The history of Catholic Christian tradition encompasses the lives of hundreds of saints and holy people from as early as before the life of Christ. Although the saints make up only a portion of the history on which the Catholic tradition is grounded, they are good examples of ways in which the Catholic community connects itself to heaven and to the history of their tradition. Saints in the Catholic tradition are viewed as holy or life-producing, having devoted their entire lives to the betterment of others", and they are prayed to by Catholics in lieu of both common and uncommon everyday needs. St. Anthony, Patron saint of the poor, of those people whose lives seem up-rooted or misdirected, and of finding lost objects, is a good example of the devotion required to achieve the holy initiation into sainthood.
St. Anthony was born in Portugal in 1195 A.D. He attended a cathedral school in Lisbon as a boy, but at age 15, Anthony joined the Canons Regular of St. Augustine, a holy order. He soon after moved to Coimbra, near Lisbon, and for the following eight years he devoted himself entirely to the studies of theology and scripture. At the age of 26, Anthony left the Augustinian order and joined a Franciscan order, after witnessing the return of five Franciscan protomartyrs, whose headless and mutilated bodies had been brought to St. Anthony's monastery on their way back for burial -- St. Bernard, St. Peter, St. Otho, St. Accursius, and St. Adjutus -- who shed their blood for the Catholic Faith in the year 1220, in Morocco, in North Africa, had all met Anthony at a younger age, and their deaths strongly influenced his desire to leave the Canons regular of Augustine, and pursue his own life as a missionary and a martyr (Catholic Online). .
After joining a Franciscan order in Italy, Anthony was granted an opportunity to mission in Morocco, but he was forced to return home early due to the severe illness known as malarial fever.