Saint Anthony of Padua

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Saint Anthony of Padua

…In him love burned like a great flame…

About 11 kilometers from Assisi there is a very tiny place called Rocca Sant’Angelo. It has a small church and a few buildings, where today a community of Franciscan Sisters now live. Here on the walls of this church has been found the place where many of the great artists, who later worked on the basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi, first practised their frescoes. Among the artwork is an extraordinary painting of Saint Anthony holding a fire in the palm of his hand. This is not how he is usually depicted. He is shown most popularly holding the beautiful Christ Child in his arms or with the Scriptures open or with a lily in his hand. The flame of seraphic love however burned very brighlly in the heart of Saint Anthony and the Holy Spirit filled him with such a love of Sacred Scripture that it was said of Anthony, that if all the bibles in the world were destroyed he could have rewritten them from memory. He had such an incredible memory and such a very quick recall of all he studied, that his sermons were stunning. His gift of preaching was so amazing that he drew such crowds towards the end of his life, that town squares could hold the people who had come to hear him and he had to preach in the open field. It was not unknown for villages and town to shut down because Saint Anthony was going to preach. His last sermons in Padua caused problems for the city. Yet today he is the most popular saint in the world because he has a pecular talent for finding lost things – we have truly become a forgetful people.

A Prayer of Saint Anthony
O God, Send forth your Holy Spirit;
into my heart - that I may perceive,
into my mind - that I may remember,
and into my soul - that I may meditate.
Inspire me to speakwith piety, holiness, tenderness, and mercy.
Teach, guide, and direct my thoughts and senses from the beginning to the end.
May your grace ever help and correct me,
and may I be strengthened now with wisdom from on high,
for the sake of your infinite mercy. Amen.

If you wish to know more about this, Evangelical Doctor of the Church, please click here.


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