There’s a little town in northern Italy named Padua. For many, it is a blip on the road between Verona and Venice, a inexpensive hotel room outside the more famous towns, or, at best, the home of famous art, architecture, and monuments.
But for pilgrims, it is home of Il Santo, the beloved son of Padua, St. Anthony.
Known for his expertise in finding misplaced car keys, St. Anthony should be more widely known for his preaching, his knowledge of Scripture and theology, and the sanctity of his life (that prompted the Church to canonize him less than a year after his death). His gift of preaching was so magnificent and brought so many to the truth, God preserved the physical instruments of the gift — Anthony’s tongue and vocal chords are incorrupt and visible in the church that bears his name (pictured above).
St. Francis was reluctant to have his priests study theology, fearing it would get in the way of the simplicity of their way of life and be an obstruction to their extreme poverty. His friendship with St. Anthony changed that opinion, and St. Anthony was given the task of educating the new Franciscans.
Instead of just using St. Anthony as a lost-and-found, celebrate his feast today by reading and praying the Sacred Scriptures.
I have no pictures inside the beautiful basilica because of the “no foto!” rules there. : )