Saint of miracles

Just recently, as I was looking through my stash of prayer booklets and such, I came across Prayers for today to St. Anthony of Padua (Franciscan Mission Associates, B5/09).

The leaflet includes not just eleven prayers, but also a heartfelt introduction that appeals to one’s sense of proactive engagement that gladdens this teacher’s heart.

The printed prayers are a guide only.  If you prefer, you may use your own words in addressing
St. Anthony, just as you speak freely to a friend.  Better still, you may pray to him, wherever possible, without any words at all, but from the heart alone (p. 2).

Prayers to St. Anthony

Before a journey…  Dear St. Anthony, today I greet you as the special guardian of those who must travel, or go on a trip.  I appreciate your continued interest in my welfare and your unfailing help.  I am sure you will keep aiding us.

You were constantly on the move from one country to another— Sicily, France, Spain— and in all the cities of Italy.  So you know the perils of being on the road.  You have seen the troubles along the way.

In the journeys my family and I make please guide and guard us.  Let us move with caution even while we rely on your assistance.

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, told us, “I am the way.”  Pray to him for us to keep us always on the right path.  Amen.

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

Before Mass…  Dear St. Anthony, I greet you today with reverence in the knowledge of your special love of our Lord in the Eucharist.

Today I ask you to help me appreciate better the graces God gives us at holy Mass, and in receiving the sacred Eucharist.  I think of you especially when the liturgy speaks of “the saints who have done your will.”

With your aid I will be more reverent and worshipful during Mass, more careful in preparation for holy communion, more grateful in thanking god for the graces He gives us in the holy mysteries.

Let me be always well fed at the sacred banquet not only by the bread of life but by the word of God spoken for us and explained to us at Mass.  This favor, I ask of you, in Christ’s name.  Amen.

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

For an understanding heart…  Dear St. Anthony, I salute you as my powerful patron before God.  You know how much we yearn for happiness, and how often and how stubbornly we seek it in the wrong places.

Please ask our Lord for us the grace he gave you so abundantly.  Thus, we may not vainly seek happiness in God’s creatures, but only in God himself, the source of all good.

Beg for us, powerful St. Anthony, the grace of an understanding heart.  Then, we will see the image of God in all those we meet and in every creature.  Let our hearts always be fixed on the true source of our joy, Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

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

For continued help…  Dear St. Anthony, greetings!  I count on you as a special friend.  Now that I have personal experience of your help, I can thank you best by imitating you for, as they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

May I select one virtue of your, then, that I most admire?  Perhaps, I choose this trait of yours because I so much lack it.  I’d like to imitate your goodness to the poor and those in need.

I shall start with those nearest to me, my own family.  I will do something for them whenever I can, and try to anticipate their needs.  Then I’ll look for a chance among those who live next door.

Please help me to persevere in this good intention, to progress from kind words to good deeds, and not to be discouraged if my intentions are misunderstood.  Please pray for me to God; this I ask of you in the name of Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

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

For peace…  Dear St. Anthony, yet again I greet you and thank you.  Throughout your life you always tried to be a peacemaker.  You were always reconciling enemies, getting factions to work together, smoothing and composing differences.

Our world is now upset with wars abroad, with violence and dissension at home.  Everywhere in our cities and towns, in our colleges and schools, even in our churches, a spirit of strife too often prevails.

These are all, as you know better than I, the fruit of sin, a sign of human instability and insufficiency.  Help us by your power before God to be peacemakers.  Help me especially to pray and work for peace in my family and my neighborhood whenever I can.  I ask this favor in the name of our Lord, the prince of peace.  Amen.

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

In time of trial…  Great St. Anthony, I thank our Lord for the benefits he still gives us today in your honor.  I thank him, too, for the graces he gave you during your brief span on earth.

God can give us, his creatures, no greater gift than himself.  This is what Jesus, our Lord, did when as the divine infant, he embraced you.  It is also a symbol of the love he holds for all his people, the love he longs to share with each one of us, even me.

Dear St. Anthony, help me in my anxieties, troubles, and afflictions, particularly (here mention your request).  Please intercede for me with God in my necessities.  This I ask through Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

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

Contact information

               

If you’d like to request prayers and/or a third-class St. Anthony relic, contact Franciscan Mission Associates, P.O. Box 598, Mount Vernon, NY 10551-0598.

April 15, 2015

Be natural in your meditation.  Use up your own stock of piety and love before resorting to books….  Our good Master prefers the poverty of our hearts to the most sublime thoughts borrowed from others (St. Peter Julian Eymard).

Links of interest…   American Catholic…  Basilica in Padua, Italy…  Dear St. Anthony
…  Franciscan Mission Associates…  Help from heaven…  Hymn to St. Anthony of Padua…  Nine Tuesdays devotion…  Si quaeris miracula: prayer / song…  St. Anthony: 1195-1231 / biography / Franciscan / life / mail deliveries (S.A.G.) / miracles & traditions / shrine / stolen relic / wonder worker…  St. Anthony’s Guild: devotions / ecards / prayer requests / prayers

WP posts…  Budding relationships…  Franciscan experience…  Holy relics…  In good time…  Making meaning…  My Franciscan Crown…  Prayer…  Si quaeris miracula…  St. Anthony…  St. Felix…  Tony’s big day

Budding relationships

SJC4311-95      SJC4311-93

Growing up, I knew about God, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus but not really about the saints.

Jesus, son of God and son of Mary, bless our family.  Graciously inspire in us the unity, peace, and mutual love that you found in your own family in the little town of Nazareth.

Mary, mother of Jesus and our mother, nourish our family with your faith and your love.  Keep us close to your son, Jesus, in all our sorrows and joys.

Joseph, foster-father to Jesus, guardian and spouse of Mary, keep our family safe from harm.  Help us in all times of discouragement or anxiety.

Holy family of Nazareth, make our family one with you.  Help us to be instruments of peace.  Grant that love, strengthened by grace, may prove mightier than all the weaknesses and trials through which our families sometimes pass.  May we always have God at the center of our hearts and homes until we are all one family, happy and at peace in our true home with you.  Amen.

Other than developing a lifelong personal relationship with St. Jude and St. Anthony along the way, I didn’t delve into the lives of the other saints until I created our church website, May 2008.  So maybe I was supposed to learn about them on my own?

St. Martin of Tours

As a child I often wondered about the picture high up on the wall above the front door.  Since we didn’t have photos of anyone on the walls of our house, I always thought that the man over the door had to have been someone special.  But why was he slashing his red cloak in two?  

Never mind that he was atop his horse as a barely clothed man sat on the ground below.  I just didn’t get it.  Who was he? 

Although I never thought to ask about him then, I now know a bit more about St. Martin of Tours, as he’s “one of the most familiar and recognizable Christian saints… a spiritual bridge across Europe… a patron saint of soldiers and horses” (Wikipedia, 2011).

Lord God of hosts, you clothed your servant, Martin, the soldier, with the spirit of sacrifice and set him as a bishop in your Church to be a defender of the Catholic faith.  Give us grace to follow in his holy steps that at the last we may be found clothed with righteousness in the dwellings of peace.  Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.  Amen.

St. Jude Thaddeus

When I was nine or so, mom heard about a church in Pharr, TX that had an outdoor shrine devoted to St. Jude; so off we went after work one evening.

I still vividly recall mom’s fascination with St. Jude.

“Look.  He has only one horn left to show that his evil gave way to good,” Mom said.  “St. Jude betrayed Jesus, but God’s unconditional love transformed him.  Now he’s the saint of impossible causes.”

Even at my young age the story didn’t make sense.  One horn?  How can that be?

By the time the topic of St. Jude’s horn came up again, I was an adult who’d learned that Judas Iscariot is sometimes mistaken for St. Jude Thaddeus and vice versa.  Additionally, “Saint Jude is depicted with a tongue of fire over his head to signify that with the other apostles he was present at Pentecost” (Eparchy of St. Maron, 2008).

I gently shared this information with mom but she didn’t quite believe me, and I was fine with that.

What matters is that I’ve come to know St. Jude as a powerful intercessor.  One I call on only when I’m facing a truly exasperating dilemma beyond my problem solving capability, as with the kids and/or grandkids.

St. Jude, through prayer you praised God for the wonderful works of Jesus.  You asked God for the strength to meet the challenges of your apostolate.  You put your trust in God’s mercy, believing firmly that God loved you and understood your joys and sorrows, your hopes and fears, and your triumphs and failures.  You understood that nothing is impossible for God.  We ask you to pray for us now before the Most High so that we, too, might be filled with God’s saving power, understand God’s will for us, and faithfully place ourselves in God’s loving hands.  Amen.

St. Anthony of Padua

On the other hand, my unfaltering companion since age thirteen has been St. Anthony.  I learned about him from my great-aunt, Tía Queta.

Always patient, loving, kind, and willing to help, St. Anthony’s devotion to the Holy Infant has inspired me not only to look for the Infant whenever we visit a church for the first time, but also to return occasionally to familiar churches… St. Paul the Apostle Church in Flour Bluff and the Cathedral in Corpus Christi, TX… where the Holy Infant is venerated.  “For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be” (Mt. 6:21).

O Holy St. Anthony, your deep faith in Jesus Christ comforted your heart, especially during times of trial and distress.  Help me to grow in faith, so I may experience peace of mind and heart in my present needs.  (State request.)  Free me from undue anxiety, needless worry, and burdensome fears.  Grant me sure confidence; unfailing trust in God’s loving mercy, and daily serenity.  Amen.

St. Teresa of Avila

Over the years, too, I’ve learned that it’s not uncommon for St. Anthony to be displayed near St. Teresa, since they’re both closely affiliated with the Holy Infant.  The church in Budapest, Hungary, for instance, has the two saints facing each other from opposite sides of the center aisle as one enters the seating area.

