Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest, Doctor: Wednesday 13th June. St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) was a Portuguese priest famous for his gifted preaching. He originally planned to join the Augustinian Order, but when he saw the bodies of the first Franciscans to be martyred for their faith, he was filled with an intense desire to become a missionary – and, he hoped, a martyr – himself. After joining the Franciscans, he preached to the Moslems of North Africa for a time, but a serious illness forced his return to Europe. Anthony attended an ordination at a monastery; through an oversight, no one had been assigned to preach. When it was hurriedly suggested that Anthony do so, he humbly but hesitantly obeyed – with amazing results. Anthony’s years of prayer, study of Scripture, and poverty allowed God’s Spirit to speak through him in a very powerful way. His unprepared sermon was a sensation, and for the remaining nine yeats of his life, Anthony travelled about preaching, correcting errors, and upholding the Church’s true teachings. His words had an impact on both the learned and the simple, and helped many return to the faith. A great Scripture scholar and theologian, Anthony was the first Franciscan to teach theology to the other friars. He died while still young, and was buried at Padua. St. Anthony was canonized the year after his death in 1231, and was later declared a Doctor (an eminent and reliable teacher) of the Church.