He was born Fernando Martins de Bulhőes. He entered religious life at the Augustinian Abbey of St. Vincent, but later joined the Franciscans.
Saint Anthony is thought to have seen an apparition of the Infant Jesus. Although there is some dispute about this, paintings and sculptures of the saint usually depict him with Christ as a baby.
Within the Catholic Church, one of the chief roles of Saint Anthony is as giver of grace, supporting those of wavering faith and directing religious thought towards Christ. Pilgrimages are made by many to the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua, which houses relics of the saint.