Lord, grant that I may always allow myself to be guided by you, always follow your plans, and perfectly accomplish your holy will.  Grant that in all things, great and small, today and all the days of my life, I may do whatever you require of me.  Help me respond to the slightest prompting of your grace so that I may be your trustworthy instrument for your honor.  May your will be done in time and in eternity by me, in me, and through me.  Amen.

Moreover, parishes I’ve frequented that honor St. Anthony, St. Teresa, and the Holy Infant include Sacred Heart Church and the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Brownsville, TX; Sts. Cyril & Methodius Church in Corpus Christi, TX; St. Pius V in Chicago, IL; and two churches that Segy and I visited in Gyor, Hungary and Prague, Czech Republic.

                    

                    

                    

Budding relationships

Of course, had Segy and I not been parishioners at Sacred Heart, I never would’ve made the connection between St. Anthony and St. Teresa, much less traveled to Europe to see the original Infant Jesus statue at Our Lady of Victory Church in Prague.

Divine Infant Jesus, I know you love me and would never leave me.  I thank you for your close presence in my life.  Miraculous Infant, I believe in your promise of peace, blessings, and freedom from want.  I place every need and care in your hands.  Lord Jesus, may I always trust in your generous mercy and love.  I want to honor and praise you now and forever.  Amen.

The way I see it, God’s master plan for me has included not only a heartfelt devotion to the Holy Infant, but also budding relationships with his beloved saints who are always ready, willing, and able to intercede for us any time we choose to call on them.

November 1, 2012

“When we commemorate the saints, we are inflamed with another yearning: That Christ, our life, may also appear to us as he appeared to them and that we may one day share in his glory” (St. Bernard of Clairvaux).

November 11, 2014

“Allow me, brothers, to look toward heaven rather than at the earth so that my spirit may set on the right course when the time comes for me to go on my journey to the Lord” (St. Martin of Tours).

October 31, 2015

“The saints have not all started well, but they have all finished well” (St. John Vianney).

November 1, 2015

“On the feasts of the saints, consider their virtues and beseech God to deign to adorn you with them” (St. Teresa of Ávila).

November 11, 2015

“O God, who sees that we exist by no power of our own, mercifully grant that, by the intercession of blessed Martin, your confessor and bishop, we be strengthened against all adversities” (Unknown source, n. d.).

March 19, 2016

If we falter, let us turn to Holy Mary, who loves us and teaches us how to pray; and to St. Joseph, our father and lord, whom we venerate so much.  In this world he was the one who was closest to the Mother of God and, after Mary, to her Divine Son.  Together they will bring our weakness to Jesus so that he may turn it into strength (St. Josemaría Escrivá).

October 30, 2016

“Each generation is converted by the saint who contradicts it most” (G. K. Chesterton).

November 11, 2016

Lord, if your people need me, I will not refuse the work.  Your will be done (St. Martin of Tours).

April 13, 2017

The calendar of saints should remind us of the unreliability of appearances.  Theirs is a greatness grander than size and a prominence more cogent than popularity (Rev. George W. Rutler in Hints of Heaven).

November 1, 2017

“The saints were just like us… with one difference: they strove, in everything they did, to discover Jesus and to live as signs and servants of his presence” (Fr. Joseph Esper in Saintly Solutions to Life’s Common Problems).

November 11, 2017

The Church has given us the gift of the saints to show that God does great things in people’s lives.  The saints, after all, were ordinary people, too.  They needed to call on the Lord for help.

By actively praising God and giving thanks, our hearts will find the resting place that we so desire (Jeff Cavins in Praise God and Thank Him: Biblical Keys to a Joyful Life).

November 1, 2018

The light of [the saints’] example shines down on us and makes it easier sometimes to see what we ought to do.  They can help us with their prayers— strong prayers, wise prayers— when ours are feeble and blind.  When you look out on a November evening and see the sky all studded with stars, think of those innumerable saints in heaven, all ready to help you (R. A. Knox).

August 8, 2019

“To believe in saints means only to sense in them God’s presence” (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross in Edith Stein: The Life and Legacy of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross).

June 25, 2020

Saints are ordinary people with the compassion of the Father in their souls, the humility of Jesus in their minds, and the love of the Spirit in their hearts.  When these beautiful qualities grow day by day in everyday situations, holiness is born (Mother Angelica’s Guide to Practical Holiness).

St. Benedict Church – San Benito, TX

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St. Joseph Church – Port Aransas, TX

Links of interest…  Alban ButlerLives of the Saints…  Ancient, secular reason why saints are shown with halos…  Apostles, major saints, & feast days…  Artist John McCoy paints the saints for Michigan parish…  Being spiritually active in everyday life…  Church of Our Lady of Victory…  Does praying to the saints mean they’re gods…  Four soon-to-be saints…  Friendship with the saints / with Christ Jesus…  Four saints who weren’t consecrated religious…  Holy Week & Judas…  Introducing the saints to your children…  Jesus, Mary, & the saints…  Living the motto of the saints…  Love that lies beneath…  November 1st: All Saints & 2nd: All Souls / communion / solemnity…  Patron saint of missing socks, pray for us…  Prague (Christmas)…  Prayer to the saints: One in the body…  Sainthood isn’t for the strong…  Saints: better than superheroes / calendars & feast dayscrises / ever wonder how a saint is made / for Pentecost / friendship / ordinary people driven by great loveour friends in a really high placeovercoming boredom / patron saint list / resourcestill being made / teach us how to trust God / who is a saint / why we love the saints…  Society of the Little Flower…  Stories, traditions keep devotions to the saints alive…  St. Anthony: about (more) / biography / devotions / mail deliveries (S.A.G.) / miracles & traditions / shrine / wonder worker…  St. Jude Thaddeus: tongue of fire / who he is…  St. Martin of Tours: about / feast (Nov 11) / history / monk / novenapatron saint / prayers / profile…  St. Teresa of Avila: about (more) / chaplet / daily prayersfacts / Infant of Prague / little way of piety / novena / poems / prayers /  quotes (more) / saint…  Strange gods before me: Do Catholics worship saints & statues…  Ten ways to grow in friendship with Jesus & Mary...  There is still no patron saint for pizza…  With confidence & trust

WP posts…  Beautiful sacred space…  Connected tangents…  Disquieting moments…  Heart of hearts…  Heart’s desire…  Kindred acorns…  May flowers…  Noon visit…  A real church…  Si quaeris miracula…  St. Anthony…  St. Anthony Claret…  St. Jude novena  Sweet Jesus…  Venerable Margaret

Making meaning

Reading Teresa of Avila (Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc., 1979) was like eating that exploding candy popular some years ago.  Couldn’t get enough, couldn’t stop the ricocheting, couldn’t describe the experience.

Then I reread the book off and on: In the usual sequence, back to front, front to middle, middle to either end, skipping around, revisiting parts with relish, reviewing my notes in the margins, comparing and contrasting with what I know, figuratively adding the book to my friends list.

Clear message

With all the mental pingbacks I’ve received since reading the book, the ol’ pea brain’s been so full that sharing has been delayed for lack of knowing where to start.  Still, words and phrases from the book persist, and the message is clear.

Through prayer, humility, and perseverance one can embrace the cross, surrender to God’s will, and receive God’s favors.

Connections

Teresa of Avila reminds me of St. Dominic, whose prayerful ways centered on God— mind, body, heart, and soul— and St. Anthony, whose chaplet is based on the Miraculous Responsory.   On a more personal level, too, the book provides illumination for my evolving spirituality.

Awareness

Days prior to finding Teresa of Avila on the hallway shelf, I’d been praying St. Anthony’s chaplet when, quite unexpectedly, I was filled with great awe and understanding.

Oh, my, gosh!  I get it!  I finally get it!  I know what prayer is!

I love my Franciscan Crown, and I’m greatly appreciative of the Child Jesus chaplet that Sister sent me from Australia; but my St. Anthony chaplet is so powerful that I can’t get through the prayers without tearful emotion.

While my Franciscan Crown and my Child Jesus chaplet are alike in that they commemorate special times in the lives of the Blessed Mother and the Holy Infant— some of the mysteries are even the same— St. Anthony’s chaplet is quite different.

Based on the thirteen favors of the Miraculous Responsory, the chaplet builds commitment to God with St. Anthony’s help and requires not my passive recollection, but my proactive engagement.  Its purpose is to help me become a better person, centered on God as the ultimate prize, as
St. Dominic would say.

                

Timely lesson

What a revelation to be enlightened by the power of prayer!

Was this God’s perfect timing yet again?  Did he, in his infinite wisdom as teacher extraordinaire, prepare me for Teresa of Avila?

Based on prior knowledge and experience, God’s sense of humor is too weird and too timely for me to think otherwise.

What is prayer then?

St. Dominic planted the seed.  St. Anthony nurtured it.  And St. Teresa harvested the crop.

Prayer isn’t asking God for something.  Prayer is embracing the cross.  Prayer is loving God and doing for God without giving thought to what he can do for us in return.

God grants graces to ease the pain, manage the suffering, address the injustices.  He also grants favors to whomever he wants, whenever he wants, however he wants.  But not because we ask. 

This is why St. Dominic believed that we should center on God alone, not on petitioning for ourselves and others.

God knows what we need, and he provides accordingly.  In his own time.

Making meaning 

Think about it.  How many times have we asked for something and never received it?  Or we received it but not right away?  Or we received something totally different?  Or we received everything beyond our wildest imaginings along with heavily weighted crosses to bear?

I can think of one prayer I carried in my heart for more than two years.  And, oh, the agony I endured until I finally gave it up.  Completely.

Dear God, you know what’s in my heart.  You know the pain I feel.  But I love you more.  You know best.  I give it up to you.  You know what to do.

It took a lot to let go but, little by little, I was okay again.  Then, within less than a year, I received God’s wonderful surprise.  I was so happy that I couldn’t even remember the misery I’d inflicted on myself for worrying all that time before.

Sadly, I know that I can easily revert to wanting my way again.  Only now I understand better than I did before.  Prayer is loving God unconditionally, entrusting our all to his care no matter what.

