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THE TRUE MARKS OF LOVE FOR GOD

THE TRUE MARKS OF LOVE FOR GOD

ST ANTHONY’S LOVE OF GOD

The true marks of love for God are – first, to be willing to do or to sacrifice anything, whatever it may be, for the love of God; and, second, to think frequently of Him with real joy, to speak of Him, or with Him, in prayer; for “where thy treasure is there is thy heart also.” 

We find these true marks of love for God in Saint Anthony. 

For love of God, at the early age of fifteen, he bade farewell to his parents and all that high rank and worldly fortune offered him, and entered a monastery in order to make a complete sacrifice of his liberty and his will to God. Yet even this did not satisfy his ardent love.

After he had entered the Franciscans, his greatest desire was to be sent as a missionary to preach the Gospel in Africa, where he hoped to lay down his life for the faith. After long and earnest entreaty, he obtained the desired petition. But God had decreed he should be led by another way. He had barely set foot on the soil of Africa than he was seized with a severe illness, which left him so weak that there was nothing for him but to return to Spain. Here again God’s providence interposed; the ship in which he had embarked was within a few miles of Spain, when a sudden wind drove it on the coast of Sickly. On landing at Messina he learned that St Francis was holding a Chapter at Assisi, whither he repaired, despite his great weakness, in order to receive the holy founder’s blessing.

The love of God, as we said above, is manifested by the frequent thought of God; it was in this way that this virtue was particularly manifested in Saint Anthony. There are probably few saints with so deep and tender a love for God, or who have been favoured with so many special proofs of God’s love in return. It is almost incredible –  the number of conversions wrought and the many souls brought back to the faith by St Anthony, in a life of less than thirty-six years, and, despite weak health, rendered weaker by the practice of severe austerities.

Imitating the zeal of the Apostles, he went through all Italy, and his preaching, inflamed with divine love, drew all hearts and all minds to God, and was therefore blessed with the richest fruits. His efficacious love of God was rewarded by high graces of prayer, great lights and divine manifestations on the part of God.

– From: St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

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PRAYER FOR PEACE OF MIND

PRAYER FOR PEACE OF MIND

PRAYER TO ST ANTHONY FOR PEACE OF MIND 

Most dear and faithful servant of Christ, blessed St Anthony, to whom God has granted such favours that, through thy intercession, lost temporal goods are recovered, pray for me, a sinner, that I may acquire and preserve peace of mind, with light and knowledge to discern good from evil and truth from error, so that being delivered from all evils, scruples, darkness, and uneasiness of mind and conscience, I may faithfully serve my God and Saviour, Who is worthy of all honour and glory, with peace of mind, purity of conscience, and justice of life. Through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

It is generally believed that one of the most acceptable devotions that can be offered to St Anthony – to obtain any favour, or in thanksgiving for a favour received – is the recital of one, or three, Creeds. To these many of his clients add the aspiration: – 

“St Anthony, beloved of God and man, pray for us.”

– St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

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SI QUAERIS

SI QUAERIS

THE MIRACULOUS RESPONSORY IN HONOUR OF ST ANTHONY – “SI QUAERIS”

(This prayer of praise in honour of St Anthony was composed by St Bonaventure. It is sung frequently in the Basilica of St Anthony in Padua and every Tuesday throughout the world.)

If then you ask for miracles,
death, error, all calamities,
leprosy and demons fly,
and health succeeds infirmities.
The sea obeys and fetters break,
and lifeless limbs do you restore;
while treasures lost are found again,
when young and old your aid implore.

All dangers vanish at your prayer,
and direst need does quickly flee;
let those who know your power proclaim,
let Paduans say: these are of thee.

To Father, Son, may glory be
and Holy Spirit, eternally.

Pray for us, blessed Anthony.
Make us worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:
Lord God, may the votive commemoration of blessed Anthony, your Confessor and Doctor, be a source of joy for your people. May they always be strengthened with his spiritual assistance and deserve eternal rewards.
Through Christ our Lord.

Amen.

 

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PRAYER ON GIVING ST ANTHONY’S BREAD

PRAYER ON GIVING ST ANTHONY’S BREAD

O glorious Wonder Worker, father of the poor, who by a miracle didst discover the heart of a miser buried in his gold, and who was endowed with a heart ever ready to help the distressed and afflicted – thou who dost ensure a hearing for our prayers by offering them thyself to the Lord; accept in token of our gratitude the alms which we lay at thy feet for the relief of the poor sick children.

