Dear friends, on a cold winter morning, back in January 1898, when the horse was still the main means of transport and newspapers were still being typeset by hand, the first issue of the Messenger of Saint Anthony appeared in Padua. It was a simple bulletin whose main purpose was to spread devotion to Saint Anthony and to promote works of charity for the poor. It consisted of only 24 pages; it was produced in a reduced format and was sent to a rather modest number of readers. That year, it was sent to only six thousand Italian households.

One hundred and twenty-five years have passed since then, and the bulletin, in transforming itself into a prestigious Catholic magazine dedicated above all to the devotees of St. Anthony, has undergone many significant changes. The number of pages has increased considerably, and the physical appearance is much more appealing. The variety of topics covered is of truly international interest, and the quality of the articles is certainly first-rate. Today, the Messenger of Saint Anthony is part of the world of modern publishing, using all the most modern technologies at its disposal.

Today the magazine reaches over one million devotees of Saint Anthony across 150 countries around the world. It is published in ten editions and in eight different languages. Each edition is different in both content and themes, given the different cultures present in the various countries to which the magazine is sent. What all editions have in common, though, is their positive message and their dedication to the truth. Moreover, they have always been open to the needs and requests of their readers, and are willing to engage in constant dialogue with them.

Although it has grown considerably over the years, the Messenger of Saint Anthony has never lost sight of the objectives that led to its creation. Even today, while being a modern and authoritative publication, its main purpose is to be the mouthpiece of Saint Anthony, whose doctrine was firmly based on the Gospel, and therefore was always attentive to the needs of every human being.

For Anthony, every man and woman must grow in faith and make spiritual values the anchor of their lives. They must certainly live their spirituality with spontaneity, but always in accordance with the teachings of the Church. At the same time, they should never forget to maintain a healthy respect for the inalienable rights of other human beings: the right to peace and dignity, to education and work, and the Christian duty to assist those poor human beings whom “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” (as Shakespeare calls them in Hamlet) drag into misery or disease.

Dear readers of the digital or printed magazine, it seems incredible to be writing this editorial for the 125th anniversary of the Messenger of Saint Anthony. It is an important milestone of a long, fascinating and truly exciting journey. We have come a long way together because one must never forget that the real strength, the very essence of any magazine, is its readers. Without you, who have become so numerous since January 1898, we would certainly not be here today to celebrate this milestone all together.

I therefore feel that I must conclude with a big and heartfelt thank you to all of you, dear readers, who over all these years have collaborated in the realization of this magazine with your financial support, advice and suggestions. Yet we certainly cannot forget the friars of St. Anthony’s Basilica who first started this important work in 1898, and who did it all by themselves (see photo) for several years. Their great love for St. Anthony and passion for this work continue to live on in us friars of today, and we hope you will always see the same love and passion in the pages of our magazine. Peace and all good!

Updated on February 24 2023