Saint Anthony of Padua, patron saint of lost and stolen articles, was a powerful Franciscan preacher and teacher.
Many people give alms to St. Anthony Bread in thanksgiving to God for blessings received through the prayers of St. St Anthony is beloved throughout the world and is responsive to all people and all needs. His intercessory powers before our God are awesome. Legends about Anthony abound.
Anthony was born in 13 years after St. Francis in Lisbon, Portugal and given the name of Fernando at Baptism. His parents, Martin and Mary Bulhom, apparently St anthony finder of lost things to one of the prominent families of the city.
At the age of 15 he entered the religious order of St. Monastery life was hardly peaceful for young Fernando, nor conducive to prayer and study, as his old friends came to visit frequently and engaged in vehement political discussions. After two years he was sent to Coimbra. There he began nine years of intense study, learning the Augustinian theology that he would later combine with the Franciscan vision. Fernando was probably ordained a priest during this time.
The life of the young priest took a crucial turn when the bodies of the first five Franciscan martyrs were returned from Morocco. They had preached in the mosque in Seville, almost being martyred at the outset, but the sultan allowed them to pass on to Morocco, where, after continuing to preach Christ despite repeated warnings, they were tortured and beheaded. He was overjoyed "St anthony finder of lost things" inspired to a momentous decision. True to their promise, the Franciscans allowed Anthony to go to Morocco, to be a witness for Christ, and a martyr as well.
But, as often happens, the gift St anthony finder of lost things wanted to give was not the gift that was to be asked of him. He became seriously ill, and after several months realized he had to go home. His ship ran into storms and high winds and was blown east across the Mediterranean. Months later he arrived on the east coast of Sicily. Still ailing, he wanted to attend the great Pentecost Chapter of Mats so called because the 3, friars could not be housed and slept on mats.
Francis was there, also sick. History does not reveal any meeting between Francis and Anthony. Now, like Francis, he had his first choice—a life of seclusion and contemplation in a hermitage near Montepaolo. As they gathered for a meal afterward, the provincial suggested that one of the friars give a short sermon.
Quite typically, everybody ducked. Anthony too demurred, but finally began to speak in a simple, artless way. The fire within him became evident. His knowledge was unmistakable, but his holiness was what really impressed everyone there.
Now he was exposed. His quiet life of prayer and penance at the hermitage was exchanged for that of a public preacher. In our experience, it could be compared to an evangelist arriving in a slum driving a Mercedes, delivering a homily from his car and speeding off to a vacation resort. Anthony saw that words were obviously not enough. He had to show gospel poverty. People wanted more than self-disciplined, even penitent priests.
They wanted genuineness of gospel living. And in Anthony they found it. They were moved by who he was, more than what he said.
Despite his efforts, not everyone listened. Legend has it that one day, faced with deaf ears; Anthony went to the river and preached to the fishes. Anthony traveled tirelessly in both northern Italy and southern France—perhaps trips—choosing to enter the cities where the heretics were strongest. Yet the sermons he has St anthony finder of lost things behind rarely show him taking direct issue with the heretics.
As the historian Clasen interprets it, Anthony preferred to present the grandeur of Christianity in positive ways. It was no good to prove people wrong: Anthony wanted to win them to the right, the healthiness of real sorrow and conversion, the wonder of reconciliation with a loving Father.
He had seen too many theologians taking pride in their sophisticated knowledge. Still, if the friars had to hit the roads and preach to all sorts of people, they needed a firm grounding in Scripture and theology. Anthony first taught in a friary in Bologna, which became a famous school.
The theology book of the time was the Bible. In one extant sermon by the saint, there are at least passages from Scripture. While none of his theological conferences and discussions were written down, we do have two volumes St anthony finder of lost things his sermons: Sunday Sermons and Feastday Sermons. His method included the use of allegory and symbolic explanation of Scripture.
Anthony continued to preach as he taught the friars and assumed more responsibility within the Order. In he was appointed provincial superior of northern Italy, but still found time for contemplative prayer in a small hermitage. Around Easter in he was only 33 years oldwhile in Rome, he met Pope Gregory IX, who had been a faithful friend and adviser of St. Naturally, the famous preacher was invited to speak. He did it humbly, as always. The response was so great that people later said that it seemed the miracle of Pentecost was repeated.