This brief bio of St. Anthony of Padua is long overdue for my blog. After all, the man is my personal Patron Saint and I picked his name many years ago for my Confirmation Name (to especially thank St. Anthony for the many graces he obtained for me up to that point in my life). But still… although I often mentioned him on this blog, I never featured him in my monthly “Saint of the Month” postings. The truth is - I was actually intimidated by St. Anthony’s life. His life, his work, and his countless miracles are too rich to summarize in a few short paragraphs… and I just didn’t think I could do it.
However, a recent grace I obtained through him prompted me to do something... and with this month being his month, I couldn’t let another June pass by without honoring my favorite Saint in some special way. So here’s to St. Anthony of Padua... may all who read this post grow in devotion to him - the Saint of Miracles!
after his skull. The bust on the left was commissioned by the Shrine/Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua,
while the digital image on the right was created by a Brazilian forensic expert.
Truly, it was his innate ability to profoundly touch hearts through his inspired and simple-style of preaching that was Anthony’s main claim to fame. In addition, he earned the nickname the "Wonder Worker" because his missionary efforts were often punctuated by a multitude of signs worked through the power of his intercession and sanctity: Healing, Bilocation, Prophecy, and astounding Miracles of all sorts (including a few occasions of raising the dead back to life). He was also favored with heavenly visitations with the most notable being a private apparition of the Christ Child during an overnight stay in the home of a benefactor. Anthony's popularity preceded him so wherever he stopped to mission, people flocked to see and hear him either out of faith or curiosity. Sometimes the crowds were so big, he needed an escort of friars to help shield him from overzealous individuals who wanted to touch him or clip pieces of his habit for relics.
In the end, worn out by his demanding schedule and suffering from ergotism, Anthony was forced to retire in a secluded hermitage at Camposampiero. Even here, people sought him out. While attempting to make his way back to Padua, the Saint took a turn for the worse and was taken to the Poor Clare monastery in Arcella at the outskirts of his home-city. He died there on June 13, 1231, being only 36-years-old... and last words he was heard to say were, "I see my Lord..." According to one report, at the moment of his passing the church bells of Padua rang of their own accord while the little children of the city spontaneously cried out, "The Saint is dead… the Saint is dead!"
Sacred Relics of St. Anthony, preserved in the Basilica of Padua (from left to right):
the Saint's incorrupt tongue, his religious habit, and his jawbone.
[click on each photo to view larger images]
Today, familiar images depicting St. Anthony with the Christ Child are found in countless Catholic churches and homes throughout the world; visible testimonies of his unfading popularity and his efficacious intercession. So thank you, Lord, for granting us this great Saint as a light to shine against the darkness in the world. May St. Anthony continue to intercede for our personal needs and for the general needs of our Church, which he dearly loved and defended.
A Prayer to St. Anthony of Padua
Make a "Virtual" Pilgrimage to Padua, Italy
Visit St. Anthony's hallowed tomb in the Basilica dedicated to him in Padua, via the Basilica's official webcam. Pray and reflect on the remarkable life of this great Saint while viewing his tomb-shrine, along with pilgrims from all over Italy and the rest of the world. Click here to make your virtual pilgrimage.
+ + + NOTE: If you're a devotee of St. Anthony of Padua, I'd be interested and happy to learn about any of your personal experiences related to our dear Saint. Feel free to share about it in the Comments Section below. Mahalo.