Saint of the Week- June 22, 2011: St. Anthony of Padua

 

Saint of the Week: St. Anthony of Padua, Patron Saint Against Infertility (June 13)

The saint who is the namesake of San Antonio, Texas.

He was baptized with the name “Fernando” in Lisbon, Spain in 1195. While his parents wanted him to become a nobleman, Fernando instead pursued the priesthood. He was ordained at only 25 years old, which is much earlier than the Church prescribed at the time – 30 years old.

He left the Augustinian monks to become a follower of St. Francis. Invested as a Franciscan friar, he earned a new name: “Antonio.”

Anthony quickly became famous for his extraordinary preaching, his devotion in offering the sacraments to people, and the seemingly countless miracles which God granted through his remarkable talents and passionate faith. He died aged 36.

St. Anthony’s patronage against infertility and of expectant mothers comes mainly from his loving interaction with the Infant Jesus during prayer. Thus, he is often pictured holding the Christ Child in his arms. He was also one of the greatest miracle workers in Church history; his canonization process took less than twelve months – one of the fastest ever recorded.