Friday, August 19, 2011

Saint Anthony's Bread

"St. Anthony's Bread" goes back to 1263 AD, when a child drowned near the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua as it was still being built. The mother besought St. Anthony and promised that if her child were restored to life, she would give to the poor an amount of wheat equal to the weight of her child. Her son was saved, and her promise was kept. "St. Anthony's Bread," then, is the promise of giving alms in return for a favor asked of God through St. Anthony's intercession (the custom also takes place throughout the year when parents give alms after placing their baby under the patronage of St. Anthony). In some places, the custom has a literal parallel in that loaves of bread might be blessed and given away at church or, generally, to the poor. If St. Anthony intersession has helped you in your life and you would like to give alms in thanksgiving to him, click here to read about an Anthonian Hospital in Africa that is in real need of help to assist the poor in their area.