Saint Anthony is believed to offer protection against leprosy and disfiguring skin diseases. Skin diseases such as ergotism and erysipelas were known as ‘Saint Anthony’s Fire’ due to the belief that he could cure them.
Saint Anthony lived as a hermit in Egypt and was the founder of monasticism.
The 11th-century military and religious order, the Knights Hospitaller of Saint John of Jerusalem, took Saint Anthony as their patron saint. When the pope granted them permission to let their pigs roam freely in medieval towns they adopted the pig as their emblem. As a result, Saint Anthony is often represented with a pig.