came to visit him, he betook himself with permission of his superior to the Convent of Santa Croce in Cóimbra (1212), where he remained for eight years, occupying his time mainly with study and prayer.
Gifted with an excellent understanding and a prodigious memory, he soon gathered from the Sacred Scriptures and the writings of the Holy Fathers a treasure of theological knowledge. In the year 1220, having seen conveyed into the Church of Santa Croce the bodies of the first Franciscan martyrs, who had suffered death at Morocco, 16 January of the same year, he too was inflamed with the desire of martyrdom, and resolved to become a Friar Minor, that he might preach the Faith to the Saracens and suffer for Christ’s sake. Having confided his intention to some of the brethren of the convent of Olivares (near Cóimbra), who came to beg alms at the Abbey of the Canons Regular, he received from their hands the Franciscan habit in the same Convent of Santa Croce. Thus Ferdinand left the Canons Regular of St. Augustine to join the Order of Friars Minor, taking at the same time the new name of Anthony, a name which later on the Convent of Olivares also adopted.
With the zeal of an apostle he undertook to reform the morality of his time by combating in an especial manner the vices of luxury, avarice, and tyranny. The fruit of his sermons was, therefore, as admirable as his eloquence itself. No less fervent was he in the extinction of heresy, notably that of the Cathares and the Patarines, which infested the centre and north of Italy, and probably also that of the Albigenses in the south of France, though we have no authorized documents to that effect.
At the end of Lent, 1231, Anthony retired to amposanpiero, in the neighbourhood of Padua, where, after a short time he was taken with a severe illness. Transferred to Vercelli, and strengthened by the apparition of Our Lord, he died at the age of thirty-six years, on 13 June, 1231. He had lived fifteen years with his parents, ten years as a Canon Regular of St. Augustine, and eleven years in the Order of Friars Minor. The name of Anthony became celebrated throughout the world, and with it the name of Padua. The inhabitants of that city erected to his memory a magnificent temple, whither his precious relics were transferred in 1263, in presence of St. Bonaventure, Minister General at the time.
Source: Catholic Encyclopedia. “St. Anthony of Padua.” Accessed June 16, 2011. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01556a.htm
The Church honored the Feast of St. Anthony on Monday, June 13th. We have a variety of gift and liturgical items available for St. Anthony to celebrate his life and work. Call us at 1-866-757-5195 or check out our website at Church Supply Warehouse for our selection!!