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Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church

St. Anthony of Padua, Servant of the Gospel

By: Jeanne Kun


“Let Works of Mercy Be Our Delight”>

Stories abound about the extraordinary events coloring the life of St. Anthony of Padua, the “wonder-worker.” Fish are said to have listened to him preach, their heads attentively raised out of the river, when the hard of heart refused to heed his words.

A donkey knelt reverently before the Blessed Sacrament, convincing heretics who had challenged Anthony on Christ’s presence in the host. A severed foot was reportedly rejoined to its owner’s leg when Anthony blessed it. Statues depicting Anthony with the infant Jesus in his arms recall the occasion when the child appeared to him surrounded by marvelous light.

This popular saint is also known as the “Finder of Lost Articles.” When a novice once ran away with a book of psalms containing notes Anthony had made for teaching his fellow Franciscans, he prayed for the young friar and the recovery of the book. Soon the novice repented and returned to the order, bringing the precious psalter back with him. Since then, millions of people have asked Anthony for help in finding lost possessions: “Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony, please come around/ Something is lost and needs to be found.”

But still, we might wonder, why has this saint of the Middle Ages remained so well-known today? Behind all the remarkable miracles and captivating stories told of Anthony is a man who loved God passionately and tirelessly proclaimed the truth of the gospel.

A Son of Portugal. The man who became known to the world as St. Anthony of Padua actually began his life in a different city than Padua and with a different name than Anthony. He was born Fernando Bulhom in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1195. His father served King Alfonso I as a knight, and Fernando grew up dreaming of the adventures of knighthood. However, when he was fifteen, he chose instead to join the Augustinian monks at San Vincente, just outside the city.

After two years at San Vincente, Fernando saw that he was being too distracted by frequent visitors from outside the monastery, so he asked to transfer to the monastery of Santa Cruz in Portugal’s capital, Coîmbra. For the next eight years he immersed himself in prayer and Scripture and became an avid student of theology and the Fathers of the Church. Most historians assume that it was during this time that he was also ordained to the priesthood. Little did Fernando know that his life was about to take a dramatic turn.

In 1220, the bodies of five Franciscans martyred for preaching to Muslims in Morocco were brought to be honored at Santa Cruz. The story of these men moved Fernando profoundly, and he began to burn with a desire to lay down his life for Christ. He realized, however that he was unlikely to fulfill this dream as an Augustinian monk. When some Franciscans came to the monastery begging a short time later, he opened his heart to them and said, “I will gladly take the habit of your order if you will promise that as soon as I do you will send me to the land of the Saracens.” After receiving the reluctant permission of his prior, Fernando exchanged his white Augustinian habit for the gray robe of a Franciscan brother and took the name Anthony in honor of the great monastic patriarch, Anthony of the Desert.

The Turning Point. Twenty-six years old, Anthony sailed to Morocco with ambitions to convert Muslims to Christianity. However, a prolonged fever forced him to surrender his dream. He realized that God was asking a different kind of sacrifice from him, but he couldn’t tell yet what that sacrifice might be. On the return trip to Portugal, a storm drove Anthony’s ship to Sicily, where he met friars who nursed him back to health. Together with these brother Franciscans, Anthony set out for the now-famous Pentecost “Chapter of Mats” in Assisi where three thousand friars gathered with their founder, Francis. At the close of the meeting, Anthony was assigned to the hermitage of San Paolo near Arezzo, where he served his brothers by celebrating Mass for them, washing dishes, and sweeping the floor. He enjoyed the simplicity of his new life, but what most delighted him were the long hours he was able to spend in a secluded cave, lost in prayer and worship of the Lord.

None of the friars at San Paolo suspected their new companion’s brilliant intellect and knowledge of Scripture until 1222, when they all attended an ordination ceremony in Forli. When several other Franciscans and Dominicans declined an on-the-spot request to preach a homily, Anthony was called upon to “speak whatever the Holy Spirit put in his mouth.” Anthony did just that, and his listeners were amazed at his eloquence and passion. Thus ended Anthony’s contemplative life as the Franciscan provincial commissioned him to preach publicly.

“Hammer of the Heretics.” The thirteenth century was a time of great political, economic, social, and religious activity in Europe. Feudalism, the centuries-old system of land-holding, was declining as a growing merchant class began to make its voice heard. Coined money became more common, displacing land as the measure of wealth. Itinerant evangelists and false teachers, among them Waldensians and Albigensians, were gaining a hearing, especially among the less educated.

Understandably, the Albigensians criticized priests whose scandalous lifestyle undermined the gospel. However, they also denied the reality of Jesus’ human nature and spoke against the resurrection of the body. It was in this turbulent environment that the Franciscan and Domini-can orders—new forms of religious life—came to be.

In Anthony’s preaching tours throughout northern Italy and southern France, he strengthened the faithful, invited sinners to repent, and brought the wandering back to the truth. His studies as an Augustinian, coupled with his love for the Franciscan spirit, made him a powerful witness of the gospel. Realizing that it was not enough merely to proclaim right doctrine in order to win people’s hearts, Anthony confirmed his words by demonstrating genuine gospel living. “The preacher must by word and example be a sun to those to whom he preaches,” he once said. “Our life must warm the hearts of men, while our teaching enlightens them.”

Anthony presented the truth of Christianity in positive ways and defended the faith by the example of his life rather than by taking direct issue with heretics and trying to prove them wrong. Nonetheless, Anthony was also well able to refute false teachers with his thorough knowledge of the Bible and the church Fathers. Because of his success, he became known as the “Hammer of the Heretics.”

Teacher and Preacher. Around this time Francis appointed Anthony to teach theology to his fellow friars. He was the first member of his order to fill such a post and taught briefly in Bologna, Montpellier, and Toulouse. Nonetheless, his primary mission remained that of a preacher. His learning, eloquent powers of persuasion, magnetic personality, and clear, rich voice attracted great crowds. In one remarkable instance, a woman forbidden by her husband to attend Anthony’s preaching flung open her window so that his sermon, though at quite a distance, filled the room. Astonished by what he considered a miracle, her husband was moved to the heart by Anthony’s words.

