Saint Anthony of Padua

SaintAnthony  Saint Anthony of Padua

June 13

 Saint Anthony of Padua Holding Baby

Jesus, Bernardo Strozzi, oil on canvas

 Also known as Saint Anthony of Lisbon.

Feast day: June 13 on the anniversary of his death in 1231.

Patron Saint for lost articles; credited with many miracles involving lost people, lost things and even lost spiritual goods. He is also the patron saint for lonely spinsters, the poor, trees, fishermen, boatmen, sailors, shipwrecks, harvests, fish, mules, other animals,

“Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony, please come around. Something is lost and needs to be found.”

Born Ferdinand de Bulhom, the only son of a wealthy and influential astounded his family and friends by becoming an Augustine monk. He was expected to join his father at the court of King Alfonso II in Lisbon. He then moved farther from his family to Coimbra to study from the masters and escape detraction from family and friends and was eventually ordained.SaintAnthony1
Inspired by the Franciscan’s first five martyrs that were beheaded by the King of Morocco, Ferdinand transferred to the evangelizing Franciscan order with a promise to evangelize in Morocco as had his friends had tried. He changed his name to Anthony.

Unfortunately he became sick on the voyage and was immediately put on another ship to return home. That ship hit a storm and was shipwrecked. His poor luck continued and because of his poor health he was rejected by many monasteries eventually finding a poor rural hospice outside Bologna. He became a hermit in a nearby cave working only with uneducated brothers in the kitchen.

He rose to the status of Superstar through his power of oration. A group of Dominicans were visiting and Antonio – the most educated – was asked to speak. He apparently amazed the crowd and St. Francis reassigned him to travel preaching and teaching theology. Indeed he made over 400 trips from Italy to France and back; preaching and teaching to crowds sometimes more than 30,000 strong.

SaintAnthony2He became known as the “Hammer of the Heretics” and bodyguards were hired to keep the crowd away from tearing him apart. Churches and courtyards were overflowing with people; work and schools were closed.

Statue of St. Anthony with the book and Christ Child,

Church of San Pablo Mitla, Oaxaca

 

Spinsters prayer

The ritual is not consistent. One version is to take 13 coins of the same denomination and line them up on the base of a St Anthony statue. Walk around the statue 13 times and pray to St. Anthony.

Another custom guarantees that if a girl begs 13 centavos from 13 men, burns 13 candles and prays to St. Anthony on his day, she will get her hombre.

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