Saint Anthony as Francis was fascinated by war-time life and attracted by the easy life that was permitted by the social position of his family.
The young Anthony, as it was for Francis, came the call of God Young received this call and immediately turned into the path that led him to follow Jesus Christ.
Saint Anthony of Padua
He left the palace of the family to get rich first Abbey of St. Vincent at the Canons Regular of St. Augustine and then in another in Coimbra. In this monastery drew on religious education, a deep knowledge of Scripture. After completing school, he was ordained priest at age twenty.
From the bottom of his heart craved the young Anthony to a new life, where faith, total abandonment to God, could act with full force.
From Morocco arrived in Coimbra relics of five Franciscan missionaries beheaded after suffering cruel tortures, were placed in the Church of the Holy Cross Abbey, where he was attached Anthony. While revered martyr, saw the followers of Francis, who had accompanied the bodies, dressed poorly, exhausted and emaciated by hardship for the long journey, but sent in their simplicity, an ardent faith. Anthony was so fascinated by the Franciscan world for their poverty, their mere brotherly love, but especially for their ardent faith.
Since then arose in his heart to embrace the life of those poor to give himself completely to God one day, while Anthony was celebrating Mass, he saw a monk in a vision that immediately turns into a bird, soared passed quickly the flames of purgatory to hurl skyward. Anthony immediately realized that the fastest way to reach the Kingdom of God was the path taken by the Franciscans.
His wish came true when some Franciscan Abbey at the door asking for alms, they revealed the aspiration to join the Franciscan movement: it was accepted and wore the Franciscan habit. Anthony, inflamed by the love of God, he dreamed of being subjected to martyrdom as a missionary, as he carried the word of God in Morocco, but God had other plans. He obtained permission for the mission, but just landed in Morocco was seized with a serious illness, had thus fit on a couch in the dark and chatter for malaria. He had at this point, surrendering to God's will that led him on roads that our Saint would never have thought to go.
During the return voyage the ship was driven by contrary winds swept the coast of Sicily. Sick and disappointed, Anthony went to Assisi and St. Francis met there, the poor man was able to give back the peace force to that unknown disciple.
During priestly ordination was lacking the preacher designated as the Superior invited to replace Anthony. Talent appeared in its entire splendor as did a sermon so fervent that enchanted the present. From that day he was sent to bring to people the good news of the Gospel.
Anthony poured fiery love that dwelt in her heart in sermons, and his word was so hot to ignite the faith in these. Exalted their souls. Exhorted to purify them. Li urged to pursue virtue through the exercise of evangelical poverty of spirit, meekness, humility and chastity. His teaching was based on his experiences, called upon to be constant exercise of prayer practice is essential to obtain from God the necessary help to eradicate vices.
Thieves, loan sharks, greedy, sinners of all kinds were invited to conversion, to act according to the teachings of the Gospel, to trust in God not to suffer eternal destruction. With extraordinary eloquence Anthony could enchant the crowds who came, so he spread the true faith and not only defended the weak, to comfort the afflicted and inflamed for Christian ideals.
Anthony used all the scientific instruments then known to delve even deeper knowledge of the truth. He managed to draw wisdom from the Holy Scriptures, the apostolic strength, hope and a fervent charity.
His love for Jesus was such a glimpse over the Eucharist. His frequent visits to the shrine made it ever more vigorous in faith and hope in the sample. Love and God rewarded his faithful servant working through him many miracles. Anthony did a credible witness. Soon proved an able performer of miracles, healings sometimes occurred at the touch of his habit.
Time was precious for Anthony and did not lose any time in occupations that were not for the glory of God in its teachings were always urge them not wasting this valuable asset that if properly used could not bear much fruit.
Time of the encounter with the Lord, Anthony exhausted but lucid, he wanted to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, Holy Eucharist, the oil of the sick. Then, in a feeble voice sang the hymn to the Virgin. With shining eyes the Holy staring straight ahead. "What do you see?" Asked Brother Luke. "I see my Lord" murmured the dying. The agony was brief, the mild and peaceful transition. Was dying at thirty-six one of the greatest apostles of Christ.
In this sample of humility, faith and extraordinary exceptional virtue one can not see the elect of God, the son who loved every minute of his life has gone to spread the love and the word of God.
Anthony had never spared tirelessly preached, taught, confessed, often arrived at dusk without being able to take food, because much was the crowd that flocked to hear him.
A halo surrounding the miracle of his person, the consideration and esteem for him was so large as to be already considered holy. Anthony possessed remarkable qualities of reliability and balance, resulting from its inherent wisdom and knowledge.
Devotion to St. Anthony of Padua has spread worldwide. Today, as before, many are the faithful who come to him for his intercession to invoke it as "sweet consolation of the poor".
Despite the profound cultural changes have occurred in recent decades, time has not eliminated it appears so bright that continues to fascinate thousands of devotees around the world through his holiness.
Indeed, the cult in St. Anthony is gradually increased until it became a worldwide cult, which has exceeded the boundaries of the Catholic Church. Today there's people who do not know, there is no believer who does not worship a particular devotion which is a unique phenomenon, a mystery.
A special invitation
If you want to come to this joy and acquire the virtues, listen to Jesus' invitation: "All you will ask faithfully in prayer, you will get it" (Mt 18,20). In fact, without prayer, no spiritual journey is possible, nor can we follow the footsteps of Jesus our Savior.
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