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Too much grace Saint Anthony: the origin of the saying born in Florence

Figures of speech

Too much grace Saint Anthony: the origin of the saying born in Florence

We are not mistaken! We know very well that when talking about Saint Anthony one immediately thinks of Padua! But we are talking about another Saint Anthony and precisely the one from Florence. Who was he? Born Antonio Pierozzi, he founded the Convent of St Mark and the Bonomini Association of St Martin, and later became bishop of Florence around the middle of the 12th century.

Because of his short stature, he is often referred to as ‘St Antoninus’ and the chronicles of the time tell of an important figure for the city but at the same time close to the people with whom he had a very strong bond. He received at his home in Via dello Studio at number 11, as evidenced by a plaque bearing his effigy, and those in need went to see him to ask for spiritual guidance, aid and grace. Precisely for this reason he was also nicknamed ‘Anthony of advice’.

It happened that a certain Dante Petti went to number 11 in Via dello Studio with his wife Marietta. The problem for which they consulted ‘St Antoninus’ was that they could not have a child. They went several times to the Bishop’s house and at a one point he informed them that the long-awaited son was about to arrive. After a while, in fact, Marietta realized she was pregnant and with great joy celebrated the arrival of that much desired son. Then they also celebrated the arrival of the second, third, fourth, fifth and even sixth! It was perhaps at this point that Dante, happy but worried about the many mouths to feed, uttered the famous phrase ‘Too much grace St Anthony’.

Even this common expression, used when you receive more than you desired, comes from Florence. Do you want to discover other interesting facts about this city? Visit our Unusual Florence section and you will find many original ideas for a visit.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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