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Saint Anthony of Lisbon and Padua, but also of Coimbra!

IMG_9590Saint Anthony of Lisbon, also known as Saint António of Pádua, born in Lisbon, between the years 1191 and 1195, a forthcoming Lisbon Cathedral Street where was later built the church in his honor. Baptized with the name Fernando de Bulhões, St. Anthony was educated within a noble family and he studied in what is currently Lisbon’s Cathedral. In adolescence he joined the Order of Canons Regular of St. Augustine in the Church of São Vicente de Fora, whose wealth of manuscripts in the library collections of natural science can explain the scientific references in St. Anthony’s sermons. Later he goes to the Monastery of Santa Cruz of Coimbra to deepen and improve his training. In Coimbra, at the time considered the intellectual center of Portugal, studied law, emersed deeply in Bible study and was ordained priest. It was during this period that St. Anthony met the first Franciscan missionaries who followed to Morocco to evangelize the Moors. When the bodies of these friars, killed in mission, returnen to Coimbra where they were honored as martyrs, St. António in demand of simplicity and introspection changes his birthname to Anthony, joins other Franciscans and began his own mission to Morocco. In the Monastery of Santa Cruz besides being buried the first two kings of Portugal – Dom Afonso Henriques and Sancho I – are also the remains of the Franciscan Missionaries who became known as the Martyrs of Morocco.

In his return, the ship was carried by winds to Italy where he befriends St. Saint Francis of Assisi and continues to invest in intense meditations and difficult subjects.

After the death of Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony was appointed provincial minister of Romagna and spent three years preaching religion, including in Pádua, for large crowds. It was then that he passed to the paper his sermons. In 1230, he calls for dismissal of his duties as Provincial to devote not only to preaching but also the contemplation of the monastery he founded in Pádua.

St. Anthony died on June 13, 1231 in Arcella, near Pádua. Pádua welcomed the body of the saint, buried it in the church of Santa Maria Mater Domini and became pilgrimage center. Devotees searched the help of the Saint and reported miracles. The Bishop of Pádua decided to ask the Pope Gregory IX for St. Anthony’s canonization what came to happen on May 30, 1232, eleven months after his death, and was the fastest process of church history. Later, it was built a basilica in his honor and the during the inauguration ceremony St. Anthony’s tomb was opened, having been noticed that his tongue was in good condition. Symbolizing his quality of preacher, the tongue was removed and put in a reliquary. The book name “St. António’s Sermon to the Fishes” by Priest António Vieira (religious, philosopher, writer and Portuguese speaker of the XVII century ), is inspired precisely on this quality. After having tried to preach the word to Catholic “heretics” in the Italian community, St. Anthony decided to preach to the fish once no one heard him.

IGREJA OLIVAISThere are many traditions and festivities that are associated with St. Anthony, one of the most popular saints in the world. Also known as the Saint Matchmaker, it is to him that young people should ask for a “love” to get married. In his honor, on June 12th, the St. António weddings are held, an initiative promoted by the Municipality of Lisbon. Several couples are married together and ceremonies are transmitted live on television for the whole country. We can’t forget the “arraiais” and popular marches that offer color and joy to the streets of Lisbon during the month of June. Tradition demands eating sardines and roasted peppers, corn bread and “caldo verde”. On the 13th of June – municipal holiday in Lisbon – there is a procession in honor of Saint António. In Pádua, the date of his death is celebrated with “Festa del Santo”.

In Coimbra we highlight the Monastery of Santa Cruz and Santo António dos Olivais Church, located in the largest Parish of Coimbra – Santo António dos Olivais, which in 1217 was transferred to the Franciscans who came to Portugal. Later, St. Anthony came to lead the Franciscan orders. Currently, the interior of the church is enriched with blue and white tiles of the century. XVIII, with allusive scenes of St. Anthony’s life.

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Hotel Oslo - Coimbra
Av. Fernão de Magalhães, 25
3000-175 Coimbra, Portugal
Tel. +351 239 829 071
Fax. +351 239 820 614
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