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St. Anthony, Finder of the Lost (It wasn’t lost articles, but lost souls)[Ecumenical] ^ | 06-13 | Jeanne Kun

Posted on 06/13/2013 6:56:15 PM PDT by Salvation

St. Anthony, Finder of the Lost

It wasn’t lost articles that he sought, but lost souls.

St. Anthony, Finder of the Lost

Stories abound about the extraordinary events coloring the life of St. Anthony of Padua, the “wonder-worker.” Fish are said to have listened to him preach, their heads attentively raised out of the river, when the hard of heart refused to heed his words.

A donkey knelt reverently before the Blessed Sacrament, convincing heretics who had challenged Anthony on Christ’s presence in the host. A severed foot was reportedly rejoined to its owner’s leg when Anthony blessed it. Statues depicting Anthony with the infant Jesus in his arms recall the occasion when the child appeared to him surrounded by marvelous light.

This popular saint is also known as the “Finder of Lost Articles.” When a novice once ran away with a book of psalms containing notes Anthony had made for teaching his fellow Franciscans, he prayed for the young friar and the recovery of the book. Soon the novice repented and returned to the order, bringing the precious psalter back with him. Since then, millions of people have asked Anthony for help in finding lost possessions: “Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony, please come around/ Something is lost and needs to be found.”

But still, we might wonder, why has this saint of the Middle Ages remained so well-known today? Behind all the remarkable miracles and captivating stories told of Anthony is a man who loved God passionately and tirelessly proclaimed the truth of the gospel.

A Son of Portugal. The man who became known to the world as St. Anthony of Padua actually began his life in a different city than Padua and with a different name than Anthony. He was born Fernando Bulhom in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1195. His father served King Alfonso I as a knight, and Fernando grew up dreaming of the adventures of knighthood. However, when he was fifteen, he chose instead to join the Augustinian monks at San Vincente, just outside the city.

After two years at San Vincente, Fernando saw that he was being too distracted by frequent visitors from outside the monastery, so he asked to transfer to the monastery of Santa Cruz in Portugal’s capital, Coimbra. For the next eight years he immersed himself in prayer and Scripture and became an avid student of theology and the Fathers of the Church. Most historians assume that it was during this time that he was also ordained to the priesthood. Little did Fernando know that his life was about to take a dramatic turn.

In 1220, the bodies of five Franciscans martyred for preaching to Muslims in Morocco were brought to be honored at Santa Cruz. The story of these men moved Fernando profoundly, and he began to burn with a desire to lay down his life for Christ. He realized, however that he was unlikely to fulfill this dream as an Augustinian monk. When some Franciscans came to the monastery begging a short time later, he opened his heart to them and said, “I will gladly take the habit of your order if you will promise that as soon as I do you will send me to the land of the Saracens.” After receiving the reluctant permission of his prior, Fernando exchanged his white Augustinian habit for the gray robe of a Franciscan brother and took the name Anthony in honor of the great monastic patriarch, Anthony of the Desert.

The Turning Point. Twenty-six years old, Anthony sailed to Morocco with ambitions to convert Muslims to Christianity. However, a prolonged fever forced him to surrender his dream. He realized that God was asking a different kind of sacrifice from him, but he couldn’t tell yet what that sacrifice might be. On the return trip to Portugal, a storm drove Anthony’s ship to Sicily, where he met friars who nursed him back to health. Together with these brother Franciscans, Anthony set out for the now-famous Pentecost “Chapter of Mats” in Assisi where three thousand friars gathered with their founder, Francis.

At the close of the meeting, Anthony was assigned to the hermitage of San Paolo near Arezzo, where he served his brothers by celebrating Mass for them, washing dishes, and sweeping the floor. He enjoyed the simplicity of his new life, but what most delighted him were the long hours he was able to spend in a secluded cave, lost in prayer and worship of the Lord.

