June 13, 2006

St. Anthony

Today is the feast of St. Anthony of Lisbon, or Anthony of Padua as he is more commonly known. Although he has become famous and popular for finding lost keys and such, he was one of the great preachers and itinerants of the first generation of the Franciscan movement. He was roughly contemporary with Francis himself, born only fourteen years his junior and living only five years longer.

He was also the first friar to teach theology to his brothers. It was an important moment in the history of the life of the order, and Francis wrote him a letter about it:

To Brother Anthony my bishop brother Francis gives greetings. It pleases me that you read sacred theology to the brothers, as long as, amidst this kind of study, you don't extinguish the spirit of prayer and devotion, as is contained in the Rule. (my translation)

A simple reminder for the conscience of any student.

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