On June 13, we will mark the Feast Day of St. Anthony of Padua. The gospel call to leave everything and follow Christ was the rule of St. Anthony's life. Over and over again, God called him to something new, and Anthony responded with renewed zeal and self-sacrifice.
His journey began as a very young man when he joined the Augustinians in Lisbon, giving up a future of wealth and power to be a servant of God. Later when the bodies of the first Franciscan martyrs went through the Portuguese city where he was stationed, he felt called to enter the
He set out to preach to the Moors, but an illness prevented him. Instead, he was stationed in a small hermitage in Italy where he spent most of his time praying, reading the Scriptures and doing menial tasks.
The call of God came again at an ordination where no one was prepared to speak. The humble and obedient Anthony hesitantly accepted the task. Prepared by years of prayer and study, Anthony's sermon was astounding.
Afterward, he became the first friar to teach theology to the other friars. Soon he was called from that post to preach and help convert those who had been misled by heresy.
In the spring of 1231 Anthony withdrew to a friary where he prayed and prepared for death.
On June 13, he became very ill and died at the age of 36 after receiving the sacraments. Anthony was canonized less than a year later and named a Doctor of the Church in 1946.
Let us follow St. Anthony's example of humility, obedience and self-sacrifice as we open ourselves to God's call on behalf of the most vulnerable.
Thank you for all you do and sacrifice for His children.