Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, EUCHARISTIC Adoration, FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Celebrating the Life and Miracles of St Anthony of Padua on his Memorial today 13 June

Celebrating the Life and Miracles of St Anthony of Padua on his Memorial today 13 June

St Anthony and the Holy Eucharist

Anthony has been pictured by artists and sculptors in all kinds of ways.   He is depicted with a book in his hands, with a lily or torch.   He has been painted preaching to fish, holding a monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament in front of a mule or preaching in the public square or from a nut tree.

To prove to the heretics that Jesus is truly in the Blessed Sacrament, a horse was not given any food for three days.    Oats were placed in front of him.   The horse refused to eat the oats till he had knelt down and adored Jesus in the Holy Eucharist that St Anthony held in his hand.  This took place in Rimini Italy.

Miracles-of-St.-Anthony-of-Padua (1)

St Anthony and the Child Jesus

But since the 17th century we most often find the saint shown with the child Jesus in his arm or even with the child standing on a book the saint holds.   A story about Saint Anthony related in the complete edition of Butler’s Lives of the Saints (edited, revised and supplemented by Herbert Anthony Thurston, S.J., and Donald Attwater) projects back into the past a visit of Anthony to the Lord of Chatenauneuf.   Anthony was praying far into the night when suddenly the room was filled with light more brilliant than the sun.   Jesus then appeared to Saint Anthony under the form of a little child. Chatenauneuf, attracted by the brilliant light that filled his house, was drawn to witness the vision but promised to tell no one of it until after Anthony’s death.

Some may see a similarity and connection between this story and the story in the life of Saint Francis when he re-enacted at Greccio the story of Jesus and the Christ Child became alive in his arms.   There are other accounts of appearances of the child Jesus to Francis and some companions.

These stories link Anthony with Francis in a sense of wonder and awe concerning the mystery of Christ’s incarnation.   They speak of a fascination with the humility and vulnerability of Christ who emptied himself to become one like us in all things except sin. For Anthony, like Francis, poverty was a way of imitating Jesus who was born in a stable and would have no place to lay his head.


Patron of Sailors, Travelers, Fishermen

In Portugal, Italy, France and Spain, Saint Anthony is the patron saint of sailors and fishermen.   According to some biographers his statue is sometimes placed in a shrine on the ship’s mast.   And the sailors sometimes scold him if he doesn’t respond quickly enough to their prayers.

Not only those who travel the seas but also other travelers and vacationers pray that they may be kept safe because of Anthony’s intercession.   Several stories and legends may account for associating the saint with travelers and sailors.

First, there is the very real fact of Anthony’s own travels in preaching the gospel, particularly his journey and mission to preach the gospel in Morocco, a mission cut short by severe illness.   But after his recovery and return to Europe he was a man always on the go, heralding the Good News.

There is also a story of two Franciscan sisters who wished to make a pilgrimage to a shrine of our Lady but did not know the way.   A young man is supposed to have volunteered to guide them.   Upon their return from the pilgrimage one of the sisters announced that it was her patron saint, Anthony, who had guided them.

Still another story says that in 1647 Father Erastius Villani of Padua was returning by ship to Italy from Amsterdam.   The ship with its crew and passengers was caught in a violent storm.   All seemed doomed. Father Erastius encouraged everyone to pray to Saint Anthony.   Then he threw some pieces of cloth that had touched a relic of Saint Anthony into the heaving seas.   At once, the storm ended, the winds stopped and the sea became calm.


Teacher, Preacher

Among the Franciscans themselves and in the liturgy of his feast, Saint Anthony is celebrated as a teacher and preacher extraordinaire.   He was the first teacher in the Franciscan Order, given the special approval and blessing of Saint Francis to instruct his brother Franciscans.   His effectiveness as a preacher calling people back to the faith resulted in the title “Hammer of Heretics.”   Just as important were his peacemaking and calls for justice.

In canonising Anthony in 1232, Pope Gregory IX spoke of him as the “Ark of the Testament” and the “Repository of Holy Scripture.”   That explains why Saint Anthony is frequently pictured with a burning light or a book of the Scriptures in his hands.   In 1946 Pope Pius XII officially declared Anthony a Doctor of the Universal Church.   It is in Anthony’s love of the word of God and his prayerful efforts to understand and apply it to the situations of everyday life that the Church especially wants us to imitate Saint Anthony.

Saint Anthony of Padua distributing Bread by Willem van Herp the Elder circa 1662Anthony-of-Padua-preaching

While noting in the prayer of his feast Anthony’s effectiveness as an intercessor, the Church wants us to learn from Anthony, the teacher, the meaning of true wisdom and what it means to become like Jesus, who humbled and emptied himself for our sakes and went about doing good.

