St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria was born into a noble family in Cremona in 1502. He lost his father when he was a baby, and his mother raised him alone. Anthony studied philosophy and medicine at the University of Padua. When he was 22, he earned his degree and returned to Cremona.
As a young doctor, Anthony treated patients physically and encouraged them to seek spiritual healing. He eventually stopped practicing medicine and became a priest at age 26.
He is said to have experienced a miracle during his first Mass. He was surrounded by angels and a heavenly light when he performed the consecration.
Anthony was known for his eloquent preaching, and he worked tirelessly to bring the Gospel to everyone in Cremona. He moved to Milan in 1530 and formed the Clerics Regular of St. Paul, an order of humility, asceticism, poverty and preaching. Today, the order is commonly known as the “Barnabites.” He also formed the Angelic Sisters of St. Paul and the Laity of St. Paul.
St. Anthony died on July 5, 1539, at the age of 36. His body was found to be incorrupt nearly 30 years after his death. He was beatified in 1849 and canonized in 1897.