Venerating St. Anthony

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Three weeks ago Steven and I met up again with Fr. Mario Conte, OFM Conventual from the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy and Tom Muscatello, USA liaison from St. Adalbert Friary in Elmhurst, NY, and picked up right where we left off almost three years ago at St. Anthony’s in Rockford, IL, June 14, 2013.

Meeting Abelardo

SAP61413-119What gorgeous grounds!  I had no idea that Illinois could produce such green grass and beautiful plants, so— catching sight of the gardener— I walked a good distance to where he was and thanked him for making my day.  In turn, Abelardo, who hails from Michoacán, Mexico, expressed his heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity to do what he loves.  Then, in the middle of our lovely conversation, Steven called out that Mass would start soon so off I went after our cordial goodbyes.

Greeting Fr. Mario

SAP61413-137I looked quite disheveled on entering church.  I hadn’t even combed my hair!  But there was Steven pushing past my I’m-not-ready moments.

“Look, there’s Fr. Mario.  Here’s your chance.  Go talk to him.”

I felt even more pressured when Steven walked up to Fr. Mario and they both turned to look at me.

Oh, my gosh!  What could I do but smile? 

I was so glad to finally meet Fr. Mario that I quickly forgot my appearance, and we’ve been in each other’s thoughts and prayers ever since.

Venerating St. Anthony

During Mass Fr. Mario welcomed Steven and me as “the two who traveled the farthest, all the way from Texas” to be among the faithful venerating St. Anthony’s first-class relics that evening.  We felt so very specially blessed.

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Prayers

Good St. Anthony, in God’s providence you have secured for his people many marvelous favors.  You have been especially celebrated, good
St. Anthony, for your goodness to the poor and the hungry, for finding employment for those seeking it, for your special care of those who travel, and for keeping safe from harm all who must be away from home.

You are widely known also, good St. Anthony, for securing peace in the family, for your delicate mercy in finding lost things, for safe delivery of messages, and for your concern for women in childbirth.

In honoring you, St. Anthony, for the many graces our Lord grants through your favor, we trustfully and confidently ask your aid in our present need.

V.  Pray for us, good St. Anthony.
R.  That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray…  May it be a source of joy, O God, to your Church that we honor the memory of your confessor and doctor, St. Anthony.  May his spiritual help always make us strong; and, by his assistance, may we enjoy an eternal reward.  This we ask through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.  Amen.

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Contact information

You can reach the Anthonian Association of the Friends of St. Anthony of Padua by mail at 101 Saint Anthony Drive, Mount Saint Francis, IN 47146-9001.  Or you can call 1.812.923.6356 (fax 1.812.923.3200), if you prefer.  The staff is very friendly!

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Links of interest…  Day I made a batch of relics…  Friar Mario: meditations (videos) – relics visit / Messenger of St. Anthony (editorials) / St. Anthony USA (petitions; portal to Italian website)…  Four quick facts about relics…  Help from heaven…  Holy relics (first-class – more – venerating: how & why)…  Miracles…  Nine Tuesdays devotion…  Si quaeris miracula…  St. Anthony: about (more) / “ark of the covenant” (index – more) / biography / for peace of mind / glorious feast day / mail deliveries (S.A.G.) / miracles & traditions / shrine / thanksgiving (pdf) / wonder worker…  St. Anthony of Padua Church: diocesan page / parishes online / St. Joseph altars / video (100th anniversary) / website…  St. Bonaventure (more) / about (more) / archive (more) / bishop & cardinal / memorial / patron (more) / prayer (liturgy archive – more – praying with) / sayings…  What’s the story with relics…  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 page…  Words to ponder (January 9, 2013 & other related entries)

WP posts…  Advent prayers…  Budding relationships…  Christ’s passion…  Franciscan experience…  Franciscan treasures…  Holy relics…  Making meaning…  My Franciscan Crown…  Prayer…  Recollections…  Saint of miracles…  Si quaeris miracula…  Soulful…  St. Anthony…  St. Anthony chaplets…  St. Felix…  Tony’s big day

Recollections

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Thanks to Fr. Mario Conte from the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy and Tom Muscatello, USA liaison at St. Adalbert Franciscan Friary in Elmhurst, NY, St. Anthony’s relics are visiting Texas later this month.

Recollections

TM2216-StAWhat a worthwhile endeavor that promises to be, considering that the extraordinary recollections (blog entries shared below) from our January 14, 2013 experience are still as fresh as this morning’s news.  And, yes.  We’ve already made plans to attend!

From “Words to ponder”

Fr. Mario visited the United States with two St. Anthony relics to commemorate the 750th anniversary of St. Bonaventure’s discovery of St. Anthony’s remains.  So how could we possibly pass that up?

We caught up to him (them) at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Rockford, only an hour and thirty-eight minutes— not quite eighty-eight miles— northwest of Chicago.  And, oh, the photo opportunities!

