Anthony of Padua

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Fernando Martins de Bulhões, venerated as Anthony of Padua or Anthony of Lisbon, (c. 1195[1] – 13 June 1231) is a Portuguese Catholic saint who was born to a wealthy family in Lisbon, Portugal where he lived most of his life, and who died in Padua, Italy.

Contents

Early life

Fernando Martins de Bulhões, who later, upon admission into the Franciscan Order, would take up the name António (Anthony), was born in Lisbon to Martim Vicente de Bulhões and Teresa Pais Taveira (brother of Pedro Martins de Bulhões, ancestor of the Bulhão or Bulhões family), in a very rich family of the nobility who wanted him to become educated; however, these were not his wishes. His family arranged sound education for him at the local cathedral school. Against the wishes of his family, he entered the Augustinian Abbey of St. Vincent on the outskirts of Lisbon. The Canons Regular of St. Augustine, of which he was a member, were famous for their dedication to scholarly pursuits. Anthony studied Scripture and the Latin classics.

Franciscans

After his ordination, Anthony was placed in charge of hospitality in his abbey. In this role, in 1219, he came in contact with five Franciscans who were on their way to Morocco to preach to the Muslims there. Anthony was strongly attracted to the simple Gospel lifestyle of the Franciscan friars. In February 1220, news arrived that the five Franciscans had been martyred in Morocco. Anthony meditated on the heroism of these Franciscans. He wanted to obey God's call to leave everything and follow Him. Anthony obtained permission from his Augustinian superiors to join the Franciscan Order.

On the return trip to Portugal, his ship was driven by storm upon the coast of Sicily and he landed at Messina. From Sicily he made his way to Assisi and sought admission into a monastery in Italy, but met with difficulty on account of his sickly appearance. He was finally assigned, out of pure compassion, to the rural hospice of San Paolo near Forlì, Romagna, Italy, a choice made after considering his poor health. There he appears to have lived as a hermit and was put to work in the kitchen.

One day, on the occasion of an ordination, a great many visiting Dominican friars were present, there was some misunderstanding over who should preach. The Franciscans naturally expected that one of the Dominicans would occupy the pulpit, for they were renowned for their preaching; the Dominicans, on the other hand, had come unprepared, thinking that a Franciscan would be the homilist.

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