Saint Anthony was a man like any other: he had his own maladies and memories from childhood to death. But once upon a time, he sensed that he had a vocation, and that his future lay in sainthood. Michael Köhlmeier tells the story of a man who is both a legend and yet has remained anonymous.
Anthony is lying on the square in front of the monastery. The pain has become too much for him to endure. The road from Camposampiero to Padua was cobbled, and the carriage suspension hard. The monks carried him to the piazza. And here he now lies, looking up at the Italian sky. Everything that has brought him here, from his childhood in Portugal to the Order of St. Francis, passes through his mind. As only Michael Köhlmeier can do, he sets a story in the distant past, but turns St. Anthony into a contemporary. In an era full of violence, Anthony asks: how does evil come into being? And have my teachings done anything to alleviate it? Michael Köhlmeier talks about Saint Anthony, and how he affects us all.