Loved and respected by his Franciscan brothers, Anthony was elected provincial of the friars in northern Italy in 1227. During the next three years he also served as an envoy to Pope Gregory IX, preached throughout Italy, and wrote “Sermons for Sunday,” actually notes to aid other preachers in preparing their own sermons. On one occasion, after Anthony preached before the curia, the pope called him the “Ark of the Testament” because of his profound knowledge of the Scriptures and later commissioned him to produce a series of sermons for the church’s feast days.

Beloved Padua. In June 1230, Pope Gregory IX released Anthony, at his own request, from his duties as provincial so he could devote his energies exclusively to preaching. From that time on he resided in Padua, a city whose people had become dear to him when he had preached to them earlier. There he was privileged to see great fruit in the final months of his life.

Anthony’s sermons in Padua produced a genuine transformation among the citizens as he urged them to trust in God’s mercy and receive his forgiveness. Long-standing quarrels among neighbors were settled peacefully, immoral living was abandoned, and stolen goods were restored as thieves became honest men. Shops and offices were closed while as many as thirty thousand people gathered in the piazzas or open fields to hear him. A bodyguard of young men protected Anthony as crowds of enthusiasts&mash;some armed with scissors to snip off pieces of his habit as relics—pressed around him.

Concerned for the poor, Anthony preached against charging exorbitant interest rates on loans and persuaded the city to pass a law against the common practice of imprisoning debtors who could not pay their creditors. But his main object was to bring people back to peace with God. He took no satisfaction in a crowd of listeners if the confessional remained empty afterwards. Anthony felt that would be like “hunting all day and returning with an empty game-bag.” So, after his morning Mass and sermon, he frequently heard confessions the rest of the day, often aided by local parish priests.

“I See My Lord!” After preaching through Lent and the spring of 1231, Anthony’s health and strength gave out. He was only thirty-six years old. He retreated with two companions to a forest where he enjoyed solitude and prayer in a cell built for him in the branches of a huge walnut tree. When he saw that he was declining, Anthony asked to be taken back to his beloved Padua, but only reached the outskirts of the city, where he died on June 13, 1231. As death approached, he joyously told his companions, “I see my Lord!”

When Anthony was canonized the following year, Pope Gregory IX spontaneously in-toned the antiphon O doctor optime in his honor. In 1946 Pope Pius XII formally declared St. Anthony of Padua a doctor of the church.

Anthony knew the mercy and goodness of God and moved many to follow Jesus wholeheartedly by proclaiming that mercy through powerful sermons and through the witness of his life. If what happened in Padua is any indication, Anthony’s life is an example of what can happen in each of our homes and neighborhoods as we pursue Jesus wholeheartedly and do not shrink back from opportunities to share his good news with those around us.


Saint Anthony of Padua,Priest and Doctor of the Church
Memorial June 13th

Filippino Lippi
Madonna with Child, Saint Anthony of Padua and a Friar
before 1480 — Tempera on wood
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest


Saint Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal as Ferdinand de Bulhoes, he was a Franciscan known for his profound knowledge of theology and for his rhetorical skill. His preachings carried him from the north of Africa to Italy and France. He is known as the Evangelical Doctor because he based all that he said on the texts of the gospels. He died in Padua.

 Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

Collect:
Almighty ever-living God,
who gave Saint Anthony of Padua to your people
as an outstanding preacher
and an intercessor in their need,
grant that, with his assistance,
as we follow the teachings of the Christian life,
we may know your help in every trial.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Isaiah 61:1-3d

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion– to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

Gospel Reading: Luke 10:1-9

After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of Him, two by two, into every town and place where He Himself was about to come. And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

Spanish Prayer:

Oración a San Antonio de Padua

Glorioso San Antonio que por tus
Milagros mereciste tener en tus brazos
Al infante Jesús: intercede de su
Misericordia el favor que
Fervorosament te pido. Tú eres tan
Bondadoso con los pecadores, no te
Fijes en mis faltas. Miro la grandeza y
La gloria del Señor, la salvación de mi
Alma y la necesidad de remediar mis
Aflicciones. Amen.

(Haga su petición)

Related link on the Vatican Website:

BENEDICT XVI, GENERAL AUDIENCE, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, February 10, 2010, Saint Anthony of Padua


St. Anthony of Padua, Servant of the Gospel

Forensic experts attempt to reconstruct face of St. Anthony
St. Anthony, Finder of the Lost (It wasn’t lost articles, but lost souls)[Ecumenical]
“Something’s Lost and Must Be Found!” Praying to St. Anthony of Padua [Catholic Caucus]
On St. Anthony of Padua
Feast of St. Anthony of Padua

June 13 – St. Anthony of Padua, Confessor (Dom Guéranger) (Catholic Caucus)
ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA—1195-1231 A.D.

Malleus Haereticorum – St. Anthony of Padua
In Pakistan Muslims and Protestants celebrate Saint Anthony as well
Italian Studio Films 1st Movie on St. Anthony of Padua – “Anthony, God’s Warrior”
The Marian Devotion of St. Anthony of Padua
Saint Anthony of Padua: Hammer of Heretics and Ark of the New Covenant and Miracle Worker

June 13, Feast of St Anthony of Padua, Confessor and Doctor
St Anthony of Padua – Confessor
The Life Of Saint Anthony Of Padua


 

Information: St. Anthony of Padua

Feast Day: June 13

Born: 1195, Lisbon, Portugal

Died: 13 June 1231, Padua

Canonized: 30 May 1232, Spoleto, Italy by Pope Gregory IX

Major Shrine: Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua in Padua, Italy

Patron of: animals; barrenness; Brazil; elderly people; faith in the Blessed Sacrament; fishermen; Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land; harvests; horses; Lisbon; lost articles; lower animals; mail; mariners; American Indians; oppressed people; Padua, Italy; poor people; Portugal; pregnant women; sailors; seekers of lost articles; shipwrecks; starvation; sterility; swineherds; Tigua Indians; travel hostesses; travellers; watermen


 

Holy Spirit Interactive Kids: A Saint a Day

St. Anthony of Padua

Feast Day: June 13
Born: 1195 :: Died: 1231

This very popular saint was born at Lisbon in Portugal in a wealthy family. He was baptized and named “Ferdinand.” His parents wanted him to be a great nobleman but when Anthony grew up he wanted to become a priest.

