June 13th is the Feast Day for St. Anthony of Padua
Rivaling even St. Francis himself in terms of devotion, St. Anthony of Padua is one of the greatest Franciscan saints. We all know of the prayers to St. Anthony for lost items, and the more important intercessions he has made on behalf of those who ask – those seeking physical and spiritual healing.
But his greatness is also found in the incredible amount of work he accomplished in his short 36 years on earth. His preaching brought to life the Good News of Jesus Christ, deepening the faith of those who heard him. He was one of the first teachers in the new Franciscan Order, and he followed closely St. Francis’ decree that the student-Friars never allow their studies to interfere with their service to the poor.
Most of all, his greatness is found in the great love he had for the Lord and his people. The spark of the Holy Spirit burned in his heart and soul, and poured out in his service and counsel, as well as in his preaching and teaching.
Because that great love is magnified now by his closeness to God, we still pray to him, knowing that he wants to help us in our daily needs, and desires to have us join him in God’s presence.
“Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints”
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 this 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.