A Penny for Sant
Tradition has it that following the destruction of the Church of Santo António in the earthquake of 1755, the entire population of Lisbon got involved in its reconstruction through donations, collections and alms. The children of the city were also keen to participate, erecting small altar sor “thrones” outsider their houses during the June festivities to ask passers-by for “a penny for Sant’António”.
Often these coins were pierced and used as amulets, sewn into the lining of men’s jackets or placed next to their keys, worn as medallions by ladies on threads or bracelets, or placed in children’s cradles, according to na ancestral tradition dating back to Roman Times.
It is this tradition that is evoked with the coin issue of the Museum of Lisbon – Santo António.