Genesis and poem:
St. Anthony, saint patron of Portugal, was born in Lisbon between 1191 and 1195 and died in the Italian city of Padua on June 13, 1231. Also known as St. Anthony of Padua, he was an eloquent speaker. This franciscan monk is associated to beautiful legends and miracles. He is the protector of engaged couples, the poor, people who want to find lost objects and many others.
The poem "O Passeio de Santo António" (St. Anthony's Walk") by the Portuguese poet Augusto Gil (1873 - 1929) was an inspiration to the artist whose father recited it to her as a child. Aware of how close this saint is to the heart of the Portuguese people, with this piece the artist intends to give back an human face to this "good monk", representing him in common daily scenes, in witch we all recognize ourselves.
This is a piece made from an original mould by the artist Mané Pupo and reproduced by hand with traditional cermics' techniques.
Saint Anthony’s walk
Saint Anthony had left his convent
For his customary walk
And learning by heart, in a praying and slow tone,
A candid sermon about sin.
Walking and walking he repeated
The divine sermon, pious and gentle,
And he didn’t notice that the evening was darkening,
That the placid night was falling...
And walking, walking, he saw himself on a hill
With trees and houses spread around,
Which was far from the monastery
One good, long league.
Surprised for being so far
And weak for having walked that much,
The good monk sat down to rest
With the resignation of a saint...
A moonlight, a very clear moonlight arose.
In a ray of that beautiful light,
The Infant Jesus descended from heaven
And started playing with the friar’s hood.
Nearby, a murmuring fountain
Added its murmur to the pinewoods..
The nightingales could be heard from distance.
The mounting moonlight lit more.
Arm in arm were coming to the fountain
A happy bride and her groom.
She was carrying her pitcher on her shoulder,
He was carrying... his heart in his chest.
Not suspecting anybody to see them,
They exchanged kisses under the tranquil moonlight.
However, the Infant heard and said:
- Oh Friar Anthony, what was that?...
The saint, lifting the burel sleeve
To hide the bridegroom and bride,
Lied in a voice as sweet as honey:
- I don’t know. I didn’t hear anything...
A clear, sonorous laugh
Vibrated in golden notes on the path.
- Did you hear, Friar Anthony? Did you hear now?
- Yes, my Lord, I did. It’s a bird...
- Your head is not running...
A bird singing like that!...
And the poor Saint Anthony of Lisbon
Got silenced, embarrassed, but at last,
Reddening like the cardinals’ vestments,
Contrived this saviour remark :
- If you keep asking and asking
... I’ll complain to your Mother, Our Lady!
And turning his little face against the light
And against that love without wedding,
He took him in his arms and added: - Jesus,
It’s high time...
And they rushed to the convent.