A Message from Father Nathan
My dearest people who are all close to my heart
Lots of love, blessings, and prayers to you all.
St. Anthony of Padua – the patron Saint of My Home church in India
St. Anthony of Padua is one of the most famous disciples of St. Francis of Assisi. He is extremely popular all over the world. He is famous for working with the poor. We will be celebrating his Feast on the 13th of this month.
FEAST OF ST. ANTHONY – June 13, 2023
Patron: of Lost Things
Canonized: Pope Gregory IX in 1232
Anthony joins the Franciscan order, hoping to preach to Muslims and be martyred. Anthony becomes sick with ergotism and dies on June 13 on the way to Padua, where he is now buried. Anthony is canonized by Pope Gregory IX on May 30, 1232, at Spotelo, Italy for his spiritual teachings and devotion to the Church.
He was a famous preacher and worker of miracles in his own day, and throughout the eight centuries since his death, he has so generously come to the assistance of the faithful who invoke him. Because of this, he is known throughout the world. The life of St. Anthony is quite ordinary, and he continued even after his ordination. He still looked weak and sickly and gave no evidence of his scholarship, no one paid any attention to the stranger until the Provincial friars living in the region, had compassion on him and sent him to the quiet little convent near Italy.
There St. Anthony remained for nine months as chaplain to the hermits, occupied in the lowliest duties of the kitchen and convent, and to his heart’s content, he practiced interior and well as exterior mortification. But he was a hidden jewel that was soon to appear in all its brilliance. For the occasion of an ordination ceremony, some of the hermits along with St. Anthony were sent to the town of Forli.
Before the ceremony was to begin, however, it was announced that the priest who was to give the sermon had fallen sick. The local superior, to avert the embarrassment of the moment, quickly asked the friars in attendance to volunteer. Each excused himself, saying that they were not prepared, until finally, St. Anthony was asked to give it. When he too, excused himself, in a most humble manner, his superior ordered him by virtue of the vow of obedience to give the sermon.
St. Anthony began to speak in a very reserved manner; but soon holy animation seized him, and he spoke with such eloquence, learning, and unction that everybody was fairly amazed.
When St. Francis was informed of the event, he gave St. Anthony the mission to preach throughout Italy. At the request of the brethren, St. Anthony was later commissioned also to teach theology, “but in such a manner” St. Francis distinctly wrote, “that the spirit of prayer be not extinguished either in yourself or in the other brethren.”
St. Anthony himself placed greater value on the salvation of souls than on learning. For that reason, he never ceased to exercise his office as a preacher despite his work of teaching. The number of those who came to hear him was sometimes so great that no church was large enough to accommodate and so he had to preach in the open air. Frequently St. Anthony brought veritable miracles of conversion.
Deadly enemies were reconciled. Thieves and usurers made restitution. Calumniators and detractors recanted and apologized. He was so energetic in defending the truths of the Catholic Faith that many heretics returned to the Church. This occasioned the epitaph given him by Pope Gregory IX “the ark of the covenant.”
I have a special love for this saint because back home, he is the patron saint of our church. Every week on Tuesday we would have at least a few thousand would come to my village on a pilgrimage. Our church is one of the shrines in our diocese. We celebrate the Feast on June 13th, which starts will the flag hoisting on the first of June. We have a special Mass throughout the Feast Day. It is said at least 100,000 people came to my village over these days. The whole day from morning to evening there will be a Mass celebrated. Our Blessed Mother and St. Anthony are popular in India and lead people to Christ.
God bless you all.
With lots of love and blessings,
Ever wanting to be faithful to your service,
— Fr. Sahayanathan Nathan
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