Saint Anthony : The Life Of St. Anthony

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St. Anthony was born in Lisbon in 1195 and was baptized "Ferdinand." His parents were of nobility. Some writers of the fifteenth century posited that his father was Martin Bouillon, a descendant of the famous Godfrey de Bouillon, commander of the First Crusade; and his mother, Theresa Tavejra, was a descendant of Froila I, fourth king of Asturia. However, this genealogy is unproven. Nevertheless, his parents were faithful and sought to hand their faith onto their son. He also was privileged to receive his early education at the cathedral school of Lisbon. At the age of 15, Ferdinand joined the Canons Regular of St. Augustine in Lisbon. Two years later, he transferred to the monastery in Coimbra to avoid the distractions from frequent visits of relatives and friends. During this time, he studied diligently and, being gifted with an excellent memory, he attained an excellent knowledge of theology, sacred Scripture and the Church fathers. In 1220, the five bodies of the first Franciscan Martyrs, who were martyred in Morocco at the hands of the Moslems, were returned to Portugal. They were brought to the Church of Santa Croce in Coimbra for burial where Ferdinand was stationed. Moved by their witness of faith in suffering martyrdom, Ferdinand also desired to preach the gospel to the Moslems and even give his own life for our Lord. To pursue this desire, he left the Augustinians and joined the Order of Friars Minor, the Franciscans, and took the name "Anthony." St. Anthony

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