Si quaeris miracula

Miracles.  Everyone needs them at one time or another.  Big ones, small ones, they happen every day.  But, if we’re not looking, we fail to see them.

Awareness

Have you ever bought something— a car, for instance— that you thought no one else had in a particular color?  Then, the more you drove your car, the more you noticed others like it?

FMA8410aThat’s the way it is with miracles.

When you acknowledge one, your awareness grows; and, before long, you begin to notice the miracles happening all around.  The more you talk about them, the more you’re asked to be a prayer partner for healing, justice, employment, peace of mind, and other concerns that cause great distress in everyday life.

United prayer

Again I tell you, if two of you join your voices on earth to pray for anything whatsoever, it shall be granted you by my Father in heaven.  Where two or more are gathered in my name, there in their midst am I (Mt. 18:
19-20).

Intercessory power

FMA8410bThe beauty of united prayer is that we don’t have to be together in one specific place.  We can support the cause from wherever we happen to be, at whatever time we happen to pray.  Moreover, we can tap experts in the field— our saints— for their intercessory power.

My two all-time favorites are St. Jude and St. Anthony, although I call on the former only when there’s a serious dilemma regarding our kids or grandkids.  St. Anthony, on the other hand, is a lifelong friend with whom I dialogue throughout the day.  I call on him anytime someone needs a favor and especially when I’ve lost something.

St. Anthony chaplet

Sometimes, too, St. Anthony helps me find treasures I didn’t even know were missing— like the chaplet prayers and the miraculous responsory that I serendipitously discovered just recently.

This prayerful devotion is said in honor of the thirteen favors mentioned in the Miraculous Responsory.  Pray an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory be after each of the thirteen favors and conclude with the Miraculous Responsory 

  1. Most gracious St. Anthony, keep me from sin and enable me to persevere in good.
  2. Great St. Anthony, keep whatever is uncharitable far from me.
  3. Dear St. Anthony, make mine a true, lasting, and vibrant faith.
  4. Good St. Anthony, banish from my heart all that would cloud God’s love.
  5. St. Anthony, encouraged by your gentleness, help me to grow in genuine conversion of heart.
  6. St. Anthony, heal me and obtain for me true love of God and health of mind and soul.
  7. St. Anthony, with my guardian angel, guide me though the perils of this life and keep me safe.
  8. St. Anthony, protect me from the devil’s temptations and obtain for me God’s help.
  9. St. Anthony, healer of the sick, preserve my life and grant me blessings of good health.
  10. Saint of miracles, finder of lost things, help me to discover what is truly important in my life.
  11. St. Anthony, my helper and friend of God, be my defense and security in times of doubt.
  12. St. Anthony and friend of God, I ask your intercession at God’s throne for divine grace.
  13. St. Anthony, I join with you now and with the whole company of heaven in praising the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit forever and ever.  Amen.

Miraculous Responsory

Also known as Si Quaeris Miracula, this prayer is sung regularly at St. Anthony’s basilica in Padua and Tuesdays 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.

Litany of the lost

Lord have mercy.  Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.  Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.  Lord have mercy.

For those of us who have lost…

Our health…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our peace of mind…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our housing…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our financial security…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
A loved one…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our dreams…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our talents…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our initial zeal…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our sobriety…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our faith…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our self-respect…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our perspective…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our innocence…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our independence…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Peace within our families…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Civil peace…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our trust in others…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our virtue…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
Our home…  St. Anthony, pray for us.
(Add your own particular loss…  St. Anthony, pray for us.)

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world.  Have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world.  Have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world.  Have mercy on us.

Let us pray.

All loving God, you have given us St. Anthony, the patron of the lost, as an intercessor of those who are in need of your mercy.  Listen to his voice as he calls out to you on our behalf and grant those things which will help us to grow in your love.  We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Nine days of prayer

FMA-R24-13-a    FMA-R24-13-b    FMA-R24-13-c    FMA-R24-13-d    FMA-B30R-a

FMA-B30R-b    FMA-B30R-1    FMA-B30R-2    FMA-B30R-3    FMA-B30R-4

FMA-B30R-5    FMA-B30R-6    FMA-B30R-7    FMA-B30R-8    FMA-B30R-9

FMA-B30R-10    FMA-B30R-11    FMA-B30R-12    FMA-B30R-c    FMA-B30R-d

St. Anthony litany

From all hardness of heart; from fear, anger, and strife; from every injustice.
St. Anthony, pray for us.

From quarreling and conflict, from envy and jealousy, from every addiction.
St. Anthony, pray for us.

From self-hatred and lack of self-esteem, from bitterness and evil.
St. Anthony, pray for us.

