5 Things Everyone Should Know About St. Anthony

St. Anthony is quite the saint to find and once you do you will never let him go.

While this saint is known for finding lost objects – he’s on most Catholics’ prayer speed dial — there’s a lot more to this humble friar whose feast day we celebrate on June 13 – the anniversary of his death 793 years ago.

St. Anthony is very real to Catholics. He’s easily one of the most famous saints who shows us how the doctrine of saintly intercession works. His life is filled with astonishing miracles.

Here’s 5 Things You Should Know About St. Anthony!

He Taught People They Were Stubborner Than Mules

At a time when belief in the Eucharist is at an all-time low for Catholics, we should remember the miracle St. Anthony did at Toulouse, France.

This great city denied the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. St. Anthony led several public debates to explain the Eucharist but to no avail. One day the people demanded a miraculous proof, challenging the saint that if one man’s mule would bow down: “Before what you call the Body of Christ, I will believe”.

The mule was starved for three days without food and was given a choice between a bag of food or St. Anthony’s commands. St. Anthony celebrated Mass and then processed with the Blessed Sacrament. Meanwhile, the hungry mule was brought out.

Anthony called out, “Mule! Come here and show reverence to your Creator!” At once the animal came towards Anthony and bowed its head and knees before the Sacrament, ignoring the sack of feed. The owner of the mule and many heretics were reconciled to the Church that day.

His Tongue is Incorrupt

Before anything else, St. Anthony was renowned for his wondrous preaching that caused conversions and miracles.

There’s a feast just around his tongue— that’s celebrated at the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy.

While the body of St. Anthony had completely decomposed, his tongue was found in perfectly good condition. The holy tongue was then separated from the other remains, alongside his jawbone and his left forearm. All these relics are preserved in reliquaries for veneration within the basilica.

Baby Jesus Appeared to Him

St. Anthony poured himself out for God but by 1231 the many journeys he had made and the many illnesses he had suffered took their toll.

This did not stop the crowds who clamored for his attention for preaching and hours of confession.  St. Anthony went to a nearby town to rest and stayed in a treehouse that Count Tiso had built for him in a walnut tree, according to the Basilica of St. Antony’s website.

A powerful light was seen by Count Tiso who feared it was a fire. However, he saw St. Anthony in ecstasy embracing the Baby Jesus. St. Anthony begged Tiso not to tell anyone. Tiso respected the saint’s wishes until after his death.

St. Francis Told Him to Preach

St. Francis and St. Anthony did meet. They were the best-known preachers in the 1200s. While St. Anthony was part of the Franciscan Order, he did not live with St. Francis.

However, when St. Anthony participated in the General Chapter of Mats, celebrated in Assisi in May 1221 he heard St. Francis preach.

Also, St. Francis miraculously appeared at the Chapter of Arles, while Anthony was holding a sermon for the monks on the theme of the cross. There is also a letter that St. Francis sent to St. Anthony, between 1223 and 1224, authorizing St. Anthony to teach theology to the friars. The letter gives St. Anthony some advice too, exhorting him that “teaching does not come at the expense of prayer.”

He Brought People Back to Life

St. Anthony raised several people from the dead – especially children.

However, his first miracle of raising the dead was in Lisbon, Portugal of a little boy named Parrisio. Parrisio went on a boat trip and didn’t tell his parents. A violent storm capsized the boat and he drowned. The distraught mother prayed to St. Anthony promising that she would consecrate Parrisio to the Franciscan Order if he was brought back to life.  On the third day, in front of his parents and relatives, the boy suddenly awoke as from a deep sleep.

The prayers to the Lord, through the intercession of St. Anthony, had been answered. Parrisio entered the Franciscan Order when he was older, telling his fellow friars this amazing tale of his life.


In honor of St. Anthony’s Feast Day here is a free bookmark for your prayer books! It’s one of the most powerful prayers usually prayed by the Franciscan Order.



Image Source: Wiki Commons: The Chapel of Relics at the Basilica of St. Anthony in Italy
Article Sources: the Basilica of St. Anthony.