He received an excellent education from the Augustinian friars and joined the order. When he was twenty-five, his life took an exciting turn. He heard about how some Franciscans – St. Berard and his companions had been martyred by the Moors in Morocco for their faith in Jesus.

From then on, Ferdinand felt a strong desire to die for Christ and he joined the Franciscans. This order was very new. St. Francis himself was still alive. Ferdinand took the name “Anthony.” He went off to Africa to preach to the Moors but he soon became so sick that he had to return to Italy.

The other Franciscan friars had no idea how brilliant and talented Anthony was or of how much education he had received. He never spoke about himself. So the Franciscan superiors assigned him to a quiet friary in Italy. There he washed pots and pans without complaint.

One day, at a large gathering of priests, when the speaker failed to arrive, Anthony was forced to preach. He preached such a marvelous sermon that everyone who heard him was most impressed. From then on, until he died nine years later, St. Anthony preached all over Italy and France. He was so popular that people even closed their stores to go to hear him.

St. Anthony died at Arcella, near Padua, Italy, on June 13, 1231 when he was just thirty-six. After he died, people often prayed to St. Anthony in times of physical as well as spiritual needs and many miracles have taken place through the intercession of St. Anthony. That is why he is called the “wonder-worker.”

The statue of St. Anthony shows him with Baby Jesus because Baby Jesus appeared to him. Other pictures show St. Anthony holding a bible. This is because he knew, loved and preached the Word of God so well. In fact, St. Anthony was so well educated especially in Sacred Scripture that Pope Pius XII proclaimed him the “Evangelical Doctor,” or Doctor of Sacred Scripture.

Reflection: “Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak.” – sermon by St. Anthony


 

Monday

June 13, 2016

Prayer to Andre Bessette,
Patron Saint of the Disabled

Brother André, I come to you in prayer for healing.
You were no stranger to illness. Plagued by stomach problems, you knew suffering on a daily basis, but you never lost faith in God.

Thousands of people have sought your healing prayers as I do today. Pray that I might be restored to health in body, soul, and mind. With St. Joseph as my loving Protector, strengthen my faith and give me peace That I might accept God’s will for me no matter the outcome. Amen.

~ by Anna Keating

Please share this prayer with anyone who you know deals daily with a disability.

Year of Mercy Calendar for Today: “This week pray for those who are sick.”


 

CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Monday, June 13

Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Memorial of St.
Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the
Church. Known for his preaching
and fervent battles against false
teachings, St Anthony was called the
“Hammer of the Heretics.” He
continued spreading the Gospel until
his death in 1231.


 

Catholic Culture

Ordinary Time: June 13th

St. Anthony of Padua, priest & doctor

MASS READINGS

June 13, 2016 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Grant, Lord God, that we, your servants, may rejoice in unfailing health of mind and body, and, through the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary ever-Virgin, may we be set free from present sorrow and come to enjoy eternal happiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Almighty ever-living God, who gave Saint Anthony of Padua to your people as an outstanding preacher and an intercessor in their need, grant that, with his assistance, as we follow the teachings of the Christian life, we may know your help in every trial. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Old Calendar: St. Anthony of Padua

St. Anthony was born at Lisbon, Portugal. He became a canon regular and then a Franciscan preaching the Gospel everywhere in Portugal and Italy. Both as a theologian and as a popular preacher he fought vigorously against heresy. His preaching was inspired by the love of God and of souls and had an extraordinary power of conviction; it was filled with the penetrating power of the Bible.

Pope Gregory IX, who heard him preach, called him during his lifetime the Arca Testamenti, meaning “the living repository of the Holy Scriptures” and Pope Pius XII, when he proclaimed him a Doctor of the Church, declared that he based all that he said on the texts of the Gospels, and could justly be called the Evangelical Doctor.

St. Anthony lived for a time in France, but chiefly in Italy, and died at Padua in 1231 at age 36, with the reputation of great sanctity. From the day of his death innumerable miracles caused the faithful to invoke him as a wonder-worker of untiring benevolence.


St. Anthony
Anthony is one of the most popular saints in the Church. He is the patron of lost things and numerous other causes. In Brazil, he is considered a general of the army; he is the patron of the poor and has been recognized as a wonder worker from the moment of his death.

He was born in Portugal and entered the Augustinian monastery of Sao Vicente in Lisbon when he was fifteen. When news of the Franciscan martyrs in Morocco reached him, he joined the Franciscans at Coimbra. At his own request, he was sent as a missionary to Morocco, but he became ill, and on his return journey his boat was driven off course and he landed in Sicily. He took part in St. Francis’ famous Chapter of Mats in 1221 and was assigned to the Franciscan province of Romagna.

He became a preacher by accident. When a scheduled preacher did not show up for an ordination ceremony at Forli, the Franciscan superior told Anthony to go into the pulpit. His eloquence stirred everyone, and he was assigned to preach throughout northern Italy.

Because of his success in converting heretics, he was called the “Hammer of Heretics” and because of his learning, St. Francis himself appointed him a teacher of theology. St. Anthony of Padua was such a forceful preacher that shops closed when he came to town, and people stayed all night in church to be present for his sermons. He became associated with Padua because he made this city his residence and the center of his great preaching mission.

After a series of Lenten sermons in 1231, Anthony’s strength gave out and he went into seclusion at Camposanpiero but soon had to be carried back to Padua. He did not reach the city but was taken to the Poor Clare convent at Arcella, where he died. He was thirty-six years old, and the whole city of Padua turned out in mourning for his passing.

He was canonized within a year of his death and was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946.

