Saint Anthony of Padua (St. Anthony of Padua) — is undoubtedly one of the most popular and widely venerated saints of the Catholic Church.
He was born about 1195 in Lisbon, in a noble family and received in baptism the name of Ferdinand. At age 15, he entered the monastery of the Order of Canons Regular of St. Augustine in Coimbra, where he received a solid biblical education, and in 1220 was ordained to the priesthood.
Then in the church of the Holy Cross in Coimbra were brought the remains of five Franciscan FirstMartyr who died for the sake of Christ in his mission to Morocco, where they preached among Muslims. It made the young priest's such a deep impression that he decided to become a Franciscan. In the community of the Friars Minor gave him the monastic name — Anthony.
After missionary trip to North Africa that Anthony had to cancel because of a serious illness, he went to Italy. Deep knowledge of biblical texts, eloquence and ability to attract the attention of the audience gathered at his sermon many people. In addition, he taught theology at Bologna, Montpellier, Toulouse and Padua, and became one of the first organizers of the education system in the Order. The last years of his life spent Anthony of Padua, where he died June 13, 1231.
Anthony left a memory of himself not only as a great priest, preacher and theologian, but also as a great miracle worker: the Lord performed through his numerous miracles to manifest His omnipotence, glory and mercy even hardened sinners and help them find the way of truth in reference to God.
Perhaps, there was a man who, once met Anthony, would have questioned his holiness. It is not surprising that it has been ranked by Pope Gregory IX canonized as early as 1232 — less than a year after his death.
Already in the 13th century, the faithful began to turn in prayer to Antony as a miracle worker and aide in attaining lost values ??(including religious), as well as a patron in family affairs.
At Padua the tradition of honoring the saint on Friday (the day of his death) and Tuesday (the day of burial). From the 17th century, the practice of "Tuesdays of St. Anthony" spread everywhere in the Church.
Since the late 19th century and has become a popular tradition (initiated in 1886 in Toulouse) gather in churches donations for the poor, called "holy bread Antonia. "
The veneration of Saint Anthony spread to the Russian lands — in present-day Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, where in his honor was erected dozens of churches and chapels.
Preserved evidence of veneration of St. Anthony, and among the Orthodox: he was drawn to the service of the Church Slavonic language (southern Russian missals end of the 17th century).
Commemoration of St. Anthony Catholic Church celebrates on June 13. His relics are kept in Padua, in the majestic basilica erected in his honor and has become not only one of the principal Franciscan spiritual centers, but also the world-famous shrine that is visited by millions of pilgrims.
The main attributes of St. Anthony on the icons are the book — a symbol of the Word of God and enlightenment and lily, symbolizing chastity. In addition, the iconography of Anthony largely reflects the events of the life of the saint: he is depicted as healing the sick, with a flaming heart or flames on the palm, while preaching to fish, with the Infant Jesus, preaching in the branches of the walnut tree, a miracle in the scene with the donkey, embarked on the knees before the Blessed Sacrament. Many great artists and sculptors dedicated to St. Anthony of his works.