Statue Relocation

The statues of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Anthony of Padua, which had been in the welcome area of the former St. Anthony-on-Hudson Seminary,found a home in the cortile of our Shrine of St. Anthony, in Ellicott City, MD. This statue will be blessed on the Feast of Saint Anthony June 13, 2017 following the noon Mass. The friars of the Shrine invite you to come and celebrate, then stay for a free cookout.

St. Anthony of Padua was born in Lisbon in 1195 (13 years after St. Francis of Assisi) and was baptized – Ferdinand. His parents were influential and were therefore able to provide him with a quality education. Ferdinand was pious and prayerful which put him at odds with his family who wanted him to achieve worldly success, yet he only wanted to answer God’s Call. At the young age of 15, he left his home to live in the Augustinian Abbey of St. Vincent, outside of Lisbon; an Order well known for scholarly and intellectual prowess. As an Augustinian, his intellectual formation flourished, when he could find peace. Often his studies were interrupted by visits from family and friends, as he was so close to “home.”
His superiors agreed to his transfer to the Augustinian Abbey of the Holy Cross in Coimbra, Portugal; too far for family and friends to regularly travel. There he found the peace needed to continue his studies. He was ordained to the priesthood as an Augustinian, at the age of 25, and placed in charge of hospitality for the abbey, affording him the opportunity to meet and be inspired by 5 followers of St. Francis (soon to be martyrs) who were on their way to preach to the Muslims in Morocco (1219). The willingness of these Franciscans to live the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ unto death, drew Ferdinand to obtain permission from his superiors to join the Franciscans.
He was invested with the Franciscan habit and studied the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi, assuming the name Anthony (the hermit St. Anthony of the desert to whom the Franciscan hermitage was dedicated).  Although wishing to follow in the footsteps of the Franciscan Moroccan Martyrs, several deterrents led to his eventual visit to Assisi, where on the feast of Pentecost (1221) he joined thousands of Franciscan friars gathered from all over Europe for the Chapter of Mats. It was there that Anthony was able to listen to the teachings of Francis first hand, and he was consoled by Francis’ presence and message. Anthony served as a friar for several years before actually speaking with Francis. Even though Francis felt a spirit of prayer and devotion was more important than work, study or preaching, once some of the friars realized Anthony’s vast knowledge, Francis granted Anthony permission to teach Theology to the friars (1224), with the warning to keep close the words of the Rule and “do not extinguish the Spirit of prayer and devotion” while proceeding with Theological studies.
Eventually Anthony was commissioned by Francis to preach everywhere. By the time Anthony was 36 years old, he had traveled thousands of miles in his missions and he had preached to countless thousands of the faithful.