From “Holy relics”

When Steven learned that Father Mario from the Basilica in Italy would be in Illinois, he quickly made plans for us to attend Mass and the veneration of St. Anthony’s first-class relics at St. Anthony of Padua Church.  And we had a phenomenal time!

Father Mario captivated all of us with wonderful stories about St. Anthony and gifted many of us with relics touched to St. Anthony’s tongue.  The reliquary on the left holds part of St. Anthony’s floating rib; the one on the right, tissue from inside his cheek.

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Then, before Father Mario retired for the evening, he did something totally unexpected: He blessed Steven and me with the small reliquary!

We were so taken with Father Mario that I wanted to bring him home with us!  But he had places to go and people to see.  After all, building community within God’s kingdom is what traveling with St. Anthony is all about!

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Prayers

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Contact information

Short Prayers for “Thirteen Tuesdays” and the prayer cards are from the Anthonian Association of the Friends of St. Anthony of Padua, 101 Saint Anthony Drive, Mount St. Francis, IN 47146-9001.

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Links of interest…  Friar Mario: meditations (videos) – relics visit (Houston 2016) / Messenger of St. Anthony (editorials) / St. Anthony USA (petitions; portal to Italian website) / wallpapers & images…  He dwells among us…  Help from heaven…  Let prayer bring peace to your soul…  Miracles…  Nine Tuesdays devotion…  Pray to God in secret…  Prayer: inward / more / paradox of holiness & communion / point / sure path to freedom…  Si quaeris miracula…  Sound of silence…  St. Anthony: about (more) / “ark of the covenant” (index – more) / biography / for peace of mind / glorious feast day / mail deliveries (S.A.G.) / miracles & traditions / shrine / thanksgiving (pdf) / wonder worker…  St. Bonaventure…  What’s the story with relics…  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 page…  Words to ponder (January 9, 2013 & other related entries)

WP posts…  Advent prayers…  Budding relationships…  Christ’s passion…  Franciscan experience…  Holy relics…  Making meaning…  My Franciscan Crown…  Prayer…  Promise of hope…  Saint of miracles…  Si quaeris miracula…  Soulful…  St. Anthony…  St. Anthony chaplets…  St. Felix…  Tony’s big day…  Venerating St. Anthony

Advent prayers

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On Saturday I received a wonderful letter from Tom Muscatello with the Anthonians at St. Adalbert Friary in New York.  Tom caught us up on Father Mario’s latest adventures traveling with St. Anthony’s first-class relics and included “some Advent prayers for your pleasure.”

O shepherd of Israel, hearken.  O guide of the flock of Joseph, rouse your power and come to save us!  O Lord of hosts, restore us.  If your face shine upon us, then we shall be safe.  O Lord of hosts, how long will you burn with anger while your people pray?  You have fed them with the bread of tears and given them tears to drink in ample measure.  You have left us to be fought over by our neighbors, and our enemies mock us.  O Lord of hosts, restore us.  If your face shine upon us, then we shall be safe.

Father, all-powerful God, your eternal Word took flesh on our earth when the Virgin Mary placed her life at the service of your plan.  Lift our minds in watchful hope to hear the voice which announces his glory, and open our minds to receive the Spirit who prepares us for his coming.  We ask this through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Father, in the wilderness of the Jordan you sent a messenger to prepare people’s hearts for the coming of your son.  Help me to hear his words and repent of my sins so that I may clearly see the way to walk, the truth to speak, and the life to live for him, our Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Lord God, may we, your people, who look forward to the birthday of Christ, experience the joy of salvation and celebrate the feast with love and thanksgiving.  We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.  Amen.

To Our Lady…  O Mother of Advent, be with us and see to it that he will remain with us in our difficult struggles for truth and hope, for justice and peace: He alone, Emmanuel.

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Additional prayers

Come, long-expected Jesus.  Excite in me a wonder at the wisdom and power of your father and ours.  Receive my prayer as part of my service to the Lord who enlists me in God’s own work for justice.  Come, long-expected Jesus.  Excite in me a hunger for peace: peace in the world, peace in my home, peace in myself.  Come, long-expected Jesus.  Excite in me a joy responsive to the father’s joy.  I seek his will so I can serve with gladness, singing, and love.  Come, long-expected Jesus.  Excite in me the joy, love, and peace to bring to the manger of my Lord.  Raise in me, too, sober reverence for the God who acted there, hearty gratitude for the life begun there, and spirited resolution to serve the Father and the Son.  I pray in the name of Jesus Christ whose advent I hail.  Amen.

