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Article: June 13 + Saint Anthony of Padua

June 13 + Saint Anthony of Padua - VENXARA®

June 13 + Saint Anthony of Padua

The call to leave everything and follow Christ was the rule of Anthony’s life. Over and over again, God called him to something new in His plan. And every time, Anthony responded with a renewed zeal to serve his Lord Jesus more completely.

His journey as the servant of God began as a very young man when he decided to join the Augustinians in Lisbon, Portugal giving up a future of wealth and power to be a servant of God. When the bodies of the first Franciscan martyrs went through the Portuguese city where he was stationed, he was filled with an intense longing to be one of those closest to Jesus himself: those who die for the Faith. So Anthony entered the Franciscan Order and set out to preach to the Moors. But an illness prevented him from achieving that goal. He went to Italy and was stationed in a small hermitage where he spent most of his time praying, reading the Scriptures and doing menial tasks.

Once, when Anthony attempted to preach the true Gospel of the Catholic Church to heretics who would not listen to him, he went out and preached his message to the fish. This was not, as liberals and naturalists have tried to say, for the instruction of the fish, but rather for the glory of God, the delight of the angels, and the easing of his own heart. The citizens flocked to see this marvel, and Anthony charged them with the fact that irrational creatures were more receptive than the unfaithful, at which point the people listened to his sermons.

Anthony became sick with ergotism (poisoning from a fungus) in 1231, and went to the woodland retreat in Camposampiero with two other friars for a respite. There, he lived in a cell built under the branches of a walnut tree. Anthony died on the way back to Padua at the Poor Clare monastery at age 35. He was canonized less than a year later and was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946.

Upon exhumation of his body 30 years after his death, it was found turned to dust, but his tongue was claimed to have glistened and looked as if it were still alive and moist; apparently a sign of his gift of preaching. His tongue, as well as his jaw bone, are both displayed in the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua.

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