Prayer

I beg you, O Lord, give me the fidelity I need to persevere with humility and constancy in this path of continual adherence to your will.  With your help I will make this practice the center of my interior life.

O my God, shall I ever fall again?  Yes, for I am frailty itself; but I know that you will be even more eager to help me rise again than I shall be prone to fall.  My firm resolution and my perseverance will be to “begin again” every day, every instant, humbling myself profoundly for my weakness, but having utter confidence in your will to sanctify my soul (Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD in Divine Intimacy, 2013, p. 19).

St. Dominic’s blessing

May God the Father who made us bless us.  May God the Son send his healing among us.  May God the Holy Spirit move within us and give us eyes to see with, ears to hear with, and hands that your work might be done.  May we walk and preach the word of God to all.  May the angel of peace watch over us and lead us at last by God’s grace to the kingdom.  Amen.

April 30, 2011

Father Robert, OP at the Dominican Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus in Chicago shares his Daily Inspiration.

“My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me” (Psalm 63:8).

Jesus said over and over again: “Be not afraid.”  Ambivalence can make life difficult.  [Being] irresolute, uncertain, indecisive… can create… anxiety.  Knowing what to do, how to judge, when to decide are all questions that can be the source of much concern and doubt.  Fears can be immobilizing to needed action.  Often our hearts are ambivalent.  In examining and evaluating one’s lifestyle, we can easily perceive that changes are in order.  This certainly is true in our relationship with God.  Spiritual writers tell us that to grow in the spirit we must let go, abandon things with which we feel most in control.  We need to break free and simplify our lives.  We are advised not to cling to things and patterns of behavior but to “let go” and cling to God.  As we move freely forward in life, trust helps us venture out, holding on tightly to God’s hand.  Trust and confidence in God’s loving care and protection are the assurance we need to move ahead in the new and exciting adventure of loving him more.

June 25, 2011

Jesus, I surrender.  I give you all of my sickness, all of my wounds, all of my grief.  You are my only hope, Lord.  Stretch out your hand and touch me with your love (the Word among us, June 2011, p. 44).

July 5, 2011

Father Robert, OP adds this Daily Inspiration.

One of his disciples said; “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1-4).

Sometime when you want to find new meaning in saying the Lord’s Prayer consider the advice of St. Teresa of Avila by saying “The Our Father” backwards.  Start from the end verse.  Mediate on each line and thought as you move toward the beginning.  It starts simply by asking God to help us fight against evil, then proceeds to asking for the needs we have to sustain our lives each day— our daily bread— this is “all that keeps us going,” physically and spiritually and then ends with the grand praise of praise, seeking God’s kingdom on earth in our hearts and in all we do.  It closes with the loving title addressed to God the Father, Abba, calling God our loving, “darling” father.

July 10, 2011

Welcome, Master of the harvest!  Sow your word in every part of me.  Grow whatever crop you desire.  I want to know you and love you more each day (the Word among us, July/August 2011, p. 31).

August 3, 2012

“The value of persistent prayer is not that God will hear us, but that we will finally hear God” (William McGill).

August 17, 2012

“Pray for the grace” is an excerpt from The Ignatian Adventure (Kevin O’Brien, SJ;
E-Magis).

Ignatian spirituality taps into our deepest desires.  In them we can discern God’s noble desires for us.

Thus, at the beginning of each prayer period, Ignatius advises that we pray for a certain grace, or gift from God: “Ask God our Lord for what I want and desire” (SE 48).  Simply naming what we deeply desire opens us to receive the gift God wants to give us.  Moreover, praying for a grace helps us to notice when we actually receive that gift later on.  In this way, we realize that the grace is not of our own making but is the result of God’s generosity to us.  Finally, praying out of our desires grounds us in the present, keeping our prayer “real.”

August 12, 2014

“If we patiently accept through love all that God allows to happen, then we will begin to taste even here on earth something of the delights the saints experience in heaven”
(St. Jane Frances de Chantal).

October 16, 2014

“Prayer is ‘a conscious turning to the invisible friend who is always near'” (St. Teresa of Avila).

March 20, 2015

“It is essential to begin the practice of prayer with a firm resolution of persevering in it” (St. Teresa of Avila).

April 22, 2015

Faith believes, hope prays, and charity begs in order to give to others.  Humility of heart forms the prayer, confidence speaks it, and perseverance triumphs over God himself (St. Peter Julian Eymard).

May 19, 2015

“To speak heart to heart with God, you must love to be with him alone” (St. Peter Celestine).

May 22, 2015

Just as God, by the ministry of nature, gives to each animal instincts needed for its preservation and the exercise of its natural properties, so too, if we do not resist God’s grace, he gives to each of us the inspirations needed to live, work, and preserve ourselves in the spiritual life (St. Francis de Sales in Finding God’s will for you).

June 5, 2015

When praying to God, we can only ask for God since he is everything and, in giving himself, he gives us all.  In asking for him, we ask for all.  When we possess him, we can wish and ask for nothing more (Dom Augustin Guillerand in The Prayer of the Presence of God).

August 8, 2015

“We must sow the seed, not hoard it” (St. Dominic).

August 29, 2015

“No one can receive anything except what is given him from heaven” (John 3:27).

August 30, 2015

Jesus is waiting for you in the chapel.  Go and find him when your strength and patience are giving out, when you feel lonely and helpless.  Say to him: “You know well what is happening, my dear Jesus.  I have only you.  Come to my aid….”  And then go your way.  And don’t worry about knowing how you are going to manage.  It is enough to have told our good Lord.  He has an excellent memory (St. Jeanne Jugan).

November 13, 2015

If God seems slow in responding, it is because he is preparing a better gift.  He will not deny us.  God withholds what you are not yet ready for.  He wants you to have a lively desire for his greatest gifts.  All of which is to say, pray always and do not lose heart (St. Augustine).

November 18, 2015

“We cultivate a very small field for Christ; but we love it, knowing that God does not require great achievements but a heart that holds back nothing for self” (St. Rose Philippine Duchesne).

June 16, 2016

“To love God is something greater than to know him” (St. Thomas Aquinas).

August 20, 2016

There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is curiosity.  There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is vanity.  There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is love (St. Bernard).

September 19, 2016

God answers every prayer, but sometimes the answer is no.  And, if it is no, we’re better off— if we love God.  That’s why Jesus wants us to say “thy will be done” in the Our Father.  That is the sure way to happiness— the will of God (Fr. T. G. Morrow in Overcoming Sinful Anger).

January 22, 2017

God is my longing.  In whatever way God comes.  In every form, through every experience and circumstance, painful or otherwise.  God.  Only God (Paula D’Arcy in The Divine Spark).

June 15, 2017

Jesus wants us to trust him to take care of all our yesterdays and tomorrows.  He looks for souls who are willing to see the Father in every happening, then give that circumstance to him to solve, justify, make right, or straighten out.  It is not easy but it is peaceful, for we are bearing good fruit.  God is bearing fruit within us (Mother Angelica on Suffering and Burnout).

June 28, 2017

The only thing that matters in life is doing the will of God.  Once you are doing the will of God, then everything else matters (Hubert van Zeller in Holiness for Housewives).

June 30, 2017

I will attempt, day by day, to break my will into pieces. I want to do God’s holy will, not my own (St. Gabriel Possenti).

July 11, 2018

We must not gauge our devotion by what we feel, but rather by what we are ready to endure.  Indeed, it often happens that God tries the most advanced by letting them experience a coldness and deadness in prayer such as ordinary people seldom experience and none could endure in such times if their love for God were not very deep and strong, ruling and sustaining the will (Fr. Basil W. Maturin in Spiritual Guidelines for Souls Seeking God).

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Links of interest…  Carmelites…  Dominican heart from the beginning…  Fight or flight & the wings of prayer…  Focus on holiness: Rejoice & be glad…  Hidden grace of unanswered prayers…  Humble French priest is teaching me to find peace & growth in suffering…  Jesus asks a question…  Letting go…  Love is a call to action (homily)…  Meditations (book review)…  Prayer: petition / six things necessary…  Simple five-step strategy to figure out what you really want…  St. Dominic: about (more) / & the living word (seed) / contemplation / prayer: biographical documentsblessing (song) – feast day – for various virtues – for vocation – litany – nine ways (more) – novena…  St. Jeanne Jugan: 1792-1879 / about / beacon / blog / books / canonization (video; 2009) / contact / Little Sisters of the Poor / memorial (YouTube) / sayings…  Teresa of Avila: 1515-1582 / about / author / biography / bookmark / books / bread recipe / chaplet prayers / convent (Avila) / doctor (1970) / feast (Oct 15) / history / interior castle (1921 book online) / patron / poems / prayer / profile / reformer / quotes / saint / timeline / works…  Teresian Carmel…  Wisdom from a 93-year-old singing nun…  the Word among us

WP posts…  Bearing one’s crosses…  Dear God…  Gift of love…  Growing pains…  In good time…  Mary’s miraculous medal…  Mary’s seven joys…  My Franciscan Crown…  One prayer…  Prayerful ways…  Seven dwelling places…  Si quaeris miracula…  Sweet Jesus…  Teresa of Avila…  Venerable Margaret

In good time

Late April 2008, I accompanied Steven to a conference he was attending at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia.

Teresa of Avila

The beauty of staying across the street from campus meant that I had access to the bookstore, which I visited daily for hours on end.  And, much to my delight, Follett had a seemingly endless sale on books throughout the store.

Among the many I purchased were three copies of Teresa of Avila (Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc., 1979) based on selections from The Interior Castle (Avila, 1577), which I intended to give to Sam and Ning, Junebug and Gary, and Neli-Beli.  However, on inscribing the books at home, I noticed that one copy had an ever so slight irregularity; so I kept it instead.

