One of the most popular saints of the Catholic Church, Saint Anthony of Padua was an influential preacher and teacher. Born in 1195 in Lisbon, Portugal, he was given the name of Fernando at Baptism by his parents Martin and Mary Bulhom.
We typically see images of him holding baby Jesus, a lily, or a book; or all three together in his arms. He is a wonderful example of what a Christian life ought to be. Known as the patron saint of the poor, of sailors and fishermen, of priests and travelers, a protector and guardian of the mails, and a wonder-worker, the life of St. Anthony of Padua is quite remarkable.
While we can glean much wisdom from St. Anthony’s exemplary life, the greatest takeaway we can realize is eternity lives in the life of the humble.
“How great is the kindness of God! How great is the dignity of the penitent! He who lives in eternity dwells in the heart of the humble and in the soul of the penitent! It is the mark of a truly contrite heart that it humbles itself in everything, reckoning itself no more than a dead dog and a mere flea.”
~ St. Anthony of Padua
Here are three lessons we can learn from the life of St. Anthony of Padua.
#1 – Have courage to face the ups and downs
St. Anthony is one of the best examples of taking each moment for what it is. Every moment is an opportunity for us to live according to God’s will. St. Anthony embraced each moment of his life as an opportunity to deepen his relationship with God, and in every unexpected thing life presented, he responded with love. He adjusted accordingly to unforeseen situations, such as receiving an invitation to preach, or even just tending to the needs of others. He chose to respond to the ups and downs with the belief and faith that it was divine promptings. In his willingness to say yes, he was successful in dedicating his life to following Christ. He is a wonderful example of the discipline of courage, trust and a humble love of God.
“We are formed by environment and grace, by politics and prayer, by church and conscience. All God’s creatures conspire to teach us as well. We stumble. We stutter. We rise. We are lifted.”
– St. Anthony of Padua
#2 – Be concerned with the needs of others
St. Anthony responded to God’s call, even with the knowledge that he could be martyred for his faith. However, God re-directed him out of the storm and through his illness; and he understood God had other plans for him. Through his submission to the Lord, Anthony became a vessel to save thousands of people as a missionary for Christ. When we submit and follow Christ’s plan for our lives and shift our focus to Him and others, we will live a fulfilled life.
“Actions speak louder than words; Let your words teach and your actions speak.”
– St. Anthony of Padua
#3 – Keep our feet solidly on the ground, fully trusting and depending on God
St. Anthony is beloved around the world. Throughout his life, he did things that pushed him outside of his comfort zone and into the realm of the miraculous. He was only able to do so because of his trust in God. He became known for his gift of preaching at a gathering for the ordination of Dominicans and Franciscans in 1222. The provincial requested a short sermon from one of the friars, at which no volunteers offered to speak. At just 27 years old, Anthony was called upon to give a simple sermon, With no prior preparation, he accepted the invitation. He believed that God, who ordained him for a time such as this, would provide the words to speak. He spoke with an unmistakable passion, and everyone in the group was quite impressed with his knowledge and speaking gift.
Anthony did not ask God questions. He didn’t waste time worrying about what people thought, he followed the Lord’s command. He trusted him and left the results up to him.
“If created things are so utterly lovely, how gloriously beautiful must be He who made them. The wisdom of the worker is revealed in His handiwork.”
– St. Anthony of Padua\n\n[/cs_element_layout_column][cs_element_layout_column _id=”5″ ][x_gap size=”50px”][x_button size=”large” block=”false” circle=”false” icon_only=”false” href=”” title=”Donate” target=”blank” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””]Be A Blessing Today![/x_button][x_gap size=”50px”][cs_element_text _id=”9″ ]Together, we can bring others hope, just like Saint Anthony of Padua did. FFHL has many programs focused on providing resources and economic relief to Christians in the Holy Land. Find out how you can help today.