A Message from Father Nathan
My dearest people who are all close to my heart!
Lots of love, blessings, and prayers to you all.
the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua on June 13th
We will be celebrating the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua on June 13th. He is one of the great saints next to our Blessed Mother who leads innumerable back to Christ.
Unfortunately, that great popular devotion I found in the eastern culture I don’t witness in our culture.
the intercession of our St. Anthony
As a child, I witnessed hundreds and thousands of people coming to my village every week seeking the intercession of our St. Anthony. I was always inspired by it. People of every religion would be there in the church. Every Tuesday, we have a novena to St. Anthony. The simple faith of all the people would result in great miracles.
Who is St Anthony?
St. Anthony was born in 1195 (13 years after St. Francis of Assisi) in Lisbon, which is now known as Portugal. Given the baptismal name of Fernando, his parents, Martin and Mary Bulhorn, belonged to one of the most prominent families in the city.
At the age of 15, Fernando entered the religious order of St. Augustine and became a priest. Then later, the young Augustinian monk took vows of the Franciscan order and assumed the name of Anthony in honor of the patriarch of hermits.
Anthony was first recognized for his great gift of preaching at a gathering for the ordination of Dominicans and Franciscans in 1222. After they finished their meal, the provincial suggested that one of the friars give a short sermon. There were no immediate volunteers among the group, so Anthony was asked to give “just something simple” since he presumably had no education and at the time was only 27 years old.
Anthony, while resisting the offer at first, finally began to speak in a simple, artless way. The “fire” within him became evident. His knowledge was unmistakable, but it was the passionate manner in which he spoke that truly impressed everyone in attendance. We know that not everyone was impressed by his preaching.
Legend has it that one day, faced with deaf ears, Anthony went to the river and preached to the fish. That reads the traditional tale and got everyone’s attention. The story and tradition of devotion to St. Anthony of Padua began almost immediately upon his death on June 13, 1231.
St. Anthony is known for his love for the Eucharist, scripture, and for the Blessed Mother. Pope Pius XII, in 1945, awarded St. Anthony of Padua with the honor of Doctor of the Universal Church.
I have such a special love for this great saint.
God bless you all.
With lots of love and blessing.
Ever at your service.
—Fr. Sahayanathan Nathan
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