Prem Nagar

Antony of Padua is a honored all over the world. He was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1195 and was named Ferdinand. He took the name Anthony when he entered the Franciscan Order. His father was a knight at the court of King Alfonso II of Portugal. Ferdinand was sent to the cathedral school of Lisbon. At fifteen he joined the Canons Regular of St. Augustine. After two years he requested to be transferred to the distant city of Coimbra, to avoid the frequent visits of relatives which he found disturbing. He studied at Coimbra for eight years and became a scholar in Scripture and Theology. Ferdinand deeply affected by martyr of five Franciscan monks in Morocco, forced him with zeal of Christ. He left the Canons Regular and received the Franciscan habit in 1221, and took the name Anthony. After a period of prayer and penance, he obtained permission to go to Morocco, but soon after reaching there he became ill and was obliged to return. While returning, a storm drove his ship to Messina in Sicily. There he joined the Franciscan brethren in Italy. He participated in the Chapter of Portiuncua in Assisi in 1221 and met St. Francis there. He died on 13 June 1231.

St. Anthony's love for knowledge of Sacred Scripture, his courageous commitment to truth, goodness and justice, and his kindness to and concern for the poor and the suffering demand our attention and admiration. His ideal of faithfulness to the Gospel and his zeal for bringing erring persons back to the right path are certainly worthy example for us to imitate. Let us ask St. Anthony to pray for the grace that we need in order to follow Christ with love and loyalty as he did.