Excerpted from The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens

Patron: Against shipwrecks; against starvation; against starving; American Indians; amputees; animals; asses; barrenness; boatmen; Brazil; diocese of Beaumont, Texas; domestic animals; elderly people; expectant mothers; faith in the Blessed Sacrament; Ferrazzano, Italy; fishermen; harvests; horses; Lisbon, Portugal; lost articles; lower animals; mail; mariners; oppressed people; Padua, Italy; paupers; poor people; Portugal; pregnant women; sailors; seekers of lost articles; shipwrecks; starvation; starving people; sterility; swineherds; Tigua Indians; travel hostesses; travellers; watermen.

Symbols: The Holy Child on a book; lilies; fishes; flask and crucifix, mule; money chest and human heart; heart (symbol of Christian charity); fire (for religious fervor); portrayed holding a book, bread, Infant Jesus and or a lily.

Things to Do:

  • St. Anthony was a great lover of the poor. Deprive yourself of some treat and put the money saved in the poor box.

  • St. Anthony’s Bread refers to an episode told in the Rigaldina, the oldest life of St. Anthony. A Paduan mother, who lived near the Basilica during its construction, had left little Thomas, her 20 month old son, alone in the kitchen. The little boy, while playing, ended up head first in a tub of water. His mother found him lifeless. She screamed desperately but she didn’t give up. She called on the Saint. She made a vow: if she obtained the blessing of her child back to life, she would donate to the poor bread equal to the weight of her son to the poor. Her prayer was answered. Read more about St. Anthony’s Bread and consider donating to St. Anthony’s charities.

  • St. Anthony is invoked by women in search of good husbands, so if you’re single and in search of a spouse, today is a good day to make a visit to a church or shrine dedicated to St. Anthony to make your petition to this generous saint!

  • Because St. Anthony was buried on a Tuesday and many miracles accompanied his funeral, Tuesdays are special days of honoring him throughout the year. It is customary to pray a Novena to him on thirteen consecutive Tuesdays.

  • For more information and more prayers see the following websites:

    Popular Devotions in Honour of St. Anthony

    St. Anthony Shrine

    The Franciscans and The Companions of St. Anthony.


 

Saint Anthony of Padua

Saint Anthony of Padua

Also known as

  • Antonio da Padova

  • Evangelical Doctor

Memorial

Profile

Anthony’s wealthy family wanted him to be a great nobleman, but for the sake of Christ he became a poor Franciscan. Priest.

When the remains of Saint Berard and his companions, the first Franciscan martyrs, were brought to be buried in his church, Anthony was moved to leave his order, enter the Friars Minor, and go to Morocco to evangelize. Shipwrecked at Sicily, he joined some other brothers who were going to the church in Portiuncula. Lived in a cave at San Paolo leaving only to attend Mass and sweep the nearby monastery. One day when a scheduled speaker failed to appear, the brothers pressed him into speaking. He impressed them so that he was thereafter constantly travelling, evangelizing, preaching, and teaching theology through Italy and France.

A gifted speaker, he attracted crowds everywhere he went, speaking in multiple tongues; legend says that even the fish loved to listen. Miracle worker. One of the most beloved of saints, his images and statues are found everywhere – though none of them portray him as a heavy-set man, which some reports claim he was. Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 16 January 1946.

One source of the well-known patronage for the recovery of lost objects comes from a legend that, long after Anthony’s death, his old prayer book was kept as a treasured relic, and one day it disappeared. People prayed for help in finding the lost item, a novice found it and returned it; he later admitted that he had “borrowed” the book and returned it after receiving a vision of an angry Anthony.

Born

Died

Canonized

Patronage

Representation

Prayers

Additional Information

Readings

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 intheir heart the invitation of Christ. Saint Anthony of Padua

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.

But the apostles “spoke as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.” Happy the man whose words issue from the Holy Spirit and not from himself!

We should speak, then, as the Holy Spirit gives us the gift of speech. Our humble and sincere request to the Spirit for ourselves should be that we may bring the day of Pentecost to fulfillment, insofar as he infuses us with his grace, by using our bodily senses in a perfect manner by keeping the commandments. Likewise we shall request that we may be filled with a keen sense of sorrow and with fiery tongues for confessing the faith so our deserved reward may be to stand in the blazing splendor of the saints and to look upon the triune God.


 

The Word Among Us

Meditation: Matthew 5:38-42

Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

Offer no resistance to one who is evil. (Matthew 5:39)

We’ve all heard expressions like “What goes around comes around” and “The punishment should fit the crime.” But compare these statements to today’s Gospel reading, and they end up sounding like the ancient law of retribution: an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. They imply that justice is served when wrongdoers get back what they dished out.

When thought of in the abstract, this sounds completely reasonable, doesn’t it? It’s nothing personal; you’re just trying to be fair and maintain order.

But most wrongdoing is personal. It’s no longer just an “event” out there. You are on the receiving end of an injustice, and you are hurt and frustrated. Especially if you have suffered a serious offense, it can be difficult to remain impartial and unemotional. Something in you wants to get even. And so the cycle of vengeance continues—a cycle that we see not only on the world stage but in family life as well.

What would it take for us to break this cycle? Although Jesus’ words about not resisting evil are an exaggeration, they do prompt us to ask, “How far am I willing to go?” Jesus wants the mark of his people to be mercy. He wants us to try to put an end to hatred, vengeance, and enmity—simply by making changes in our own hearts.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we should become doormats and let people take advantage of us. Neither does it mean that we don’t need judges and law enforcement officers to do their jobs. But at the end of the day, a social or political system can’t bring the kind of healing that a person can. As Pope Francis constantly reminds us, we need to encounter one another in order to experience the power of God’s mercy and love.

What simple step can you take to help break the cycle of hurt and retaliation? Maybe just a small act of generosity or a simple “I forgive you” is all you need—even if you don’t feel all that merciful at the time. It may not be easy, but it has the potential to open up someone else’s heart to God’s grace and forgiveness.

“Jesus, help me to be as merciful toward people as you have been with me.”

1 Kings 21:1-16
Psalm 5:2-7

Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church

St. Anthony of Padua, Servant of the Gospel

By: Jeanne Kun


“Let Works of Mercy Be Our Delight”>

Stories abound about the extraordinary events coloring the life of St. Anthony of Padua, the “wonder-worker.” Fish are said to have listened to him preach, their heads attentively raised out of the river, when the hard of heart refused to heed his words.

