Saint Anthony of Padua, whose birth name was Franciscan Thaumaturgist, was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1195, into a noble and religious family. A short, chubby man, Saint Anthony was a profound theologian.
Anthony's life-long desire was to bring conversions of Moslems to Christianity. At about the age of 25, Saint Anthony set sail to begin his ministry, but fell ill during shortly after arriving in Morocco and was forced to return home to heal; however, his ship was blown off course and Saint Anthony landed in Sicily. It was there that Saint Anthony discovered that he was also and brilliant preacher. Combining his skills with the gift of miracles, Saint Anthony was recognized as one of the greatest foes of herecies of his time. He converted many of these heretics, rich and poor, common and noble, to the faith, and was given the title "Hammer of the Heretics".
Many miracles have been attributed to Saint Anthony, most of them taking place in Padua (and thus his name). One of the most noted of the miracles concerned a young man by the name of Leonardo. One day, in a moment of uncontrollable anger, Leonardo kicked his mother. Truly repentant for this sin, Leonardo confessed to St. Anthony. Saint Anthony told Leonardo that the foot of a man who kicks his mother deserves to be cut off. Leonardo, taking these words to heart, returned home to amputate his foot. When Saint Anthony learned what happened, he immediately went to Leonardo and miraculously healed him.
Saint Anthony of Padua is venerated today as one of the greatest Franciscan Saints.