History of Universal Association of Saint Anthony
«You, Paduan, have a great Saint but it is not only yours. Look away: devotees of St. Anthony are there everywhere, to the most remote corners of the earth. Saint Anthony is the saint of the whole world»: this is how Pope Leo XIII addressed himself in 1880 to a group of Paduan people received in private audience. The Paduan priest Antonio Locatelli led them, who immediately saw the idea of a work that ideally united all the devotees of the Saint to spread their devotion, in a bond of prayer and charity.
A few years later, in 1886, Don Locatelli obtained from the Bishop of Padua, Msgr. Giuseppe Callegari, and from the Holy See the permission to found the Universal Association of Saint Anthony, which Pope Leo XIII himself praised and strongly recommended to all the devotees of the Saint. Two years later, he also founded the magazine "Il Santo dei miracoli", to be the voice of the Association and the center of unity of all supporters.
The aims of the Universal Association of Saint Anthony are:
- evangelization practiced on the example and with the help of Saint Anthony. Suffice it to consider the correspondence that the Association undertakes: there are hundreds and hundreds of answers that leave every month from Padua to the whole world to participate in the joys and more often to the concerns of those who write, to offer a little advice and to assure them a prayer.
- the charity. With one hand the Association receives and with the other gives: it is an uninterrupted current of solidarity that goes from the hands of many good people to those of many others no less good, in need of everything. The same Don Locatelli, just founded the Association, began to distribute bread to those who were hungry, spending what little he had of his own. And, as always happens in the miracles of charity, bread for the poor no longer failed: he had managed to touch consciences, to multiply the loaves. The Work of the Bread of the Poor, promoted by him in 1887, still assists hundreds of poor people today. And then there is the help, continuous and sure, to the unlucky brothers, to the guests of the House of Providence "Sant'Antonio" of Sarmeola (Padua), to those of the Casa del Fanciullo of Vicolo Santonini, to the nuns of the Monastery of the Vergin Eremite, to the guests of the "Mater Boni Consilii" House.
- religious culture. Deepening and spreading religious science is in fact one of the most opportune ways to honor the Saint of Padua, who was one of the most brilliant theologians.
The headquarters of the Universal Association of Sant'Antonio e and the editorial staff of the magazine "Il Santo dei miracoli" are in Padua in Piazza del Santo 2 and the distribution of the Pane dei Poveri takes place in Vicolo Saccardo 2.
The Universal Association of Saint Anthony is directed by a priest who acts as a representative of the Bishop of Padua, from whom the Association directly depends. All the members participate in the merits of the many good works promoted by the Association and enjoy the fruits of the holy Masses that are celebrated for them (and their dear departed) every day; they are also accompanied by the prayer of the Franciscan Eremite Sisters.
Those who support the Association commit themselves to live as true Christians, to recite a prayer every day in honor of St. Anthony, to contribute to the growth of the Association and its works of charity.
"Il Santo dei miracoli", edited by the Universal Association of Saint Anthony, is the first existing antonian magazine, having been founded in 1888, published in several languages, with the aim of spreading the knowledge of the life and thought of Sant 'Antonio. There are treated spiritual, cultural, social, family life and current topics.