Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak – St Anthony of Padua
13th June is the Feast of St Anthony of Padua, and at Joe Walsh Tours we would like to remember and honour the life of the Saint, also known as the Patron Saint of lost and stolen articles as well as being the Patron Saint of Padua and Portugal.
Who was St Anthony of Padua?
Anthony of Padua, originally named Fernando Martins de Bulhões, was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1195. He came from a rich and wealthy family who wanted Anthony to study and become a nobleman.
However, at the age of 15, Anthony decided to join the Augustinian Canons and soon after, he moved to Coimbra to join the Holy Cross Monastery where he studied Theology and was ordained a priest.
In 1220, moved by his passion for the simple and evangelical life of the friars, and inspired by the heroism of five friars who were martyred in Morocco, he entered the Franciscan Order and traveled to Morocco to preach to Muslims and be martyred.
En route to Morocco, he became very ill and had to travel back to Portugal, however, his ship was blown off course and he landed in Sicily instead. Due to his health he had to stay in Italy where he taught Theology and became famous because of his simple way to teach and spread the Catholic faith.
Anthony, also taught in the universities of Toulouse and Montpellier, in France and was important for the role he had as a preacher.
St Anthony died on the 13th June 1231, when he was travelling to Padua, where he is buried. A year later he was canonized by Pope Gregory IX and in 1946, Pope Pius XII declared him doctor of the church. Some of his famous writings are sermons for Sundays and feast days.
Why do we celebrate the Feast of St Anthony of Padua?
Today, Catholics celebrate the Feast of St Anthony of Padua to honour the Saint and all his accomplishments. He was known for his eloquent way to preach , that even impressed Saint Francis, one of his friends, as well as his vocation for the Catholic faith, always honouring and helping the poor.
During his time as a priest he helped to regulate a legislation to protect the poor, this is why Catholics also refer to him as Patron of the poor.
St Anthony is also remembered for his many miracles, including the sermon to the fishes, where Anthony was able to be listened by heretics who witnessed the approach of fishes to Anthony while he was preaching.
Where do Saint Anthony celebrations take place?
The Feast of St Anthony of Padua is celebrated all over the world, such as in America and Asia. There is of course a special celebration in the city of Padua with many pilgrims and visitors gathering in the piazzas to honour the Saint. The celebration includes fireworks, processions with the statue and the reliques of St Anthony and masses at the Basilica,
The Feast of Saint Anthony has also significant importance in Portugal, specially in Lisbon, birthplace of Anthony. The festival is also called San Antonio Festival or the Festival of Sardines, where many Portuguese and visitors gather to eat sardines and other typical meals and the a main parade is celebrated. The procession takes place at Avenida da Liberdade and here visitors will be able to see many people dressed in colorful costumes, musicians an dancers, all of them picturing their neighborhood in Portugal.
At Joe Walsh Tours we offer amazing pilgrimages to Italy, including Padua as one of our destinations, where pilgrims can visit the Basilica of St Anthony of Padua.
If you are thinking to join our Pilgrimage to Padua, do not miss our blog WONDERFUL THINGS TO SEE IN PADUA
See you on your next pilgrimage!