One of the most popular Christian saints of all time, Fernando Martins de Bulhões, better known throughout the world as St Anthony was born into an affluent family in Lisbon, Portugal. Since an early age, it was his desire to devote his life to God. Impressed by stories of how the Franciscan order was administering missionary work in Northern Africa, the young Fernando decided to mirror the lifestyle and teachings of St Francis becoming almost a mould of the Saint of Assisi himself.
Anthony became renowned for his sermons and pious devotion. Many miracles were attributed to him, including the phenomenon of bi-location. St Anthony is still performing miracles and attracting crowds centuries after his death in Padua.
The massive and majestic Basilica named after the Saint was built in 1232, one year after his death and consists of very different styles: Lombard, Tuscan and Byzantine style, while the eight cupolas and the two bell towers are more oriental. Saint Anthony rests in a splendid tomb in the main church while a selection of his relics rest in the treasury.
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