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HomeArticleThe History of Two Anthonys: Why Saint Anthony of Padua Named Himself After Saint Anthony of Egypt

The History of Two Anthonys: Why Saint Anthony of Padua Named Himself After Saint Anthony of Egypt

The History of Two Anthonys: Why Saint Anthony of Padua Named Himself After Saint Anthony of Egypt

Saint Anthony of Padua (left) / Saint Anthony of Egypt (right) / Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

 

Saints Anthony of Padua and Anthony of Egypt, pray for us!

 

 

Saint Anthony of Padua is one of the most popular saints in the Church—and not just for Roman Catholics, but for Eastern Catholics, as well as some members of the Orthodox Churches.

My Armenian Apostolic (Orthodox) grandmother asked Saint Anthony for help in conceiving a baby, so my mother and I have a strong devotion to him!

My other Syrian Orthodox grandmother was named after him, “Antoinette;” so we called her “Teta (Arabic for grandmother) Tuna” or “Tony.” There are a lot of “Teta Tunas” in the Near East because of this saint!

 

What most Roman Catholics do not know is that Saint Anthony of Padua took his name from another Anthony—Saint Anthony of Egypt!

Saint Anthony of Egypt, or “Anthony the Great” was a Christian monk from Egypt. He is the father and founder of the monastic movement.

The Faith thrived due to the monastic movement, and it was preserved in the East following Arab Islamic invasions.

The Faith spread and flourished in the West, in Europe, and also because of Saint Anthony of Egypt!

Saint Benedict of Nursia, the founder of the Benedictine order and the Western monastic movement, was inspired by reading “The Life of Anthony,” a book written by Saint Athanasius the Great.

 

Saint Anthony of Padua left his Augustinian order for the Franciscan order because he wanted to preach the Gospel to the Muslims in Morocco.

The desire to evangelize Muslims was shared by Saint Francis of Assisi, the founder of the order, when he traveled to Egypt to preach to the Sultan. So perhaps this is why Saint Anthony of Padua chose to name himself after Saint Anthony of Egypt!

Saint Anthony of Padua fell ill and was unable to fulfill his missionary dreams. Thankfully, he spent his remaining years teaching in Italy. His theological expertise led to his elevation as one of the now 37 Doctors of the Church in 1946 by Pope Pius XII.

 

Saints Anthony of Padua and Anthony of Egypt, pray for us!

 

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