Mind you, Teresa of Avila didn’t strike me as particularly interesting when I first noticed the books on sale.  The brown, black, white cover was so nondescript and the colors so sedate that I wasn’t the least bit intrigued.  Besides, I had no idea who Teresa of Avila was!  Yet, knowing how much our Why Catholic? group members had enjoyed discussing our read-alouds, I’d thought that the book might appeal to them enough that they’d want to share their perspectives with the rest of us.

Special time

For almost three years, the book remained unnoticed and pretty much hidden on the shelf with other books on spirituality.

Then, a couple of months ago, I awoke with a burning question prompted by The book on St. Anthony’s miracles.  More and more, my wanting to know escalated to my having to find out. 

But how?  Where?

Walking past the hallway shelves, I stopped without realizing what I was doing.  Running my fingers along the book spines, my eye caught sight of a little blue book, so I marked the spot and pulled out the book to read its back cover and its table of contents.

Anthony of Padua: Saint of the People (Wintz, 2005) was the answer to my question.  Only, another book beckoned from near the shelf’s end.

Within moments I had a second book, Teresa of Avila, in tow as I proceeded to my workspace here.

As with so much that happens in life, timing had everything to do with my finding
St. Teresa’s book that Saturday morning.  Over the years, I’ve come to realize that things happen in their own special time.  It’s my Train A / Train B theory, although it could also be called God’s good time.

Dendrite connections 

As Segy was growing up we had lots of really interesting conversations, but the one I revisit most stems from his middle school days.

Our brains are sponges, he said.  They’re forever collecting information left and right, trivial and meaningful, tidbits and tomes.  Our brains get so full that information can’t all be tagged and categorized right away.  It’s like standing in the checkout lane at the grocery store.  Information is processed only as the brain’s dendrites are able to make meaningful connections between the newly acquired and what’s already there.

Listening to Segy, I recalled my Kroger experience.  Since only one lane was open, I couldn’t check out right away.  Standing in line, I actively perused the books on display to make the most of my wait time.  So, yes.  I could easily visualize what Segy was talking about.

The brain’s always ON.  Even when we’re quiet, our senses and our thoughts are still at work.  Even when we forget, the brain remembers what’s etched in long-term memory.

Like a good battery gone dead, all the brain needs is a jumpstart, a sensory experience, that allows it to intuit and remember thoughts lost that had no real value when they were forgotten.

In my case I had a burning desire to quench my thirst, so… ta dah… my hands reached into the bookshelf and effortlessly located the books on St. Anthony and St. Teresa.  Just like that.

By finding what was lost, the old became new with meaningful implications.

In good time

Time and again, I serendipitously connect with people, places, things, and/or ideas that propel me to another level of understanding.  It’s all so bizarre yet so refreshingly awesome.

Like, oh, my, gosh!  So God’s actually paying attention?  Listening?  Helping me retrace my steps, so I can finally have a worthwhile encounter with something I’d previously overlooked?

It’s what I’ve come to call my Easter egg hunt in life. 

When the time’s right, I find the means to advance to that which awaits; that wonderful, glorious knowledge that I so eagerly seek; that awareness that I’ve been oblivious to; that special moment that fills me with wonder and makes me giggle with delight.  So why worry?  

In God’s good time I’ll have the answers to all of my questions.

St. Teresa’s book

And so it’s been with Teresa of Avila.

BW4511-91The book was within reach for almost three years, but I had much to learn and experience before I was ready to savor its richness.

If anyone had told me that Teresa of Avila had really been meant for me to read and subsequently share, I wouldn’t have believed it.  Yet God has his ways of helping us discover what he wants us to enjoy when the time is right, the very same way he gifts us with the perfectly timed lily blossoms in our garden during the Lent and Easter season every single year.

Prayer

God of all time, you call us out of the ordinariness of our everyday lives to see the world anew in your time.  Help us to respond to your call to see in all things: both a completion and a new beginning; both an end and a renewed start; both sadness and joy….  Your time is a time of fulfillment that makes little sense to the world, for what is logical is replaced by what is kingdom-oriented….  Give us the strength to keep your time, where relationships take priority and we start over again and again to serve the least among us.  Amen (Daniel P. Horan, OFM in The Last Words of Jesus: A Meditation on Love and Suffering).

March 3, 2014

It is a lesson we all need— to let alone the things that do not concern us.  He has other ways for others to follow him; all do not go by the same path.  It is for each of us to learn the path by which he requires us to follow him, and to follow him in that path (St. Katharine Drexel).

August 12, 2014

“If we patiently accept through love all that God allows to happen, then we will begin to taste even here on earth something of the delights the saints experience in heaven”
(St. Jane Frances de Chantal).

June 2, 2015

“The will of God is not a fate which has to be endured, but a holy and meaningful act which ushers in a new creation” (Fr. Romano Guardini, 1885-1968).

November 13, 2015

If God seems slow in responding, it is because he is preparing a better gift.  He will not deny us.  God withholds what you are not yet ready for.  He wants you to have a lively desire for his greatest gifts.  All of which is to say, pray always and do not lose heart (St.  Augustine).

April 12, 2017

It can be difficult to tell the difference between beginnings and endings.  Perhaps one of the strongest lessons in Jesus’s words from the cross is that we must not be as concerned about our time as we are about God’s time.  In God’s time beginnings and endings are one in the same because God’s time is not so much a matter of minutes, hours, and days as it is about a way of living in the world.  The way we mark the passage of our life is not the same way that God marks our time.  It is when washing the feet of others, the giving of ourselves for the sake of our brothers and sisters, that we live according to God’s time (Daniel P. Horan, OFM).

July 14, 2017

“Since it is through Jesus that everything must be accomplished, the more I let him do, the more the work of grace will be beautiful and perfect” (Fr. D’Elbee in I Believe in Love).

September 7, 2017

In today’s world, we seek immediate gratification.  We want what we want, and we want it now.  If it doesn’t happen on our timetable, we become discouraged and give up, or impatient.  When we turn our lives over to God’s timing, we find peace, and we may be pleasantly surprised at what he has in store for us (Melanie Rigney in Sisterhood of Saints: Daily Guidance and Inspiration).

Links of interest…  Fr. Romano Guardini: about (more) / Art of praying (more)…  God’s perfect timing…  Old Dominion: bookstore / university…  St. Anthony: about (more) / biography / mail deliveries (S.A.G.) / miracles & traditions / shrine / wonder worker…  St. Teresa of Avila: 12 interesting factsabout (more) / biography (more) / book (more) / chaplet / doctor (more / first woman) / feast day / foundress / frases / friendship with Jesus / headacheshistory / holiness & works / interior castle (more / video) / litany / memorial / mystic / novena / poems / prayers / quotes (more) / saint (more) / tribute (movie) / unexpected humorvideos

WP posts…  Budding relationships…  Christmas year ’round…  Connected tangents…  Gift of love…  Growing pains…  Holy relics…  Making meaning…  On being Christian…  Prayer…  Promise of hope…  Prayerful ways…  Santo Niño…  Seven dwelling places…  Soulful…  Sweet Jesus…  Teresa of Avila…  Two letters…  Two prompt replies…  Venerable Margaret

Holy relics

On Valentine’s Day 2009, Junebug and Gary (left) and the lovely Ning and Sam joined us for a special dinner.  And, as usual, “the gang”— our family through Why Catholic? at St. Paul’s in Flour Bluff— had a fantabulous time!

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Junebug’s prompting

That evening Junebug excitedly told us about visiting a chapel with the Legion of Mary.  She didn’t recall its name or much else other than having been (and still is) in awe of all the relics there.  “You just have to go see it!  It’s such a special place!” Junebug remarked, adding that she’d never known about relics until then.

“I know just what you mean!” I said.  “I didn’t know anything about relics until I received mine from Father Roderick.  And I treasured them until I gave them away.  Thanks so much for telling me about the chapel!  I’ll have to visit to take photos for my blog.”

Elusive treasure

Junebug’s exuberant insistence that I “visit the chapel out by the Lexington” stayed with me until May of last year.  That’s when, in driving around trying to locate it, I accidentally stumbled across the small, well-kept chapel on the corner of who knows where in the vicinity of the USS Lexington.

Yet, within moments my joy downgraded a couple of degrees.  Our Lady Star by the Sea was locked, and no one was at its adjacent office.

To further dampen my enthusiasm, I’d forgotten my Coolpix; so I had to rely on my antiquated cell phone to photograph the chapel’s exterior.  Not a good idea at all, I found out later, ’cause I couldn’t email the photos to my Yahoo account.

Still, things worked out fine.  I learned the name of the chapel and its location, so the visit wasn’t a total loss.

Now it’s just a matter of attending weekend Mass, Saturday at five-thirty or Sunday at nine, so I can finally see the relics that catapulted Junebug into OMG mode.

Shared keepsakes

Like Junebug, I’d never known about holy relics until— surprise, surprise— I received two third-class St. Anthony relics in the mail from Father Roderick, head of Franciscan Mission Associates (FMA) at the time.

A relic is an object or a personal item of religious significance, carefully preserved with an air of veneration as a tangible memorial….  A third-class relic is any object that is touched to a first- or second-class relic.  Most third-class relics are small pieces of cloth (Wikipedia, 2011).

“Relics refer to the body tissues of saints, items worn or used by them, and things that have come in contact with the originals” (Father James G. Ward, CM in the Association of the Miraculous Medal Bulletin, October 2010, p. 3).

The veneration of relics, most strictly the material remains of a saint or holy person after his death, has a long tradition in the Catholic Church….  St. Thomas Aquinas would explain that the relics “excite to love.”  It is really the saint who is being honored, and the relic assists the giving of that honor through both a visible sign and a physical link with the saint (St. Anthony Shrine, 2009).

I treasured my two St. Anthony relics but eventually gave them away to a couple of acquaintances whose life stories were filled with such despair that I thought the relics would give them hope.

By then Father Robert had become director of FMA, so I wrote him a letter requesting another relic and— wouldn’t you know it— he sent two that I carried with me, knowing I’d give them away as well.

