Tuesday, June 13, 2006
St. Anthony of Padua
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Memorial (1969 Calendar): June 13
Double (1955 Calendar): June 13

St. Anthony (1195 - 1231) was born on August 15, 1195, in Lisbon, Portugal and lived there most of his life. A church in Lisbon was built over the exact spot of his birth. While his family wanted him to become a great noblemen, he followed the call of Christ and became a poor Franciscan priest. He lived his life in holiness curing many. After his death, he was canonized 352 days after his death, the second fastest canonization in history, with over 50 documented miracles.

When the remains of Saint Berard and his companions, the first Franciscan martyrs were brought to be buried in his church from Morocco, St. Anthony left for Morocco intending to die for the faith as a martyr. He was originally a Augustinian monk but became a Franciscan before his journey to Morocco because he was so moved by the martyrdom of the first Franciscan martyrs. Instead of preaching in Morocco, he became deathly ill and was shipwrecked in Sicily. St. Anthony met St. Francis of Assisi himself in 1221. He eventually began to evangelize, preach, and teach theology through Italy and France. Towards the end of his life he returned to Padua and preached there with such gentleness and love for Jesus. He was called the Hammer of Heretics because he destroyed the errors and lies in the faith wherever he went. Legend even says that fish would even listen to his sermons.

In one instance, St. Anthony was staying in another man's house. The man noticed a great light under the door, so he cracked the door opened to see the Child Jesus in the arms of St. Anthony. Heavenly light poured forth from the Holy Infant, and the Child was whispering into St. Anthony's hear. The next morning, the man confessed to spying on him and asked what the Lord said to him. St. Anthony said the Lord said he would remain with the city as long as the city remained following him.

St. Anthony, pray for us for our country is falling away from the teachings of Christ! Pray for us, holy saint!
Another story of St. Anthony involves a horse. While St. Anthony was preaching, a local heretic came to him and stated that he would not believe in Our Lord's Real Presence in the Eucharist unless a horse would kneel before the Blessed Sacrament. St. Anthony prayed and then brought a horse in to the heretic. In St. Anthony's right hand was the Blessed Sacrament, and in his left, he held oats. The horse refused the oats and knelt before the Blessed Sacrament. The heretic repented and submitted himself to the Catholic Church.

St. Anthony died on June 13, 1231, at a young age. On January 19, 1946, St. Anthony was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church.

Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony:

"Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints" O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and Charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me (request). O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus, who loved to be folded in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.


Prayer:

May the votive solemnity of blessed Anthony, Thy Confessor and Doctor, O God, give joy to Thy Church: that she may ever be defended by spiritual aid and become worthy of everlasting joys. Through our Lord.

Prayer Source: 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal

Readings:

"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."

"The saints are like the stars. In his providence Christ conceals them in a hidden place that they may not shine before others when they might wish to do so. Yet they are always ready to exchange the quiet of contemplation for the works of mercy as soon as they perceive in their heart the invitation of Christ."

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