From all deception and dishonesty, from despair and hopelessness.
St. Anthony, pray for us.

That we may grow in the peace, compassion, and generosity of Jesus Christ.
St. Anthony, pray for us.

That we may love our neighbor as ourselves.
St. Anthony, pray for us.

That the Word of God may enlighten our minds and lead us into all truth.
St. Anthony, pray for us.

That we may always advance in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ.
St. Anthony, pray for us.

Through the intercession of St. Anthony, may almighty God bless us.
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Thanksgiving

Saint Anthony, father of the poor and comforter of the needy, I thank you for having come to my aid and consoled me so abundantly.  Help me now to grow in love of our merciful Father so that, as you said, the King of Kings may reign in my heart and purify it.  May I live with you the gospel of Christ and grow with you in him, who is the lord.  Amen.

Thirteen Tuesdays

This set of prayers can be recited anytime even though the devotion is a March through June tradition concluding on or before St. Anthony’s feast day, June 13th.

StAnthony-13a      StAnthony-13b      StAnthony-13c      StAnthony-13d      StAnthony-13e      StAnthony-13f

Contact information

The Nine Days of Prayers leaflets are from Franciscan Mission Associates (FMA), P.O. Box 598, Mount Vernon, NY 10551-0598; the St. Anthony litany (52915CV), from the Companions of St. Anthony; and the Thirteen Tuesdays pamphlet, from The Franciscans, St. Anthony’s Guild, 4 Jersey Street, East Rutherford, NJ 07073-1012.

May 31, 2011 

Although my prayer book (Companions of St. Anthony,
n. d.) credits St. Bonaventure with the Miraculous Responsory, Wikiquote attributes the prayer to Julian of Speyer, who composed the sequence circa 1235 (The Raccolta, 1807, p. 531; Benziger Brothers, 1952).

November 9, 2015

“For even now miracles are wrought in the name of Christ, whether by his sacraments or by the prayers or relics of his saints” (St. Augustine).

May 30, 2017

Let us ask Jesus Christ, our lord, to fill us with his mercy so that we may practice compassion with ourselves and others not judging or condemning, but forgiving those who hurt us, helping those who are in need, pardoning all offenders, offering mercy just as God has shown mercy to us (St. Anthony).

June 13, 2017

After you died, St. Anthony, God chose to make your holiness known to the world and to draw people by working miracles in answer to prayers made in your name.  Since then, people have asked God to continue to honor you by working wonders through your intercession.  Those who have experienced the power of prayers offered in your name have told how God has answered them.  God has healed the sick, restored peace of mind, relieved poverty, and granted favors of all kinds.  Now in this time of need I ask you, St. Anthony, to pray with me for the things I desire.  I pray that God may again give us a sign of loving care and providence and that, through you, God may draw us all to the fullness of life and love in eternity (Fr. Jack Wintz, OFM in Saint Anthony of Padua: His Life, Legends and Devotions).

O the mercy of God!  Never does he refuse to be merciful, but is ever present to those who turn to him (St. Anthony of Padua).

Links of interest…  American Catholic…  Companions of St. Anthony: about St. Anthonyhomeprayer…  Do you need a miracle in your life…  Father Peter Mary Rookey’s miracle prayer (YouTube)…  Franciscan Mission Associates: prayer requests / quarterly newsletter / seasonal devotions…  He dwells among us…  Help from heaven…  How St. Anthony found me…  Messenger of St. Anthony…  Miracles (all the time) & evangelization…  Nine Tuesdays devotion…  Si quaeris miracula…  St. Anthony: about (more) / “ark of the covenant” (index / more) / biography / glorious feast day / mail deliveries (S.A.G.) / miracles & traditions / shrine / wonder worker…  St. Anthony’s Guild: devotions / ecards / prayer requests / prayers…  St. Anthony of Padua: His life, legends, & devotions…  St. Bonaventure…  Why pray novenas…  YouTube: Hymn to St. Anthony of Padua (composed by Father Ike Carpio, OFM+; sung by Brother Ariel Manga, OFM) / Si quaeris miracula (sung by Padre Maurizio nella Basilica di San Francesco a Bologna)…

WP posts…   Budding relationships…  Franciscan experience…  Holy relics…  Making meaning…  My Franciscan Crown…  Prayer…  Promise of hope…  Saint of miracles…  Soulful…  St. Anthony…  St. Anthony chaplets…  St. Anthony Claret…  St. Felix…  St. Jude novena…  Tony’s big day…  Two letters…  Two prompt replies

Right at home

NTX61910-257

You know what it is— don’t you— to be so smitten with a person, place, or thing that you just have to take a second look?  Then, when you do, it’s so not what you thought or felt about that person, place, or thing— which prompts you ask, What the heck caught my eye in the first place? 