Father, all-powerful God, your eternal Word took flesh on our earth when the Virgin Mary placed her life at the service of your plan.  Lift our minds in watchful hope to heart the voice which announces his glory, and open our minds to receive the Spirit who prepares us for his coming.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

??????????God of love and mercy, help us to follow the example of Mary, always ready to do your will.  At the message of an angel she welcomed your eternal Son and, filled with the light of your Spirit, she became the temple of your Word who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

God of power and mercy, open our hearts in welcome.  Remove the things that hinder us from receiving Christ with joy so that we may share his wisdom and become one with him when he comes in glory, for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Gracious God, you bring glad tidings to the poor.  Create in us this Advent season the desire to help those in need that we may recognize in them the face of Christ.  We ask this through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Jesus, you are our eternal salvation, the unfailing light of the world.  Light everlasting, you are truly our redemption.  Grieving that the human race was perishing through the tempter’s power, without leaving the heights you came to the depths in your loving kindness.  Readily taking our humanity by your gracious will, you saved all earthly creatures long since lost, restoring joy to the world.  Redeem our souls and bodies, O Christ, and so possess us as your shining dwellings.  By your first coming, make us righteous; at your second coming, set us free so that, when the world is filled with light and you judge all things, we may be clad in spotless robes and follow in your steps, O King, into the heavenly hall.  Amen.

SJC121210-10Lord, our God, we praise you for your son, Jesus Christ.  He is Emmanuel, the hope of all people.  He is the wisdom that teaches and guides us.  He is the savior of every nation.  Lord God, let your blessing come upon us as we light the candles of this Advent wreath.  May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation.  We ask this through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

Lord Jesus, master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas.  We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day.  We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us.  We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom.  We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence.  We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light.  To you we say, “Come Lord Jesus!”  Amen.

Merciful Father, you have given us your Son as your loving presence in this world.  Create in our hearts the room for your love to grow.  Forgive our shortcomings, and prepare our hearts for your coming.  We ask this in the name Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, one God, forever and ever.  Amen.

O God, who gladdens us by the annual expectation of our redemption, grant that we, who now receive with joy your only begotten son as our redeemer, may behold him without fear when he comes as our judge, even the same Lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns forever and ever.  Amen.

??????????Son of God, You are the light of the world.  Shine your light on all our choices this day.  Create in us the ability to let your light shine forth for others.  We ask this in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the ways of your only begotten son, that we may attain to serve you with purified minds, through his advent.  Who with you lives and reigns in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end.  Amen.

Wise and loving God, that I may come to know you more deeply and that others may come to know you through me, pervade and penetrate my entire being.  Make me a pure emanation of your glory, a radiant reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of your presence in the world, an image of your goodness.  Lord, help me to live with your wisdom and not my own, that I may be a beacon of your friendship for others.  Amen.

To obtain favors…  Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary at midnight in Bethlehem in the piercing cold.  In that hour vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of our savior, Jesus Christ, and of his blessed mother.  Amen.

This prayer, dating back to 1897, may be recited throughout the day from the Feast of St. Andrew (November 30) until Christmas.

December 17, 2013

“Advent is the season of the secret, the secret of the growth of Christ, of divine love growing in silence” (Caryll Houselander).

November 30, 2013

Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man.  Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child.  This is a healing memory; it brings hope.  The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.…  It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope (Pope Benedict XVI).

November 28, 2015

O God, by whose word all things are sanctified, pour forth your blessing upon this wreath and grant that we who use it may prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ and may receive from you abundant graces.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen (Blessing for Advent wreath).

November 29, 2015

Advent is the season of the presence and expectation of the eternal.  For this very reason it is in a particular way a period of joy… joy in the fact that God made himself a child.  This joy, invisibly present within us, encourages us to journey on with confidence (Pope Benedict XVI).

December 10, 2015

Jesus, you are our light.  When you came into our world, you made it a brighter place.  Help us each day to make brighter and happier the lives of the people we live with, learn with, play with, and pray with.  Amen (RCL Benziger enewsletter).

December 20, 2015

Mary went without delay to communicate her joy to her cousin, Elizabeth….  This is the real commitment of Advent: to bring joy to others.  Joy is the true gift of Christmas, not expensive presents that demand time and money (Pope Benedict XVI).

December 23, 2015

Advent is a journey towards Bethlehem.  May we let ourselves be drawn by the light of God made man (Pope Francis).

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St. Joseph Church – Port Aransas, TX

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Links of interest…  Advent: about / & Our Lady of Guadalupe / anticipation & hope / antiphons (about / more / overview / seven / video) / calendar (family –  morestitched) / celebrating the season (more) / crafts & activities (more) / emptying the stable / examenfor CCE teachers / great waiting / liturgical resources / meditations / prayers & customs (daily – more – still more) / praying / readings / reflection / resources (more) / retreat / time of preparation / traditions / what is / What would Joseph do / with St. Jude / wreath prayers (more – pdf) / video (more)…  Anthonians: Messenger of St. Anthony (editorials) / St. Anthony USA (petitions)…  Kids’ activities: Advent adventure / books / calendars (countdown / more / printable / Santa) / candles song / children’s prayers / crafts & activities (more) / creating prayers of petitions / definitive guide / for kids / gospel talk / history & meaning / ideas (blog) / meditations / paper chain / placemat / prayers & customs / preparing children / printables & more / resources (more – still more) / season / teaching / traditions / videos & activities (free fun) / wreath (making – more – prayer)…  Music: Carol of the bells (song) / carols / holiday animations / index / list / lyrics / music & videos / remix (nine songs) / sing-a-longs / Kididdles / Mary, did you know? (song) / White Christmas (song)…  Preparing our hearts for Advent…  Solemnities: Dec 25th / Jan 1st

