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They had just died in Morocco while trying to preach the Gospel there. Their stories inspired Anthony, and he decided to give everything to Christ. He joined the Franciscan order and soon received permission to travel to Morocco and to preach there just as the martyrs had. Just as soon as he arrived, however, he fell ill for several months and had to return to Europe.

Jun 13 - Homily: St. Anthony, Learned Humilty

The boat he was on was driven off course by a storm and he landed in Sicily. He made his way to Assisi, where a large meeting of Franciscans was convening—a gathering open to all members of the order.

Reflection on St Anthony of Padua | Elphin Diocesan Website

Francis himself was present, though he was not in charge. Anthony kept to himself, and after that meeting, he was assigned to a place of retreat.

He spent his days in prayer and served other monks by washing dishes after meals. One day, Dominicans and Franciscans gathered for a celebration and large meal. Through a misunderstanding, no one came prepared to give an address, and Anthony was asked to speak to everyone gathered and to share whatever the Holy Spirit inspired him to say.

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His address astonished the guests—he was eloquent and zealous, and the substance of his remarks was deep and thought-provoking. He was immediately assigned to preach throughout the region, and converted many people, especially those who held distorted beliefs. He was very persuasive, had a passion for people, and possessed a resonant voice that carried well and was easy to listen to. He was short and round and had an attractive personality.

Saint Studies: St. Anthony of Padua Lessons and Activities

He was given the gift of miracles, which accompanied the words he spoke. The story of their martyrdom so inspired Anthony that he decided to become a Franciscan missionary. He asked and received permission to go as a missionary to Morocco. But Anthony was soon to learn a hard lesson. The goal he set for himself, and the goal God had in mind for him turned out to be quite different. Anthony had hardly arrived in Morocco when he became gravely ill and was forced to return home. As a missionary, Anthony did not preach one sermon, convert one Moor, lose even one drop of his blood at Saracen hands.

Anthony failed in the most cherished goal of his life. But his failure did not leave him bitter, cynical or filled with self-pity. He realized God had other plans for him.

Anthony saw failure as a kind of heaven-sent guidepost telling him that God was leading him in another direction. Failure in what Anthony considered the primary goal of his life, to be a martyr, turned into the vehicle by which he became the extraordinary saint that he is today.

Life in a Franciscan Hermitage In order to discover what God had in mind for him, Anthony went to live in a little Franciscan hermitage on the top of Monte Paolo for about one year. Long periods of solitude and prayer were interspersed with manual labor, such as cooking and washing dishes for the community.

Anthony then shared this gift of wisdom with others in his great ministry of preaching. Anthony delivered sermons before huge crowds in Florence and Padua, where he was later buried.

He showed deep concern for the common people, who loved him as their protector. Francis of Assisi. Francis wrote a short, personal letter to Anthony appointing him as the first Franciscan teacher of theology. Francis of Assisi and Anthony of Padua were contemporaries. Francis was born in Italy; Anthony in Portugal. Anthony died at age 36 on June 13, Francis died at the age of 45 in the year Anthony, not just for favors, but to learn the path of holiness of life.

Anthony modeled the great teaching found in the Book of Wisdom: Devotion to God is mightier than all else. When I was rector of St.