Our Patron Saint: San Antonio de Padua, (c. 1195 – June 13, 1231)

Born Fernando Martins de Bulhoes in Lisbon, Portugal to wealthy parents, he entered the Agustinian Abbey of St. Vincent in Lisbon where he studied scripture and Latin classics. Attracted by the simple lifestyle of the Franciscan friars, he obtained permission to join the Franciscan Order whence he took the name Antonio upon admission.

It was a preacher that Antonio revealed his supreme gift. At the Papal Court, where he served as an envoy of the Order to Pope Gregory IX, his preaching was hailed as a jewel case of the Bible. He died on June 13, 1231on the way back to Padua, Italy after suffering from an illness. It is said that when he died the children cried in the streets and all the bells of the churches rang of their own accord, rung by angels. It is also said that hundreds of sick people were cured during his funeral procession. He is buried in a chapel, and to this day his tongue is in a reliquary and is incorrupt although he is incorruptible. The tongue glistens and looks as if it is still alive and moist.

Antonio of Padua is known to have become the “quickest” saint in the history of the Catholic Church because he was canonized by Pope Gregory IX on May 30, 1232, less than a year after his death. He is particularly invoked in the recovery of lost things.

Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on January 16, 1946, San Antonio de Padua is sometimes called “Evangelical Doctor”.