Our Patron Saint
Feast Day : June 13th
Patron saint of lost or stolen items
Canonized a Saint by Pope Gregory IX in 1232.
"Be just as God made you to be." ~ St Anthony of Padua
Saint Anthony of Padua is one of the Catholic Churches most well known saints. People often pray to Saint Anthony when they have lost or had an item stolen, and pray for its safe return. In many books and paintings, Saint Anthony is often shown holding a the Gospel, a lily or an infant Jesus.
Saint Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal, to a wealthy family and was called Fernando Martins. At the age of 15 he dedicated his life to God and joined the Order of St Augustine. When he was ordained a priest he joined the Franciscan Order and changed his name to Anthony. Having joined the Franciscan order, Anthony gave up all his possessions and dedicated himself the helping those in poverty and preaching the Gospel values, just as Jesus had done.
Anthony was known for his impressive sermons and he often spoke eloquently in an emotive way that was easy for all to understand. Anthony travelled often around Southern Europe and Northern Africa and his homilies and wise words were often listened to by many thousands. He visited Padua and preached there many times. This would result in Anthony talking about God in open fields and town squares.
Saint Anthony often carried with him a special book of Psalms that contained his notes to help him when teaching others about the Kingdom of God. On one occasion the book was stolen by a novice and Anthony prayed for its safe return. In the end the thief returned and gave the book back to Anthony. This was one of the miracles Anthony performed. This is why Saint Anthony is known as the 'Finder of Lost Articles' or 'Lost Things'. Many of the other miracles credited to Saint Anthony relate to him helping people or findings items that have been lost.
Anthony died in 1231 at the age of 35. He was canonized (made a saint) by Pope Gregory IX in 1232.
Legend has it that Saint Anthony was attempting to preach to a large crowd of people near a river, but the audience would not listen. Instead, Saint Anthony turned to the river and began to teach the fish about the Kingdom of God. People were amazed to see that the fish in the river had come to the surface and were listening to St Anthony. It was then that the people realised that Saint Anthony had important things to say and they began to listen. This is why St Anthony's school has the Christian fish symbol for its school badge