Sunday, June 23, 2013

I Had Forgotten About Him

When I was younger I was a great believer of St. Anthony but over the years I had forgotten about him and hardly ever prayed to him. A week back I stumbled across your site, it was a wonderful feeling reading about all the wonderful miracles. Then I suddenly remembered my Mum had given me a small statue of St. Anthony over a year back, I looked everywhere for him but I couldn't find it so I decided to pray and literally in a matter of minutes I opened a drawer which I never expected to find it, and there it was.
Since then he has blessed me in many ways, and today he found my cell phone which I thought was never going to be found. Thank you for this website and thank you St. Anthony for everything.

And thank you to M.F. for sharing her inspiring stories of St. Anthony - we are grateful that she 'found' him again in her life through our blog, as that is our greatest goal~ Have a story or two of your own to share? Email us to have them posted on our blog.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

St. Anthony Remained Her Great And Faithful Friend

On this the Feast of St. Anthony, blessed Feast Day to all of our readers~

In a manuscript entitled “St. Anthony”, Servant of God Luisa Cepollini (1880-1917)recounts the meticulous vigilance of the Saint over her soul, carried out by a teaching of the highest perfection. Until her death, St. Anthony remained her great and faithful Friend. Let us, therefore, draw from this precious “manuscript” some of the teachings given by St. Anthony to his privileged disciple:

Blessed are the pure of heart:

“On the evening of 7th March 1887- writes Luisa- I saw him for the first time. This meeting was the start of that relationship which would never end. Its immediate effect was the growth within me of the desire to know Jesus.” On the 17th of March she had a second visit from St. Anthony. “What are you thinking of that makes you weep thus?” asked the Saint. “Oh! I would love to know Jesus… You know Him so well, tell me something!” “Jesus… He alone is able to speak efficaciously to your soul, since He is the Word…but the good Master has said: Blessed are the pure of heart, because they will see God!” “And what is necessary in order to become pure?” “There are several degrees of purity… The degree that you must strive to procure consists in avoiding every voluntary fault.” Immediately the little girl, enlightened by a special grace, saw all her defects, which she did not even realize she had. She immediately became discouraged. But St. Anthony said to her: “Aim, my little daughter, at loving Jesus: it is the shortest way which leads to Him. It is the way which Jesus shows us by which we may come to know Him.”… “But is to love Jesus a virtue?...Oh, then I will have no difficulty…”. “Be careful, my little daughter – the Saint admonished- since you do not yet know well what it means to love God… Human love seeks to please itself in that which it loves; divine love desires that God is pleased with us, at our expense, and therefore lives a life of sacrifice. To love God means to forget oneself in order to think of Him, to overcome oneself so that He will triumph, to abandon oneself in order to be possessed by Him. Only by putting this into practice can it be understood and one’s whole life is not sufficient to put it into effect; eternity itself will not be long enough to do so fully, since we are to love a God Who is infinite, while our limited love, however much it may increase, can never reach the infinite.” These were the foundations of the spiritual edifice which Luisa received.

The source, and the rest of the article:

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

St. Anthony's Bread On The Feast Of St. Anthony

One custom on the Feast of St. Anthony, June 13th., is known as "St. Anthony's Bread" and goes back to the year 1263 A.D., 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. Of course her son was saved, and her promise was kept.
Another reason for the practice is traced back to Louise Bouffier, a shopkeeper in Toulon, France. A locksmith was prepared to break open her shop door after no key would open it. Bouffier asked the locksmith to try his keys one more time after she prayed and promised to give bread to the poor in honor of St. Anthony if the door would open without force. The door then opened. After others received favors through the intercession of St. Anthony, they joined Louise Bouffier in founding the charity of St. Anthony Bread.
"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. The practice of distributing St. Anthony's Bread recalls his concern for the poor.

Below is a recipe for an Italian bread that may be shaped into individual loaves for you to pass out at church, among friends and family, or to the disadvantaged in your community.

St. Anthony's Bread
(Yield: 16 mini-loaves)

3 cups flour, divided
2 packages active dry yeast
1 Tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 Tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tsp. garlic salt
1 egg
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of flour, yeast, Italian seasoning, and parsley flakes. In a saucepan, heat and stir the milk, water, butter, sugar, and garlic salt just until warm (120-130º) and butter almost melts. Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Add egg and beat with electric mixer on low or medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and as much of the remaining flour as you can.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth (3-5 minutes total). Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the top and bottom surfaces. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 45 minutes).
Grease baking sheets or a 13” x 9” x 2” baking pan. Punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 16 portions, shaping each into a round mini-loaf. Place mini-loaves on sheet or pan. Brush tops with 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Cover and let rise in a warm place (about 15 minutes).
Bake in a 375º oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Blessing Of Lilies On The Feast Of St. Anthony

