June 13th Feast Day
Anthony of Padua or Anthony of Lisbon was born Fernando Martins de Bulloes on August 15, 1195 and died June 13, 1231. He was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order. He died in Padua, Italy, but was born to a wealthy family in Lisbon, which is where he was raised. St. Anthony is best known as the patron saint of lost things. Barren women also claim St. Anthony as their patron saint most likely because of his association with the Baby Jesus. There is a popular story that one night during St. Anthony’s lifetime the Baby Jesus visited him, kissed him and told him that He loved him. The story is so well loved that, aside from Mary, St. Anthony is the saint most often depicted with the Baby Jesus. St. Anthony is often shown carrying a lily as a symbol of purity, innocence and integrity probably because he was entrusted with the Baby Jesus.
St. Anthony had a special love for the poor and oppressed people which is in keeping with his beloved Franciscan tradition. Noted by his contemporaries for his forceful preaching and expert knowledge of Scripture, he was declared a saint almost immediately after his death and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church January 16, 1946.