Dear friend of St Anthony,
It was said that when St. Anthony died on June 13, 1231, the children of Padua rushed through the streets to proclaim that “the Saint is dead.” In my imagination, such dramatic turn of events was announced more with a sense of excitement than grief. For them, the saint’s death was not a loss, but gain - as now they have an intimate connection to heaven who is able do more for them than ever before. In fact, the countless miracles that ensued following St Anthony’s passing hastened his canonization that within 11 months after he died, St Anthony was already declared a universal saint for the Church. This makes St. Anthony one of the quickest persons to be canonized in the church ever. His miracles, however, did not wane after the initial fervor of his townspeople. He became more popular through the ages as people realized that there are no shortage of graces received through his help. To this day, the kind friar who tirelessly preached God’s word in Padua and ministered to the needy of his time remains the same faithful who bring his devotees closer to Christ in answering their prayers. St Anthony is truly a friend we can trust, especially in times of need.
St Anthony’s life can be summed up by these apt words from the Scripture, “For me, living is Christ and dying is gain” (Phil 1:21). Our saint spent his earthly life serving God but he gained much more in death. When forensic scientists examined St Anthony’ bodily remains during a recognition of his relics in 1981, they concluded that his early demise at the age of 36 was most likely the result of fatigue and exhaustion. St Anthony’s strenuous lifestyle as itinerant preacher accomplished so much good within a rather short period, attesting Christ’s words, “This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (Jn 15:8).
As we mark this month of June to celebrate the feast day of St Anthony, I invite you to consider the countless ways that you have been blessed and inspired by the great example and powerful intercession of our beloved saint. To honor the saints means more than just offering them homage with our prayers and novenas. It is above all to imitate their very way life: their self-dedication to God and unfeigned service of neighbor. Such is the path to happiness that St Anthony traced for us - and we who wish to honor him can rightly do so by following in the path where he trod.
I wish all of our faithful friends: the companions of St Anthony, prayer partners, the shrine volunteers and staff, our benefactors and countless devotees of St Anthony, a very special blessing from Almighty God on our saint’s feast day. We will remember you at our special prayers, Eucharistic Celebrations and Novenas at the Shrine during these special days. Thanks for all the good that you do and we look forward to seeing you at the Shrine of St. Anthony.
God bless you,
Saint Anthony 13 Tuesday Novena - Week 11: Messenger of Mercy
(Recite together) Anthony, through your teaching and preaching you bore witness to the loving presence of God in all of creation. Now that you have come into the fullness of the kingdom, pray for us that our lives might also proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to all humanity.
Leader: Pray for us, St. Anthony All: Help us become worthy of the promise of Christ. Leader: Let us pray.
Almighty, Eternal God, you have given your people St. Anthony as an outstanding preacher and intercessor in times of need. Grant that with his help we may follow in the example of Christian living and experience your support in all adversities. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Saint Anthony - Messenger of Mercy - help us find the resolve to forgive our enemies as Christ forgives us. (Pause)
Recite Together: Saint Anthony, you raised your voice in praise of God and led others to acclaim His name. Instill in me that same spirit of awe and reverence for the God who loves us forever and ever. Amen.
Leader: Let us pray.
O God, may you be glorified by our companionship with St Anthony, the friar, priest, and doctor of the Gospels. Through the thirteen weeks of prayers, may we be renewed in faith, hope, and charity. We ask this with confident trust that through the intercession of St. Anthony, you will bring us the rewards of eternal life promised by Christ our Lord. Amen! ... See MoreSee Less
O God, who raised up Saint John the Baptist to make ready a nation fit for Christ the Lord, give your people, we pray, the grace of spiritual joys and direct the hearts of all the faithful into the way of salvation and peace. 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. ... See MoreSee Less