St. Anthony of Padua is the Patron Saint of Padua, of Portugal, and of San Antonio, Texas. Italian prayer cards depict him as the saint of "miracles," but he is most famous as the patron saint of finding lost articles, missing persons or just about anything! Those in danger of losing their souls are also placed in his care. St. Anthony traveled widely, and is petitioned for safety in travel. In Europe he is revered by seafarers who sometimes keep a statue of him on board ship. Saint Anthony is often shown as a young Franciscan holding the Christ Child, a lily symbolizing virginity, and a book, as Doctor of the Church. He died in Padua, Italy on June 13th, 1231, his feast day. He was named a Doctor of the Church in 1946.
Baptized Fernando Martins de Bulhoes in Lisbon, Portugal, to a wealthy, noble family, Anthony entered the Augustinian Abbey of Saint Vincent near Lisbon, studying Scripture and the Latin classics. After meeting five Franciscan monks who were martyred while preaching to the Muslims in Morocco, he asked to join the Franciscan Order and travel to Morocco. Later, he became a renowned preacher in Italy and was commissioned by the Vatican to create the "Sermons for Feast Days."