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St. Anthony de Padua: The Patron of Lost Things

St. Anthony of Padua

A novice stole his book and left the hermitage. Anthony prayed that the book would be found or returned. 

His prayer was heard and granted. 

The novice returned the book. Not only that, but he also rejoined the Franciscans. 

Currently, the book is in the custody of the Franciscans in Bologna. 

Anthony is known as the saint who helps people find lost objects, one's spouse, animals, lost people, and others. 

Born Fernando Martins de Bulhœs in Lisbon, Portugal on August 15, 1195. He grew up in a rich and noble family. 

As a kid, Anthony went to a cathedral school. He joined the Augustinian community in Lisbon at the age of 15. 

He studied Theology and Latin at the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Coimbra, the capital of Portugal at the time. 

He was ordained and became a priest. But he left the Canons Regular and joined the Franciscans. 

Anthony got ill in Morocco when he went there when he was already a Franciscan. So, he decided to go back to Portugal. But the ship he was boarded on lost its course and reached the shores of Sicily. 

Then he went to Tuscany, whose capital, Florence, is home to Renaissance art and architecture. 

He worked at a convent in Tuscany, then at a hermitage in San Paolo. 

Anthony also taught at the University of Montpellier and the University of Toulouse in France. 

In schools, Anthony preached "the grandeur of Christianity," according to Sophronious Clasen, a theologian and historian. 

He returned to Italy in 1226. In Italy, he was made provincial superior of northern Italy and stayed in Padua, a city in the Veneto Region.

Anthony also preached in the papal court, where his preaching was exalted as a "jewel case of the Bible."

There was a time when Anthony was dining with some heretics. The heretics told him his food had poison and dared him to eat it if he honestly believed in Mark 16:18, which says ". . . and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them."

Anthony blessed the poisoned food, ate it, and was not harmed. 

The heretics also had contempt for him. 

In an occasion, he went to the shore and preached near the water. 

Schools of fish swam in front of him and lingered as he preached. The people witnessed it. 

In his last days, Anthony retreated to the forest at Camposampiero. He died on his way back to Padua in 1231. He was 35.

Pope Gregory IX both beatified and canonized him on May 30, 1232, less than a year after his passing.

Anthony was proclaimed Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII on January 16, 1946.


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