A donkey knelt reverently before the Blessed Sacrament, convincing heretics who had challenged Anthony on Christ’s presence in the host. A severed foot was reportedly rejoined to its owner’s leg when Anthony blessed it. Statues depicting Anthony with the infant Jesus in his arms recall the occasion when the child appeared to him surrounded by marvelous light.

This popular saint is also known as the “Finder of Lost Articles.” When a novice once ran away with a book of psalms containing notes Anthony had made for teaching his fellow Franciscans, he prayed for the young friar and the recovery of the book. Soon the novice repented and returned to the order, bringing the precious psalter back with him. Since then, millions of people have asked Anthony for help in finding lost possessions: “Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony, please come around/ Something is lost and needs to be found.”

But still, we might wonder, why has this saint of the Middle Ages remained so well-known today? Behind all the remarkable miracles and captivating stories told of Anthony is a man who loved God passionately and tirelessly proclaimed the truth of the gospel.

A Son of Portugal. The man who became known to the world as St. Anthony of Padua actually began his life in a different city than Padua and with a different name than Anthony. He was born Fernando Bulhom in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1195. His father served King Alfonso I as a knight, and Fernando grew up dreaming of the adventures of knighthood. However, when he was fifteen, he chose instead to join the Augustinian monks at San Vincente, just outside the city.

After two years at San Vincente, Fernando saw that he was being too distracted by frequent visitors from outside the monastery, so he asked to transfer to the monastery of Santa Cruz in Portugal’s capital, Coîmbra. For the next eight years he immersed himself in prayer and Scripture and became an avid student of theology and the Fathers of the Church. Most historians assume that it was during this time that he was also ordained to the priesthood. Little did Fernando know that his life was about to take a dramatic turn.

In 1220, the bodies of five Franciscans martyred for preaching to Muslims in Morocco were brought to be honored at Santa Cruz. The story of these men moved Fernando profoundly, and he began to burn with a desire to lay down his life for Christ. He realized, however that he was unlikely to fulfill this dream as an Augustinian monk. When some Franciscans came to the monastery begging a short time later, he opened his heart to them and said, “I will gladly take the habit of your order if you will promise that as soon as I do you will send me to the land of the Saracens.” After receiving the reluctant permission of his prior, Fernando exchanged his white Augustinian habit for the gray robe of a Franciscan brother and took the name Anthony in honor of the great monastic patriarch, Anthony of the Desert.

The Turning Point. Twenty-six years old, Anthony sailed to Morocco with ambitions to convert Muslims to Christianity. However, a prolonged fever forced him to surrender his dream. He realized that God was asking a different kind of sacrifice from him, but he couldn’t tell yet what that sacrifice might be. On the return trip to Portugal, a storm drove Anthony’s ship to Sicily, where he met friars who nursed him back to health. Together with these brother Franciscans, Anthony set out for the now-famous Pentecost “Chapter of Mats” in Assisi where three thousand friars gathered with their founder, Francis. At the close of the meeting, Anthony was assigned to the hermitage of San Paolo near Arezzo, where he served his brothers by celebrating Mass for them, washing dishes, and sweeping the floor. He enjoyed the simplicity of his new life, but what most delighted him were the long hours he was able to spend in a secluded cave, lost in prayer and worship of the Lord.

None of the friars at San Paolo suspected their new companion’s brilliant intellect and knowledge of Scripture until 1222, when they all attended an ordination ceremony in Forli. When several other Franciscans and Dominicans declined an on-the-spot request to preach a homily, Anthony was called upon to “speak whatever the Holy Spirit put in his mouth.” Anthony did just that, and his listeners were amazed at his eloquence and passion. Thus ended Anthony’s contemplative life as the Franciscan provincial commissioned him to preach publicly.

“Hammer of the Heretics.” The thirteenth century was a time of great political, economic, social, and religious activity in Europe. Feudalism, the centuries-old system of land-holding, was declining as a growing merchant class began to make its voice heard. Coined money became more common, displacing land as the measure of wealth. Itinerant evangelists and false teachers, among them Waldensians and Albigensians, were gaining a hearing, especially among the less educated.

Understandably, the Albigensians criticized priests whose scandalous lifestyle undermined the gospel. However, they also denied the reality of Jesus’ human nature and spoke against the resurrection of the body. It was in this turbulent environment that the Franciscan and Domini-can orders—new forms of religious life—came to be.

In Anthony’s preaching tours throughout northern Italy and southern France, he strengthened the faithful, invited sinners to repent, and brought the wandering back to the truth. His studies as an Augustinian, coupled with his love for the Franciscan spirit, made him a powerful witness of the gospel. Realizing that it was not enough merely to proclaim right doctrine in order to win people’s hearts, Anthony confirmed his words by demonstrating genuine gospel living. “The preacher must by word and example be a sun to those to whom he preaches,” he once said. “Our life must warm the hearts of men, while our teaching enlightens them.”

Anthony presented the truth of Christianity in positive ways and defended the faith by the example of his life rather than by taking direct issue with heretics and trying to prove them wrong. Nonetheless, Anthony was also well able to refute false teachers with his thorough knowledge of the Bible and the church Fathers. Because of his success, he became known as the “Hammer of the Heretics.”

Teacher and Preacher. Around this time Francis appointed Anthony to teach theology to his fellow friars. He was the first member of his order to fill such a post and taught briefly in Bologna, Montpellier, and Toulouse. Nonetheless, his primary mission remained that of a preacher. His learning, eloquent powers of persuasion, magnetic personality, and clear, rich voice attracted great crowds. In one remarkable instance, a woman forbidden by her husband to attend Anthony’s preaching flung open her window so that his sermon, though at quite a distance, filled the room. Astonished by what he considered a miracle, her husband was moved to the heart by Anthony’s words.