WP posts…  Blue heaven…  Budding relationships…  Christmas blessings…  Christmas year ’round…  Church time blues…  Concrete abstraction…  Faith and prayer…  Father’s guided tour…  Letter to Santa…  Oh, happy day…  On being Christian…  Our Lady…  Powerful intercessor…  Promise of hope…  Santo Niño…  Sweet Jesus…  Thanksgiving prayers

Capuchin church stations

Saturday, April 28, Steven and I spent several hours at the St. Bonaventure Church, which flows right into the Solanus Casey Center.

Meeting Father Casey

I discovered Father Casey online in 2009, and finally received a third-class relic badge (in my favorite color, green) in the mail along with an application to the Guild in 2011.

“Would you like to join, darling?” I asked Steven before submitting my membership form.

“No, but you can order anything you like from the gift shop.”

Longing to visit

I was disappointed in Steven’s indifference.  No matter what I said about Father Casey, Steven just wasn’t interested.  He didn’t even pretend to listen, but I didn’t let his attitude stifle my exuberance.

“One of these days I’m going to Detroit so I can visit Father Casey’s tomb at the Solanus Center,” I said, not about to let Steven have the last word.

And what a pilgrimage that turned out to be!  For both of us.

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Capuchin church stations

“A Journey with St. Anthony along the Way of the Cross” is from Saint Anthony of Padua (Miles and Gianopoulos, 1991, pp. 45-55, 112).

The Franciscans popularized the Way of the Cross devotion.  In the 1300s, in their European monasteries, they began to erect Stations honoring events in the Passion of Jesus.  The practice quickly spread to parish churches.  By the eighteenth century the Way of the Cross had become one of the most popular devotions in the Church.

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Opening prayer

Lord Jesus, you instituted a new covenant of friendship in your blood by calling us together as the people of God.  Like you, we must walk the way of the Cross. We agonize now in the flesh to finish the remainder of your sufferings for the sake of your body, the Church.  We hasten forward to resurrection in the strength that comes from hope.  May our Lady of Sorrows walk with us now in our contemplation.  Amen.

We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because, by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world.

 1st: Jesus is condemned to death…   St. Anthony, help us to be fearless of the world’s judgment, knowing that only the judgment of God matters.

 2nd: Jesus carries his cross…  St. Anthony, help us to accept our trials for the love of God knowing that, if carried in the spirit of Jesus, they will also be redemptive.

       

 3rd: Jesus falls the first time…  St. Anthony, let us be grateful to God who saves us through the cross of his beloved Son.  

 4th: Jesus meets his afflicted mother…  St. Anthony, may we see in Mary’s love a reflection of the love of God, and may we convey healing compassion to others as an instrument of peace.

       

 5th: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry his cross…  St. Anthony, inspire us to ease the pain of Jesus today by assisting him in sharing the burdens of our afflicted brothers and sisters.  

 6th: Veronica wipes the face of Jesus…  St. Anthony, teach us through Veronica’s example to see God’s face in those the world rejects and to show his love at work.

       

 7th: Jesus falls the second time…  St. Anthony, may we ever be grateful to Jesus for accepting the suffering and pain that took away our sins.  May we strive to reform and love with God’s grace.  

 8th: Jesus speaks to the weeping daughters of Jerusalem…  St. Anthony, give us an active concern for the welfare of others.

       

 9th: Jesus falls the third time…  St. Anthony, may we be strengthened by the persevering spirit of Jesus when we feel defeated or tempted to give in.

10th: Jesus is stripped of his garments…  St. Anthony, strengthen us to live in truth and honesty before others and God, our Creator, who has invested us with enduring dignity.

       

11th: Jesus is nailed to the cross…  St. Anthony, help us to be patient and to take those first selfless steps of forgiveness.

12th: Jesus dies on the cross…  St. Anthony, inspire us to feel God’s presence and proclaim by our loving lives that Jesus is the savior of the world.

       

13th: Jesus is taken down from the cross…  St. Anthony, help us to empty ourselves of selfishness so that we may imitate the total giving of Jesus.

14th: Jesus is laid in the sepulchre…  St. Anthony, help us continue our Lord’s mission of liberating the human family from suffering and injustice that results from sin.

