Hymns for the feast of St. Anthony of Padua (13 June)

This is a selection of hymns for the feast of St. Anthony of Padua, which observed on 13 June each year.

The hymn suggestions below are either directly about Anthony, or based on the themes from his life and ministry.

The list is divided into two parts:   free-use materials that can be freely used with no concerns about copyright (because they are in the public domain), and hymns that may still be copyright depending on the laws in your country.

If you know any other hymns which should be added to either list, please leave a message in the Comments box at the bottom of the page.

About St Anthony of Padua

Fernando Martins de Bulhõe  (1195–1231) was born in to wealthy parents in the city of Lisbon in Portugal.   When he was fifteen he went to study in the Abbey of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, where he learned theology and Latin and prepared to become a Roman Catholic priest.  After he was ordained, he became guestmaster and so was responsible for the abbey's hospitality.

He heard that some Franciscan friars had started a new order in a hermitage near Coimbra dedicated to Saint Anthony of Egypt.  Eventually he got permission to join them, and when got there his name was changed to Anthony.

He travelled to Morocco as a missionary, but became sick and was sent back to Portugal,  His ship was blown off-course, and eventually made landlall in Sicily.   Anthony travelled to Tuscany and was assigned to the hermitage of San Paolo, where he prayed, studied and recovered.

Some time later, a group of Dominican friars visited the Franciscans and there was confusion over who would preach:  each group assumed the other was preparing a sermon.  Eventually the head Friar asked Anthony to speak, without preparation, about whatever the Holy Spirit told him to say.   Anthony delivered a homily which impressed both groups.  News of his eloquence reached Francis of Assisi. 

He was assigned to preach in northern Italy, and he had great success in converting heretics, which saw him referred to as the "Hammer of Heretics".   He made the city of Padua his personal home and the centre of his preaching work.

He died aged 36 in the Poor Clare convent at Arcella, where he was taken after becoming ill.   The whole of Padua city turned mourned his death.  He was canonised as a saint less than one year later, and declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946.

There are many stories and customs associated with St Anthony of Padua and his holiness:
  • He was buried on a Tuesday and many miracles accompanied his funeral - so it became customary to pray a Novena to him on thirteen consecutive Tuesdays.
  • Pope Leo the 13th referred to him as “The saint of the whole world”
  • A mother in Padua found her child headfirst in a tub of water, apparently having drowned. She vowed that if the child lived, she would donate bread equal to his weight to the poor. Her prayer was answered, leading to the tradition of St. Anthony's Bread.
  • When Anthony was responsible for the studies of a group of Franciscian friars, he had a book of psalms with teaching notes:  this was before printing press and such a book was of great value.  A novice who left the hermitage, stole the book. When Anthony discovered the loss, he prayed it would be found or returned.  The thief returned the book and returned to the friary himself - and established Anthony's role as patron saint of finding lost things.
  • They lily is seen by many people as a sign of St Anthony and his purity.   Some say that this is because his feast is in June when they are in flower in the northern hemisphere, and because of two incidents well after his death when lilies were placed in statues and stayed fresh for far longer than expected.


First: Isaiah 61:1-3d The spirit of the Lord is upon me ... proclaiming a year of Jubliee

Psalm 89 - For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.

Gospel: Luke 10:1-9 - Jesus appointed 72 other disciples and sent them out in pairs: the harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few.

Free-use hymns

Anthem to St Anthony

Hymn to St. Anthony of Padua - Nichifor (ref)

If Great Wonders Thou Desire-st

Lo the Lilies of the Field

O Gloriosa Domina   (reportedly Anthony's favourite hymn)

O Glorious Lady Thron’d In Rest (English translation of O Gloriosa Domina)

Hymns which may still be copyright

Consider the Lilies - Helphill

Hymn to St Anthony - DeCesare  (ref)

Hymn to Saint Anthony of Padua - Carpio (ref)

Hymn to St Anthony of Padua - Ramirez  (ref)

Saint Anthony you Live a Simple Life - Carpio

Sing Joyful Praises to the King - Montero (ref)

To Christ our King - unknown

More resources for church-music selection ....

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