Loved and respected by his Franciscan brothers, Anthony was elected provincial of the friars in northern Italy in 1227. During the next three years he also served as an envoy to Pope Gregory IX, preached throughout Italy, and wrote “Sermons for Sunday,” actually notes to aid other preachers in preparing their own sermons. On one occasion, after Anthony preached before the curia, the pope called him the “Ark of the Testament” because of his profound knowledge of the Scriptures and later commissioned him to produce a series of sermons for the church’s feast days.

Beloved Padua. In June 1230, Pope Gregory IX released Anthony, at his own request, from his duties as provincial so he could devote his energies exclusively to preaching. From that time on he resided in Padua, a city whose people had become dear to him when he had preached to them earlier. There he was privileged to see great fruit in the final months of his life.

Anthony’s sermons in Padua produced a genuine transformation among the citizens as he urged them to trust in God’s mercy and receive his forgiveness. Long-standing quarrels among neighbors were settled peacefully, immoral living was abandoned, and stolen goods were restored as thieves became honest men. Shops and offices were closed while as many as thirty thousand people gathered in the piazzas or open fields to hear him. A bodyguard of young men protected Anthony as crowds of enthusiasts&mash;some armed with scissors to snip off pieces of his habit as relics—pressed around him.

Concerned for the poor, Anthony preached against charging exorbitant interest rates on loans and persuaded the city to pass a law against the common practice of imprisoning debtors who could not pay their creditors. But his main object was to bring people back to peace with God. He took no satisfaction in a crowd of listeners if the confessional remained empty afterwards. Anthony felt that would be like “hunting all day and returning with an empty game-bag.” So, after his morning Mass and sermon, he frequently heard confessions the rest of the day, often aided by local parish priests.

“I See My Lord!” After preaching through Lent and the spring of 1231, Anthony’s health and strength gave out. He was only thirty-six years old. He retreated with two companions to a forest where he enjoyed solitude and prayer in a cell built for him in the branches of a huge walnut tree. When he saw that he was declining, Anthony asked to be taken back to his beloved Padua, but only reached the outskirts of the city, where he died on June 13, 1231. As death approached, he joyously told his companions, “I see my Lord!”

When Anthony was canonized the following year, Pope Gregory IX spontaneously in-toned the antiphon O doctor optime in his honor. In 1946 Pope Pius XII formally declared St. Anthony of Padua a doctor of the church.

Anthony knew the mercy and goodness of God and moved many to follow Jesus wholeheartedly by proclaiming that mercy through powerful sermons and through the witness of his life. If what happened in Padua is any indication, Anthony’s life is an example of what can happen in each of our homes and neighborhoods as we pursue Jesus wholeheartedly and do not shrink back from opportunities to share his good news with those around us.


Saint Anthony of Padua,Priest and Doctor of the Church
Memorial June 13th

Filippino Lippi
Madonna with Child, Saint Anthony of Padua and a Friar
before 1480 — Tempera on wood
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest


Saint Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal as Ferdinand de Bulhoes, he was a Franciscan known for his profound knowledge of theology and for his rhetorical skill. His preachings carried him from the north of Africa to Italy and France. He is known as the Evangelical Doctor because he based all that he said on the texts of the gospels. He died in Padua.

 Source: Daily Roman Missal, Edited by Rev. James Socías, Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, Illinois ©2003

Collect:
Almighty ever-living God,
who gave Saint Anthony of Padua to your people
as an outstanding preacher
and an intercessor in their need,
grant that, with his assistance,
as we follow the teachings of the Christian life,
we may know your help in every trial.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. +Amen.

First Reading: Isaiah 61:1-3d

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion– to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

Gospel Reading: Luke 10:1-9

After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of Him, two by two, into every town and place where He Himself was about to come. And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

Spanish Prayer:

Oración a San Antonio de Padua

Glorioso San Antonio que por tus
Milagros mereciste tener en tus brazos
Al infante Jesús: intercede de su
Misericordia el favor que
Fervorosament te pido. Tú eres tan
Bondadoso con los pecadores, no te
Fijes en mis faltas. Miro la grandeza y
La gloria del Señor, la salvación de mi
Alma y la necesidad de remediar mis
Aflicciones. Amen.

(Haga su petición)

Related link on the Vatican Website:

BENEDICT XVI, GENERAL AUDIENCE, Paul VI Audience Hall, Wednesday, February 10, 2010, Saint Anthony of Padua


St. Anthony of Padua, Servant of the Gospel

Forensic experts attempt to reconstruct face of St. Anthony
St. Anthony, Finder of the Lost (It wasn’t lost articles, but lost souls)[Ecumenical]
“Something’s Lost and Must Be Found!” Praying to St. Anthony of Padua [Catholic Caucus]
On St. Anthony of Padua
Feast of St. Anthony of Padua

June 13 – St. Anthony of Padua, Confessor (Dom Guéranger) (Catholic Caucus)
ST. ANTHONY OF PADUA—1195-1231 A.D.

Malleus Haereticorum – St. Anthony of Padua
In Pakistan Muslims and Protestants celebrate Saint Anthony as well
Italian Studio Films 1st Movie on St. Anthony of Padua – “Anthony, God’s Warrior”
The Marian Devotion of St. Anthony of Padua
Saint Anthony of Padua: Hammer of Heretics and Ark of the New Covenant and Miracle Worker

June 13, Feast of St Anthony of Padua, Confessor and Doctor
St Anthony of Padua – Confessor
The Life Of Saint Anthony Of Padua


 

Information: St. Anthony of Padua

Feast Day: June 13

Born: 1195, Lisbon, Portugal

Died: 13 June 1231, Padua

Canonized: 30 May 1232, Spoleto, Italy by Pope Gregory IX

Major Shrine: Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua in Padua, Italy

Patron of: animals; barrenness; Brazil; elderly people; faith in the Blessed Sacrament; fishermen; Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land; harvests; horses; Lisbon; lost articles; lower animals; mail; mariners; American Indians; oppressed people; Padua, Italy; poor people; Portugal; pregnant women; sailors; seekers of lost articles; shipwrecks; starvation; sterility; swineherds; Tigua Indians; travel hostesses; travellers; watermen


 

Holy Spirit Interactive Kids: A Saint a Day

St. Anthony of Padua

Feast Day: June 13
Born: 1195 :: Died: 1231

This very popular saint was born at Lisbon in Portugal in a wealthy family. He was baptized and named “Ferdinand.” His parents wanted him to be a great nobleman but when Anthony grew up he wanted to become a priest.

