St. Anthony of Padua is one of the most beloved and admired saints in the church. Because he was a prolific preacher and witness to the Gospel in his personal life, he is known as a great stewardship saint.
St. Anthony was born on the Feast of the Assumption in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1195 to a wealthy and educated family of the Portuguese nobility. He entered the Augustinian religious community at an early age where he devoted himself to the study of sacred scripture and Latin classics.
He joined the Franciscan Order when he was 26 years old and traveled tirelessly to preach what it meant to live according to the Gospel. He is believed to have made as many as 400 trips to towns in both northern Italy and southern France.
St. Anthony knew that preaching was not enough to help people understand how to live according to the Gospel. He believed he had to give witness to the Gospel by the way he lived his personal life. He adopted and maintained a simple lifestyle consistent with what he believed the Gospel was calling him to.
St. Anthony died in Padua, Italy, on June 13, 1231 at the age of 36. He was proclaimed a saint less than one year after his death. So simple, yet compelling and inspiring was St. Anthony’s teaching of the Catholic faith that he was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946.
Best known for his patronage of seekers of lost items, St. Anthony is commonly referred to today as the “finder of lost articles.” Few people know that he is the patron of many other causes including the poor and those who travel. His feast day is June 13.
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