St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) is one of the most popular saints in the Roman Catholic Church. Commonly invoked as the patron saint of lost things (Tony, Tony, look around...), during his life he was a great friend of the poor and an influential preacher. He was revered as a saint from the moment of his death and canonized just 11 months later. He is also honoured as a Doctor of the Church.

His feast day is June 13.

Learn more about St. Anthony by exploring this website.

Salt + Light Documentary —
Finding Saint Anthony: A Story of Loss and Light

Directed and produced by filmmaker Edward J. Roy of J6 Entertainment in New York, this one-hour Salt + Light documentary explores the life of the thirteenth century Saint Anthony of Padua. A journey punctuated by moments of loss as young Anthony searched for the right path in life, which led to the courageous choice of total surrender to God’s plan for him.

Filmed in various locations in Portugal and Italy, the production of this film was made entirely possible through the generous financial contributions of the Longo family. They have dedicated the film to the memory of Rosa and Antonino Longo - who instilled not only a love of family, but also a solid foundation based on hard work, good values and a sense of doing the right thing, that guide and inspire their family’s legacy. The Longo family has a great devotion to St. Anthony of Padua and wished through this film to make his story known to contemporary audiences.

Catholic Focus: Finding St. Anthony

How can St. Anthony's story continue to inspire generations of believers? Join host Andrew Santos, as he looks at the life of one of the most revered saints in the Catholic tradition. He sits down in studio with Anna Marzilliano of Toronto and Fr. Paolo Floretta of Padua, Italy. This episode of Catholic Focus first aired in 2013.

A Short Biography of Saint Anthony of Padua

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1195 and named Fernando (Ferdinand) by his parents, he joined the Canons Regular of St. Augustine at the age of fifteen, though after two years in their monastery just outside Lisbon, he asked his superiors for permission to move further away from his family because he found they distracted him from his religious vocation.

At Coimbra he encountered members of the brand new Order of Friars Minor which had just been established under the leadership of Francis of Assisi. In January of 1220, five Franciscans were martyred in Morocco, and as their remains made the return journey through Portugal, they inspired Fernando, who joined the Franciscans that same year and adopted the name Antonio (Anthony).

In December, he arrived in Morocco intending to preach to the Muslims and/or achieve the glorious crown of martyrdom, but he fell ill, and the following spring, he was sent home to Portugal. However, the ship carrying Anthony met with stormy weather and found itself wrecked on the coast of Sicily.

From there he travelled up to Assisi to attend the legendary “Chapter of Mats”, after which he was assigned to the hermitage of Monte Paolo in the mountains near the city of Forli. He spent his time praying and humbly performing menial tasks. None of his brother Franciscans had any idea of his great intelligence and erudition – until they were all invited to an ordination Mass for a group of Dominican and Franciscan friars. Anthony was asked to preach, and submitting humbly out of obedience, he gave an impromptu sermon which amazed everyone who heard it.

For the next several years, Anthony travelled through northern Italy and southern France, teaching at centres of learning, like Bologna, Toulouse, and Montpellier, and preaching the truths taught by the Catholic Church. Because he was so successful in leading people to the truth in a time and place where the heresy of Albigensianism was causing many people to stray, he is sometimes called the “Hammer of Heretics”.

In 1227, he returned to northern Italy as provincial of the Franciscan order in that region, and in 1229, he moved to Padua.

Anthony was a man who always had compassion for the poor and the oppressed and who inspired others to do likewise. His preaching drew such large crowds – sometimes up to 30,000 people – that he often spoke outside since there were no churches big enough to hold the vast numbers that flocked to hear him speak.

In 1231, Anthony became ill. He had been living at Camposampiero near Padua. Knowing that he would soon die, he attempted the journey to his beloved Padua but died on the way at a place called Arcella. His last words were: “I see the Lord!” It was Tuesday, June 13, 1231.

Quotes from Saint Anthony of Padua

Blogs on Saint Anthony of Padua

Deacon-structing Doctors of the Church, part 5
We continue exploring Doctors of the Church with Peter Canisius, John of the Cross, Robert Bellarmine, Albert the Great, Anthony of Padua, and Lawrence of Brindisi. more
10 inspiring quotes from St. Anthony of Padua
St. Anthony of Padua was known for many things, including his preaching. Here are 10 inspiring quotes from St. Anthony to celebrate his feast day. more
St. Anthony of Padua and the value of shipwrecks
Read this reflection on the life of St. Anthony of Padua and his example of holiness during a time of sickness and shipwreck. more