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St.Anthony of Padua
Saint Anthony of Padua is possibly the most celebrated Saint for the Roman Catholics. Born from a noble family of Lisbon, Portugal in the year 1195, christened as Fernando Martins de Bulhoes, St.Anthony became Anthony on joining the Order of Friars Minor. By the time he reached the age of 15, he joined an order of priests called the Canons Regular of St. Augustine. He was the contemporary of another notable Saint - St.Francis of Assisi. Saint Anthony is the most popularly celebrated Saint around the world - especially in South India. Every city will have a church dedicated to St.Anthony.
St.Anthony was an extraordinary orator - a loud and booming voice, incredible memory, a winning countenance and profound learning. His humility and intense devotion to the our Lord Jesus Christ earned him the spirit of Prophesy and the Gift of Miracles.
Miracles of St.Anthony
St.Anthony has many epithets - Professor of Miracles and the Patron Saint of Lost and Stolen Articles. He was called as Hammer of Heretics and Evangelical Doctor. There are numerous miracles attributed to St.Anthony of Padua (not to be confused with the Saint Anthony of the Desert of the 3rd Century AD - the founder of Christian monasticism) and we show below only a few:
- Miracle of the Jealous Husband: St.Anthony resuscitates a young woman - the wife of a jealous man who killed her on suspicion of committing adultery.
- Bilocation: While giving a sermon in the Church of St. Pierre du Queriox, he remembered he had to sing a Lesson of the Divine Office. Interrupting suddenly his discourse, he appeared at the same time amongst the friars in choir to sing his Lesson, after which he continued his sermon.
- A young man by the name of Leonardo had cut off his foot in a fit of remorse for having kicked his mother. St.Anthony miraculously joined the dismembered limb.
- Another famous miracle is the sermon to the fishes on the bank of the river Brenta /Marecchia River: Teachings of the Saint Anthony began to strike at the root of the pagans living in Rimini. They had ordered that no one should listen to the Saint. When the saint came to spread the words of the Lord, no one listened to him. The saint began addressing the fish in the river - "You Fish of the River and the Seas, Hear the Word of the God ..." and the fish lined up and put their head up to listen to the Saint. Shocked by this, the people realized the power of the words spoken by the Saint and listened with full heart.
- Once a boy found in the town square clung to Saint Anthony who promptly hunted for the parents of the boy all through the day. When he couldn't find anyone related to the cherubic boy, he told the boy that he will take him to the Friary, the boy told him - "I live here" and vanished into the chapel. Saint Anthony realized along with others that the child was none other than Infant Jesus. In another instance, a fellow priest found extra ordinary light under the door of St.Anthony's room. He peeped through the key hole to see a bright child adorned with finest glowing dress in the arms of the Saint. Later the Saint requested that this incident be kept hidden. Only after the death of the Saint, it was revealed that the Saint was often visited by the infant Jesus. This is the reason why most St.Anthony statues are depicted showing him with a child Jesus.
- Heretic and his Mule: There lived a heretic in the city of Toulouse who opposed the preaching of Saint Anthony. One day the heretic challenged St.Anthony that if his donkey bowed before Saint Anthony for holding the Sacrament, he would become a believer himself. Before the appointed day, the heretic starved the donkey without food and water. On the day St.Anthony celebrated the Mass and took the Sacrament to the town square where a large number of people had gathered along with the heretic. When the donkey was brought before the Saint, St.Anthony ordered the donkey to come here and show reverence, the donkey bowed its head and knees before the Saint ignoring the food and water kept in the other direction.
- St.Anthony's tongue is venerated in a reliquary kept in the basilica in Padua.
St.Anthony has always been popular in India regardless of religious affiliation. Just about 5 km from Thiruvanmiyur, in Palavakkam, a church was built in the year 2000 after considerable effort by the faithful from Palakalai nagar. Rt. Rev. Anthony Devotta, Bishop of Trichy, Rt. Rev. Dr. Amalanathan, Bishop Emeritus, Diocese of Tuticorin, jointly consecrated the Church on 2nd April 2002 and sanctified the sacrificial altar with a relic of St. Timothy embedded in the center.
In remembrance of the Eucharistic year (2004-2005), a 100 ft tower called as the Eucharistic Tower was also constructed at that time. In addition this church has a Grotto beneath the church which is populated with some rare images of Mother Mary in all Her forms. Palavakkam Church - as it is tucked away in a side street away from the busy ECR, is quiet most of the time. Inside the premises, you may find a number of caged birds and a few geese before the Father's hostel.
Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony
Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints
St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and charity for his creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your word, which you were ready to speak for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this thought, I ask you to obtain for me the favors that I seek (mention your request here).
The answer to my prayer may require a miracle, even so, you are the Saint of Miracles.
O gentle and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was full of sympathy, whisper my petition into the ears of the Infant Jesus, who loved to be held in your arms; and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours.
Miracle Prayer to St.Anthony
O wonderful St. Anthony, glorious on account of the fame of your miracles, and through the condescension of Jesus in coming in the form of a little child to rest in your arms, obtain for me of His bounty the grace which I ardently desire from the depths of my heart . (State your intention)
You who were so compassionate toward miserable sinners, regard not the unworthiness of those who pray to you, but the glory of God that it may once again be magnified by the granting of the particular request (State your intention) which I now ask for with persevering earnestness. Amen
Pray one Our Father,
one Hail Mary, and
Glory Be to the Father, in honor of Saint Anthony.
Saint Anthony, pray for us!
Prayer to St.Anthony For Healing
Compassionate St. Anthony, you are called the 'Miracle Worker' by those who have been blessed by your special friendship. I ask you to look with favor on (name the person) who is weak and failing.
Great St. Anthony, come to the assistance of (name). Obtain for him/her health in mind and body, and the strength to accept all suffering in union with Christ, our Savior.
Loving St. Anthony, console all those who are afflicted, and guide them to the heart of the Divine Physician, where they will obtain compassion, mercy and hope.
Prayer to St.Anthony For Protection Against Danger
O Holy St. Anthony, be our protector and defender. Ask God to surround us with the Holy Angels, so that we may emerge from every danger in the fullness of health and well being. Guide our life journey, so we will always walk safely together with you, in God's friendship.