Saint Anthony of Padua background

Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church

Saint Anthony was the son of a wealthy Portuguese family in the 13th century. At fifteen, he joined the Canons Regular of St. Augustine at the Abbey of Saint Vincent and later, studied theology at the prestigious Abbey of the Holy Cross in Coimbra, Portugal.

In his role as guestmaster at the abbey, Saint Anthony befriended Franciscan friars who were soon to be martyred in Morocco. Inspired by their tragic heroism, he changed orders and became a poor Franciscan; initially following their evangelical trail but ending up sickly and spending the next chapter of his life in deep prayer and study. After his illness, God revealed his plan for Saint Anthony’s life and called him to preaching. His supreme gift took him all the way to the papal court, where he served under Pope Gregory IX and was commissioned to write a collection of his sermons. He was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946.

Written by Sarah Ciotti


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