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St Anthony - Finder of Lost Things

Hari OM

Story-day is for cultural exploration, puraanas and parables and finding out about leading lights in spiritual philosophy.

Image result for st anthony of paduaJune 13th is the feast day of St Anthony of Padua. Saint Anthony was born Fernando Martins in Lisbon, Portugal, into a wealthy family, and by the age of fifteen asked to be sent to the Abbey of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, the then capital of Portugal. During his time in the abbey, he learned theology and Latin.

Following his ordination to the priesthood, he was named guest-master and was responsible for the abbey's hospitality. When Franciscan friars settled a small hermitage outside Coimbra dedicated to Saint Anthony of Egypt, Fernando felt a longing to join them. Fernando eventually received permission to leave the abbey so he could join the new Franciscan Order. When he was admitted, his name became Anthony.

Anthony then traveled to Morocco to spread God's truth, but became extremely sick and was returned to Portugal to recover. The return voyage was blown off-course and the party arrived in Sicily, from which they traveled to Tuscany. Anthony was assigned to the hermitage of San Paolo after local friars considered his health.

As he recovered, Anthony spent his time praying and studying.

An undetermined amount of time later, Dominican friars came to visit the Franciscans for an ordination ceremony and there was confusion over who would present the homily. It was then the head of the Franciscan hermitage asked Anthony to speak on whatever the Holy Spirit told him to speak of. Though he tried to object, Anthony delivered an eloquent and moving homily that impressed both groups. Soon, news of his eloquence reached Francis of Assisi. In 1224, Francis entrusted his friars' pursuits of studies to Anthony. Anthony had a book of psalms that contained notes and comments to help when teaching students and, in a time when a printing press was not yet invented, he greatly valued it.

When one novice decided to leave the hermitage, he stole Anthony's valuable book. Anthony, discovering it was missing, prayed it would be found or returned to him. The thief did return the book and in an extra step returned to the Order as well. It is for this event that Anthony is considered the saint for prayer of lost articles.

Anthony occasionally taught at the universities of Montpellier and Toulouse in southern France, but he performed best in the role of a preacher.

So simple and resounding was his teaching of the Catholic Faith, most unlettered and the innocent could understand his messages. It is for this reason he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946.

Once, when St. Anthony of Padua attempted to preach the true Gospel to heretics who would not listen to him, he went out and preached his message to the fish. When critics saw the fish begin to gather, they realized they should also listen to what Anthony had to say.

He was only 36-years-old when he died and was canonized less than one year afterward by Pope Gregory He is typically depicted with a book and the Infant Child Jesus and also with a lily.


(These were excerpted from a very fine page dedicated entirely to St Anthony. You are encouraged to read the full version.)

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