Franciscan Father Norman Perry (1929-1999) served as editor-in-chief of St. Anthony Messenger magazine for 18 years.

St Anthony of Padua, Pray for us!


Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FRANCISCAN OFM, MORNING Prayers, SAINT of the DAY

Thought for the Day – 13 June

Thought for the Day – 13 June

St Anthony of Padua was a tireless preacher, teacher, defender of the faith.   He brought many back to God by his example and words.   But first he gave himself to God completely.   Like all saints, he is a perfect example of turning one’s life over to Christ. God did with Anthony as God pleased — and what God pleased was a life of spiritual power and brilliance that still attracts admiration today.   He whom popular devotion has nominated as finder of lost objects found himself by losing himself totally to the providence of God.   Preaching was simply the overflow of his own inner life.   For all of us, if God comes first and the cultivation of intimacy with Him, then everything else flows from this, as water flows from its source.

St Anthony of Padua, brilliant star, Pray for us!



Quote/s of the Day – 13 June

Quote/s of the Day – 13 June

“He who is the beginning and the end,
the ruler of the angels,
made Himself obedient to human creatures.
The creator of the heavens obeys a carpenter;
the God of eternal glory listens to a poor virgin.
Has anyone ever witnessed anything comparable to this?
Let the philosopher no longer disdain from listening
to the common labourer;
the wise, to the simple;
the educated, to the illiterate;
a child of a prince, to a peasant.”

he who is the beginning and the end - st anthony of padua

“Christians must lean on the Cross of Christ
just as travelers lean on a staff
when they begin a long journey.”

christians must lean - st anthony of padua

“Earthly riches are like the reed.
Its roots are sunk in the swamp
and its exterior is fair to behold –
but inside it is hollow.
If a man leans on such a reed,
it will snap off and pierce his soul.”

earthly riches are like the reed-st anthony of padua

“Not without a long procession does the devil wish the sinner to be carried to his grave
and therefore he arranges the file after the usual manner:
Ambition carries the cross,
Detraction the incense,
Oppression the holy – or rather the cursed – water,
Hypocrisy bears the lights.
There are two chanters:
one is the Fallacious Confidence of living a long time
and he sings, Requiem aeternam – you still have abundant time;
the other is Presumption as to the Divine Mercy
and he sings, In Paradisnm le ducant angeli.
Pride celebrates the office.
Then follow Vain-Glory on the right,
Envy on the left, and, walking after,
Anger, Impatience, Insolence, Blasphemy,
Contumely, Arrogance, Lasciviousness,
Gluttony, Idle Talk, Boasting, Injury, Curiosity
and Uneasiness.
Lo! what a crowd in the conscience following him
who is dead in trespasses and sin.”

St Anthony of Padua Pray for us!

st anthony pray for us 2


One Minute Reflection – 13 June

One Minute Reflection – 13 June

“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”………….Matthew 5:15-16

matthew 5 15-16

REFLECTION – “Actions speak louder than words;
let your words teach and your actions speak.
We are full of words but empty of actions
and therefore are cursed by the Lord,
since He Himself cursed the fig tree
when He found no fruit but only leaves.
It is useless for a man to flaunt his knowledge
of the law if he undermines its teaching by his actions.”…….St Anthony of Padua


PRAYER – My Lord and my God, teach me the gift of silence and the gift of charity. Help me to live as I speak and to do as You say. Let my fruit be the proof of my love for You and for my neighbour. St Anthony your preaching and teaching was always accompanied by love and charity, pray for us all that we may be a light for the world, amen.

st anthony pray for us


Our Morning Offering – 13 June

Our Morning Offering – 13 June

O God, send forth Your Holy Spirit
By St Anthony of Padua

O God,
send forth Your Holy Spirit into my heart
that I may perceive,
into my mind that I may remember,
and into my soul that I may meditate.
Inspire me to speak with piety,
holiness, tenderness and mercy.
Teach, guide and direct my thoughts
and senses from beginning to end.
May Your grace ever help and correct me,
and may I be strengthened now
with wisdom from on high,
for the sake of Your infinite mercy. Amen

o god send forth your holy spirit


Saint of the Day – 13 June – St Anthony of Padua O.F.M! Evangelical Doctor – Hammer of Heretics – Professor of Miracles – Wonder-Worker – Ark of the Testament – Repository of Holy Scripture

