St. Anthony of Padua was a Franciscan monk and a popular preacher in Italy in the 1200s. Born in Portugal, Anthony left his homeland after deciding to become a missionary. He spent a brief time in Morocco, but illness forced him to return to Europe. Settling in Italy, he became a follower of St. Francis of Assisi.
Anthony was noted for his skill as a preacher, for his profound knowledge of the Bible, and for the many stories of miracles that grew up around him. In one such legend, a group of heretics refused to pay attention to him when he was preaching, so he went to the water and spoke to the fishes. The fishes held their heads out of the water and listened closely, which turned the heretics into believers.
heretic person whose beliefs are con trary to church doctrine
Anthony is the patron saint of Portugal as well as of the Italian city of Padua, where he is buried. He is traditionally called on for help in locating lost property.