The Catholic saint, Anthony of Padua, also venerated as Saint Anthony of Lisbon, was born in Lisbon, Portugal, which was then a part of Spain, in 1195 A.D., and named Fernando de Bulhoes. He is one of the most beloved Catholic saints today, and he was much loved even in his own time. His fervent faith must have been apparent from a young age, for by fifteen, he had entered the Augustinian Abbey of St. Vincent at Lisbon against his well-to-do family’s wishes.
Then, in 1219, St. Anthony had a portentous meeting with five Franciscans who were on their way to preach to the Muslims in Morocco. The friars were martyred during their mission, and their mutilated bodies brought back to Spain where they were carried in solemn procession. St. Anthony was apparently very moved by the Franciscans’ sacrifice and their simple lifestyle. He asked his order for permission to join the Franciscans, and in the summer of 1220, received his habit. He took the name Anthony, after St. Anthony the Great.