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Why Saint Anthony of Padua Was Amazing
Saint Anthony was visiting Rimini, Italy, now a resort on the Adriatic. He went there to save souls, but met with great resistance.
Undeterred, he went to the mouth of a river and began preaching to the fish. A great number of fish poked their heads out of the water. They listened to his eloquent sermon. At one point, the fish opened their mouths as if to speak. They seemed to "bow" their heads.
The faithless people of Rimini heard of this event and hurried to the water's edge to witness it. Many converted as a result. One hardened heretic, according to one account, threw himself at the saint's feet and repented.
Saint Anthony of Padua, who died on June 13, 1231, is still known as a "miracle worker," a "wonder worker" and patron of lost articles.
His miracles, during his lifetime, were legendary.
Out of the Mouth of Babes
There was a jealous husband who accused his wife of adultery. He suspected his newborn son was the result of an affair. Saint Anthony took the baby into his arms and commanded, through the power of Jesus Christ, to speak the truth regarding his paternity. The infant looked at his father and clearly said something to the effect of, "This is my father," casting away all doubts about his mother's virtue.
Resurrected a Murdered Child
Saint Anthony was born in Lisbon and eventually found his way to Italy. But he still had relatives in Portugal. An unfortunate event happened to some of his family members. A young boy had been killed and buried in the yard of his relatives. They were falsely accused of murder and scheduled to be executed. Saint Anthony, miraculously appeared on the scene, even though he was, at the time, living in Padua, 1461 miles away. He commanded the corpse, through the power of Jesus, to speak the truth about the crime. Everyone then clearly knew the relatives of Saint Anthony were innocent. Saint Anthony performed yet another miracle by returning to Padua the very next morning, bending the natural laws of time and distance.
Mule Showed Reverence for the Blessed Sacrament
This is one of the saint's most famous miracles. One man challenged Saint Anthony. He said he'd believe God was truly present in the Consecrated host (Catholics truly believe the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ) if he had proof. The man agreed not to feed his mule for three days. If, after that time, the animal preferred the Eucharist over food, it would convince him of the Real Presence of Christ in the Consecrated Host.
Saint Anthony agreed to expose the Eucharist. The starving animal was given the choice - food or being the presence of God. To everyone's amazement, the animal ignored the food put in front of him and moved toward the Eucharist. He folded his legs and lowered his head down to show reverence for Our Lord.
Loved for the Child Jesus
Saint Anthony was very close to God. We often see him depicted in his brown Franciscan robes, holding the Child Jesus in his arms. During his time on earth, Saint Anthony was witnessed holding and interacting with the infant Jesus.
His Tongue Remains
Although Saint Anthony's flesh turned to dust after his death on June 13, 1231, his tongue did not decay. This was the tongue that preached sermons that resulted in countless conversions. In fact, the tongue is still preserved and on display in the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua, Italy. (In the Catholic Church there are numerous examples of incorrupt bodies of saints, such as Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, whose body appears nearly perfectly preserved, despite the fact she died in 1879. If you don't believe me, you can "Google" it to see a photo of her resting peacefully in her glass-encased tomb.)
Getting Rid of Demons
Saint Anthony also had an extraordinary ability to drive away demons. There is now a special prayer called the Saint Anthony Brief that's often prayed specifically for this purpose. Today, this saint has many titles, such as "Disperser of Devils." Another, more common title is "Hammer of Heretics."
He Still Helps Us
Saint Anthony is probably best known title is "Patron Saint of Lost Articles." There is a little jingle, "Saint Anthony, Saint Anthony come around, so this lost item can now be found."
This is because a brother monk was leaving the monastery and returning to the world. During his departure, he took an expensive book of Psalms. Saint Anthony prayed for the return of the book, and probably the monk as well. The wayward monk brought the book back after seeing a disturbing apparition of Saint Anthony. He also returned to religious life.
You can ask Saint Anthony for his help if you lose something. It does seem to work. (Catholics often the saints to pray for them, since they're now in Heaven with God, much as we ask our friends living here on earth to pray for us.)
Patron of Lost Articles
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Saint Anthony Exorcism Prayer
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Life of Saint Anthony
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