St. Anthony of Padua

St. Anthony of Padua was prefigured in the Old Testament by Elijah. The story comes from the Books of 3 Kings chapters 17 and 18 and 4 Kings chapter 2. For a video that gives the Scriptural and historical references, see the below video at the bottom of this page. Directly below, select the corresponding numbered tabs for a summary of the parallels.

Old Testament

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New Testament

From a Foreign Land

In the Old Testament, Elijah is called a Tishbite, which is considered to mean he comes from a far off land, and is a stranger to where he is preaching.

Powerful Preacher

Elijah the Prophet is known for his powerful preaching and bold approach. His voice rang out loud and clear in a land full of apostates and lost children of Israel.

Sent to the Lost Sheep of the North

Elijah the Tishbite was sent to the lost tribes of Israel, who were in the north. It was the 10 tribes of the north that broke away from the Covenant, and abandoned the worship of the True God.

Raises child from the Dead

Elijah, while staying with the widow of Zeraphath, revived the child of the widow, after he died of sickness.

Feeding the Poor

When Elijah was staying with the widow from the land of Sidon, he prophesied that the widow’s jar of flour would never be emptied and  her jar of oil would never run out, until God sends rain upon the Earth. In doing so, he fed the poor widow when she had no other means of support.

Helpless Women and Children

Elijah was sent to the widow in Zeraphath. He miraculously fed them with an unending food supply, and raised her child from the dead. The widow and her child were almost without food and planned on dying until Elijah helped them.

2nd to Go Up to Heaven

Elijah was the second person in the Old Testament who was taken up into Heaven. The first was Enoch from the book of Genesis. Elijah was taken up in a fiery chariot in front of Elisha.

Contest of Faith

Elijah called all the false prophets of Baal, and all the children of Israel to Mount Carmel. In front of the public, he challenged the false priests and prophets to a contest of faith, in which they prayed for fire from the sky. In response to their failure, Elijah drenched his altar with water, three times. Then, he prayed and God sent fire down from the sky onto his sacrifice.

From a Foreign Land

St. Anthony of Padua is Portuguese. He is a stranger to the Italian people, where he is preaching and working miracles.

Powerful Preacher

St. Anthony of Padua is also known for his powerful preaching. In fact, when St. Anthony’s body was exhumed, his tongue was found to be incorrupt… a sign from God to attest to the power of his preaching and teaching.

Sent to the Lost Sheep of the North

St. Anthony of Padua was sent to Northern Italy, and picked his headquarters of Padua. It was in the north of Italy that the Cathars heresy was very strong. His preaching brought many back to the Faith.

Raises child from the Dead

Through the intercession of St. Anthony, a mother’s drowned child was brought back to life after the mother promised to feed the poor.

Feeding the Poor

The popular devotion to St. Anthony, St. Anthony’s bread, gives bread to the poor in thanksgiving for prayers answered by St. Anthony. Besides this, St. Anthony had a great love for the poor when he was alive.

Helpless Women and Children

St. Anthony helped the helpless women and children of Padua The husbands/fathers were thrown in debtors prison, and their families were left without food. St. Anthony had the law changed which kept the men out of jail so they could still support their families.

2nd to Go Up to Heaven

St. Anthony was the second fasted canonized saint in the history of the Catholic Church. The first was St. Peter of Verona. Anyone who knew St. Anthony would have been able to witness him rise into Heaven at the canonization ceremony only 11 months after his death.

Contest of Faith

St. Anthony was challenged to prove the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. A man’s horse was staked in the public square for three days without food. St. Anthony spent 3 days fasting and praying. At the end of three days, the man’s horse was let loose to choose between food and St. Anthony holding up the Eucharist. The horse came and knelt down before Our Lord before he ate his food. All the crowd witnessed the miracle and were converted.


Watch the full length video below for Scriptural and historical references, and for the complete context of the parallels displayed above.