He received an excellent education from the Augustinian friars and joined the order. When he was twenty-five, his life took an exciting turn. He heard about how some Franciscans – St. Berard and his companions had been martyred by the Moors in Morocco for their faith in Jesus.

From then on, Ferdinand felt a strong desire to die for Christ and he joined the Franciscans. This order was very new. St. Francis himself was still alive. Ferdinand took the name “Anthony.” He went off to Africa to preach to the Moors but he soon became so sick that he had to return to Italy.

The other Franciscan friars had no idea how brilliant and talented Anthony was or of how much education he had received. He never spoke about himself. So the Franciscan superiors assigned him to a quiet friary in Italy. There he washed pots and pans without complaint.

One day, at a large gathering of priests, when the speaker failed to arrive, Anthony was forced to preach. He preached such a marvelous sermon that everyone who heard him was most impressed. From then on, until he died nine years later, St. Anthony preached all over Italy and France. He was so popular that people even closed their stores to go to hear him.

St. Anthony died at Arcella, near Padua, Italy, on June 13, 1231 when he was just thirty-six. After he died, people often prayed to St. Anthony in times of physical as well as spiritual needs and many miracles have taken place through the intercession of St. Anthony. That is why he is called the “wonder-worker.”

The statue of St. Anthony shows him with Baby Jesus because Baby Jesus appeared to him. Other pictures show St. Anthony holding a bible. This is because he knew, loved and preached the Word of God so well. In fact, St. Anthony was so well educated especially in Sacred Scripture that Pope Pius XII proclaimed him the “Evangelical Doctor,” or Doctor of Sacred Scripture.

Reflection: “Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak.” – sermon by St. Anthony


 

Monday

June 13, 2016

Prayer to Andre Bessette,
Patron Saint of the Disabled

Brother André, I come to you in prayer for healing.
You were no stranger to illness. Plagued by stomach problems, you knew suffering on a daily basis, but you never lost faith in God.

Thousands of people have sought your healing prayers as I do today. Pray that I might be restored to health in body, soul, and mind. With St. Joseph as my loving Protector, strengthen my faith and give me peace That I might accept God’s will for me no matter the outcome. Amen.

~ by Anna Keating

Please share this prayer with anyone who you know deals daily with a disability.

Year of Mercy Calendar for Today: “This week pray for those who are sick.”


 

CATHOLIC ALMANAC

Monday, June 13

Liturgical Color: White

Today is the Memorial of St.
Anthony of Padua, Doctor of the
Church. Known for his preaching
and fervent battles against false
teachings, St Anthony was called the
“Hammer of the Heretics.” He
continued spreading the Gospel until
his death in 1231.


 

Catholic Culture

Ordinary Time: June 13th

St. Anthony of Padua, priest & doctor

MASS READINGS

June 13, 2016 (Readings on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Grant, Lord God, that we, your servants, may rejoice in unfailing health of mind and body, and, through the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary ever-Virgin, may we be set free from present sorrow and come to enjoy eternal happiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Almighty ever-living God, who gave Saint Anthony of Padua to your people as an outstanding preacher and an intercessor in their need, grant that, with his assistance, as we follow the teachings of the Christian life, we may know your help in every trial. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

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Recipes (8)

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Library (1)

Old Calendar: St. Anthony of Padua

St. Anthony was born at Lisbon, Portugal. He became a canon regular and then a Franciscan preaching the Gospel everywhere in Portugal and Italy. Both as a theologian and as a popular preacher he fought vigorously against heresy. His preaching was inspired by the love of God and of souls and had an extraordinary power of conviction; it was filled with the penetrating power of the Bible.

Pope Gregory IX, who heard him preach, called him during his lifetime the Arca Testamenti, meaning “the living repository of the Holy Scriptures” and Pope Pius XII, when he proclaimed him a Doctor of the Church, declared that he based all that he said on the texts of the Gospels, and could justly be called the Evangelical Doctor.

St. Anthony lived for a time in France, but chiefly in Italy, and died at Padua in 1231 at age 36, with the reputation of great sanctity. From the day of his death innumerable miracles caused the faithful to invoke him as a wonder-worker of untiring benevolence.


St. Anthony
Anthony is one of the most popular saints in the Church. He is the patron of lost things and numerous other causes. In Brazil, he is considered a general of the army; he is the patron of the poor and has been recognized as a wonder worker from the moment of his death.

He was born in Portugal and entered the Augustinian monastery of Sao Vicente in Lisbon when he was fifteen. When news of the Franciscan martyrs in Morocco reached him, he joined the Franciscans at Coimbra. At his own request, he was sent as a missionary to Morocco, but he became ill, and on his return journey his boat was driven off course and he landed in Sicily. He took part in St. Francis’ famous Chapter of Mats in 1221 and was assigned to the Franciscan province of Romagna.

He became a preacher by accident. When a scheduled preacher did not show up for an ordination ceremony at Forli, the Franciscan superior told Anthony to go into the pulpit. His eloquence stirred everyone, and he was assigned to preach throughout northern Italy.

Because of his success in converting heretics, he was called the “Hammer of Heretics” and because of his learning, St. Francis himself appointed him a teacher of theology. St. Anthony of Padua was such a forceful preacher that shops closed when he came to town, and people stayed all night in church to be present for his sermons. He became associated with Padua because he made this city his residence and the center of his great preaching mission.

After a series of Lenten sermons in 1231, Anthony’s strength gave out and he went into seclusion at Camposanpiero but soon had to be carried back to Padua. He did not reach the city but was taken to the Poor Clare convent at Arcella, where he died. He was thirty-six years old, and the whole city of Padua turned out in mourning for his passing.

He was canonized within a year of his death and was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946.