None of the friars at San Paolo suspected their new companion’s brilliant intellect and knowledge of Scripture until 1222, when they all attended an ordination ceremony in Forli. When several other Franciscans and Dominicans

declined an on-the-spot request to preach a homily, Anthony was called upon to “speak whatever the Holy Spirit put in his mouth.” Anthony did just that, and his listeners were amazed at his eloquence and passion. Thus ended Anthony’s contemplative life, as the Franciscan provincial commissioned him to preach publicly.

“Hammer of the Heretics.” The thirteenth century was a time of great political, economic, social, and religious activity in Europe. Feudalism, the centuries-old system of land-holding, was declining, as a growing merchant class began to make its voice heard. Coined money became more common, displacing land as the measure of wealth. Itinerant evangelists and false teachers, among them Waldensians and Albigensians, were gaining a hearing, especially among the less educated.

Understandably, the Albigensians criticized priests whose scandalous lifestyle undermined the gospel. However, they also denied the reality of Jesus’ human nature and spoke against the resurrection of the body. It was in this turbulent environment that the Franciscan and Dominican orders— new forms of religious life—came to be.

In Anthony’s preaching tours throughout northern Italy and southern France, he strengthened the faithful, invited sinners to repent, and brought the wandering back to the truth. His studies as an Augustinian, coupled with his love for the Franciscan spirit, made him a powerful witness of the gospel. Realizing that it was not enough merely to proclaim right doctrine in order to win people’s hearts, Anthony confirmed his words by demonstrating genuine gospel living. “The preacher must by word and example be a sun to those to whom he preaches,” he once said. “Our life must warm the hearts of men, while our teaching enlightens them.”

Anthony presented the truth of Christianity in positive ways and defended the faith by the example of his life rather than by taking direct issue with heretics and trying to prove them wrong. Nonetheless, Anthony was also well able to refute false teachers with his thorough knowledge of the Bible and the church Fathers. Because of his success, he became known as the “Hammer of the Heretics.”

Teacher and Preacher. Around this time Francis appointed Anthony to teach theology to his fellow friars. He was the first member of his order to fill such a post and taught briefly in Bologna, Montpellier, and Toulouse. Nonetheless, his primary mission remained that of a preacher. His learning, eloquent powers of persuasion, magnetic personality, and clear, rich voice attracted great crowds. In one remarkable instance, a woman forbidden by her husband to attend Anthony’s preaching flung open her window so that his sermon, though at quite a distance, filled the room. Astonished by what he considered a miracle, her husband was moved to the heart by Anthony’s words.

Loved and respected by his Franciscan brothers, Anthony was elected provincial of the friars in northern Italy in 1227. During the next three years he also served as an envoy to Pope Gregory IX, preached throughout Italy, and wrote “Sermons for Sunday,” actually notes to aid other preachers in preparing their own sermons. On one occasion, after Anthony preached before the curia, the pope called him the “Ark of the Testament” because of his profound knowledge of the Scriptures and later commissioned him to produce a series of sermons for the church’s feast days.

Beloved Padua. In June 1230, Pope Gregory IX released Anthony, at his own request, from his duties as provincial so he could devote his energies exclusively to preaching. From that time on he resided in Padua, a city whose people had become dear to him when he had preached to them earlier. There he was privileged to see great fruit in the final months of his life.

Anthony’s sermons in Padua produced a genuine transformation among the citizens as he urged them to trust in God’s mercy and receive his forgiveness. Long-standing quarrels among neighbors were settled peacefully, immoral living was abandoned, and stolen goods were restored as thieves became honest men. Shops and offices were closed while as many as thirty thousand people gathered in the piazzas or open fields to hear him. A bodyguard of young men protected Anthony as crowds of enthusiasts—some armed with scissors to snip off pieces of his habit as relics—pressed around him.

Concerned for the poor, Anthony preached against charging exorbitant interest rates on loans and persuaded the city to pass a law against the common practice of imprisoning debtors who could not pay their creditors. But his main object was to bring people back to peace with God. He took no satisfaction in a

crowd of listeners if the confessional remained empty afterwards. Anthony felt that would be like “hunting all day and returning with an empty game-bag.” So, after his morning Mass and sermon, he frequently heard confessions the rest of the day, often aided by local parish priests.

