St. Anthony of Padua

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St. Anthony of Padua, Confessor

St. Anthony, who derived his surname from the city of Padua, in Italy, because he spent many years there in preaching the Gospel, was a native of Lisbon, in Portugal. He received, in holy baptism, the name of Ferdinand, and was very piously educated by his parents. No sooner had he become acquainted with the dangers of the world, than he, in the fifteenth year of his age, to be safe from temptation, went into the cloister of the regular Canons, which is not far from Lisbon, where he also made his religious vows. As, however, he was disturbed too much there by the visits of his friends, he went, with the permission of his superiors, to Coimbra, into the monastery of the Holy Cross. To this house came, one day, five friars of the Order of St. Francis, who were travelling to Africa to preach the Gospel to the Moors. They suffered martyrdom, however, soon after their arrival there, and their holy bodies were brought back to the monastery of the Holy Cross, at Coimbra, and solemnly interred in the church attached to it. Antony, hearing how fearlessly these martyrs had preached the true faith and had suffered for Christ’s sake, conceived an intense desire to preach the Gospel to the heathen and to give his life for the word of God. Hence, he determined to enter the Order of St. Francis, that he might have an opportunity to gratify the wishes of his heart. Continue reading