Sunday, August 1

Padua Portuguese – Information



It is possible that some person could interpret this title as an incongruity, by uniting the gentilicio with which those born in the neighboring nation of Portugal are qualified, with that city in northern Italy, in the Veneto region, which celebrates every year their main festivities on June 13.

The union of Portugal and Italy, specifically between the cities of Lisbon and Padua, comes from the hand of a religious whom I call, “the Portuguese Saint of Padua.” Specifically with Saint Anthony, whose feast is commemorated on this day, and who in the neighboring country is classified as “Lisbon”, because it was his birthplace, back in the last years of the twelfth century, and that in the century called Fernando de Bulhöes. However, it is widespread that it is known as Padua, because of the place where he died, in 1231. This religious, as a teenager, joined the Canons Regular of San Agustín, and when the bodies of the first Franciscan martyrs arrived, Desiring to imitate them, he professed in their Order, in which once he moved to Italy, he increased his training by being assigned to preaching. Due to his quality as a theologian, over time he came to be venerated as a Saint and considered a doctor of the Church.

We are not surprised by what we pointed out that when professing in an Order, as in that of the Capuchin minors, the name and surname were changed in the century by which they would become known in it. We have several examples of this since the 16th century when they began to be called “Orihuela”, Fray Pablo and Fray Melchor in that century, and between the 19th and 20th centuries, we located Fray Francisco (who respected his first name and whose surnames they were Simón Ródenas), born in La Aparecida, bishop of Santa Marta in Colombia and who has been in the process of beatification for many years; Fray Eloy (Andrés Francisco Simón Gómez), Fray Jesús (Ángel García Gil) and Fray Honorio (Ramón Juan Costa), who was assassinated in the Civil War in the vicinity of Elche.

The devotion to San Antonio de Padua has been maintained for centuries by all branches of the Franciscans and here in Orihuela and in its district of Molins, it has remained. Let us remember the chapel that was built in Rabaloche, in what was the Capuchin garden, which was placed under a dedication and which was blessed at the end of the nineties of the last century by Bishop Victorio Oliver Domingo. And, in that neighborhood, for many years he has dedicated his parties to it, giving it an integrating character.

We are given to attribute special benefits to each saint, coming to consider them as a “lawyer.” In our case of the «Portuguese Saint of Padua», he has always been recognized as a facilitator in locating a lost object, even facilitating the encounter of love, which is why girls have resorted to him to find a boyfriend. Although, at the moment I do not believe that this conduit is followed much to find it.

The friar is also awarded his charitable side through what is known as “Pan de San Antonio” to serve those most in need. We remember a fragment of that 1955 film, directed by José Luis Sáenz de Heredia, called Histories of the Radio, in which a thief (Ángel de Andrés), a businessman (José Mª Lado) and a priest (Pedro Porcel) were involved. ), and that after a series of incidents, a thief every day went to a church with the belief that there was food in the brush, thus obtaining a loaf that the parish priest had left there.

The name of Antonio has been perpetuated in many families, as in mine in which we have been for four generations, and there are many Oriolanos or settled in our city or descendants of it, those who have appeared as his name on their identity card . Let us remember, among others, some have made history and are no longer among us: Antonio García-Molina Martínez, Antonio Pascual del Riquelme, Antonio Balaguer Ruiz, Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, Antonio Riudavets, Antonio Rodríguez Egío «El Macando», Antonio Roda López and Antonio Roca Cabrera. All of them carried in their life the name of the «Portuguese of Padua».

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