May this alms do good to those who suffer and to ourselves. Come to their aid and to ours with the accustomed kindness; help us in our temporal needs, but still more in our spiritual necessities, now and at the hour of our death.

[Indulgence of 100 days, once a day, applicable to the souls in Purgatory.]

– Composed by Cardinal Parocchi

 
 

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ST ANTHONY’S BREAD

ST ANTHONY’S BREAD

The recent growth in devotion to St Anthony of Padua has become so marked as to call forth exclamations of astonishment from even the Catholic Press. This new fervour towards the great wonder worker of the Franciscan Order is one of the most consoling signs of the times, and it seems, moreover, to supply a special need of our day. Nowhere has this increase of devotion been more marked than in France, where it has taken the form of a new charity, known as “St Anthony’s Bread“.

How did it all start?

The origin of this charity, the fame of which is spreading rapidly throughout all the world, is thus described.

One morning in November, in the year 1892, Mlle. Bouffier, a poor shop-keeper of Toulon, found it impossible to open her shop door. The safety lock seemed broken, and she called a locksmith. After trying all the keys on his ring, he gave up in despair, saying there was no resource but to break open the door. While the locksmith went in search of other tools, the shop-keeper prayed fervently to St Anthony, that the door might be opened without violence, promising, if her request should be granted, to distribute a certain number of loaves to the poor in his honour. She then begged the locksmith to make another effort with his keys, and, taking one at random, the door flew open without the slightest difficulty.

A rapidly growing devotion

After this simple evidence of St Anthony’s power, his clients increased so rapidly in Toulon that Mlle. Bouffier, with the assistance of her friends, founded a work of charity called the “Bread of St Anthony”. In the room behind the shop they placed a statue of the Saint with a lamp burning before it, and under the lamp two boxes – one to receive the written requests and promises made to St Anthony, and the other to receive money to buy bread for the poor.

A humble oratory

From the beginning, large crowds flocked to this humble oratory. Soldiers and officers knelt to pray; and naval captains, before setting out for a long cruise, came to commend themselves and their ships. Mothers came to beg health for their children or other favours for grown sons and daughters. Many came to implore the conversion of a soul dear to them, while servants or work-women without employment came to beg the Saint’s protection.

Amazing miracles

In the fullness of time rumours of the wonders wrought through St Anthony’s intercession at Toulon reached Paris, Lyons, Bordeaux, Marseilles, and other large towns, and many chapels in these cities very soon contained the two boxes for the offerings which have now well nigh universal throughout France.

How to do this yourselves

“St Anthony’s Bread” is obtained in a simple way. All a member of any Congregation has to do is to write his or her request on a piece of paper, adding a promise that if by the expiration of a given time such the Saint should secure the fulfilment of request a certain sum of money will be placed in the collection box to buy bread for the poor. These written requests may be either of a spiritual or a temporal character. They may properly include requests for success in any legitimate enterprise, the grace to overcome the proneness to commit a certain sin, the conversion of a relative or friend to the true faith, etc., etc. The request may have reference to the writer only, or to relatives, friends, or even strangers.

Bread and other goods/services for the poor 

When the favour is obtained, the sum of money promised – with an addition of course if desired – is to be deposited in the box. This money is devoted to purchasing and distributing “St Anthony’s Bread”. By this latter is understood as meaning not only food, but also clothing and medical attendance – in fact, everything necessary for the relief of the poor and of the suffering poor in particular.

– St Anthony’s Treasury, Laverty & Sons Ltd., Leeds, 1916

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2017 in Devotions

 

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“I HAVE WOVEN MY BED WITH CORDS” (Prov 7:16)

THE SOUL IS PARALYSED BY THE BONDAGE OF SINFUL HABIT IN THE NIGHT OF IGNORANCE, FEARING NOTHING MORE THAN THE DAYLIGHT OF UNDERSTANDING

(Jesus asked people if they want to be healed. The piece by St Anthony of Padua below can also be seen to give us an insight as to why many modern day “atheists” hate to hear or see anything Christian – because of the “threat” of the dawn of understanding Christians bring regarding the misery of the human condition without God; and with it the realisation of the need for humility and change through Jesus’ love and mercy. If we men don’t strive to imitate Jesus, we automatically worship sin instead; rather than being “free of belief” and having “control of our lives”, we have absolutely no control whatsoever whilst being ever more tightly bound and shackled by elusive “pleasure” and “happiness”, mortality, moral disease, sin – ending in permanent death (rather than eternal life) as well as suffering for the soul, because every soul excruciatingly longs for God once its state is fixed for eternity after the physical death, and it’s too late for repentance (e.g. Lk 16:26). God is just and in His love wants everyone to have eternal life, we bring this upon ourselves by our free will. God has given all of us free will and never takes it away from us. Let’s pray daily for the conversion of poor sinners, and for mercy for our weak selves. Without God, men are nothing and can do nothing.)
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BY ST ANTHONY

