Unique Gifts | St Anthony Zaccaria on Prayer Cloth (Patron for Physicians
Unique Gifts St Anthony Zaccaria to 16th century Italian saint. He was an early leader of the Counter Reformation. His feast day is celebrated on 5 July.
Anthony was born in the city of Cremona, Italy, in 1502. He was baptized on the same day in the Cathedral of Cremona. When he was two his father died. His family was of the nobility. In order to teach him compassion for the poor, his mother made him her almoner. After attending the Episcopal School annexed to the Cathedral, he studied philosophy at the University of Pavia. Also, from 1520, he studied medicine at the University of Padua. In due course, he practised as a physician in Cremona for three years.
However, in 1527, he started studying for the priesthood. Anthony ordained in February 1529. He mainly worked in hospitals and institutions for the poor. Anthony became the spiritual advisor to Countess Ludovica Torelli of Guastalla in 1530. He followed her to Milan. In Milan he became a member of the Oratory of Eternal Wisdom.
In Vincenza, he popularized for the laity the Forty-hour devotion. This was solemn exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for the adoration of the faithful—accompanied by preaching. Also, he revived the custom of ringing church bells at 3 p.m. on Fridays, in remembrance of the Crucifixion.
However, while on a mission to Guastalla, Italy, in 1539, he caught a fever. Combined with the strict penances he performed, his health waned and he died on 5 July 1539, at the age of 36. He buried in the convent of the Angelics of St Paul, the female branch of the Barnabites, in Milan.
After his death, a number of cures attributed to the intercession of Anthony Mary Zaccaria. Also, 27 years after his death, his body found to be in-corrupt. His mortal remains now enshrined at the Church of St. Barnabas in Milan, Italy. He canonised by Pope Leo XIII on 27 May 1897. His feast day celebrated on 5 July. He is a patron saint of physicians.