Chiselled and carved wood;polychromy;19th century; Northeast; 14,5 x 85 cm
St. Anthony's surname is Padua, the name of the town where he died and was buried in 1231. He was born, however, in Lisbon around 1195, and was known as St. Anthony of Lisbon. Canonized one year after his death, he was worshipped only in Padua until the end of the 15th century when he began to be worshipped throughout Portugal and, finally, all over the world.
The attributes distinguishing him are, most often, the Boy Jesus sitting or standing on a book, which image is best known to us, since it was spread abroad by the baroque art of the Counter-Reformation, He may aiso carry in his hand lilies - symbol of purity -, a monstrance, grapevine branch and a crucifix. He may carry on his back a bag of breadrolls, when he is called St. Anthony of the Poor, or of Picuá. He always appears dressed in the habit of his Franciscan Order, brown or gray, belted with a cord, young and beardless, with a monk's tonsure. Rosaries generally hang from his belt.
St. Anthony is more invoked for romantic problems. That is when the Boy Jesus is taken from his arms until the "miracle" happens. His reputation and notoriety as the marrying saint must have come from colonial origins, when marriage and procreation, and consequent demographic growth, were obligatory for the success of Portuguese domination and occupation in the new lands.
Silvana Cançado Trindade
Geography of the sacred in colonial Minas Gerais
in Objetos da Fé, Oratórios Brasileiros (coleção Angela Gutierrez)
Catálogo apresentado no Museu de São Roque em Lisboa durante o evento "Lisboa Capital Europeia da Cultura",Março de 1994
Outra imagem de Santo António e um inédito do Romanceiro Garretiano aqui