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Miracle of Saint Anthony of Padua
MIRACLE OF SAINT ANTHONY OF PADUA by Erlindo R. de Leon
Saint Anthony was born on August 15, 1195 in Lisbon, Portugal. He died on June 13, 1231in Padua, Italy. Although he is sometimes referred to as Saint Anthony of Lisbon, he is widely known as Saint Anthony of Padua. June 13, 2013 marked the 750th anniversary of the discovery of his relics by Saint Buenaventure. Commemorative celebrations in Wisconsin and Illinois were organized by the Messenger of Saint Anthony, directed by the Franciscan Friars of the Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua, Padua, Italy.
Getting To Know Saint Anthony of Padua
"This is Saint Anthony of Padua," Mother told us, pointing to the statuette on top of the dresser in our bedroom. "Pray before him every morning as soon as you get up from bed. He will protect you the rest of the day."
I was six years old and Bengie was just four. Neither of us had gone yet to catechism classes. Mother was our surrogate religion teacher. Whatever little we knew about God and Saints were all taught to us at home. Our classroom was the kids' bedroom. Mother had set up an altar where she put statuettes of the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ and Saint Anthony of Padua on top of a white-painted dresser.
Saint Anthony Church on Singalong Street was just a short walk from our house in Malate, Manila. This was where Mother often went to hear Mass on Sundays. Occasionally, she would take Bengie and me with her. We would all sit together on a bench closest to the altar. Mother always wore her brown dress, with a white woolen cord wrapped around the waist. This was how Saint Anthony of Padua's devotees attire themselves.
Over the years Mother's devotion to her faith and to Saint Anthony had brushed on both Bengie and I, and likewise turned us to become believers. This was even strengthened when at a very young age, we experienced something unbelievable and unexplainable.
We had long moved out of Malate Parish since it happened. Bengie and I and our other siblings had all grown up. Yet, for years, every time we met we still talked about that incident. I would relate my version, and Bengie would tell his. We would question and clarify some points. But always we would end up agreeing Mother was right. It was a miracle,
We would then recall step by step how it happened, trying to put into a cohesive narrative Mother's account of what happened that day.
Mother's Account of the Miracle of Saint Anthony
Walking back home from church with my sons Earl and Benjie that Sunday morning, we saw some kids playing on the sidewalk in front of our house. Six-year old Earl pulled my hand, begging me to let him and his younger brother stay outside. I shook my head, fearing they might wander across the street. However, with both boys looking up at me with pleading eyes, I eventually gave in.
I then hurriedly went in to the house, leaving the door open and proceeded upstairs to change clothes. I sat down on a chair by the window where I could watch the two boys. After a while, I rushed down to the kitchen to prepare snacks for them. I could hear them screaming and giggling, enjoying the warm air outside. Through the open front door, I saw them running back and forth, pulling and pushing each other. They were playing their favorite chasing game.
At last, i had everything ready - two glasses of ice-cold lemonade and a couple of buttered rolls. As I lifted the tray, I heard a loud screeching sound coming from the street, followed by a series of deafening screams. Alarmed, I put back the tray on the table and ran to the door. In the middle of the street, I saw a boy lying face down, barely lifting his head. A few yards away behind him, I saw a parked truck. Was that Bengie? Finally realizing what happened, my knees buckled under the weight of my body.
"Dios mio! Dios mio!" I screamed as I collapsed to the floor. My vision blurred and everything went blank.
"It was all my fault, Mother," Earl whispered between sobs while he tried to lift my head as I regained consciousness. "I challenged him to a race across the street to pick some flowers from the bushes."
"I won the race, Mother," Benjie cut in, his face beaming with pride.
"He did beat me," Earl explained. " But he fell down in the middle of the road on the way back."
"I did not fall down," Benjie quipped. "I dropped to my knees and lay down when I saw the truck coming. Saint Anthony saved me so I could bring these flowers." He raised his right hand still holding the stems.
"Look, I have no cuts, no bruises," Bengie continued. "The truck did not even touch my body."
Indeed it was unbelievable. All the kids and their parents who witnessed what happened told me the same story later. The driver had no time to step on the break and he just drove the truck through. How else could anyone explain this? Was it just plain luck? Bengie believed it was a miracle. He had a mission to finish - bring those flowers to Saint Anthony. I believed Benjie. I believed it was Saint Anthony's miracle.