Saint Anthony of Padua, born in 1195 in Lisbon, Portugal, is undoubtedly the most loved and known saint in the world: every church is home to an image of him and millions of people continue to rely on his intercession.

Anthony, baptized with the name Fernando, came from a noble family and initially entered the Canons Regular of St. Augustine, where he perfected his studies in theology and Sacred Scripture, first in Lisbon and then in Coimbra. However, in 1220 he chose to become a Franciscan friar, taking on the name of Anthony, wanting to devote himself entirely to preaching the Gospel. Like Mary, Anthony too “got up and went quickly” to share with everyone the great treasure he had discovered: the beauty of God’s love.

After various adversities he arrived in Italy, where he met Saint Francis, and then distinguished himself for his profound knowledge of the Holy Scriptures and for his charisma in preaching the Word. He became known as the “Heretics’ Hammer” for his ability to refute doctrinal errors and bring people back to the faith. His preaching was simple, direct and engaging: Anthony knew how to speak to people’s hearts, touching their soul with his eloquence, humanity and depth.

His humility and love of neighbour were evident in his dedication to serving the poorest: he tirelessly moved from preaching to hearing confessions and his compassion extended to all, regardless of social or religious status. Even today the Franciscan friars dedicate themselves to preaching the Gospel and assisting the poor in the name of Anthony, in particular through various works of charity, often referred to as “the bread of Saint Anthony”.

Towards the end of his life he was gifted with the vision of Baby Jesus, who appeared in his arms: it was the confirmation that Anthony had truly served and “pampered” his beloved Lord by taking care of humanity. Anthony died in Padua (in Veneto) on 13 June 1231 and his body is still kept today in the great basilica built in his honour, the destination of millions of pilgrims, who seek in Antonio an intercessor, a friend and a confidant.


St. Anthony is also known as "the saint of miracles" (he is said to have done 13 miracles a day!) and is recognized as having the power to find lost things, be it physical or spiritual health or material objects.

Youth prayer
to St. Anthony

O Saint Anthony,
friend and saintly brother,
you are a sure presence in the world.
Help me to attend faithfully
the talents that the Lord has given me.

O Saint Anthony,
audacious missionary,
you are a wise guide to the world.
Help me shout and spread the gospel
along the winding roads of our lives.

O Saint Anthony,
lover of Love,
you are a credible witness
to the world.
Help me share
with whoever is next to me
joys and wounds,
worries and hope.

O Saint Anthony, pray for us all!


Order of Friars Minor Conventual

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