St. Anthony chaplets

August, 2010, I gifted my two relics to Sabrina (left) and Ruth (right) with a note in the St. Anthony booklet that I created specially for them.

2Sabrina8410        StA8510-Deli        1Ruth72210

Segy, our youngest, has always said, “The best gifts are those I want so very badly to keep but give away instead.”

In 1998, I wrote to Father Robert at Franciscan Mission Associates.

In 1985, Father Roderick sent me two St. Anthony relics.  But, over the years, as I met others in great need, I gave them away.  And now that I don’t have one, I feel empty.  So may I please have another relic?

And I was surprised, just as I’d been the first time, to receive not one but two.  But, even though I’ve treasured my two relics all this time, I’ve always wondered when the time would come that I’d have to part with them again as before.

Looking through my Companion Prayers booklet on July 22nd, I suddenly took note of the St. Anthony chaplet prayers and the Miraculous Responsory for the first time.  I’d added the latter to my “St. Anthony” post, but it just hadn’t registered till that moment.

I decided to customize a chaplet just right for me and attach not a regular medal, but the St. Anthony relic I’d carried around all these years.

Then I had an epiphany.

Since I had a second relic still in its original little bag I thought, Ruth and Sabrina!  I’ll bead three identical chaplets, place the relics on theirs, and use a different St. Anthony medal on mine.  I’ll write to Father Robert again and request another relic for my chaplet.  Hopefully, he’ll send two.

Sooo…  On Tuesday, July 23rd, I began using the chaplets.  I’ve taken turns with each one so that, when you pray on your own, you’ll know I’m praying with you, too.

Heart’s desire

FMA8410aI have to admit that it was very difficult to part with my last two
St. Anthony relics.  In fact, that’s what kept me from beading the chaplets sooner.  God knew how I felt, though.

Right when I was having serious qualms about giving them away, I received a perfectly timed relic prayer card in the mail from FMA.

In the days that followed I internalized what I’ve experienced before: God always knows and provides just what we need (Matthew 6:8).

Hold your eyes on God and leave the doing to him.  That is all the doing you have to worry about (St. Jane Frances de Chantal).

Holy relics

How amazing that, since finding Our Lady Star by the Sea and gifting my St. Anthony relics, I’ve become aware of other holy relics: St. Elizabeth Seton’s at Sacred Heart Church in Nacogdoches, Venerable Margaret Parigot’s on Sister’s prayer card from the Flower of Carmel Monastery in Australia, St. Peregrine’s through Father Ralph at Stella Maris in Lamar, and Venerable Julia Navarrete’s through Sister Maxie at the Missionary Daughters’ Solemn Place of Prayer in Kingsville.  Then, as a very special gift from the Anthonians in November, I received a seventy-five minute video commemorating the exhibition of St. Anthony’s remains at the Basilica in Padua, Italy.

So I have to wonder…

Has parting with my treasured St. Anthony relics helped me find more along the way?

            

               

           

May 13, 2011

Joyfully, I received Venerable Father Casey’s relic badge, which I showed Junebug at Michael’s Confirmation.  I’ll be ordering another to surprise her with, as I think it’ll make her day.

       

September 13, 2011

Wow!  How amazing is it to find right here on my computer desk exactly what I’ve wanted for months?  To think that I’ve had St. Jude’s relic for a very long time and didn’t even know it till this morning.

Will wonders never cease!

October 4, 2011

I just received a letter from Franciscan Mission Associates in time for All Souls Day.  Father Primo has replaced Father Robert, who served for the past fifteen years.  I guess it’s time to write that letter I’ve been putting off and wish Father Robert well on the next chapter in his book of life.

       

If you’d like to request a St. Anthony relic, contact Franciscan Mission Associates at P.O. Box 598, Mt. Vernon, NY 10551-0598.

January 21, 2012

Steven and I drove to Stella Maris for the second time, and we arrived early enough to converse with Father Ralph before evening Mass.  I asked if he had his St. Peregrine first-class relic, and he did!  What a thrilling experience to hold it and pray for his intercession.

               

January 22, 2012

I went by Mary Ellen’s house to drop off both her St. Anthony relic chaplet and her Child Jesus chaplet, and she showed me the third-class relic she has of the nun who founded the Incarnate Word Order.  I didn’t have my camera with me, so I’ll take a photo another time.

April 8, 2012

I finally got the chance to take the photos of Mary Ellen’s third-class relic of Venerable Jeanne Chézard de Matel (1596-1670), foundress of the Incarnate Word (IWBS) Order.

Oh, happy day!

     

April 29, 2012

“Be careful what you wish for” certainly comes to mind, only in a good way this time.

On revisiting the Dominican Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus at St. Pius V in Chicago, I discovered a treasure overlooked in the past.  St. Jude’s first-class relic!  His arm!

               

July 2, 2012

What unexpected surprises!  St. Teresa of Avila relics from Sister in Australia!

               

September 29, 2012

From Sister, timely St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus treasures received for October 1st!

               

January 13, 2013

Steven and I visited the Tepeyac Shrine in San Antonio for the second time and discovered that the Grotto Sanctuary has a first-class relic: Part of St. Eugene de Mazenod’s heart!

SA11313-67        SA11313-113        SA11313-1

February 10, 2013

??????????This morning Steven fell out as a Knight of Columbus participating in the veneration of José Sánchez del Río’s first-class relic at Immaculate Conception Church in Taft, TX.  Ten o’clock Mass was followed, first, by a procession around the neighborhood and then by visits to the front of the altar to spend one-on-one time in prayer with the relic.

Worth noting is that Joselito died eighty-five years ago today.

June 14-16, 2013

When Steven learned that Father Mario from the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy would be in Rockford, IL, 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 present with relics touched to St. Anthony’s tongue.  In the photo on the left, the reliquary in the forefront holds tissue from inside St. Anthony’s cheek; the one on the altar, part of his floating rib.

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 has places to go and people to see.  Building community within God’s kingdom is what traveling with St. Anthony is all about, so they’re off to Great Britain next.

SAP61413s-56        StA73113b        StA73113a

The following morning, despite the pounding rain and the heavy traffic, we made our way back to Chicago where we not only spent time at the Dominican Shrine of St. Jude at St. Pius V (like last year), but also visited the Claretian National Shrine of St. Jude at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.

 ??????????        ??????????        OLG61513-19

Then we drove to Detroit where we attended nine o’clock Mass at St. Bonaventure Church on Sunday and delighted in the Solanus Casey Center the entire day.

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What an extraordinary experience!

July 1, 2013

Oh, happy day!  St. Pio’s relic!  Thank you, Sister dearest!

StPio7113-1a    StPio7113-1c    StPio7113-1b    StPio7113-1d

November 21, 2013

Surprise, surprise!  In today’s mail, I received a treasure trove from our niece.

Found this [tiny, old envelope].  Thought of you.  Not sure what it is, but you will know.  Love you.  Sue

Um, yes!  Not one, but two relic badges of then Servant of God, now Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos who needs only one more step to reach sainthood.

After a brief period of parish ministry in Detroit, Michigan, he was assigned in 1866 to the Redemptorist community in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Here also, as pastor of the Church of St. Mary of the Assumption, he was known as a pastor who was joyously available to his faithful and singularly concerned for the poorest and the most abandoned.  However, his ministry in New Orleans was destined to be brief. In September of that year, exhausted from visiting and caring for victims of yellow fever, he contracted the disease.  After several weeks, he died on October 4, 1867, at the age of forty-eight years and nine months (Wikipedia, 2013).

FXS112113-2a        FXS112113-2b

March 28, 2014

Hip hip hooray!  An unexpected St. Anthony relic from the Anthonians!

Anth32814a        Anth32814b

April 18, 2014

Thanks to Diana at Franciscan Mission Associates for expeditiously sending me not just the lovely relic for Sid’s St. Anthony chaplet, but also the prayer card!  Sidney Davis, whom we met at the Solanus Casey Center last week, loved his priceless treasures!

FMA-H62a        FMA-H62b        FMA41814a        FMA41814b

May 24, 2014

Thanks to Father Thomas Franks, OFM-Cap for St. Pio’s precious relic!  The Shrine of St. Pio of Pietrelcina is located at the Church of St. John the Baptist in New York City.  (The address is on “Credits” page.) 

SJB52414-2a        SJB52414-1b        SJB52414-2b

October 11, 2014

Thanks again, Father Tom, for the wonderful relic cards from St. Pio’s shrine!

SJBC10114a    SJBC10114b      SJBC10814a    SJBC10814b

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).

Links of interest…  Legion of Mary…  Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish: diocese page / parishes online…  Relics: about (chapelmore – why we venerate them) / altar of (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton) / badge (Venerable Solanus Casey) / feast (more) / first-class / four categories / holy / how to venerateincorruptibles (how can a corpse be incorruptible – saints) / more than I thought I’d ever know (blog post) / of the past & the present / priest martyrs of Mexico / process of beatification & canonization / remains / sacred artifacts / saints / what is…  St. Anthony: basilica (virtual tour) / bones a guide to the living / relics (on display in Padua)…  St. Paul the Apostle Church: facebook / website…  Why Catholic

WP posts…  St. Anthony of Padua: Saint of miracles / Si quaeris miracula…  St. Eugene de Mazenod: Heart of hearts / Memory lane…  St. Elizabeth Seton: Right at home…  St. José Sánchez del Río: Honoring Joselito…  St. Jude: Forever grateful / October novenaSt. Anthony Claret / St. Jude novena…  St. Peregrine: Healing service / Memorable as ever / Powerful intercessor / Prayers and blessings / Saintly connections / Stella Maris / St. Peregrine relic…  St. Teresa of Avila: Gift of love / Seven dwelling places…  St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus: Budding relationships…  Venerable Father Casey: Capuchin church stations / God’s master plan / Mercy and justice / Solano, Solanus, Solani / St. Bonaventure Church…  Today’s Beatitudes…  Venerable Julia Navarrete (of the thorns of the Sacred Heart)…  Venerable Margaret (of the Blessed Sacrament)…  What I learned by caring for holy relics

Prayer

StAnthony-bk1

Monday of last week I received the Paduan Anthonians’ online newsletter, Messenger, showcasing St. Anthony’s Sermons for Sundays and Festivals.  I was so excited that I emailed Steven right away about getting the book and then forgot to place the order.