Heartstrings

After our first trip to Nacogdoches we couldn’t stop thinking or talking about it, so two weekends ago we went back to find out if it still tugged at our heartstrings.

Oh, what a revelation!

Nacogdoches was just as wonderful the second time around.  In fact, more like an extension of the first visit since we picked right up where we’d left off.

It was like finally reading the sequel to a much-loved novel, which, for me, meant finding and buying Stowaway to the Mushroom Planet (Cameron, 1956) after having read The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet (the first in a five-book series; 1954) thirty-four years earlier!  Truly momentous, savored through and through, filling but still with a yen for more.

Another memorable experience

And that was Nacogdoches our second time around.  Simply grand.

Steven indulged us with a two-night stay at the historic Hotel Fredonia downtown, so we could be close to everything.  Although, really?  Anywhere in Nacogdoches is close to everything else. 

Friday evening we treated ourselves to some authentic Mexican food at La Carreta where the flavors and the textures appealed to my taste buds’ recollections of mom’s flour tortillas and food in South Texas.

Saturday, we spread ourselves more thinly than usual; but we were returning home mid-morning Sunday, so what choice did we have but to make the most of our visit?

Farmer’s market

We started at the “hitch lot” on West Main and Pearl streets.

Oh, the sights, sounds, and items to buy! 

Hmm, hmm, hmm.   Fresh fruits, vegetables, preserves, cheeses, and all sorts of delectable goodies were on display, as well as handcrafted items.  We bought two sets of knitted potholders from a retired nurse and two pairs of beaded earrings from Mamie, who gave Steven her calling card, which, like the others we got there, had not email addresses, but telephone numbers only.  Quite different from life elsewhere, personal, simplified. 

NTX61910-16

NTX61910-10

Everywhere we turned vendors were smiling.  Some shared samples with buyers and browsers alike, all hoping to sell their wares.  We felt right at home especially among those who readily engaged in conversation.

Steven chatted with a psychologist who sells handcrafted furniture that benefits patients at the state hospital.  Interestingly, the man has lived without electricity for the past
thirty-five years.  And this, he said with a chuckle, is why it took him a good, long while to find the right woman to share his rustic life.

NTX61910-28

In the meantime I listened off and on to the conversations around me, took photos, and observed from where I stood next to a woman selling plants and vegetables from her pickup truck.

NTX61910-54The woman was all smiles but seemed a bit uncomfortable.  She repositioned her stance every little while and used her cane as often, but she was very cheerful nonetheless.

A man stopped by, asked a question, commented on the woman’s response, and then moved on.  He’d bought from her before but didn’t find what he wanted this time around.

When Steven finished his conversation with the doctor, he joined me in talking to the woman, Fran, who was so friendly that I wished we could be there every Saturday.  She asked if we were new to the market, so we introduced ourselves and took turns talking as we nibbled on two freshly picked cherry tomatoes Fran hadn’t thought twice about giving us.

Fran vividly described how she’d gotten her ankle crushed.  Her husband had asked for help in moving the hogs to another pen when the largest one pushed hard against her, pinning her foot against the fence.  Ye-ouch!  She’d convalesced for several weeks, so that morning was her first time back at the market despite her swollen ankle.

We really enjoyed Fran’s company but had to be elsewhere in ten minutes.  We agreed to meet up again one day soon and headed to the vehicle just as the folk singer started his melodious, melancholy song.  What a voice!

NTX61910-47

When we’d arrived the man had been setting up chairs in front of his canopied area, and only now had he gotten to the singing part.  I so wanted to stay and listen to the rest of the song at least; but the sooner we took care of business the sooner we could return to Peking for lunch— our third time there— for its mouth-watering special of the day, its peaceful ambiance, and its impeccable service.

Museum

On returning to the Fredonia mid-afternoon a young man eating his lunch on a couch in the lobby told me about the Sterne-Hoya House as Steven took photos.  He suggested that we might want to visit as he had earlier.  The young man was so nice that he instantaneously pulled up the museum’s website on his laptop to pique my interest further, and the hotel clerk handed me some pamphlets and a map in case their directions weren’t helpful.

NTX61910-375

I thanked them both and looked for Steven, who’d plopped down on a different sofa by then.  He looked really beat, but I shared the information with him anyway.  NTX61910-360Then,
pushing exhaustion aside for the time being, we rushed off to the museum before it closed at four.

What an experience! 