       

Closing prayer

Lord Jesus, in your mercy you have given us new birth into hope which draws its life from your resurrection.  By dying you destroyed our death, and by rising you have restored our life.  You are now at work in our hearts through the energy of your spirit.  Strengthened by this power, we will do our best to show you love at work and try to cope patiently and lovingly with life’s challenges.  We are comforted by our belief that the sufferings of this life cannot be compared to the joys that await us in eternal life.  May our Lady of Sorrows walk with us on our way.  Amen.

Dear God 

Father, you gave St. Anthony the wisdom and grace to live and preach the gospel of Christ.  Help us to live the gospel life of love at work as he did.  Fill our hearts with your love that we may pursue unselfishly a sincere love of God and neighbor. May we be sensitive to your call and faithful to our baptismal promises.  May we imitate the life and work of St. Anthony and create a new world where the love of Jesus will be the rule and not the exception.  We make our prayer through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

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April 9-11, 2014

Steven and I made our third annual pilgrimage to the Solanus Casey Center and attended the three-day Lenten Journey in Faith, a truly memorable Franciscan Capuchin experience.

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April 16, 2014

“He who desires to go on advancing from virtue to virtue, from grace to grace, should meditate continually on the passion of Jesus” (St. Bonaventure).

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Links of interest…  Easter/Lent (meditations)…  Holy Week: 1st four days / Triduum…  Prayer before the cross / a crucifix…  Praying Lent…  Resurrection (YouTube)…  St. Francis…  Stations of the Cross: about / devotions / fish eaters / for families / for kids / how to do / origins / prayers (video/music) / printables / puppet show (YouTube) / significance / way of the cross…  Via Crucis at the Colosseum with Pope Francis

WP posts…  Bearing one’s crosses…  Concrete abstraction…  Connected tangents…  Dear God…  God’s master plan…  Growing pains…  Kateri’s sainthood…  Lady of sorrows…  Lenten meditations…  Lenten reflections…  Lenten resources…  Mercy and justice…  Prayerful ways…  Revisiting St. Simon…  Seven dwelling places…  Sioux chapel stations…  Simple yet profound…  Solano, Solanus, Solani…  St. Bonaventure Church…  St. Joseph’s chapel…  Sweet Jesus…  Today’s Beatitudes…  Two angels…  Two letters…  Two prompt replies…  Venerable Margaret

Tony’s big day

For an entire month my car key was nowhere to be found.  Off and on I searched to no avail, but I wasn’t worried because I knew the key had to be in the house.  But where?

Then, day before yesterday as Steven was preparing to leave for work, he said, “Since you haven’t found the key, I’m thinking of ordering a replacement.  It’ll take a while to get here, though.”

“It’s okay.  Don’t worry about it.” I told him.

Tony, Tony, look around.  The key is lost and must be found.

“Let’s see what St. Anthony comes up with,” I said and quickly forgot about the key.

Serendipity

When Steven got home that afternoon, he needed something from the closet shelf in the office.  Reaching into the box he excitedly proclaimed, “Look at this!  I should’ve opened the door on the left but opened this other one instead.  Look what I found!”

There in his right hand was the missing car key entwined in the coiled cord of the vehicle’s phone charger.  Without thinking he’d opened the wrong door, reached into the wrong box, and discovered the missing key!

“How did the key end up there?  I didn’t put it there.  You didn’t put it there.  Why did I go for this door when I  meant to open the left door?  Serendipity?  How did this happen?”

Steven was beside himself with amusement, delight, relief, and awe.  He’d never before referred to anything as serendipitous.  Three times, no less.

Tony’s big day

“That’s St. Anthony for you!” I enthused.  “I told you he’d take care of it, and he did.  He knew I wanted something special to write about for his feast day, so he took care of both dilemmas with one simple feat.

“Not only that,” I continued.  “Two letters ago I learned that Sister in Australia celebrates her birthday on June thirteenth, so now I have two very special reasons to celebrate
St. Anthony’s big day.”

               

               

Contact information

The novena pamphlet, the prayer booklet, and the prayer card are from Fr. Primo, OFM, director of Franciscan Mission Associates, P.O. Box 598, Mount Vernon, NY 10551-0598.  St. Anthony relics are also available from FMA.  The top large photo (source unknown) and the lower right-hand prayer card I’ve had for decades.  The novena prayer card is from The Province of St. Mary of the Capuchin Order, 21 West 31st Street, New York, NY 10001-2876.

Nine days of prayer in honor of St. Anthony

First day…  Dear St. Anthony, you are renowned all over the world for your unfailing assistance to those who are afflicted, in trouble, or burdened with any great anxiety.  With reliance on your power to intercede with God for those in difficulty, I confidently entrust to you my present intention.  With your gracious support, God’s mercy will meet my need.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, pray for us.

Second day…  Lovable St. Anthony, in your apostolic preaching you insisted on our duty to pray without ceasing.  Please help me now to make my every action a silent prayer to God in my necessity which I have trustingly confided to your care.  In your kindness teach me how to pray patiently, perseveringly, and in a spirit of resignation to God’s holy and saving will.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, intercede for us.