“I See My Lord!” After preaching through Lent and the spring of 1231, Anthony’s health and strength gave out. He was only thirty-six years old. He retreated with two companions to a forest where he enjoyed solitude and prayer in a cell built for him in the branches of a huge walnut tree. When he saw that he was declining, Anthony asked to be taken back to his beloved Padua, but only reached the outskirts of the city, where he died on June 13, 1231. As death approached, he joyously told his companions, “I see my Lord!”

Anthony was canonized the following year by Pope Gregory IX. In 1946 Pope Pius XII formally declared St. Anthony of Padua a doctor of the church.

Anthony knew the mercy and goodness of God and moved many to follow Jesus wholeheartedly by proclaiming that mercy through powerful sermons and through the witness of his life. If what happened in Padua is any indication, Anthony’s life is an example of what can happen in each of our homes and neighborhoods as we pursue Jesus wholeheartedly and do not shrink from opportunities to share his good news with those around us.

TOPICS: Catholic; History; Theology
KEYWORDS: anthony; catholic; finder; lost; prayer; saint; saintanthony; saints; stanthony
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Canonized within one year! Wow!
1 posted on 06/13/2013 6:56:15 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Religion Moderator

This is an Ecumenical thread.

Guidelines for Ecumenical threads are on the Religion Moderator’s homepage at FR.

2 posted on 06/13/2013 6:58:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Saint of the Day Ping!

3 posted on 06/13/2013 6:59:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I guess I had been confusing St. Anthony of Egypt with St. Anthony (of Portugal) all this time. Well, I will keep both in mind from now on.

4 posted on 06/13/2013 7:03:11 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: Salvation

My faith in St Anthony is 100%. over 5 decades he has never failed, including lost of engagement ring that took 5 years for me to find after I though someone that came in the house for repairs picked it up....found in the back of my closet on a christmas tree music box...pray and forget it, you will find it but be patient......Love St Anthony, ever faithful as the patron of the lost, souls or items...GG

5 posted on 06/13/2013 7:05:45 PM PDT by goat granny
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To: goat granny

Thanks for sharing your story.

6 posted on 06/13/2013 7:11:42 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

Thank you. I have always thought it odd that there was a Patron of Lost Articles.

7 posted on 06/13/2013 7:15:03 PM PDT by schm0e ("we are in the midst of a coup.")
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To: schm0e

Now you know why since his psalter was stolen and he prayed that it would be found so he could use it again in teaching.

8 posted on 06/13/2013 7:20:45 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
St. Anthony, Finder of the Lost (It wasn’t lost articles, but lost souls)[Ecumenical]
“Something’s Lost and Must Be Found!” Praying to St. Anthony of Padua [Catholic Caucus]
On St. Anthony of Padua
Feast of St. Anthony of Padua

June 13 - St. Anthony of Padua, Confessor (Dom Guéranger) (Catholic Caucus)
Malleus Haereticorum - St. Anthony of Padua
In Pakistan Muslims and Protestants celebrate Saint Anthony as well
Italian Studio Films 1st Movie on St. Anthony of Padua - "Anthony, God's Warrior"
The Marian Devotion of St. Anthony of Padua
Saint Anthony of Padua: Hammer of Heretics and Ark of the New Covenant and Miracle Worker
June 13, Feast of St Anthony of Padua, Confessor and Doctor
St Anthony of Padua - Confessor
The Life Of Saint Anthony Of Padua

9 posted on 06/13/2013 7:22:52 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation
"Tony, Tony, look around,
Something's lost and must be found."
10 posted on 06/13/2013 7:55:01 PM PDT by Slyfox (Without the Right to Life, all other rights are meaningless.)
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To: Salvation
Mahler: "St. Anthony Preaches to the Fish"
11 posted on 06/13/2013 8:11:35 PM PDT by Publius
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To: Salvation

My kitty was about a year old when this incident happened. He is a rescued barn cat, so he likes to go outside even though we live in the suburbs. He has always come home several times a day to be fed, and slept indoors every night.

