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St Anthony of Padua

St Anthony of Padua

Born in Lisbon in 1195, Fernando de Bouillon was of a noble family related to the great founder and first sovereign of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.

At the age of 15 he consecrated himself to God in the Order of the Canons Regular of St Augustine. His relatives tried to persude him to leave, but to avoid that constant pressure, he asked to be transferred, and was sent to Coimbra.

His sanctity soon became evident through miracles.

One day he witnessed the return of the remains of five Franciscans who had been martyred in Africa. As a result he decided to join the Franciscan Order. St Francis himself appeared to him in a vision in 1220 and commanded him to leave. He was then sent by the Franciscans to Africa but returned two years later due to illness.

In 1222 he went to Forli to be ordained.

There this man who had been serving in the humblest offices of his community, now rose under obedience to preach for the first time to his religious. There he stood and spoke in all his sanctity and eloquence before his astonished brethren who eagerly drank in his every word.

Then for the next nine years he preached in France, Italy and Sicily, and many witnessed his miracles.

Known as the Saint who helps people find lost things, he has on many occasions helped me personally find lost papers etc in my office.

Saint Anthony died at the age of 36, on June 13, 1231, and was canonised by Pope Gregory IX on 30 May 1232, at Spoleto, Italy, less than one year after his death.

A prayer to Saint Anthony:

Dear St. Anthony, perfect imitator of Jesus, who received from God the special power of restoring lost things, grant that I may find (name your lost item) which has been lost. At least restore to me peace and tranquility of mind, the loss of which has afflicted me even more than my material loss. To this favor, I ask another of you : that I may always remain in possession of the true good that is God. Let me rather lose all things than lose God, my supreme good. Let me never suffer the loss of my greatest treasure, eternal life with God. Amen

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