Traditions of Saint Anthony

Wed, 12.06.2019

Having the Portuguese experience of celebrating the festivities of Saint Anthony

On the last 12th of June, our Portuguese language school organized a walking tour about the traditions of Saint Anthony.

Our history teacher, Indira Leão, guided us during this afternoon.

We started at Saint Anthony’s Church. Saint Anthony was born in 1195 in Lisbon. His secular name was Fernando de Bulhões, but he changed to Anthony, when he became a Franciscan monk when he moved to Coimbra. His eager to help the poor and spread the word of god, made him to go to the Holly Land. During the journey, his ship sank near Padua. Saint Anthony survived and lived the last years of his life in the Italian city of Padua.

Inside the Saint Anthony’s church, we visited the crypt where Saint Anthony was born and lived. With the Great Earthquake of 1755, the crypt wasn’t affected. Although, most part of the church had to be rebuilt.

Indira told us that the cult to Saint Anthony began in the 13th century. People celebrate Saint Anthony’s day from the night of the 12th to the 13th of June. There are many festivals around the city called arraiais. In the arraiais there is music and people eat sardines and drink. Traditionally, men have to give a basil to women as a sign of love.

After the Church of Saint Anthony, we went to the Sé of Lisboa. The Sé is a very important place during the 13th of June. Every year, in this day 13 couples marry with the blessing of Saint Anthony.

At the end of the walking tour, we went to the Arraial Composto in Largo da Rosa. Here, we tasted delicious sardines and experienced the traditional Saint Anthony’s day.

Below, you can have a look at our photos.


Celebrating the Popular festivities of Lisbon

The month of June has finally arrived! This is probably the most important month of Lisbon. Saint Anthony, considered the patron saint of Lisbon, gives the motto for the popular festivities during June.  Those celebrations reach their peak on the night of the 12th of June. During that night we have music on the streets, drinks and the traditional sardine on a slice of bread.

The  highlight of the festivity is the parade on Avenida da Liberdade. Various districts of the city are represented in a competition for best folk parade. The 13th of June, Saint Anthony’s day is holiday in Lisbon.

In order to celebrate the festivities of June, our Portuguese language school will organize a walking tour about the traditions of Saint Anthony. Join us on the 12th of June!

Our history teacher, Indira Leão, will guide us during this afternoon. We’ll start at Saint Anthony’s church. According to some sources, the crypt of the church is part of the original house where Saint Anthony was born. It’s tradition that the young people, on the wedding day, visit the church, pray and leave flowers for Saint Anthony. This saint it’s known for being an intercessor of the newlyweds.

Then, we’ll go to Sé de Lisboa. This cathedral was built after the Christian reconquest of Lisbon in 1147. It’s an important place for the celebrations of Saint Anthony. On the 13th of June, 13 brides and grooms marry in Sé. They are called Casamentos de Santo António. Every year, the city hall of Lisbon chooses 13 couples with economic needs and pays their weedings.

After our walking tour, we’ll join the celebrations of Saint Anthony in a cozy esplanade!

Don’t miss this event and keep posted on the upcoming events on our website.