His name was actually Fernando Martins from Lisbon, dove’era born 15 August 1195. He changed his name when, dressed in the habit of the Poor and was forever Franciscan. He changed his name because he changed lives. In fact, together with the Franciscan poverty adopted a different way of understanding and realize their consecration to God. Who knows how many times have you read or heard that St. Francis with the saints descend on earth, you make that next to people, especially to the one crushed by poverty and injustice.
Anthony had the air of combative when defending the poor against the bullies of his time. Eight centuries devotees feel the attraction towards him. His image inspires confidence. He has always been invoked for the ills of the spirit. Often it invokes the Holy even for the sufferings of the soul, the heart’s tears, the lost peace of the family. Diseases, today, can heal even the doctors. But the evil spirit? More than in the past, St. Anthony is the good angel whom we invoke as a comfort.