Third day…  Glorious St. Anthony, by the example of your holy life as by your preaching, you inspire us with undiminished trust in God’s mercy and kindness.  In your honor I will fast from some legitimate pleasures of life in order to purify my affections and clarify my intentions.  As you taught us, the good Lord listens with love to the prayers of those who come before him with faith.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, plead for us.

Fourth day…  Powerful
St. Anthony, you have multiplied your favors over the years since your entrance into heaven to show God’s bountiful mercy to those who are in sorrow.  I try, despite my sinfulness and weakness, to imitate your virtues and to obey God’s word so as to honor you sincerely and fittingly.  Please come quickly to my aid in my present necessity.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, be our protector.

Fifth day…  Charitable
St. Anthony, in honor of your own goodness and compassion I, too, am trying to help others in need of understanding and mercy.  This prayer in practice I offer to God through your hands in a spirit of confident faith knowing full well that all who call upon you will receive consolation and aid.  Your own merciful assistance so often shown to others I will, I am sure, be mine.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, be good to us.

Sixth day…  Humble St. Anthony, how patient you were in humbly doing God’s will and leaving to him your life and its future.  Kindly obtain from God for me the grace to reconcile myself to his holy will for me in my great concern.  I cast all my cares on you who will, I am sure, entrust them to the Lord who is never deaf to those whose full trust is in him.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, watch over us.

Seventh day…  Most pure St. Anthony, by your singleness of heart you steadfastly pursued the task God gave you.  By your example and help, I turn to you in faith so that you may be my patron and steady voice before God’s throne.  You are a friend in great trials as in the smallest difficulties, so I implore you to come also to my assistance now.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, keep us faithful.

Eighth day…  St. Anthony, consoler, you are ever attentive to those who come to you with their difficulties whether large or small.  Those who know your kindness learn to rely with faith on your power with God and your desire to help God’s people.  Please make my present concern your own and intercede for me and for those I entrust to your care.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, be our comfort.

Ninth day…  Faithful St. Anthony, I thank you for your many favors in the past.  In the certainty you will assist me in my present need, I will show my appreciation by imitating your virtues and example, by avoiding sin, and by patiently persisting in prayer so as to conform my will to God’s purpose for me and for those I pray for.  Amen.

Our Father…. / Hail Mary…. / St. Anthony, remember my needs.

Quote…  “Nothing apart from God can satisfy the human heart that is truly in search of him” (St. Anthony of Padua).

Links of interest…  Basilica in Padua…  Dear St. Anthony…  Do you need a miracle in your life?…  Ever heard of “everyone’s saint” basilica…  Feast…  Franciscan saints…  June 13th…  Lost & found (blog)…  Mail deliveries (S.A.G.)…  Recipe…  Saint for lost things…  Sardine heaven: Portugal…  Shrine…  St. Anthony of Padua…  What is St. Anthony’s bread

WP posts…  Budding relationships…  Holy relics…  Making meaning…  My Franciscan crown…  Prayer…  Promise of hope…  Saint of miracles…  Si quaeris miracula…  Soulful…  St. AnthonySt. Anthony chaplets…  St. Felix…  Two letters…  Two prompt replies…  Venerating St. Anthony

Franciscan treasures

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Sunday night I couldn’t sleep, so I revisited three old posts and got to work.  I’ve found that folks don’t like to access pdf photo files.  The reasons might be that the files take too long to open or there’s lack of interest in the unknown.  What I also know is that some computers are slow to open files so, little by little, I’m replacing pdf files with photos for easier viewing.

Too many photos

Take the monthly TX Tropical Trail Region outing in Hebbronville, for instance.

As part of the day’s activities, we visited the church, its adjoining college, the tortilleria, and the barbecue restaurant where the afternoon presentations took place; so we took lots of photos.  Too many, really, but more is better for selection purposes.

Of course, our favorites that day were taken at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and Scottus College so I added some of the extra photos as pdf files on my post.  But why attach them if no one accesses them?  Why not create a second post with the photos instead?  This way, if someone’s interested in visiting Hebbronville, for instance, they have an idea of what to expect.

Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

        

       

               

                       

       

               

       

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Scottus College

        

               

               

Franciscan treasures

When we first visited in June, the church was in a state of metamorphosis.  When we returned five months later, the church had been restored except for the murals that had yet to be painted; and the college was undergoing a transformation of its own.

       

               

               

Since then, I’ve wondered off and on what all has transpired since November, 2009.  Were the murals painted after all?  What does the interior of Scottus College look like now?  What other changes have been made?

Certainly, we look forward to attending Mass there one day soon; but the biggest draw for us is the amazing spirit of the church community that’s forever grateful for its Franciscan treasures.

