St. Anthony Zaccaria

Today we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Anthony Zaccaria.

Here’s what you need to know...

Anthony Zaccaria was born in Italy in 1502. His father died when he was only two and his mother raised him.

Anthony had a passion for serving the sick and the poor and became a doctor at the age of 22. But after some more discernment with his spiritual director he entered the priesthood at 25, and was ordained at 27.

Anthony quickly noticed a need for counter reformation in the Church. Many people at that time in Italy had fallen away from the faith. Some were simply ignorant of their faith. Others left because of corruption in the Church and the Protestant Reformation.

Anthony popularized the “Fourty Hour Devotion”, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and the ringing of church bells at 3 p.m. on Fridays, in remembrance of the Crucifixion.

Anthony also started three religious orders: one for men known as the Barnabites, a female branch of uncloistered nuns, and a lay congregation for married people. Their aim was the reform of the decadent society of their day, beginning with the clergy and religious.

In 1539, Anthony became seriously ill and died at the age of only 36.

Nearly thirty years after his death, St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria's body was found to be incorrupt.

He was beatified by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1849, and declared a saint by Pope Leo XIII in 1897.

He is a patron saint of physicians.

St. Anthony Zaccaria, ora pro nobis.

Happy Feast Day everybody.