St. Anthony’s insights

The following day I was leafing through my prayer booklet when the proverbial rose leaf fell on this Chicken Little’s tail.  Sometimes the best surprises are in plain sight!  On the front inside cover of my prayer booklet were St. Anthony’s thoughts on prayer.

Prayer is directing our affections toward God.  It is a devout and friendly talk with him.  It is the tranquility of a mind illumined from above.

Prayer is also a plea for temporal goods that are necessary for earthly life.  But those who pray ask the Lord with a true Christian spirit to subordinate their own wills to his [since] only the heavenly Father knows what one really needs in the temporal order.

Finally, prayer is thanksgiving, that is, an acknowledgement of benefits received and an offering of all our undertakings to God so that our prayer may be a lasting one.

The Lord manifests himself to those who pause while in peace and humility of heart.  If you look into the murky and turbulent waters, you cannot see your own countenance.  If you want the face of Christ to appear in your countenance, pause, collect your thoughts in silence, and shut the door of the soul to the noise of exterior things.

The greetings of the angels and the blessings of the good are not for those who live in public squares, that is, outside of themselves, agitated and distracted.  The sweet Ave was addressed to the Virgin Mary when she was absorbed in prayer, in the privacy of her house….  God, in order to be able to speak to the soul and fill it with the knowledge of his love, leads it to the solitude, detaching it from preoccupations of earthly things.  He speaks to the ears of those who are silent and makes them hear his secrets (from the Sermons of St. Anthony; Companions of St. Anthony, n. d.).

CompanionPrayersHow could I have missed the message when I’d read the booklet cover to cover for more than a decade? 

Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to God’s heart.  You must speak to Jesus not only with your lips, but with your heart.  In fact, on certain occasions you should only speak to him with your heart (Padre Pio).

Then I remembered what I’d forgotten to do the week before.

I called the Anthonians to order St. Anthony’s Sermons for Sundays and Festivals.

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!

September 17, 2010

I emailed the Anthonians and received a quick response.

We would like to express our heartfelt thanks for your interest in our publications.

The price for one volume of Saint Anthony’s Sermons for Sundays and Festivals (S&H included) is $32; for two volumes, $55; and for all four volumes, $96.  Please note that the amount of $96 can be for four copies of any one of the four volumes or the four-volume complete set of Saint Anthony’s Sermons.

If you wish to place an order you may do so by sending cash, check or a money order to the Anthonian Association at the address listed below.  If you wish to expedite the order and use a credit card (Visa or MC)… please do not send credit card information via the Internet, but fax it to our office.  Should you need additional assistance, please let us know the best times to call you so that we can get back to you quickly.

        

        

SERMONS FOR SUNDAYS AND FESTIVALS VOL. 1, 2, 3, and 4… 
St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231) is one of the most popular saints of Christendom, renowned for his miracles and his concern for the poor.  It is less well known that he was the first great theologian and teacher of the early Franciscan Order.

Commissioned by Francis himself to teach theology to the friars, he fulfilled this task by composing his Opus Evangeliorum, a set of Commentaries on the Sunday Gospels. Beginning this work while superior at Limoges, he completed it at Padua.  A little later, he undertook a second set on the Festivals and other important days, such as Ash Wednesday.

This work was barely half finished at his death.  Both these works are now for the first time translated in their entirety into English from the Critical Edition of the Latin text published by the Centro Studi Antoniani at Padua in 1976.  The translation, introductory material, and notes for volumes 1, 2, 3, and 4 are by Fr. Paul Spilsbury.

Invoking Saint Anthony’s blessing upon you, we accompany our greetings with prayers for you and your loved ones.

10:06 A.M.

I just got off the phone with Maria, operations manager for the Anthonian Association.  What a lovely conversation!  She’s more than happy to assist anyone interested in placing a book order and/or a magazine subscription.

Next week I’ll receive not only my four-volume set, but also a free copy of Messenger of St. Anthony to preview.  The magazine’s published by the friars at the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua, Italy; and, with my paid subscription, I’ll also receive a St. Anthony calendar.  What a treat!

September 20, 2010

StAnthony-miraclesOh, my gosh!  I couldn’t believe my eyes when Steven got in from checking the mail. 

“Your four-volume set is on your desk.” 

Talk about expeditious service! 

And what should I see on the back cover of my first copy of Messenger but an order form for The Book on St. Anthony’s Miracles!  I just emailed Maria to request a copy.  Happy day!

September 22, 2010

Maria called and spoke with Steven.  The book sold out, so it’ll be six weeks before I get my copy.  Nevertheless, something that special is worth waiting for.  If you’re interested in purchasing a copy, the book sells for eleven dollars.

October 9, 2010

The Book on St. Anthony’s Miracles (Gamboso, 2008) arrived sooner than expected!  Its 109 pages— eight chapters of miracles and other anecdotes— are an abstract based on Arnaldo de Serranno’s Chronicle of the XXIV Generals, which was written in the mid-fourteenth century.  Plus, I received the October issue of Messenger and a 2011 St. Anthony calendar with beautiful pictures that highlight his life.  All worth the wait!

November 4, 2012

“In meditation we find the strength to bring Christ to birth in ourselves and in other men” (St. Charles Borromeo).

December 23, 2013

“Silence my mind and heart, Father, and give me the grace to hear your voice” (the Word among us, Advent 2013, p. 41).

May 8, 2014

One should preach not from one’s rational mind but, rather, from the heart.  Only that which is from the heart can touch another heart (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica).

September 22, 2014

We, too, are called to withdraw at certain intervals into deeper silence and aloneness with God, together as a community as well as personally; to be alone with him— not with our books, thoughts, and memories but completely stripped of everything— to dwell lovingly in his presence, silent, empty, expectant, and motionless.  We cannot find God in noise or agitation
(Blessed Teresa of Calcutta).

October 6, 2014

“Only those who have experienced the solitude and silence of the wilderness can know what benefit and divine joy they bring to those who love them” (St. Bruno).

May 18, 2015

When we ponder the Word of God, we need to set aside our presumptions of what God is saying.  We need to let God take the lead in the conversation as we open ourselves to the unexpected, the disconcerting, and the surprising.

It takes great courage to listen, O God.  Give me a receptive mind and heart that will be attentive to what stirs within.  Draw me into considerations that I had not anticipated and change my life in ways that only you could envision (Sister Maria Tasto, OSB, 1938-2014).

December 7, 2015

“Prayer is the wing wherewith the soul flies to heaven; and meditation, the eye wherewith we see God” (St. Ambrose).

June 17, 2016

“He who prays most receives most” (St. Alphonsus Liguori).

November 4, 2016

Seek by reading and you will find by meditating.  Knock by praying, and it will be opened to you in contemplation (St. John of the Cross).

November 7, 2016

Praying means conversation with God.  This conversation is life (Romano Guardini, The Rosary of Our Lady).

Shun useless conversation.  We lose by it both time and the spirit of devotion (St. Thomas Aquinas).

April 9, 2017

The saints are like the stars.  In his providence Christ conceals them in a hidden place that they may not shine before others when they might wish to do so.  Yet they are always ready to exchange the quiet of contemplation for the works of mercy as soon as they perceive in their heart the invitation of Christ (St. Anthony of Padua in Sermons).

July 31, 2017

As in loving, praying does not confine itself to one particular practice, way, or method, but is open to all and is defined by all to the extent that all serve as means to creating a space of deeper freedom leading the person to an evermore intimate and loving encounter between the lover and the beloved.

The ultimate goal of praying lies not in formulating one magical method, nor in searching for the correct acts and practices of devotion, nor in developing some perfect religious rituals and ceremonies, though all remain helpful and necessary.  Ultimately, prayer orients, leads, and unites the individual person with the Divine (Robert J. Wicks in Prayer in the Catholic Tradition).

StA-miracles

Links of interest…  Anthonians: Messenger of St. Anthony (editorials) / St. Anthony USA (petitions; portal to Italian website)…  Companions of St. Anthony…  Franciscan: national shrine / prayer book (prayer)…  General principles for effective prayer…  In the heart of the world: book / quotes (Mother Teresa)…  Let prayer bring peace to your soul…  Listen for Jesus in peaceful silence…  Pray to God in secret…  Prayer: inward / more / paradox of holiness & communion / point / sure path to freedom…  Prepare your heart to pray…  Sound of silence…  St. Anthony: for peace of mind / prayers (more) / thanksgiving (pdf)…

WP posts…  Advent prayers…  Budding relationships…  Forever grateful…  Holy relics…  Making meaning…  Saint of miracles…  Si quaeris miracula…  St. Anthony…  St. Anthony chaplets…  Tony’s big day

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).

February 27, 2018

“Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature” (St. Augustine of Hippo).

July 14, 2018

Finally, following the lead of Psalm 85, invite God to speak to the hearts of your faith community and the entire church by praying, “Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.”  This is the sort of prayer Jesus promised that two or three would never pray in vain.  It may well be the sort of prayer that changed Amos from farmer to prophet and sent the apostles out to share their fire with anyone who would listen (Mary M. McGlone).

Links of interest…  American Catholic…  Companions of St. Anthony: about St. Anthonyhomeprayer…  Father Peter Mary Rookey’s miracle prayer (YouTube)…  Franciscan Mission Associates…  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 requestsSt. Anthony of Padua: His life, legends, & devotions…  St. Bonaventure…  Two or three…  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

St. Anthony

OLG11709-158

Our second visit to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Hebbronville was met with smiles.

