Portugal City Hall organizes a wedding for some fortunate couples on St Anthony's Day, Source: City of Lisbon/ Facebook

Lisbon marks St. Anthony’s Day today

Lisbon marks St. Anthony’s Day today

To the Catholic world, he is the saint of lost items and lost people, but in Lisbon, he is venerated as a native son

Today, 13 June, the Portuguese capital Lisbon celebrates its patron saint day, which is also considered the official municipal holiday – St. Anthony of Padua Day. Although his monicker and life link St Anthony to Italy, he in fact hailed from Lisbon, where he was born in the 12th century. Today, over the place where his birth house was said to be located (in the Alfama district) stands a Baroque church dedicated to him.

Lisboners actually begin celebrating St. Anthony’s Day on the preceding evening with each parish of the capital (known locally as freguesias) organizes a religious procession with floats.

Also, start of sardine season

Well, what should you expect to see and experience if you happen to be in Lisbon on St. Anthony’s Day?

As we mentioned above, on the night of 12 June you should head to the Avenida de la Liberdade, the city’s largest avenue where you can witness the parade of the parish floats, each with its own choreography and costumes showcasing their neighbourhood pride. A jury will select which freguesia deserves a win that year. Hyperlocal stuff, indeed!

When you wake up the next day, get ready for sardines, wine and weddings. Whereas most of the Catholic world venerates St Anthony as the saint of lost items, in Portugal, the tradition dictates that he is the most helpful aid in helping young women find a good husband.

In that connection, there is a tradition, dating from 1958, where the City Hall organizes weddings for 13 couples of lower economic means at the city’s main cathedral. These weddings are even shown on TV.

After the weddings, you can indulge your culinary senses with one of the most appreciated fishes in Portugal – the sardine. Officially, St. Anthony’s Day is also the start of the sardine fishing season as it is during the summer when they are at their fattest. Nothing feels as good as a grilled sardine and a glass of wine in Lisbon to start off the summer.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU