ST. ANTHONY of PADUA:
Our Patron Saint; Doctor of the Church
1195 – 1231
Next to St. Therese of Lisieux St. Anthony of Padua is considered the most popular saint in the world. The number of candles that are lit throughout the world to honor him and ask for his help is fantastic.
Are you in need of a miracle, a cure or an answer to a prayer? Are you seeking a special favor from God? Pray to St. Anthony.People ask St. Anthony for help all the time and for the most ordinary things because like a good friend St. Anthony is always willing to help.People especially like to ask St. Anthony to help them find things that are lost.
Thus he has been given the title “The Saint of Small Things.”No one should be ashamed of seeking his help in seemingly trivial matters because nothing can be trivial in this saint’s eyes because nothing is in God’s. He teaches us that God doesn’t just care about major catastrophes and big problems. He cares even about the tiniest parts of our lives.
People from all walks of life – rich and poor alike would come from all over not only to hear him preach eloquently but to make their confessions to him inspite of his strict admonitions and his being a “demanding” preacher and confessor.
He was so beloved by all that, like a movie star, people followed him around snipping off parts of his gown as a “relic.” He was one of the best loved saint of all time that it was no wonder that even at his death people fought over his body to such a point that armed guards had to be posted around the convent where his body lay.
Frederick R. Dempsay writes this of St. Anthony:
“During his life, but especially since his death, he has made countless people happy. Ask what you will from eternal life to the finding of a pin. St. Anthony answers prayers. He does not require extraordinary demonstrations of faith, heroic piety or a blameless life. Just come as you are.”
St. Anthony of Padua is the Church’s foremost Thaumaturge – or worker of miracles. His unusual ability to work wonders has been known and celebrated for more than seven hundred and seventy-eight years.
He showed us not only how to cope with life but how to embrace it in a continual search of God’s will. This is why St. Anthony always answers our prayers. Because he always said “yes” to the Lord, now the Lord says “yes” to him.
Eloquent as he was, his simple life style was even more forceful. St. Anthony is a fine example of a saint who was rooted in the Bible and lived the truths to the fullest.
Even if 778 years have passed since the death of our beloved patron saint – San Antonio de Padua – devotion to this great Franciscan saint still seems to be increasing day by day all over the world. The reason for this lies in the secret advantage that St. Anthony had: for he was filled with the Holy Spirit as well as with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It’s a winning combination!
He first practiced humility which is the foundation of all virtues.Although he was the object of admiration to all, he did not strive after higher offices and dignities, but was content with the humbler walk of life and solitude. “The way of wisdom is the way of humility. Every other way is the way of ignorance because it is the path of pride.”
However unlike other saints to whom we just say our prayers and hope for the best, St. Anthony may first demand a favor from you. Thus one great priest observed devoutly, “St. Anthony has his price.”
It could be a monetary donation to the poor (St. Anthony is the patron of the poor) or an offering of a novena of Tuesdays or from June 4 – 13 in honor of St. Anthony or praying the chaplet of St. Anthony composed of 13 Our Fathers, Hail Mary’s and Glory Be’s.
However most important of all St. Anthony wants your soul for Christ. He wants us to become followers of St. Francis and St. Anthony and to act as their genuine followers by imitating them.
Let us all strive to be A Christian – Franciscan Family Called to Witness and Proclaim God’s Love!!
SOURCES of REFERENCE: Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Vol. II – pp 534 – 537; Voices of the Saints – pp 362 – 363; The Flying Friar – pp 30 – 33; and others.