“‘I HAVE WOVEN MY BED WITH CORDS’

Of this bed, the harlot says in the Proverbs of Solomon:

‘I have woven my bed with cords; I have covered it with tapestry, brought from Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us be inebriated with the breasts, and let us enjoy the desired embraces, till the day appear’ [Prov 7:16-18].

The bed of carnal pleasure is woven with the cords of sin. It is covered with tapestries from the Egypt of a darkened conscience. Because mirth is mixed with sorrow, and pleasure with bitterness, there is added: ‘I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.’ Myrrh and aloes, which are bitter plants, represent the bitterness of punishment; the sweet-smelling cinnamon represents the pleasure of the flesh. So the harlot (the flesh) says to the young man (the soul): ‘Come’ (by the consent of the mind), ‘let us be inebriated with the breasts’ (assenting to works of greed and lust), ‘and let us enjoy the desired embraces’ (in the bondage of habit), ’till the day appear.’ This is appropriate, since the flesh cannot get round anyone except in the night of ignorance; so it fears nothing more greatly than the daylight of understanding. See, then, how the palsied man lies helpless on his bed.

Similarly, it says in Judith that Holofernes lay on his bed, fast asleep, being exceedingly drunk [Jdth 13:4]. Holofernes is the ‘weakening of the sacrificial calf’, meaning the spirit of the sinner which, weakened by the consent of the mind, weakens the sacrificial calf of the flesh with the fatness of temporal abundance, in the pleasure of which it lies asleep, being exceedingly drunk.

It says, too, in Proverbs:

‘Thou shalt be as one sleeping in the midst of the sea,
and as a pilot fast asleep, when the stern is lost.
And thou shalt say:
They have beaten me, but I was not sensible of pain;
they drew me, and I felt not’ [Prov 23:34-35].

Someone sleeps in the midst of the sea when he lies torpid amid his tossing thoughts and bitter sins, and he resembles a drowsy steersman who let’s go of the rudder, the control of reason, and drives the ship of his life into the Charybdis of eternal death. He is not sensible of the beating of the demons, nor does he feel when they draw him by various vices, ‘as an ox led to be a victim’ [Prov 7:22].

So the paralysed man lies on his bed, and of him Solomon says in Proverbs:

‘The slothful man says:
There is a lion in the way and a lioness in the roads.
He turneth as a door upon its hinges’ [Prov 26:13-14].

The lion is the devil, the lioness is carnal desire. He is slothful, his feet held fast, because greed and lust have weakened the feet of his good desires and will. He lies paralysed upon the bed of wretched pleasure, a sick man. He cannot find the energy to withstand the devil’s temptation, he is afraid to restrain the desires of the flesh. He does not want to go out, to works of penance; so he turns about in carnal pleasure, like a door on its hinge.”

 

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PRESSING NEEDS – MISCELLANEOUS PRAYERS TO ST ANTHONY

Let us pray: O God, you give joy to your Church by celebrating the feast of blessed Anthony, your confessor and doctor; ever strengthen it by spiritual aid, so that it may be found worthy to enjoy eternal happiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Dear St Anthony, you took the words of Jesus seriously: “Be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect.” The Church honours you as a Christian hero, a man wholly dedicated to God’s glory and the good of the redeemed. St Anthony, model of perfection, ask Jesus to strengthen my good dispositions and to make me more like you, more like Him. Obtain for me the other favours I need (name them). Amen.

Glorious St Anthony, you were prompt to fulfil all justice. You gave God and His creation the service He required from you. You respected other people’s rights and treated them with kindness and understanding. St Anthony, zealous for justice, teach me the beauty of this virtue. Make me prompt to fulfil all justice toward God and toward all creation. Help me also in my pressing needs (name them). Amen.

Dear St Anthony, comforting the sorrowful is a Christian duty and a work of mercy. By word, attitude, and deed I should try to brighten their days and make their burden easier to bear. St Anthony, Consoler of the Afflicted, may I remember when helping someone in sorrow that I am helping Christ Himself. Kindly mention my pressing needs to Him (name your special requests). Amen.

 

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