Symbolism of St. Anthony
Symbols of St. Anthony
Meaning of st. Anthony
St ANthony Symbols St Anthony Meaning St Anthony Bread St Anthony Lily St Anthony Franciscan Habit St ANthony Vision

Symbols of Saint Anthony of Padua
Catholic tradition assigns each saint visual symbols that invoke imagery of the saint's virtues and circumstances in their lives, miracles and death. These symbols serve as remembrances of the saint's life and devotions and as symbols of spiritual ideals.


St Athony Lily

The lily represents St. Anthony's purity and his battle against the demon since childhood.

The lily symbolizes purity. It symbilizes the Virgin Mary. Thie lily, if portrayed among thorns, sybolizes the immaculate conception of Mary. The imacualte conception is a Roman Catholic belief that Mary was born without original sin so as to be a perfect vessel to give birth to a perfect son, Jesus. THe lily represents purity and the thorns represent sin. The lily represents the annunciation, the time when the angel is portrayed with a lily in his hand. Occasionally in early art the lily was used to symbolize various virgin saints. Lilies of different colors have different meanings. A red lily symbolizes divine love, yellow symbolizes divine light and purple symbolizes humility and chastity.

St Anthony Franciscan Habit

The Franciscan Habit is a reminder of the Franciscan order. St Anthony was moved by their simple lifestyle, asked to join them and in the summer of 1220 he received his habit.



St ANthony's Vision of Baby Jesus


The Baby Jesus is reminiscent of the vision that Anthony had in Camposampiero. It also expresses his attachment to the humanity of Christ and his closeness to God.

His Vision of the Baby Jesus is an event which, more than any other, characterizes the contemplative spirituality of St Anthony. The Book of Miracles says:

Blessed Anthony found himself in a city to preach and was put up by a local resident. He gave him a room set apart, so that he could study and contemplate undisturbed. While he was devotedly observing the room on which St Anthony has immersed himself in prayer, peeping through the window, he saw a beautiful baby appear in blessed Anthony's arms. The baby was Lord Jesus.

St Anthony Flame

The flame represents Anthony's love for God and his neighbor.

The flame is a symbol of zeal and passion and inspiration, sacrifice. It symbolizes the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. In this case, the flames are depicted on people's shoulders or floating above their heads.

St. Anthony Youth

Youth is connected to the image of St Anthony as pure, good and receptive to anyone.



St Anthony Bread



Bread is a remembrance of St. Anthony's charity to the poor. Catholic charity groups have been named in reemergence of Saint Anthony. "St Anthony's Bread to the Poor" is still operating, and Saint Anthony's Charities, which spreads solidarity of St. Anthony all over the world. The practice of distributing St. Anthony's Bread recalls his concern for the poor.

Bread is the sustenance of life. Jesus said, "I am the bread of life" (John 6:35). Therefore bread is a symbol of life. Bread was used at the last supper when Jesus said, "This is my Body broken for you..." (Luke 22:19). In this context the bread usually shown with a chalice of bunch of grapes, represents the Lord's supper (Eucharist) The bread can also represent St Anthony's spreading the Word of God to the world.

St. Anthony Book

The book is a symbol of Anthony's science, of his doctrine, his preaching and of his teaching, always inspired by the Bible.

A single book represents the Holy Word of God. If the book in held by any of the four evangelists, it symbolizes the books he wrote. If the book is in the hands of an apostle, it can represent his learning and/or being a teacher of the Christian faith. If both evangelists and apostles/disciples are shown, the evangelists will carry books and the disciples will carry scrolls. Books in the hands of saints show they were well educated in the scriptures.



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Symbolism of St Anthony