ANTHONY OF PADUA, SAINT (1195–1231), the most celebrated of the followers of Saint Francis of Assisi, was born at Lisbon on the 15th of August 1195. In his fifteenth year he entered the Augustinian order, and subsequently joined the Franciscans in 1220. He wished to devote himself to missionary labours in North Africa, but the ship in which he sailed was cast by a storm on the coast of Sicily, whence he made his way to Italy. He taught theology at Bologna, Toulouse, Montpellier and Padua, and won a great reputation as a preacher throughout Italy. He was the leader of the rigorous party in the Franciscan order against the mitigations introduced by the general Elias. His death took place at the convent of Ara Coeli, near Padua, on the 13th of June 1231. He was canonized by Gregory IX. in the following year, and his festival is kept on the 13th of June. He is regarded as the patron saint of Padua and of Portugal, and is appealed to by devout clients for finding lost objects. The meagre accounts of his life which we possess have been supplemented by numerous popular legends, which represent him as a continuous worker of miracles, and describe his marvellous eloquence by pictures of fishes leaping out of the water to hear him. There are many confraternities established in his honour throughout Christendom, and the number of “pious” biographies devoted to him would fill many volumes.
The most trustworthy modern works are by A. Lepître, St Antoine de Padoue (Paris, 1902, in Les Saints series: good bibliography; Eng. trans. by Edith Guest, London, 1902), and by Léopold de Chérancé, St Antoine de Padoue (Paris, 1895; Eng. trans., London, 1896). His works, consisting of sermons and a mystical commentary on the Bible, were published in an appendix to those of St Francis, in the Annales Minorum of Luke Wadding (Antwerp, 1623), and are also reproduced by Horoy, Medii aevi bibliotheca patristica (1880, vi. pp. 555 et sqq.); see art. “Antonius von Padua” in Herzog-Hauck, Realencyklopädie.