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Saint Anthony of Padua

He was born in Lisbon Portugal in 1195 and died at 36 in Arcella Italy in 1231. Had you pass St Anthony of Padua on the street you might not have noticed him. If you had you would not have been impressed short swarthy and pudgy he was quiet and reserved hardly the life of the party.  Had you heard him preach however you would have been mesmerized.  Even the animals listened to him.


He was known as the miracle worker. Upon exhumation, some 336 years after his death, his body was found to be corrupted, yet his tongue was totally incorrupt, (the flesh was found reduced to dust but the tongue uninjured, fresh, and of a lively red color), so perfect were the teachings that had been formed upon it.

The zeal with which St. Anthony fought against heresy and the great and numerous conversations he made rendered him worthy of the glorious title of (Hammer of the Heretics). Though his preaching was always seasoned with the salt of discretion, nevertheless he spoke openly to all, to the rich as to the poor to the people as well as those in authority. So simple and resounding was his teaching of the Catholic Faith, so that the most unlettered and innocent might understand it, that he was made a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946.

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

The Miracle Worker

The Resurrected Young man

In the city of Lisbon, while his famaily was still living, two families were enemies with them and hated them to death. A son of one of the families, a young boy, encountered the enemy of the family, who lived near blessed Anthony’s parents.
This merciless man grabbed the boy, took him home and killed him. Then entered into the garden of the Saint’s parents, dug a ditch,and buried the body.Because the boy was the son of a well known family, there was an investigation into his disappearance, and it was determined that the young boy had travelled through the enemy’s part of town. St Anthony’s families home and garden were therefore searched and the boy was found, buried in the garden. For this reason, the king’s executioner arrested Anthony’s father and everyone else in the house, for the assassination of the boy.Blessed Anthony, even though he was in Padua, came to know this fact through divine inspiration. That night, having obtained permission, he left the convent. While he walked during the night, he was transported miraculously to the city of Lisbon. Upon entering the city in the morning, he went to the executioner, and began to plead with him to acquit these innocent people of the accusation and set them free. But, as the man had no intention of doing such a thing, blessed Anthony ordered that the assassinated boy be brought to him.
Once the body was placed before him, he ordered the boy to rise up and say whether his relatives had killed him. The boy awoke from death and affirmed that blessed Anthony’s relatives were not involved. As a result, they were exonerated and released from prison. Blessed Anthony stayed with them all day. Then, in the evening, he left Lisbon and the following morning he found himself in Padua (Bartolomeo da Pisa 4,19-32).

Reattached a Man’s foot

A man from Padua called Leonardo, once told Father Anthony that he’d kicked his mother with such violence that she fell heavily to the ground.Father Anthony said deploringly: “the foot which kicks a mother or father, should be cut off straight away”. This simpleton, misunderstood and out of remorse rushed home and cut off his foot. The news reached God’s servant and he went to the man’s house straight away after an apprehensive, devout prayer, joined the cut off foot to the leg, making the sign of the cross. A miracle! As soon as the Saint had attached the foot to the leg, tracing out the sign of the Crucifix, passing his sacred hands gently over the leg, the foot became attached to the leg so quickly, that the man stood up happily, and began to run and jump, praising God and giving infinite thanks to the blessed Anthony, who had made him sound again in such a miraculous way.

Prayer to St. Anthony, Patron of Lost Items

Tony, Tony,
look around.
Something’s lost
and must be found!

You can substitute the name of the article you’re looking for my car keys, my wallet) for the word ‘Something.

It is thought that the reason for invoking St. Anthony’s help in finding lost or stolen things is traced back to an incident in his life. Anthony had a book of psalms that was very important to him.

A novice who had already grown tired of living religious life decided to depart the community. He took with him, Anthony’s book! Upon realizing his book was missing, Anthony prayed it would be found or returned to him. And after his prayer the thieving novice was moved to return the book to Anthony and to return to the Order, which accepted him back.

Legend has it the novice stopped in his flight by a horrible devil, brandishing an ax and threatening to trample him underfoot if he did not immediately return the book. The stolen book is said to be preserved in the Franciscan friary in Bologna.

Shortly after his death people began praying through Anthony to find or recover lost and stolen articles.

The Responsory of St. Anthony composed by his contemporary, Julian of Spires, O.F.M., proclaims, “The sea obeys and fetters break/And lifeless limbs thou dost restore/While treasures lost are found again/When young or old thine aid implore.”


For more in formation on St Athony please see

Saint Anthony of Padua

The Basilica of St. Anthony

New Advent Encyclopidia of Saints