The feast day of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria is celebrated on July 5.
St. Anthony of Zaccaria is known for beginning the devotion of Eucharistic adoration and founding the religious order of the Society of Clerics.
St. Anthony was born in Cremona, Italy in 1502 into a noble family. His father died when he was still an infant. His mother was 18 and chose to devote herself to charity and caring for her son. Anthony studied philosophy in Pavia and then medicine at the University of Padua. He returned to Cremona with a degree at the age of 23.
St. Anthony not only practiced medicine, he taught catechism and then began teaching adults. Eventually he decided to study for the priesthood. He was ordained at the age of 26. At his first Mass, he experienced the presence of angels around the altar and supernatural light during the consecration of the Eucharist. Many witnessed and testified about this event after his death.
St. Anthony was an eloquent preacher. It was the time of the counter-reformation which was begun after Martin Luther began the Reformation. He founded a priestly society the Clerics Regular of St. Paul to combat the corruption which surrounded him. They were inspired by the Apostle Paul and sought humility, poverty and preaching. Their society became known as the Barnabites named after the companion of St Paul…St. Barnabas. They were active at a well known church named St. Barnabas.
St. Anthony encouraged the “40 hours” devotion which involved continuous prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
St. Anthony died at his mother’s house in 1539 after he became seriously ill. He was only 36 years old. Thirty years after his death St. Anthony’s body was found to be incorrupt. He was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1897.
Jesus is happy to come with us…
as truth is to be spoken, as life is to be lived,
as light is to be lit, as love is to be loved,
as joy is to be given, as peace is to be spread.
Quote of St. Francis of Assisi; Feast day Oct. 4
July is the Month of the Most Precious Blood