On the Feast of St. Anthony, your priest might bless lilies for you to keep (this isn't a universal practice). The blessing of lilies, which remind us of St. Anthony's purity and have always been a symbol for him, stems from a miracle which took place in Revolutionary France: many priests and religious were murdered, so many churches and convents destroyed, but the faithful still showed up at a surviving church on the Feast of St. Anthony. Months later, it was discovered that lilies that had adorned the church at that feast were still fresh. Let the lilies beautify your house, or carry them with you, or press them in a book, etc. If your priest doesn't bless lilies, you can still use them non-sacramentally to remind you of one of the greatest Saints ever. The English of the Blessing of the Lilies is as follows:

The Blessing of Lilies on the Feast of St. Anthony

The priest vests in surplice and white stole, and says:

P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: And with thy spirit.
P: Let us pray. God, the Creator and Preserver of the human race, the Lover of holy purity, the Giver of supernatural grace, and the Dispenser of everlasting salvation; bless + these lilies which we, Thy humble servants, present to Thee today as an act of thanksgiving and in honor of St. Anthony, Thy confessor, and with a request for Thy blessing. Pour out on them, by the saving sign + of the holy cross, Thy dew from on high. Thou in Thy great kindness hast given them to man, and endowed them with a sweet fragrance to lighten the burden of the sick. Therefore, let them be filled with such power that, whether they are used by the sick, or kept in homes or other places, or devoutly carried on one's person, they may serve to drive out evil spirits, safeguard holy chastity, and turn away illness--all this through the prayers of St. Anthony--and finally impart to Thy servants grace and peace; through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.
Then he sprinkles the lilies with holy water, saying:

P: Sprinkle me with hyssop, Lord, and I shall be clean of sin. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Pray for us, St. Anthony.
All: That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.
P: Let us pray. We beg Thee, O Lord, that Thy people may be helped by the constant and devout intercession of Blessed Anthony, Thy illustrious confessor. May he assist us to be worthy of Thy grace in this life, and to attain everlasting joys in the life to come; through Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.
After this the lilies are distributed to the people.


I Was So Amazed

The following email is from a reader in the Philippines:

I am sharing an answered prayer a long time ago and two again recently.
7 years ago the strap of my sandal shoes was missing. I looked everywhere yet I couldn't find it. I have read in my novena booklet that St. Anthony is the patron of lost things. Silently, I asked St. Anthony to help me find it. After a few days I went inside the kitchen and I just found it on the floor. I was so amazed. I never thought I'd find it again.

My cellphone's sim card had been missing. I know it fell somewhere near the chair where I sat. I looked and lifted things around me and even swept the floor. I couldn't find it. Then one day I was wiping dust in the chair, when I lifted it I found it underneath. I swept the floor on that side before but did not find it. Now that's a miracle.

Today June 4, 2013 is the start of the Novena to St Anthony - I was looking again for my Sim card which I placed inside the pocket of my walking shorts. I couldn't find it. I asked St. Anthony to help me. Later in the afternoon, for the second time, I checked the pockets of my walking shorts. There it was! Wow, St. Anthony never fails in helping me find lost articles.
I always say a Novena to St. Anthony every Tuesday. Thanks, and may the website of St. Anthony help many people in need.

Thank you J.M. for your faith-filled stories. Do you have a story of St. Anthony's assistance in your life to share? Email it to us and we will post your story on our St. Anthony blog too~

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Article On Relics Of Saint Anthony's Visit To California

The following is from Messenger of Saint Anthony's June Newsletter, an article about the relic of Saint Anthony's visit to California:
Southern California was drizzling and cloudy when it welcomed the relics of Saint Anthony in mid-April, but the glow and joy of visitors certainly provided the warmth and spiritual sunshine on the first stops of the 8-day tour of the region. Indeed, the reverence and outpouring of adoration by the visiting faithful mirrored a deep love for the Saint who has touched, inspired and influenced so many for so long.
The Southern California stopover was part of a larger nationwide tour of Saint Anthony’s relics organized by the Messenger of Saint Anthony and directed by the Franciscan Friars of the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua, Italy.
Locally, Father Ray Mallet, pastor at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Hermosa Beach, was instrumental in facilitating the relics into and around the Greater Los Angeles area. It was a yearlong process of coordination and planning, he said, but the end result was a powerful, prayerful experience for many. “So many things in this life we are told not to touch,” he said, “but we want people to touch – respectfully of course – these relics. This is our connection to our faith.”

Click here to read the rest of this inspiring article.