Excerpted from The One Year Book of Saints by Rev. Clifford Stevens

Patron: Against shipwrecks; against starvation; against starving; American Indians; amputees; animals; asses; barrenness; boatmen; Brazil; diocese of Beaumont, Texas; domestic animals; elderly people; expectant mothers; faith in the Blessed Sacrament; Ferrazzano, Italy; fishermen; harvests; horses; Lisbon, Portugal; lost articles; lower animals; mail; mariners; oppressed people; Padua, Italy; paupers; poor people; Portugal; pregnant women; sailors; seekers of lost articles; shipwrecks; starvation; starving people; sterility; swineherds; Tigua Indians; travel hostesses; travellers; watermen.

Symbols: The Holy Child on a book; lilies; fishes; flask and crucifix, mule; money chest and human heart; heart (symbol of Christian charity); fire (for religious fervor); portrayed holding a book, bread, Infant Jesus and or a lily.

Things to Do:

  • St. Anthony was a great lover of the poor. Deprive yourself of some treat and put the money saved in the poor box.

  • St. Anthony’s Bread refers to an episode told in the Rigaldina, the oldest life of St. Anthony. A Paduan mother, who lived near the Basilica during its construction, had left little Thomas, her 20 month old son, alone in the kitchen. The little boy, while playing, ended up head first in a tub of water. His mother found him lifeless. She screamed desperately but she didn’t give up. She called on the Saint. She made a vow: if she obtained the blessing of her child back to life, she would donate to the poor bread equal to the weight of her son to the poor. Her prayer was answered. Read more about St. Anthony’s Bread and consider donating to St. Anthony’s charities.

  • St. Anthony is invoked by women in search of good husbands, so if you’re single and in search of a spouse, today is a good day to make a visit to a church or shrine dedicated to St. Anthony to make your petition to this generous saint!

  • Because St. Anthony was buried on a Tuesday and many miracles accompanied his funeral, Tuesdays are special days of honoring him throughout the year. It is customary to pray a Novena to him on thirteen consecutive Tuesdays.

  • For more information and more prayers see the following websites:

    Popular Devotions in Honour of St. Anthony

    St. Anthony Shrine

    The Franciscans and The Companions of St. Anthony.


 

Saint Anthony of Padua

Saint Anthony of Padua

Also known as

  • Antonio da Padova

  • Evangelical Doctor

Memorial

Profile

Anthony’s wealthy family wanted him to be a great nobleman, but for the sake of Christ he became a poor Franciscan. Priest.

When the remains of Saint Berard and his companions, the first Franciscan martyrs, were brought to be buried in his church, Anthony was moved to leave his order, enter the Friars Minor, and go to Morocco to evangelize. Shipwrecked at Sicily, he joined some other brothers who were going to the church in Portiuncula. Lived in a cave at San Paolo leaving only to attend Mass and sweep the nearby monastery. One day when a scheduled speaker failed to appear, the brothers pressed him into speaking. He impressed them so that he was thereafter constantly travelling, evangelizing, preaching, and teaching theology through Italy and France.

A gifted speaker, he attracted crowds everywhere he went, speaking in multiple tongues; legend says that even the fish loved to listen. Miracle worker. One of the most beloved of saints, his images and statues are found everywhere – though none of them portray him as a heavy-set man, which some reports claim he was. Proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 16 January 1946.

One source of the well-known patronage for the recovery of lost objects comes from a legend that, long after Anthony’s death, his old prayer book was kept as a treasured relic, and one day it disappeared. People prayed for help in finding the lost item, a novice found it and returned it; he later admitted that he had “borrowed” the book and returned it after receiving a vision of an angry Anthony.

Born

Died

Canonized

Patronage

Representation

Prayers

Additional Information

Readings

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 intheir heart the invitation of Christ. Saint Anthony of Padua

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.

But the apostles “spoke as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech.” Happy the man whose words issue from the Holy Spirit and not from himself!

We should speak, then, as the Holy Spirit gives us the gift of speech. Our humble and sincere request to the Spirit for ourselves should be that we may bring the day of Pentecost to fulfillment, insofar as he infuses us with his grace, by using our bodily senses in a perfect manner by keeping the commandments. Likewise we shall request that we may be filled with a keen sense of sorrow and with fiery tongues for confessing the faith so our deserved reward may be to stand in the blazing splendor of the saints and to look upon the triune God.


 

The Word Among Us

Meditation: Matthew 5:38-42

Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)

Offer no resistance to one who is evil. (Matthew 5:39)

We’ve all heard expressions like “What goes around comes around” and “The punishment should fit the crime.” But compare these statements to today’s Gospel reading, and they end up sounding like the ancient law of retribution: an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. They imply that justice is served when wrongdoers get back what they dished out.

When thought of in the abstract, this sounds completely reasonable, doesn’t it? It’s nothing personal; you’re just trying to be fair and maintain order.

But most wrongdoing is personal. It’s no longer just an “event” out there. You are on the receiving end of an injustice, and you are hurt and frustrated. Especially if you have suffered a serious offense, it can be difficult to remain impartial and unemotional. Something in you wants to get even. And so the cycle of vengeance continues—a cycle that we see not only on the world stage but in family life as well.

What would it take for us to break this cycle? Although Jesus’ words about not resisting evil are an exaggeration, they do prompt us to ask, “How far am I willing to go?” Jesus wants the mark of his people to be mercy. He wants us to try to put an end to hatred, vengeance, and enmity—simply by making changes in our own hearts.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we should become doormats and let people take advantage of us. Neither does it mean that we don’t need judges and law enforcement officers to do their jobs. But at the end of the day, a social or political system can’t bring the kind of healing that a person can. As Pope Francis constantly reminds us, we need to encounter one another in order to experience the power of God’s mercy and love.

What simple step can you take to help break the cycle of hurt and retaliation? Maybe just a small act of generosity or a simple “I forgive you” is all you need—even if you don’t feel all that merciful at the time. It may not be easy, but it has the potential to open up someone else’s heart to God’s grace and forgiveness.

“Jesus, help me to be as merciful toward people as you have been with me.”

1 Kings 21:1-16
Psalm 5:2-7