Confessor and Doctor of the Church
Anthony Padua (1195-1231), a native of Portugal, was inspired to enter the Franciscan Order on the occasion of the translation of the relics of the first Franciscan martyrs from Morocco to Coimbra. Anthony was soon assigned to Africa, but he had scarcely landed there when he fell desperately ill. After his forced return to Europe, his superiors discovered his marvelous power as a preacher, and with it his profound grasp of Sacred Scripture ( later Pope Gregory IX called him the "Ark of the Testament"). Under the guidance of St. Francis, he began his phenomenal preaching apostolate in Italy and France. Although his life offers no satisfactory explanation for his subsequent cult as the saint to be invoked for lost articles, his sermons certainly brought immediate results in reformed lives. Anthony died at the age of 36, and was canonized within the year.
Mass of a DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH, except
O God, let the Church rejoice on the occasion of the solemn commemoration of Your blessed confessor and doctor Anthony. May she always be protected by Your divine help so that her members may one day be worthy of eternal happiness. Through our Lord . . .
May this offering aid the salvation of Your people, O Lord, for whom You have willed to offer Yourself as a living victim in sacrifice; who lives and rules with the same God the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God.
Nourished with Your Divine Gift, O Lord, we ask that we may feel the effect of Your life-giving sacrifice through the merits and intercession of Your blessed confessor and doctor Anthony. Through our Lord . . .