As I grew up, I got to know more and more about the saints on the holy cards I've collected since childhood. Boy was I surprised to find out that Saint Anthony was Portuguese and not Italian. However, this did not really change my perception of Saint Anthony. No....my image of Saint Anthony was SHATTERED when I watched Anthony, Warrior of God. However, it was not in a bad way. Boy was I surprised when Saint Anthony didn't turn out to be just a gentle monk that got to hold the Christ child. I mean, HE'S SO MUCH MORE BADASS. Not only did he preach the word of God with an eloquent tongue...he fought against heresy, defended the good word, and saved people from the clutches of sin. And he didn't even need Anduril or a wizard's staff! On top of doing all of this completely weaponless, he fearlessly defended the word of God even when his higher ups did not necessarily do so. I'm not one for trash-talking the Church elders in any way....because I've been though that stage of my extremely stupid adolescent life....but Saint Anthony was unafraid to stand up for God's word in a time where even certain higher ups had forgotten God's word. Thankfully for us, our Church elders seem to know what they're doing these days days. If you don't believe me, please check out any one of Papa Benedict's works, addresses, etc. As much as I had misgivings of this guy after the passing of my beloved JPII's passing, Papa Benedict has been on target about so much.
But yeah, people like Saint Anthony are those who have helped preserve the Church throughout the ages through their word as well as deed. They're the ones that have spread the word of God without having to result to fire and brimstone speeches and unnecessary condemnation. They're the ones that loved God so much that they proclaimed his glory even when no one else was listening (...well...okay, in Saint Anthony's case the fish were listening...but still). In short, they knew what they were doing.
I have never met an Anthony I didn't like...except this one kind-of-skeevy guy I met once when I was apartment hunting....and I have always had a special place in my heart and prayers for Saint Anthony.
However, as time went by, I began to meet and appreciate other saints.
Saint Francis, for example, appealed to my inner biologist.
Saint Benedict appealed to my inner hermit.
Saint Paul appealed to my inner servant of Christ.
Saint Peter appealed to my inner stick-foot-in-mouth self.
Saint Joan of Arc appealed to my inner athleta Christi.
Then there's my namesake Saint Barbara, my Confirmation name sake Saint Cecilia...who both appeal to my inner faithful Catholic.
I also cannot forget Saint Michael, the most epic defender of the faith. Not only is he always epically battling demons, but he is 100% faithful when it comes to serving God and doing His will. I got to also mention that Saint Raphael has, by far, been one of my favorites ever since I read the Book of Tobit. Here's a guy who is also badass like Saint Michael...but gentle and loving as well...Which reminds me of Saint Gabriel, a faithful messenger who appears throughout the bible to deliver all sorts of news and comfort.
"The Annunciation 1914" by John William Waterhouse...a great painting my my opinion
So, who's your favorite saint?