Anthony traveled tirelessly in both northern Italy and southern France—perhaps four hundred trips—choosing to enter the cities where the heretics were strongest. Yet the sermons he has left behind rarely show him taking direct issue with the heretics. Anthony preferred to present the grandeur of Christianity in positive ways. It was no good to prove people wrong. Anthony wanted to win them to the right, the healthiness of real sorrow and conversion, the wonder of reconciliation with a loving Father. The word fire recurs in descriptions of him. And though he was called the “Hammer of Heretics,” the word warmth describes him more fully.
— from the book Saint Anthony of Padua: His Life, Legends, and Devotions
edited by Jack Wintz, OFM