Devotees

Rosita and Julie (in green), a devotee of St. Anthony of Padua, chatted with us as we waited for Azalia to give us a VIP tour.

For many years, Julie has celebrated St. Anthony’s feast day by distributing homemade bread and prayer cards.  She also prays the novenas.

Like Julie I, too, have collected prayers, cards, and photos over the years.  My love for St. Anthony began at age thirteen when my great-aunt, Tía Queta, introduced us through a prayer card she gave me.

Of course, my favorite pictures of St. Anthony are those that Segy took knowing how much I’d enjoy them.

                

               

Quick response

Steven called and asked me to locate a very important file, but I didn’t find it.  Feeling somewhat perturbed, Steven said he’d look for it when he got home, so we hung up.

St. Anthony, Steven really needs that file right now, I thought.  Please let him find what he’s looking for in his briefcase.  “Tony, Tony, look around.  Steven’s very important file is missing and must be found.” 

A few minutes later, Steven emailed.

I was more forward-thinking than I give myself credit for.  I figured I’d be asked for information, so I put the folder in the briefcase in the vehicle so I would have it with me.  Duh!  Thanks for looking.  Had it here all the time.

I chuckled and replied.

Oh, darling!  You owe St. Anthony… whose photos I’ve been resizing for a post since before you called… a HUGE thank you!

Mom didn’t believe me either.

One afternoon I went by mom’s after work, and she was going nutz.

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

She’d looked for her diamond ring for days and couldn’t find it anywhere.

“Have you called on St. Anthony for help?”

She rolled her eyes and snickered.  Clearly, she was exasperated from looking everywhere she could think of.

Mentally, I asked St. Anthony to find the ring for her and then headed out the door to drive home.

Would you believe it?

When I got home, I had a phone message waiting for me.  Mom had looked again in the piano bench just as she’d done many times before.  Only this time, amazingly, she’d found her ring atop the music books as if someone had just placed it there.

Sooo, yes.  I’m a believer.  And you should be, too.

March 17, 2010

Funny how things happen.

Two Saturdays ago, Steven used the UT parking permit he’d checked out at work when we attended Fiddler on the Roof at the performing arts center in Austin.  Only it was nowhere to be found when we got home on Sunday.

We looked everywhere… in our books, in the vehicle, in our suitcases… many times to no avail; so, having no other recourse, I called on St. Anthony once again.

As Steven said, it wasn’t that he’d have to pay for a replacement.  Rather, the office has too few for any to be misplaced; so we really wanted to find it.

When Steven got home from work today, he started packing.  He has a meeting at UT tomorrow morning, so he reached for the book he’d taken to Austin the last time.

“Would you believe it?” he walked over to tell me.  “I just happened to open the book, and look what I found!”

He held up the UT parking permit and then chuckled.  “And, here, I’d forgotten to check out another permit for tomorrow… and for Saturday’s performance.”

Steven was amazed.

“This is weird,” he continued.  “The book was locked in my briefcase until after we got home and I set it out on the hearth.”

He hadn’t opened the briefcase, much less read the book in Austin.

“How could the permit have been in the book?”

“You see?  I told you St. Anthony would find it for you!  Remember mom’s diamond ring?”

Thank you, St. Anthony!

Seek God’s kingdom above all else.  Make it the most important thing in your life.  Everything else must be sought in view of this kingdom; nothing should be asked beyond it.  Whatever we ask must serve this end (St. Anthony of Padua, 1195-1231).

Prayers

One…  O good and gentle St. Anthony, your love of God and concern for his creatures made you worthy, while on earth, to possess miraculous powers.  Come to my help in this moment of trouble and anxiety.  Your ardent love of God made you worthy to hold the Holy Infant in your arms.  Whisper to him my humble request if it be for the greater glory of God and the salvation of my soul.  Amen.

Two…  Anthony, through your teaching and preaching, you bore witness to the loving presence of God in all of creation.  Now that you have come into the fullness of the kingdom, pray for us that our lives might also proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ to all humanity.

V.  Pray for us, St. Anthony.
R.  Help us become worthy of the promises of Christ.

Almighty, eternal God, you have given your people St. Anthony as an outstanding preacher and intercessor in times of need.  Grant that with his help we may follow in the example of Christian living and experience your support in all adversities.  We ask through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Three…  St. Anthony, gentle servant of God, help me find ways to honor God’s blessings by showing my love for all of God’s creatures.  Share your strength that I may cope with the trials and troubles of daily life.  You, through whose voice the Word of God was preached, intercede for my need [mention your special request].  Powerful patron, be with me always and teach me to reach out in love and support to others.  Amen.

Act of consecration

Rogationist Fathers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Gift: Rogationist Fathers
of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Glorious St. Anthony, I salute you as a good servant of Christ and a special friend of God.  You once were favored to hold the Christ Child in your arms as you cherished his world in your heart.

Today I place all my cares, temptations, and anxieties in your hands.  I resolve ever to honor you by imitating your example.

Powerful patron, model of purity, and victor over fleshly impulses, please win for me and for all devoted to you perfect purity of body, mind, and heart.  I promise, by my example and counsel, to help others to the knowledge, love, and service of God.  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.

Contact information

         

To order A Collection of Favorite Prayers from the St. Lawrence Seminary, contact the school.  The addresses for the other booklets can be found on the “creditspage.

Links of interest…  Basilica in Padua…  Dear St. Anthony…  Do you need a miracle in your life?…  Feast…  Forget the money, ask St. Anthony…  Franciscan saints…  How St. Anthony found me…  June 13th…  Mail deliveries (S.A.G.)…  Saint for lost things…  Sardine heaven: Portugal…  Shrine…  St. Anthony of Padua…  What is St. Anthony’s bread… 

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Franciscan experience

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Steven and I toured Our Lady of Guadalupe in Hebbronville, TX the day of Vaquero Fest.  (The edited version below is from the audio recording made November 7, 2009.)

“My name is Azalia Perez, and I’m the president of the Hebbronville Museum Foundation and member of the Jim Hogg County Historical Commission.  I’m also an active parishioner of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Hebbronville.”

The church

OLG11709-85“This is Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.  Our Franciscan friars got here in 1926 from the Province of the Saints Francis and Santiago, or James, in Guadalajara, Mexico; and they’ve been here ever since.

“The church is in the form of a cross.  All Franciscan churches are built in the form of a cross.  You have the main altar with two small altars, one on either side.  The church gets a new priest every three years, since Franciscans are missionaries subject to reassignment more often than regular priests.

“In 2005, Father Ricardo Rivera came to Hebbronville and started changing our church, which was very plain.  Father said we have a beautiful church, so we need to show it off.  It was donated by Stella Kenedy in memory of her husband.   It’s the only Franciscan church in South Texas.

“The altar is made from wood that was brought from San Luis Potosi.  Father had the altar moved toward the front, and it’s bigger now.

“We also got new lights, marble on the sides of the church, and lit panels.  The ceiling will be getting a new cover, and more changes are coming.”

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St. Anthony’s relic

“We have St. Anthony on the right as one faces the altar.  In May, part of St. Anthony’s elbow, or relic, visited our church.  The bishop was present for the ceremony, a special Mass, and fellowship before the relic was taken to another church.”

“This is similar to the activities at St. Paul’s in Flour Bluff when Our Lady of Guadalupe’s tilma arrived for a three-day visit,” I said.  “We had a wonderful Mass and, of course, a potluck afterwards.  Different festivities took place during her stay and, at the end, a despedida Mass and a short procession from the church to the van that transported the tilma to its next destination.”

“When St. Anthony’s relic crossed the border from Mexico into the United States, it got to San Agustin Church, the basilica in Laredo.  Although our diocese is not Franciscan, the bishop did not want to release the relic until all our churches were blessed, so he invited everyone to the cathedral for Mass and a celebration.  Only then was the relic brought to Hebbronville.  We were very blessed to have St. Anthony’s relic, even if for a short time, Sunday morning until Sunday night.  It will visit every Franciscan church in the United States and Mexico before it returns to Italy.”

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Devotions

“Here at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church we celebrate the Divine Mercy.  We are very blessed because not every priest supports this devotion.  We also have a spiritual relationship with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Francis, and St. Joseph.  We have a statue of St. Isidore on one of the side altars because he’s the patron of farmers.  Since ours is a farming and ranching community, the church was originally named St. Isidore.  But that changed in 1926, when the Franciscans arrived from Mexico.  Our Lady of Guadalupe is the protector of our priests as well as the patroness of the Americas.”

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The chapel

Next, we walked into the Annex, which is through the side door on St. Anthony’s right.

“After tomorrow this will be known as the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament,” Azalia continued.  “Our provincial is visiting here from Guadalajara, so he’ll bless the chapel after seven o’clock Mass.”

On entering the chapel, I couldn’t help but say, “Oh, I love angels.  I love angels.”

“If you look around, we have paintings, beautiful paintings.  The artist is from Monterrey.  We use the chapel every day for early morning Mass at seven and again at twelve-fifteen.  This room used to be longer; but, when Father Ricardo arrived here, he turned part of it into an office and put up some Tau windows.

“Earlier today, part of our Franciscan fraternity met with the provincial.  I told him, ‘We, in Hebbronville, are in love with the Franciscan charisma, with St. Francis.’  We will never change our priests for anything, so now he knows that we won’t let him take our priests away from us.”

“Are you kidding?” I interjected.  “This is ever so special!”

Building community

“The church remodeling is an ongoing project.  We still have lots to do here and in the church.  It takes a lot of money.  We’re a poor community, so we greatly appreciate not only the heartfelt efforts and contributions from our parishioners but also the generosity of others willing to help us with this endeavor.”

“So have you always been fascinated with all of this?” I asked.

OLG11709-bk“Yes.  A priest who was here for a time wrote a history of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and the Franciscans in South Texas.  I have seven copies to sell, but the book’s in Spanish.”

