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anthony closeup 2 basils

Saint Anthony (1195 – 1231) feastday is June 13. He is typically depicted with a book and the Infant Child Jesus, to whom miraculously appeared to him, and is commonly referred to as the “finder of lost articles.” Upon exhumation, some 336 years after his death, his body was found to be corrupted, yet his tongue was totally incorrupt, so perfect were the teachings that had been formed upon it. He was canonized (declared a saint) less than one year after his death. St. Anthony was as a fearless orator and became known as the “Hammer of the Heretics.”

St. Anthony of Padua by Raphael

Miracles associated with St. Anthony:
– On Holy Thursday, while preaching in the Church of St. Pierre du Queriox at Limoges, he remembered he had to sing the Divine Office in the choir. He bilocated, appearing among the friars to sing, and continued on with his preaching.

– Again while preaching in Limoges (in the square des creux des Arenes), he miraculously kept his audience dry from the rain.

– On his way back to Italy after the death of St. Francis (3 October, 1226), he travelled through Provence where, tired from travel, he and his companions entered the house of a poor woman, who placed bread and wine before them. She had forgotten, though, to shut off the tap of the wine-barrel — and as the wine was running out, one of Anthony’s companions broke his glass. Anthony prayed, and the wine barrel was filled up again and the glass was made whole.

– Again while preaching in Limoges (in the square des creux des Arenes), he miraculously kept his audience dry from the rain.

– Near Padua took place the famous “sermon to the fishes” when, to impress heretics, he preached the word of God and the fishes poked their heads out of the water to listen.

– During the sermon at St. Junien, he rightfully predicted that the devil would cause the pulpit to break, but that everyone would be safe. 

Miracles described from Fisheaters blog

Saint Anthony’s tongue was placed in a reliquary, and is still venerated today.

613anthonyskeletonLying in state:
The remains of St Anthony lie in a glass case in the Relics Chapel of Padua’s Basilica (
Daily Mail 2010)

Anthony’s body was buried in the Franciscan Church of Saint Mary in Padua (from which his name originates). Canonized within the year, a grand basilica was built only 30 years later, and his relics placed beneath the alter. Upon translation of his holy relics, it was found that his body had been reduced to dust and bone, but that his tongue was incorrupt—intact and life-like. This was taken as confirmation of his gifts of writing, preaching, and teaching from the Lord. St. Bonaventure, who was present as minister general of the Friars Minor, took the tongue reverently into his hands and exclaimed,
“O blessed tongue, which has always blessed God and caused others to bless Him, now it appears evident how great were your merits before God!”

So simple and resounding was his teaching of the Catholic Faith, so that the most unlettered and innocent might understand it, that he was made a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII in 1946. Saint Anthony was only 36 years old when he died.

Because St. Anthony was buried on a Tuesday and many miracles accompanied his funeral, Tuesdays are special days of honoring him throughout the year. It is customary to pray a Novena to him on thirteen consecutive Tuesdays

The Brief
As she demonically oppressed women in the 13th century prayed, she saw St. Anthony standing before her, saying, “‘Arise woman, and take this paper, which will free you from the molestations of the Evil One.” Then he gave her a parchment inscribed with what is now known as the “Brief (i.e., “Letter”) of St. Anthony,” and she was now free from demonic oppression and the desire to do away with herself.
The Brief consists of a depiction of a Cross, and words which, forming a rhyme in the Latin, hearken back to Apocalypse 5:5, “And one of the ancients said to me: Weep not: behold the lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book and to loose the seven seals thereof.” The words of St. Anthony’s Brief are:

Ecce Crucem Domini,
Fugite, partes adversae,
Vicit Leo de Tribu Juda,
Radix David, alleluia.

English version:
Behold the Cross of the Lord!
Flee ye adversaries!
The Lion of the Tribe of Juda,
The Root of David has conquered, alleluia!

The words of this Brief are good ones to use when feeling tempted by evil, oppressed by demons, and in general spiritual warfare.

7_600	 St. Anthony of Padua Stilling a Storm - Limbourg brothers, 1408
St. Anthony of Padua Stilling a Storm – Limbourg brothers, 1408

Per St. Anthony, “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.”