Prayer by Pope John Paul II (January, 1979)

O Immaculate Virgin, mother of the true God and mother of the church, who from this place reveal your clemency and your pity to all those who ask for your protection, hear the prayer that we address to you with filial trust, and present it to your son, Jesus, our sole redeemer.

St. Michael's - Banquete

St. Michael the Archangel – Banquete, TX

Mother of mercy, teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice, to you, who comes to meet us sinners, we dedicate on this day all our being and all our love.  We also dedicate to you our life, our work, our joys, our infirmities, and our sorrows.  Grant peace, justice, and prosperity to our peoples; for we entrust to your care all that we have and all that we are, our lady and mother.  We wish to be entirely yours and to walk with you along the way of complete faithfulness to Jesus Christ in his church.  Hold us always with your loving hand.

Virgin of Guadalupe, mother of the Americas, we pray to you for all the bishops that they may lead the faithful along paths of intense Christian life of love and humble service of God and souls.  Contemplate this immense harvest and intercede with the Lord that he may instill a hunger for holiness in the whole people of God and grant abundant vocations of priests and religious, strong in the faith and zealous dispensers of God’s mysteries.

Grant to our homes the grace of loving and respecting life in its beginnings with the same love with which you conceived in your womb the life of the son of God.  Blessed Virgin Mary, protect our families so that they may always be united, and bless the upbringing of our children.

Our Hope, look upon us with compassion, teach us to go continually to Jesus; and, if we fall, help us to rise again to return to him by means of the confession of our faults and sins in the sacrament of penance, which gives peace to the soul.

We beg you to grant us a great love for all the holy sacraments, which are, as it were, the signs that your son left us on earth.

Thus, Most Holy Mother, with the peace of God in our conscience, with our hearts free from evil and hatred, we will be able to bring to all true joy and true peace, which come to us from your son, our Lord Jesus Christ who, with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

February 6, 2017

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures” (Thornton Wilder).

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Links of interest…  Hebbronville: aboutcounty seat / history (more) / landmarks & legacies…  Mexico: persecution of Christians / plenty of priests / undercover priest (Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro: video)…  Our Lady of Guadalupe Church & Scottus College (more)…  Shades of deep teal…  St. Anthony’s bread…  TX Tropical Trail Region…  Where is your treasure

WP posts…  Franciscan experience…  Grapes of generosity…  Historic nuggets…  Mary’s miraculous medal…  Mary’s seven joys…  My Franciscan Crown…  Our Lady…  Saint of miracles…  Si quaeris miracula…  St. Anthony…  St. Anthony chaplets…  St. Felix…  Vaquero Fest Saturday

St. Anthony’s finally

For years the small church off Highway 44 on the drive to and from Corpus Christi, TX fascinated me.

Then, at a dinner hosted by St. Joseph Church in Port Aransas, TX in 2009, we happened to sit at a table with some really nice folks from that little church.

“Y’all need to come visit one of these days soon,” they said.

Wish in progress

This past Sunday, we took advantage of Steven’s not serving at St. Joseph’s and headed out to St. Anthony Church in Violet, which is now part of Robstown, TX.

Early in the week, Steven checked Parishes Online and found two Sunday morning Masses listed, at eight and ten; so we agreed on the latter.

We arrived at nine-thirty-eight, and what did we see?

A full parking lot.

“Looks like Mass is in progress,” Steven said.

“Oh, my gosh!  Did we get the hour wrong?”

We checked the schedule nearby before getting off the vehicle ’cause it was very cold out.

Only one Mass was listed, and it was for nine o’clock.

What to do, what to do.

“There’s St. Anthony’s in Robstown,” Steven offered.

“Or St. Michael the Archangel in Banquete, and we can surprise Father Tito.”

While Steven accessed Parishes Online on his phone, I took photos.

“My heart’s been set on this place for years, but I think God has another plan for us,” I said.  “Wherever we end up is where we’re meant to be.”

“I hope the listings for St. Anthony’s in Robstown are correct.  If not, we’ll have to come up with another plan.”

“It’ll all work out.  You’ll see.”

Looking for St. Anthony

Locating the church wasn’t as easy as we’d thought.  We had to stop for Steven to consult his phone again.  Why we didn’t use Onstar, I have no idea other than it never occurred to us.  I guess we just didn’t want to be late, and we were more concerned about Mass times than about directions only.

Oy vey!

We arrived in the knick of time.  Then, after some dilly-dallying about whether to get down or not since the parking areas were full there, too, Steven parked the vehicle closer to church; and we made our way to the entrance.

A man stood near the corner.

Is he waiting to pick up someone after Mass?

“Good morning,” he greeted us.

“Good morning!” I smiled.

Does he think us silly for walking to church when Mass is about to end? I wondered.

“I hope we’re not late again,” I told Steven.

We entered St. Anthony of Padua.  Then, through the glass doors in the foyer, both of us saw a church full of parishioners.

“Oh, my gosh!  We’re late again?  How can this be?  What time did you say Mass was starting?” I asked with my heart in my hands.

