Pontifical University Antonianum

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The Pontifical University Antonianum (also the Pontifical University of St. Anthony or simply The Antonianum) is a Franciscan university founded in honour of Anthony of Padua in Rome. It is located in the Rione Esquiline, a block north of the Basilica of St John Lateran, at Via Merulana 24, near the intersection of Via Labicana/Viale Manzoni and Via Merulana.


In 1883, Father Bernardino Dal Vago da Portogruaro (1869-1889), then-Minister general of the Order of Friars Minor, proposed the construction of a new academic college and the University still gives significance to his quote:


Which roughly translates to: So that the [Franciscan] Order will, in due course, be lit by very learned men and well versed in individual academic subjects and each province will be glorious and benefit from these professors and teachers. Construction of the university began in 1884 and the institution was opened 6 years later in 1890 by Luigi Canali (1889-1897).

Official recognition

To obtain legal recognition from the Italian state, the university was founded as a Missionary College attached to the Roman Curia and the Propaganda Fide. Though this allowed the university to open and operate, missionary work was not the original aim of the university and its academic leaders were keen to secure recognition for the institution in its own right. The process was delayed first by World War I and then by the publication, by Pope Pius XI, of the Deus Scientiarum Dominus, which dictated new rules for academic study. Finally, on 17 May 1933, the Congregation of Seminaries and Universities issued a decree granting the university the right to issue academic qualifications.

On 14 June 1938, the institution was granted the right to use the title Pontifical by Pope Pius XI. On 11 January 2005, Pope John Paul II granted the University the right to use the Pontifical University title.


The University has four faculties and a number of associated institutes, which run approximately 180 courses per year:

  • Faculty of Theology
  • Faculty of Biblical Sciences
  • Faculty of Canon Law
  • Faculty of Philosophy

The University also includes the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality, operated by the Order of Friars Minor.

See also

  • Order of Friars Minor



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