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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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“HE HAS BEEN LOST FOR EIGHTY YEARS BUT ST ANTHONY HAS FOUND HIM AND BROUGHT HIM BACK – PRAISE THE LORD!”

…As I got to know the couple he began to share his story with me and now I share it with you.

“…Through the early thirties, years of the Great Depression, Bibby [his mother] worked hard to bring up Anthony [who was born whilst she lived in South Africa in her native England]. She brought him up in the Anglican faith sending him to Sunday School at an early age. Anthony later attended a Protestant church and sang in the choir for a number of years. He grew up and started to make his way in the world. He was conscripted into the R.A.F. For two years, and afterwards commenced a career in a bank. He gave up his faith and turned his back on God.

HE GAVE UP HIS FAITH AND TURNED HIS BACK ON GOD

His employers sent him overseas to Hong Kong on a four-year contract. At the end of this he travelled back to England and spent a few months with his mother who was working as a civil servant. In Hong Kong he had become attached to a local girl and they had made plans to start a business together. Thus he resigned his job and returned to Hong Kong, where he took up permanent residence.

THE BUSINESS PROSPERED AND HE WAS ABLE TO BUY A HOUSE FOR HIS MOTHER

After ten years he prospered and was able to make regular annual visits to England to see his mother and eventually to buy her a house for her retirement. Bibby enjoyed a happy and active retirement. In 1994 she passed away at the age of 91. Sadly, Anthony’s wife passed away three years later succumbing to cancer.

A SURPRISING DISCOVERY

Anthony was lucky enough to meet a young [Buddhist] lady, half his age, whom he married two years later. He had retired by now and they lived happily in their home in Shek O, on the island of Hong Kong. But Anthony was still living without religious faith. However after his mother had passed away, on going through her papers, he found a certificate of Baptism issued by the Roman Catholic Church in a Diocese in South Africa. This indicated that Claude [Anthony’s late father] must have been a Catholic because he had his son baptised. In Shek O there is a Catholic Church looked after by two Columban Sisters. Anthony and his wife walk early in the mornings and most mornings meet one of the Sisters who has become a dear friend.

BECAUSE HE COULD NOT PRAY, HE ASKED THE NUN TO PRAY FOR HIS WIFE

In October of 2012 Anthony’s wife had to enter hospital for a long-postponed operation. For the first time in his life Anthony was afraid. Should he lose her he would be completely alone in the world. The day before the operation he met the Sister and asked her to pray for his wife. He told her he could not pray.

UPON THIS, HE WAS SENT A SIGN FROM GOD

The next day when Anthony returned to his house he went to his verandah to perform his usual exercises. In the midst of his exercises he looked ahead and suddenly there was a light above him which lasted about 30 seconds. Anthony was convinced this was a sign, a revelation, a message from God. From that moment he knew he would never be alone, that the Lord would always be with him. His faith returned. He could pray again. It was now time to return to God’s house.

IT WAS NOW TIME TO RETURN TO GOD’S HOUSE

On the first Sunday of December he walked up the hill to the Church where Sister introduced him to the visiting priest. In private Father Wurth heard his confession and gave him the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Anthony then went to his very first Mass and received his First Holy Communion. Before Communion and during the sermon the priest said there was news to celebrate, ‘A new member of the Congregation, Anthony, has been lost for eighty years but St Anthony has found him and brought him back.’ Praise the Lord.

MUCH REJOICING IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH

There was a great sense of celebration and excitement in our Chapel that morning as the community welcomed Anthony. Anthony’s wife was also very happy… she had hoped he would find his own religion. Anthony’s quiet space for prayer has a crucifix and a small icon. His wife spends time in meditation before a statue of Buddha.

SEEDS OF FAITH IN THE HEART

An orchid blooming outside our house reminds me of Anthony’s story. It has survived the storms of winter, the typhoons, the monsoon rains, and is now in full bloom this Spring. It has survived because the roots are tightly knit around a tree. Like Anthony, the seeds of faith sewn in his heart some eighty years ago have survived and are now blooming in New Life and Resurrection.”
– This article by Sr Isobel Loughrey was published in “Far East” (Magazine of the Columban Missionaries), issue January/February 2014. For information, subscriptions, vocations and donations please visit http://www.columbans.co.uk (external link) or http://www.columbansisters.org (external link).

 
 

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PRAYER TO ST ANTHONY IN THANKSGIVING FOR FAVOURS RECEIVED

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING TO ST ANTHONY FOR FAVOURS RECEIVED THROUGH HIS INTERCESSION:

O Glorious Wonderworker of Padua, Saint Anthony, Father of the poor and consoler of the afflicted, who hast so thoughtfully come to my aid and consoled me so much: behold me at thy feet desiring to offer thee my sincerest gratitude. Accept it together with the promise I now renew to thee: that I will always live in the love of Jesus and my neighbour. Continue to be bountiful to me with thy protection and obtain for me the final grace of being able to come at last to Heaven there to sing with thee the Divine Mercies. Thank you. Amen.

 

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