The Spanish celebrate the Feast of St. Anthony on June 13. Anthony of Padua, also known as Anthony of Lisbon, was a Portuguese Catholic priest and Franciscan Order friar. He was born in Lisbon to a wealthy family. He was one of the most quickly canonized saints in church history, canonized less than a year after his death, and was noted by his contemporaries for his powerful preaching, undying love, devotion to the poor and sick, and expert knowledge of scripture. On January 16, 1946, Pope Pius XII named him a Doctor of the Church.
History of Feast of St. Anthony (Spain)
Saint Anthony of Padua was a Portuguese Catholic priest and a Franciscan friar who was canonized in 1232 and designated a Doctor of the Church in 1946. Owing to his title as the patron saint of animals, Spanish celebrations include having holy water sprinkled on pets for protection. Pet owners line the streets of San Anton in Madrid to give their cats, dogs, and other furry friends this special treatment.
St. Anthony of Padua was born into a wealthy family in Lisbon, Portugal; his father was a captain in the King’s guard. He was appointed as a priest after being inspired by five Franciscan friars on their way to Muslim Morocco to preach the gospel. A few months later, he learned that the monks had been martyred, and he ended up joining the Franciscan order to follow in their footsteps, taking the name Anthony after Anthony the Great, one of the first monks known for his desert travels.
Anthony’s life was altered when he was almost unintentionally forced to deliver a sermon. This revealed his great gift for public speaking, and Saint Francis asked him to travel around Italy preaching the gospel, which he did. He converted a large number of people and became well-known for his sermons.
Many miracles have been assigned to Saint Anthony, who is also known as the “Saint of Miracles” or “Wonder Worker.” On May 30, 1232, Pope Gregory IX canonized him less than a year after his death. This is the second-quickest canonization in history.
Feast of St. Anthony (Spain) timeline
On August 15, Anthony of Padua is born.
Disturbed by frequent visits from family and friends, he requests to be transferred to the congregation's motherhouse, the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Coimbra, Portugal's capital.
After attending his order's general chapter in Arles, France, and preaching in the Provence region, Anthony returns to Italy and is ordained Provincial Superior of Northern Italy.
On January 16, Pope Pius XII names him a doctor of the church.
On June 13, at the age of 35, Anthony dies on his way back to Padua at the Poor Clare monastery in Arcella.
Feast of St. Anthony (Spain) FAQs
What is Saint Anthony famous for?
He was a popular preacher known for his simple yet profound teaching of the Catholic faith. He died on the way to Padua, where he was buried. Anthony was the most famous of St. Francis of Assisi’s disciples and was known as a miracle worker.
How many miracles did St. Anthony perform?
St. Anthony is credited with thirteen miracles. People around the world began paying attention to him as his reputation as a saint grew. The miracles further solidified his place in Christian history.
Why do people offer bread to St. Anthony?
St. Anthony’s Bread for the Poor is a way of emulating the saint’s selfless acts of feeding the hungry.
How to Observe Feast of St. Anthony (Spain)
Participate in the parade
In his hometown of Lisbon, celebrations begin in the evening with a parade of walking groups of singers and musicians down the Avenida da Liberdade. The festivities continue the following day with more processions and traditional dancing.
Some communities also have communal meals later in the day. Wine and paella (meat, fish, and shellfish with rice and saffron) are frequently served in pans four meters in diameter.
Proceed to the altar
Many people, especially in Spain, France, Portugal, and Italy, believe Saint Anthony of Padua will assist them in finding a romantic partner or spouse. As a result, single young people may pray at his altar or spend time sitting on his altar's steps in Ceuta.
5 Fascinating Facts About St. Anthony
A miracle worker
St. Anthony is recognized as one of the great miracle workers, healing the sick and raising the dead, but one of his most famous miracles involves a group of fish.
Fernando Martins was his name
St. Anthony’s original name was Fernando Martins de Bulhões, born to a well-established and wealthy family in Lisbon, Portugal.
Franciscan martyrs influenced him
Coimbra was home not only to the Augustinian Canons but also to the Franciscans, a new and growing order.
The Las Luminarias Festival is held the night before St. Anthony’s Day; the festival sees its participants race horses through flames.
St. Anthony's body was exhumed nearly 340 years after his death, as was common with saints, and his tongue, along with his lower jaw and vocal cords, is housed in a gold reliquary in Padua's basilica.
Why Feast of St. Anthony (Spain) is Important
The day broadens our spirituality
Celebrating the day aids in the development of our spirituality. Seeing how someone lived his life despite his encountered difficulties brings us closer to our spirituality.
It broadens our understanding
When holidays like the Feast of Saint Anthony the Apostle come around, we like to learn more about them. It influences our worldview and gives us a glimpse into other cultures.
It highlights the importance of good deeds
The Feast of Saint Anthony highlights the good that people do for others. While few people can do what Saint Anthony did, it is important to recognize those who can.
Feast of St. Anthony (Spain) dates