Today is the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua
(Aug 15, 1195 – June 13, 1231)
St. Anthony of Padua was born in Lisbon, Portugal to a powerful yet pious family. At age 15 he relinquished a life of nobility, wealth, and honor, and chose instead to serve God with the Augustinians. Years later he witnessed the dead bodies of Franciscan friars who had been martyred by Muslims being carried through the town where he was stationed. Filled with renewed zeal to follow Christ even more completely after the example of these martyrs, St. Anthony joined the Franciscan order and traveled to Morocco to preach to the Moors. However, his poor health prevented his mission and he was forced to return to Italy. There he lived a largely quiet and secluded life, spending his time in prayer, study, and priestly duties. No one had any idea of St. Anthony’s giftedness as a preacher and teacher of theology until one day he was called upon to be a substitute preacher. He amazed everyone in attendance with his depth of knowledge and oratory skill. He then became the foremost preacher of the Franciscans and was sent to preach against the heretics and the vices of the day. His zeal and effectiveness as a preacher earned him the title “Hammer of the Heretics.” St. Anthony was known for his holiness and miracles, and was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1946. He is the patron saint of the elderly, fishermen, and the poor, and is renowned as the finder of lost articles.
Learn to love humility, for it will cover all your sins. All sins are repulsive before God, but the most repulsive of all is pride of the heart. Do not consider yourself learned and wise; otherwise, all your efforts will be destroyed, and your boat will reach the harbor empty. If you have great authority, do not threaten anyone with death. Know that, according to nature, you too are susceptible to death, and that every soul sheds its body as its final garment.
St. Anthony of Padua
St. Anthony of Padua, Hammer of the Heretics, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.