Saint of the Day – 13 June – St Anthony of Padua OFM (1195-1231) Evangelical Doctor – Hammer of Heretics – Professor of Miracles – Wonder-Worker  – Ark of the Testament – Repository of Holy Scripture  (1195 at Lisbon, Portugal – 13 June 1231 of natural causes)   Religious Priest and Friar of the Franciscan Order, Evangelist, Preacher, Teacher, Apostle of Charity, Apostle of the Holy Eucharist, Scriptural expert, Miracle Worker, Teacher, Confessor, Defender of the Faith.  He was buried on the Tuesday following his death in the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, Padua, Italy and legend says that all the sick who visited his new grave were healed.   Also known as St Anthony of Lisbon.   Patron of – against barrenness or sterility, against shipwreck, against starvation; starving people, American Indians, amputees, animals, both wild and domestic, asses, boatmen, mariners, sailors, watermen, elderly people, expectant mothers, pregnant women, for faith in the Blessed Sacrament, fishermen, for harvests, horses, lost articles, seekers of lost articles, mail, oppressed people, paupers, poor people, swineherds, travel hostesses, travellers, Brazil, Portugal, Tigua Indians, 4 dioceses, 17 cities.

St Anthony of Padua/Lisbon, was a Portuguese Catholic priest and friar of the Franciscan Order.   He was born and raised by a wealthy family in Lisbon, Portugal and died in Padua, Italy.   Noted by his contemporaries for his forceful preaching, expert knowledge of scripture and undying love and devotion to the poor and the sick, he was one of the most-quickly canonised saints in church history.   He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 16 January 1946.


St. Anthony’s Youth & Conversion

St Anthony was born in the year 1195at Lisbon (Portugal) where his father was a captain in the royal army.   Already at the age of fifteen years, he had entered the Congregation of Canons Regular of St Augustine and devoted himself with great earnestness both to study and to the practice of piety in the Monastery at Coimbra (Portugal).

Toledo gerard st anthony padua

About that time some of the first members of the Order of Friars Minor, which St. Francis has founded in 1206 came to Coimbra.   They begged from the Canons Regular a small and very poor place, from which by their evangelical poverty and simplicity they edified everyone in the region.   Then in 1219 some of these friars, moved by divine inspiration, went as missionaries to preach the Gospel of Christ to the inhabitants of Morocco.   There they were brutally martyred for the Faith.   Some Christian merchants succeeded in recovering their remains and so brought their relics in triumph back to Coimbra.   The relics of St Bernard and companions, the first martyrs of the Franciscan Order, seized St. Anthony with an intense desire to suffer martyrdom in a like manner.   So moved by their heroic example he repeatedly begged and petitioned his superiors to be given leave to join the Franciscan Order.   In the quiet little Franciscan convent at Coimbra he received a friendly reception and in the same year his earnest wish to be sent to the missions in Africa was fulfilled.

St Anthony’s Arrival in Italy

But God had decreed otherwise.   And so, St Anthony scarcely set foot on African soil when he was seized with a grievous illness.   Even after recovering from it, he was so weak that, resigning himself to the will of God, he boarded a boat back to Portugal. Unexpectedly a storm came upon them and drove the ship to the east where it found refuge on coast of Sicily.   St Anthony was greeted and given shelter by the Franciscans of that island and thus came to be sent to Assisi, where the general chapter of the Order was held in May, 1221.   Since he still looked weak and sickly,and gave no evidence of his scholarship, no one paid any attention to the stranger until Father Gratian, the Provincial of friars living in the region of Romagna (Italy), had compassion on him and sent him to the quiet little convent near Forli (also in Italy).   There St Anthony remained nine months as chaplain to the hermits, occupied in the lowliest duties of the kitchen and convent and to his heart’s content he practiced interior as well as exterior mortification.


St Anthony, Preacher and Teacher

But the hidden jewel was soon to appear in all its brilliance.   For the occasion of a ceremony of ordination some of the hermits along with St Anthony were sent to the town of Forli.   Before the ceremony was to begin, however, it was announced that the priest who was to give the sermon had fallen sick.   The local superior, to avert the embarrassment of the moment, quickly asked the friars in attendance to volunteer.   Each excused himself, saying that he was not prepared, until finally, St Anthony was asked to give it.   When he too, excused himself in a most humble manner, his superior ordered him by virtue of the vow of obedience to give the sermon.   St Anthony began to speak in a very reserved manner;  but soon holy animation seized him and he spoke with such eloquence, learning and unction that everybody was fairly amazed.