Marissa, our guide, a history major at Stephen F. Austin, peppered her talk with fascinating facts on both the Sterne and Hoya families; but I was most impressed with her effervescent personality.  She not only captured our attention, but also fed our inquiring minds with tantalizing tidbits that left us wanting to take her tour at the Durst-Taylor house, the second oldest structure in Nacogdoches, when we’re back in town.

Right at home

From there we drove to church for five o’clock Mass.  We sat in the same place as before.  On the right up close to the front for the best effect.

???????????????????????????????

SHC61910-405

Of course, knowing that Bishop Carmody had dedicated Sacred Heart in 1992— just
as he had St. Joseph Church, our home parish, in 2009— made us feel right at home.  Moreover, that Bishop Carmody married us makes anything connected to him a heartfelt remembrance.

SHC61910-404After Mass we made our way to the beautiful chapel on the other side of the glass wall behind the altar.  Our first time there I’d taken photos of St. Elizabeth Seton’s stained glass window but hadn’t gotten a closeup of the relic with its accompanying certificate of authenticity at the bottom.

Before long a woman entered and engaged Steven in conversation as I took photos.  As we talked about the church and my blog, a second woman with a terrific sense of humor joined us and teasingly asked what we’d been told, as if casting doubt on her friend’s veracity.

We all introduced ourselves and continued talking as we made our way back into the church.  Mary, the first woman we met, works with the musicians; and Margo, the zany, witty one, gave us a mini tour focused on the beautiful stained glass windows.

Margo also showed us Jennifer’s window.  The girl, just sixteen when she died unexpectedly, was the younger sister of the town’s famous World Cup soccer player, Clint Dempsey.  Her death was a terrible loss to both the family and the community.

“Yes.  We read about Dempsey in The Daily Sentinel yesterday,” I said.  “We also read about him on Yahoo a few days ago.”

Conversing with Mary and Margo was truly special.  We felt genuinely welcomed in their presence, which built on our first visit to Sacred Heart.

That time we’d met the deacon who helped us find our way to the chapel, but we’d missed out on seeing how folks interact with one another after Mass.

This time we observed how Father builds community.  He cares about his parishioners and relates to them lightheartedly.  During Mass he said that all men, married or single, would be given a Father’s Day memento.  Then he told us about his beloved uncles before asking the oldest fathers to rise for recognition as he handed them the mementos personally.  After Mass Father spent time talking with folks as they left, while small groups lingered here and there to chat a bit before departing.

As for Steven and me?  Mary and Margo made it a point to learn about us, why we were there, and encouraged our participation in the future.  They also introduced us to Father, who’d been locking and unlocking the front door as folks exited.

Then after Steven shared what all he does at St. Joseph’s, Father turned to me.

“And what do you do?” he asked point-blank.

“I maintain the blog I created for our church.”

Father looked at the others, tilted his head ever so slightly, and made a strange face before moving aside for us to leave.

NTX61910-420Priceless! 

Moreover, we’re delighted to have
established a meaningful connection to Sacred Heart Church in just two visits.

J. McKinney’s

Finally, we topped our time in Nacogdoches with dinner at the Hotel Fredonia where we met a Stephen F. Austin junior waitressing her way through a fashion marketing degree.

Denise’s effusive personality coupled with her gracious hospitality made us feel very much at home at J. McKinney’s that evening.

What a delightful time!

January 4, 2015

How consoling, how sweet the presence of Jesus to the longing, harassed soul!  It is instant peace and balm to every wound (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton).

January 4, 2016

The accidents of life separate us from our dearest friends, but let us not despair.  God is like a looking glass in which souls see each other.  The more we are united to him by love, the nearer we are to those who belong to him (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton).

NTX61910 414

Photo files…  Farmer’s market: one / two…  Hotel: one / two…  Museum: one / two / three / four…  SHC chapel

Links of interest…  Eleanor Cameron: about / award / books / stowaway / wonderful flight…  Daily Sentinel…  Clint Dempsey…  Farmer’s market: blog / local harvest / reviews / rules & regulations…  Historic: landmarks / people, places, events / sites department…  Hotel Fredonia…  Nacogdoches: chamber of commercethings to do / visitors bureau / website…  Restaurants: La Carreta / Peking…  Sacred Heart Church: facebook / map / multicultural festival / parish / website…  Servant of God Simon Bruté…  St. Elizabeth Seton: biography / devotional area / national shrine / prayer / relic / saint / upwards perspective

WP posts…  Angels keeping watch…  Beautiful sacred space…  Heart of hearts…  Holy relics…  Home again…  A real church…  Sacred Heart (Nacogdoches)…  Sacred Heart Church (Corpus Christi, TX)…  Saturday evening Mass