Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria
1502, Cremona, Lombardy, Italy-July 5, 1539, Cremona, Lombardy, Italy
Born to a patrician family. His father Lazzaro died when Anthony was two, and his mother, Antonia Pescorali, widowed at age 18, devoted herself to her son. He studied medicine at Padua, receiving his doctorate at age 22. Work as a physicians to the poor in Cremona, Italy, he felt called to the religious life. He bequeathed his inheritance to his mother, worked as a catechist, and was ordained at age 26; legend says that angels were seen around the altar at his first Mass.
Noted preacher and an excellent administrator. In Milan he established the congregations, the Society of Clerics of Saint Paul (the Barnabites) for men religious, and the Angelics of Saint Paul for uncloistered nuns. Helped introduce the Forty Hours’ Devotion. These groups helped reform the morals of the faithful, encouraged laymen to work together with the apostolate, and frequent reception of Communion. While on a peace mission, Anthony became ill and died at his mother’s house; tradition says that in his last moments he had a vision of Saint Paul the Apostle.
Beatified in 1849 by Pope Pius IX
Canonized May 27, 1897 by Pope Leo XIII
Source: Patron Saints Index