Knowing my fascination with Franciscans, Steven got me a copy (Villalobos Avendaño, 2006) after today’s book reading in the church basement.  I can hardly wait to see the old photos and read through the interesting facts.

I stopped taking photos for a moment, then continued.

“We came to Vaquero Fest today because we love Bill Hellen.  From the beginning, he piqued our curiosity when he insisted we ‘come see the old church.’  During our first visit, Lorenzo [one of the workmen] invited us back.  Then, in Laredo, you told us, ‘You have to come because it’s ready.’  So I told Steven, ‘She invited us.  That’s it.’  You’re the reason we’re here.”

“Oh, thank you!  I’m so glad to hear that!”

“This visit means a lot to us,” I continued.  “Even though we’re in different places, still, we’re part of the same community.”

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“What more can I tell you?  All our windows were donated by parishioners.  They’re very old.  They’re as old as the church.  I don’t know if the work was completed in 1962, more or less, or in 1963.  Construction started, stopped due to lack of funds, then started again.  We’re very blessed with our church.  There’s something unique about it.”

“It’s gorgeous!” Steven enthused.

“So tell me about your history with the church growing up.  Your mother brought you?”

“My mother and my grandmother,” Azalia continued.  “Actually, my grandmother on my dad’s side.  I grew up when the priest was facing the altar.  Most of the time, you didn’t know what he was saying.”

“Yes, in Latin.  Yes.  I understand,” Steven chuckled.  (We both took Latin in high school, but it’s a dead language nonetheless.)

“We would walk four or five blocks from my grandmother’s house to church for Mass at six.  My husband and I got married in 1966, baptized my children here; and my son, who now lives in Kingsville, got married here.  I’ve been working with the church since 1982.”

“My gosh,” I said, recalling my own early morning walks with Sylvia to attend six o’clock Mass as a kid.  “That’s a very long, personal history with this church.”

“I had a special-needs child who took all my time, so I couldn’t be here fulltime.  But, after he passed away, I said, ‘Lord, here I am.’  So this is what I’ve been doing ever since.”

“Was your child a boy or a girl?” I asked, as Steven listened intently.

“A boy.  Actually, up until the time that he was born he was okay.  But, because of complications at birth, he died in 1992.  That was seventeen years ago.  He would’ve been thirty-one right now.”

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“What a blessing to have him the time that you did but how very sad, too,” I said.

“You learn early on that God has sent your trial to show you something or to teach you something.  And we did.  We did.  We think we did.”

“All he wants is the very best for us,” I continued.  “But, as you said, he allows us to go through situations he knows we can handle, even though it’s tough at times to understand that.”

“As soon as he passed away I sponsored the altar servers for twelve years.  Then I joined the choir and the Franciscan fraternity.  And, when Father Frank arrived, he gave me the ministry for baptisms.  I’m very happy with that.”

“You get to deal with the little ones!  Well, they come in all sizes for baptism.”

Azalia smiled.  “They do.  They’re precious.  I try to be at every baptism.  Sometimes I can’t, but this new priest is adorable.  He’s very spiritual.  Father Frank replaced Father Ricardo in August.  The first time I saw him celebrating a baptism, he lifted the baby all the way and announced, ‘Parishioners, I present to you a newborn Christian.’  That was beautiful.  I tell the parents, ‘Bring your cameras because, once your baby’s up there, it’s awesome.’”

“It’s just that one quick moment, and then it’s over,” I said, remembering.  “It has to be captured in photos, so the child can know that this very special event happened.”

We talked a bit more before Azalia realized that she had tours to give as well as other duties to fulfill that afternoon.

“Well, thank you for coming!  I didn’t expect for y’all to come, but I’m glad you did.”

“Thank you!  You are very blessed, Azalia!”

Steven and I were most appreciative of the time she spent with us.

Prayer

Lord God, to whom belongs all creation and who call us to serve you by caring for the gifts that surround us; inspire us by the example of Saint Isidore to share our food with the hungry and to work for the salvation of all people.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

December 13, 2009 

Azalia emailed and included photos.

We just finished with Our Lady of Guadalupe feast.  It was wonderful.  We had a large turnout for the Mass and the dinner.  Thanks be to God.

I’m sending you some pictures of the altar.

Oh, the last picture is of Father Juan José.  He was with us for two months but is leaving for Spain on Wednesday.  He will be helping another Franciscan who is by himself and needs help.  Great example of St. Francis.

“We are minstrels of the Lord, whose work is to lift people’s hearts and move them to spiritual gladness” (St. Francis).

      Azalia121209-29

April 4, 2014

All spiritual growth comes from reading and reflection.  By reading we learn what we did not know; by reflection we retain what we have learned
(St. Isidore of Seville).

April 4, 2017

“There are two kinds of martyrs, one in open suffering, the other in the hidden virtue of the spirit” (St. Isidore).

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Links of interest…  Divine Mercy: about / song (YouTube)…  Franciscan: experience / prayer / resources…  How early churches came to be built in the form of a cross…  La Mota Ranch: Bill Hellen (agritourism: more / fishing & hunting)…  Mexico is the most violent Latin American country for priests…  Our Lady of Guadalupe: church (Hebbronville) / mother / patroness / tilma…  Sacred Heart of Jesus…  Scottus College (more)…  St. Anthony: traditions & miracles / relic…  St. Francis: about /  biography / national shrine…  St. Isidore: farmer (more) / feast / litany novena /  preserving our inheritance of faith / printable prayer / quotes…  Texas Tropical Trail…  St. Joseph…  St. Paul the Apostle Church: facebook / parishes online / website…  Tau cross…  TX Tropical Trail Region

WP posts…  Franciscan treasures…  Grapes of generosity…  Historic nuggets…  Holy relics…  Making meaning…  Mary’s miraculous medal…  Mary’s seven joys…  My Franciscan Crown…  Persistence…  Prayer…  Si quaeris miracula…  St. Anthony…  St. Felix…  Vaquero Fest Saturday

St. Felix

From St. Anthony to St. Francis to St. Elizabeth and the Third Order, Franciscans fascinate me.

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Introduction

My great-aunt introduced me to St. Anthony when I was thirteen, though decades passed before I learned the rhyme:

Tony, Tony, look around.  My… is lost and must be found.

Cherished items

My Franciscan treasure trove includes the St. Francis framed glass prayer that a catechist friend gave me; the prayer booklet from the St. Lawrence Seminary; my cherished St. Anthony third-class relic that Father Roderick enclosed in his reply to one of my letters; and various prayer cards, booklets, and such that I just couldn’t possibly part with.

Gift: Wil Merkel, 2014

Gift: Wil Merkel, 2014

And my prized possession?  My Franciscan Crown, the seraphic rosary, known as the Seven Joys of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

St. Felix

Although I’ve never met a Franciscan priest or nun in person, I feel very much a part of their community.  So imagine my delight on reading about St. Felix of Cantalice for the very first time just days ago on his feast day, May eighteenth.

Known as Brother Deo Gratias, St. Felix of Cantalice was the first Capuchin Franciscan to be canonized.

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September 19, 2016

“Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance” (St. Francis of Assisi).

August 3, 2017

Francis prayed day and night that God would give all people the courage to be themselves instead of what others expected them to be.  He did not want everyone to enter the brotherhood or to join the Lady Clare and her sisters.  He only wanted people to be free, to be what they wanted to be in their own hearts.

For God spoke differently to each person, calling one to marriage, another to virginity; one to the city, another to the country; one to work with the mind, another with the hands.  But who was brave enough to look inside and ask: “Is this what I should be doing, what I really want to do with my life? (Murray Bodo, OFM in Francis: The Journey and the Dream).

December 31, 2017

Holy people are always  ready to show creation’s inner connections.  Knowing such people draws us closer to God, whose goodness was revealed through the life of Francis of Assisi.

We may be tempted to think that Francis lived at a time when holiness was easier.  An honest look at his life reveals a very different and grittier story.  Through God’s grace, Francis learned to make the most of the hand that was dealt to him.  He used his talents as best he could, but he knew, as Saint Paul had told the Corinthian Christians centuries before, “God gives the growth” (Pat McCloskey, OFM in Peace and Good: Through the Year with Francis of Assisi).

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Links of interest…  Capuchins: friars / stigmata / mid-America (calendar – more) / St. Joseph / saints (more)…  Franciscan: 3rd order / calendar (national fraternity – printable – saintstraditional) / canticle notes onlinecrown rosary meditations & reflections / friars / instrument of peacelitany of saints / miracles & traditions / Mission Associates / “most sacred space of Franciscan spirituality” / order / prayer book for hospital & hospice chaplains / spiritual center (prayer requests) / tau cross / vocations…  Iconography in art & architecture (St. Felix’s bag)…  Prayer for the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit (feast of all saints)…  Relics: how to become a Capuchin saint: a piece of heaven with the Capuchins / holy relics / sisters of St. Felix…  Small “t” tradition & the peace prayer of St. Francis…  St. Anthony: prayer booklet (more) / shrine…  St. Elizabeth of Hungary: prayers…  St. Felix of Cantalice: 1st Capuchin saint / about (more) / biography (more) / Brother Deo Gratias (beggar – more) / confessor / ecard / feast (more / May 18) / friar (more) / holding the Christ Child (drawing) / homily / lay brotherpatron / prayer / relic…  St. Francis: about / biography / prayers…  Visits to Jesus in the tabernacle: Hours & half-hours of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament: e-book / St. Felix

WP posts…  Capuchin church stations…  Franciscan experience…  Franciscan treasures…  God’s master plan…  Grapes of generosity…  Holy relics…  Mary’s miraculous medal…  Mary’s seven joys…  My Franciscan Crown…  Mercy and justice…  Powerful intercessor…  Prayer…  Saint of miracles…  Si quaeris miracula…  Solano, Solanus, Solani…  St. Anthony…  St. Bonaventure Church…  St. Elizabeth Church…  St. Peregrine relic…  Today’s Beatitudes