Well, one end-of-summer night 2 years ago, Watson didn’t come home. I called and called. I worried and prayed. No Watson, even first thing the next morning.

Then I remembered St. Anthony and St. Francis, so I prayed to both of them; for St. Francis to keep Watson safe, and for St. Anthony to help me find him.

I went outside and called Watson’s name again. This time I listened carefully for any sign of his meow. I heard a very faint meow, from a bit of a distance, so I thought he was finally coming home! No sign of him, so I called again, and this time I went toward his meow. I walked down to the house across the street, and kept calling, and I kept hearing his response! He was alive! But where was he?

I continued until I was about 5 houses away from ours, and I could hear him but not see him. It sounded like he was high up. I was surprised when I saw his precious little face in a hole in the roof’s soffit just pleading with me to get him out of the attic where he was stuck! We were finally able to pull him out, once the hole was made a little bigger. Apparently, there had been a hole that some squirrels had made in the soffit, and they had been nesting in the neighbors’ attic. Our kitty had chased the squirrel up a tree that was near the side of the house, and he was able to get IN because of the angle of the roofline, but couldn’t get OUT because his collar got stuck on one of the boards. The poor thing was traumatized for a day or so, but he recovered and is back to his regular barn cat ways.

I credit both St. Anthony and St. Francis in their intervention on behalf of our sweet kitty. It was truly a remarkable situation that I was able to hear his little tiny meow from that far away.

12 posted on 06/13/2013 8:14:17 PM PDT by FamiliarFace
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To: Salvation

St. Anthony bump!

Thank you St. Anthony for all the help you have provided to me over the years, including just last week.

You are a most compassionate person and have always answered my requests for intercession.

13 posted on 06/13/2013 10:48:25 PM PDT by jocon307
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To: jocon307

Amen!! St. Anthony NEVER fails!! Just believe and you will find what you are looking for.

14 posted on 06/14/2013 3:42:44 AM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion.....the HUMAN Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: Salvation

My grandmother had a penchant for sending small amounts of cash through the mail to members of her family. No amount of warniings against this practice deterred her because she always wrote a tiny S.A.G. near the stamp, or at the envelope point where the flap sealed. S.A.G. stands for “St. Anthony Guide”.

She claimed that nothing had ever been lost, or stolen when protected by S.A.G. She said that she’d been taught that by the nuns when she was a child in Pennsylvania in the late 1800s, or early 1900s.

15 posted on 06/14/2013 4:23:09 AM PDT by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Salvation

St Anthony of Padua

Benozzo Gozzoli

Santa Maria d' Aracoeli, Rome

16 posted on 06/14/2013 5:21:34 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: Salvation

St Anthony of Padua and St Francis of Assisi

Friedrich Pacher

Tempera oan pine panel, 54,5 x 93,5 cm
Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest

This panel is one half of a predella which consisted of two parts for the representation of the most highly revered saints of the Franciscan order. The other side also depicts Franciscan saints. This panel adorned the lower, not very clearly visible, subordinate addition to a major altarpiece, hence the modest colour scheme content to forgo variety.


The text giving the names of the donors and the date in fine Gothic minuscules occupies an outstanding place in the lower image field.


17 posted on 06/14/2013 5:25:30 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: Salvation

St Anthony of Padua with the Infant Christ


Oil on canvas, 91 x 74 cm
Private collection

18 posted on 06/14/2013 5:28:01 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: goat granny

“..over five decades he has never failed...”

Our household too! St. Anthony always helps us find missing articles- they are ALWAYS found once he is invoked, it is truly amazing.

19 posted on 06/14/2013 5:45:48 AM PDT by stonehouse01 (Equal rights for unborn women)
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To: Salvation

ahh...well, so, it really did involve lost articles after all.

20 posted on 06/14/2013 7:15:58 PM PDT by schm0e ("we are in the midst of a coup.")
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