Search

St. Anthony of Padua

St. Anthony of Padua

Today, the Franciscan Friars honor one of the most popular of all Franciscan Saints: St. Anthony of Padua, also known as St. Anthony of Lisbon.  St. Anthony was born in Lisbon where he was ordained as an Augustinian canon.  However, he was inspired to join the Friars Minor when he witnessed the remains of several Franciscan missionaries being returned from Africa where they had died as martyrs.  He immediately sought entrance into the Franciscan Order.

 

In the church of St. Peter in Chicago's Loop, there are several shrines along the "side aisles." The sanctuary of the church is flanked by two shrines, one dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi and the other dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua. The church is staffed by friars of the Franciscan Order. Each Tuesday, the presiders lead the assembly in the traditional prayers invoking St. Anthony as intercessor and evangelical man.

 

According to his biographers, St. Anthony was buried on a Tuesday. While his impressive funeral cortege worked its way through the city of Padua, the crowd witnessed many miracles of healing as the saint's body was carried to its final resting place. Tuesday became a special day of the week for the townspeople who began to congregate at St. Anthony's tomb every Tuesday.

 

Hundreds of years later, when the custom of visiting his grave on Tuesday had been forgotten, a childless woman who had been married for twenty-two years prayed at the tomb and asked St. Anthony to intercede on her behalf. The saint is said to have appeared to her and asked her to come to his tomb for nine consecutive Tuesdays. When she completed the novena, she found herself with child. Ever since that time, the custom of praying the novena has been observed in most Franciscan sanctuaries.

 

Part of the Tuesday devotion includes the famous responsory or sequence in honor of St. Anthony:

 

If you seek for miracles,

Death, error, all calamities,

The demons fly, and leprosy,

And health succeeds infirmities.

 

The sea obeys and fetters break,

And lifeless limbs thou dost restore;

Whilst treasures lost are found again,

When young and old thine aid implore.

 

All dangers vanish at thy prayer,

The direst need doth quickly flee.

Let those who know thy power proclaim,

Let Paduans say these are of thee.

 

The sea obeys and fetters break,

And lifeless limbs thou dost restore;

Whilst treasures lost are found again,

When young and old thine aid implore.

 

To Father, Son may glory be

And Holy Ghost eternally.

 

The sea obeys and fetters break,

And lifeless limbs thou dost restore;

Whilst treasures lost are found again,

When young and old thine aid implore.

 

Of course, St. Anthony is most often thought of as the “Finder of Lost Articles.”  I confess, today I locked my car keys inside the car.  I went into the house and prayed to St. Anthony that he help me find my second set of keys.  Five minutes later, I was able to get into my car again.  However, in the meantime I had lost my cell phone.  Again I prayed and then called my cell phone using the house land line.  I heard the phone ringing.  However, because I only have one ear that works, I couldn’t tell where the sound was coming from.  A second prayer to St. Anthony helped me find the phone in a bag I had used to carry it into the house.

 

While St. Anthony will ever be the Saint who finds things (Tony, Tony, turn around.  Something’s lost and must be found.), there is so much more to this man.  He was the true evangelical man, a man who was so well versed in the Gospels that he was called upon by St. Francis himself to teach the young friars.  The story of his preaching is fascinating.  Supposedly, Anthony was scrubbing pots in the kitchen to help as the friars prepared a meal for the crowd that had assembled for the ordination of a young friar.  The man who was supposed to preach at the ordination had suddenly died.  So one of the friars rushed to the kitchen to find the saint with soap suds up to his elbows.  “Anthony, the guardian asks that you come to preach at the ordination.”  One sermon later, everyone knew the secret: Anthony was a wonderful preacher. 

 

As we celebrate this wonderful Saint’s feast, let us also draw close to the Gospel he preached.  

 

St. Anthony died at a very young age of what was probably diabetes.  So many CUSANS suffer from this disease.  They have a friend in St. Anthony.

 

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

Print
Please login or register to post comments.

Theme picker

«April 2020»
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2930311234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293012
3456789

Archive