On this day, the Catholic Church, and especially members of the Franciscan family, celebrate the life of St. Anthony of Padua.
In many Franciscan parishes, chapels and shrines; the friars will be distributing “St. Anthony’s Bread.” It a practice of charity, harkening back to a time when bread was actually distributed to the poor and hungry. One legend has it that a French cloth merchant could not get into her shop, because of a broken lock. She asked for help and intercession of St. Anthony, promising to give bread to the poor, in return. The lock miraculously opened, the shop was in business, and woman made good on her promise.
Since that time, Franciscan friary distribute small, blessed loaves of bread to people, as a reminder that as they receive blessings from God, they are to share it with those in need, for the love of God.
With the tragedy in Orlando, Florida; I forgot to write something acknowledging the feast day on June 13th of this blog’s namesake, St. Anthony of Padua.
Born in Portugal, an Augustinian monk; he wound up in Italy as Franciscan friar. He was famous for his eloquence, and skill as a preacher. During his life, and after his death, he gained a reputation as a miracle worker. The following is a prayer, asking his intercession:
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 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.
If there was ever a time when, as a country , and a world; we needed a miracle, it is now! So, St. Anthony, pray for us!