Instead of a few lines, volumes might be written of the span of 36 years spent in this vale of tears by the Wonder Saint. His birth, early life and the years that elapsed up to the time when he waited for the messenger of death, these days and months and years are filled with incidents that bring out in relief the true character and heroic virtues that are profoundly productive of good in those who have followed his teaching and example.
Born of rich parents, he was not to be spoiled. His early training was such as the usual child might have. He studied well and he learned easily. Having mastered the elementary schooling of those days, it is said of him that he found special delight in the reading of the Scriptures so that at an early age, he knew from memory the entire Old and New Testaments.
Cherishing his vocation as a priest, he led a life that was in union with God, which brought others nearer to Christ and prepared for himself and countless other souls the places in heaven where they all now enjoy the Beatific Vision of God.
The years of his life were well spent. For this short sketch suffice it to say, that for each day of the Novena that follows, an incident is given to illustrate various virtues in the life of the saint.
As a missioner, a teacher, a preacher, he spent his short life. He, like so many other illustrious characters, spent a brief span of years on this earth. Born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1195, he died on June 13, 1231. In the thirty-six years of his life he gave himself generously to the service of God, performed many miracles, converted thousands upon thousands, spread good will and reconciled large numbers of former enemies. Now his fame is world-wide; his devotees are in every corner of the Catholic World.
Seven hundred years is not a long period in the annals of the Church. But succeeding centuries have not only helped to make more illustrious the fame of the Saint of Padua who continues to pray for those who claim him as their patron, their intercessor with God.