When St Francis was informed of the event, he gave St Anthony the mission to preach throughout Italy.   At the request of the brethren, St. Anthony was later commissioned also to teach theology, “but in such a manner,” St Francis distinctly wrote, ” that the spirit of prayer be not extinguished either in yourself or in the other brethren.” St Anthony himself placed greater value in the salvation of souls than on learning.   For that reason he never ceased to exercise his office as preacher despite his work of teaching.

The number of those who came to hear him was sometimes so great that no church was large enough to accommodate and so he had to preach in the open air.   Frequently St. Anthony wrought veritable miracles of conversion.  Deadly enemies were reconciled. Thieves and usurers made restitution.   Calumniators and detractors recanted and apologised.   He was so energetic in defending the truths of the Catholic Faith that many heretics returned to the Church.   This occasioned the epitaph given him by Pope Gregory IX “the ark of the covenant.”

In all his labours he never forgot the admonition of his spiritual father, St Francis, that the spirit of prayer must not be extinguished.   If he spent the day in teaching and heard the confession of sinners till late in the evening, then many hours of the night were spent in intimate union with God.

Once a man, at whose home St Anthony was spending the night, came upon the saint and found him holding in his arms the Child Jesus, unspeakably beautiful and surrounded with heavenly light.   For this reason St. Anthony is often depicted holding the Child Jesus.


St Anthony’s Death

In 1227 St Anthony was elected Minister Provincial of the friars living in northern Italy.   Thus he resumed the work of preaching.   Due to his taxing labours and his austere penance, he soon felt his strength so spent that he prepared himself for death. After receiving the last sacraments he kept looking upward with a smile on his countenance.  When he was asked what he saw there, he answered: “I see my Lord.”   He breathed forth his soul on June 13, 1231 A. D., being only thirty six year old.   Soon the children in the streets of the city of Padua were crying:  “The saint is dead, Anthony is dead.”   Anthony is buried in a chapel within the large basilica built to honour him, where his tongue is displayed for veneration in a large reliquary.   For, when his body was exhumed thirty years after his death, it was claimed that the tongue glistened and looked as if it was still alive and moist; apparently a further claim was made that this was a sign of his gift of preaching.


Pope Gregory IX enrolled him among the saints in the very next year.   At Padua, a magnificent basilica was built in his honour, his holy relics were entombed there in 1263.    From the time of his death up to the present day, countless miracles have occurred through St. Anthony’s intercession, so that he is known as the Wonder-Worker.   In 1946 St Anthony was declared a Doctor of the Church.

Basilica of St Anthony in Padua

Why do we ask St Anthony to help us find lost things?

St. Anthony had a book of psalms that was quite special to him.   It was special because in those days before the printing press, books were rare and expensive.   But it was also special because it contained many notes Anthony had made to help him in his preaching and teaching.

Late one night, a young Franciscan decided to leave the community.   He’d had enough of that life, so he made plans to just sneak out in the middle of the night.   He saw Anthony’s book of psalms on his way out and he snatched it up and ran.   He knew that he could sell this precious book for a good deal of money.

Of course, Anthony was quite upset.   He prayed that God would change the young man’s heart and bring him back to the Franciscan life.   He also hoped that while God was at it, he would return Anthony’s book too.   The next day, the young man returned, tired and ashamed, with Anthony’s book.   He also brought back his own gifts and talents, which he decided once more to offer to the Franciscan community.

So that’s why we like to ask St Anthony to help us find lost things. He was an extraordinary man who can still help us from heaven, even in the most ordinary ways.





Saints’ Memorials and Feast Days – 13 June

St Anthony of Padua (Memorial)

Our Lady of Tears
Our Lady of the Cave

Bl Achilleo of Alexandria
Bl Alfonso Gomez de Encinas
Bl Anthony of Ilbenstadt
St Aquilina of Syria
St Augustine Phan Viet Huy
St Aventino of Arbusto
St Damhnade
St Diodorus of Emesa
St Eulogius of Alexandria
St Fandilas of Penamelaria
St Felicula of Rome
St Fortunatus of North Africa

Bl Gerard of Clairvaux – was the brother of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux. He was a Soldier. When he was wounded in combat at the siege of Grancy, Gerard resolved to become a monk. Benedictine Cistercian monk at Citeaux.   He worked with Saint Bernard at Clairvaux and became his closest confidant. Cellarer.   He died in 1138 of natural causes.

St Lucian of North Africa
St Mac Nissi of Clonmacnoise
Bl Marianna Biernacka
St Maximus of Cravagliana
St Nicolas Bùi Ðuc The
St Peregrinus of Amiterno
St Rambert
St Salmodio
Bl Servatius Scharff
St Thecla
St Tryphillius of Leucosia
St Victorinus of Assisi
St Wilicarius of Vienne