I thought about my students and the magic of threes that added excitement to their written stories.  Is this to be a story to remember?  One to look back on and learn from… as in, next time, call ahead to confirm Mass times?

Overwrought with conflicting emotions, I didn’t even think to look for a church bulletin.

Oh, the drama of it all!  Maybe we just should’ve gone to St. Joseph’s instead?  No.  I don’t think so.  It’ll all work out somehow.

Still, I was concerned ’cause neither Steven nor I like to be late for Mass, much less miss Mass altogether.

“We could head back to Flour Bluff,” I suggested.

“We wouldn’t make it in time for eleven o’clock Mass,” Steven replied.

We opened the glass door and stood in the back of the church as we waited.

The usher stood next to us but didn’t offer to lead us to our seats.

“May we walk in?” I asked quietly, almost pleading to be allowed in.  Mass seemed to have started, and we were very late.

The man smiled calmly, almost like the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland.  Or like the Mona Lisa.

What does he know that we don’t?  Why did he simply nod and gesture with his hand for us to proceed?

I felt so foolish!

The closer we slinkered to a pew with open seating along the middle aisle, the more panicked I became.

We sat; and, with my eyes fixed on the priest, I removed my coat.

Oh, my gosh!  Can this be?

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the priest… gasp… cleaning the cup!  Again we’d arrived too late!

To make matters worse, the Mass was being taped; and the camera was on the church goers!  With us prominently in view, no less!

Horror of horrors!!!  We’ve really done it this time!

Wide-eyed and freaking out, I turned to Steven and calmly whispered, “The priest’s wrapping things up.  We’ve arrived late yet again.  Shall we go?”

Steven looked concerned.

We’d wanted so much to be on time, so how could we have messed up so badly?

We quickly and quietly… no doubt sticking out like a sore thumb… got up and walked out into the foyer, which was fuller than when we’d entered.

Opportunity knocking

I was beyond dismayed, but I wasn’t passing up on a golden opportunity.  The foyer had too much to photograph!

Steven, looking like he felt out of place, stood in front of a small table by the exit; and on his left was a woman holding papers… bulletins maybe… in her arms as she waited.

I took some photos; and then, turning to talk to Steven, I noticed a few bulletins on the corner of the small table.

Mass times! I thought, reaching for one.

I showed Steven the Mass schedule and then turned to the woman on my left.

“Is there a Mass after this one?”

“Yes,” she said softly.

Late but early

“So we haven’t missed Mass then?” I said incredulously.

The woman smiled.  “No,” she said.  “Nine o’clock Mass is running late, but ten-thirty Mass will start on time.”

“Oh, my gosh!” I laughed.  “We were so worried we’d missed it!  You see, we drove in from out of town; and we had no idea what was going on.”

Not being shy, I told the woman about our morning at Violet and then there.

“I’m Deli,” I said, extending my hand to shake hers.  “This is Steven.”

“I’m Noemi.”

“We’re friends of Father Tito Ayo.”

Noemi’s eyes lit up.

She knows him!  How special is that! I thought.

“After we met Father last May, I searched online for Catholic churches in Robstown.  I thought he might be at St. Anthony’s, but he wasn’t.  He said other SOLT priests were in residence here; but I’ve wanted to attend Mass at this church ever since.  Is it okay to take photos?”

St. Anthony’s finally

“Today’s ten-thirty Mass is special,” Noemi explained.  “The children’s Mass happens just once a month.  Twelve o’clock Mass follows right after.  Sunday mornings, the first Mass starts at six; the last one, at twelve.  If you want to take pictures, there’s not much time in between; so you’ll have to hurry.”

“I’m so glad I asked!  Thank you so much!”

Waiting became bearable then, so I took photos in the foyer while we waited for people to exit.  Then, as the newcomers began to fill the church, we entered as well to take photos before Mass.

Of course, we remained until right before noon Mass; and then we stepped out into the damp, frigid afternoon to take more photos of the surrounding area.

All in all, Steven and I were quite taken with the church community, which is warm, inclusive, and quite appealing.  In fact, St. Anthony’s is so inviting that we’ll definitely visit again one day soon.

               

               

               

       

               

               

               

               

               

               

               

              

       

    

Links of interest…  Franciscan Mission Associates: prayer requests / quarterly newsletter / seasonal devotions…  Hymn to St. Anthony of Padua…  Nine Tuesdays devotion…  Si quaeris miracula: prayer / song…  SOLT…  St. Anthony (Violet, TX): old church / parishes online…  St. Anthony of Padua: facebook / parishes online / school

WP posts…  Budding relationships…  Familiar yet new…  Holy relics…  Honoring Joselito…  Pink divinity…  Prayer…  Quiet prayer time…  Saint of miracles…  Si quaeris miracula…  St. Anthony…  St. Anthony chaplets…  St. Michael chaplet…  Tony’s big day