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Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Anthony of Padua

Life and miracles of St Anthony of Padua

THE LIFE & THE MIRACLES 
OF SAINT-ANTOINE DE PADOUE
A contemporary of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua was born in 1195, in Lisbon, on the feast of the Assumption. His father was Martin de Bouillon and his mother Thérèse de Tavera both noble families. He received at baptism the name of Ferdinand. Raised at the regular canons of St. Augustine of Lisbon and then at the convent of Coimbra.
In 1220, when the remains of the first Franciscan martyrs were brought back from Morocco to Portugal, he was admitted as a novice to the convent of Olives where he received, with the habit of the Order, the name of Anthony. When he had made his vows, he asked his superiors for permission to go to Africa to evangelize the Moors. His superiors let him go. A serious illness that put his life in danger forced him to re-embark for Portugal. The crossing was unfortunate, a violent storm threw it on the coast of Sicily.
In 1221, having learned that St. Francis was going to hold the general chapter of the Order, where Friars Minor from all parts of Europe were assembled, he resolved to go there. It was then that he met Father Gratian, Minister of the Province of Bologna who gave him the post of chaplain of the small monastery of St. Paul where he lived for a year in solitude and contemplation.In 1222, he received the order of the bishop of Forli to address some words to the religious who had just been consecrated. He took for text this passage from the Office of Holy Thursday:Christus factus is pro nobis obediens usque ad mortem. His speech, at first calm, without radiance, almost hesitating, became somewhat animated in spite of himself, and became rapid, energetic, and inflamed. He was listened to in a religious admiration. The dumb assistants, astonished, felt penetrated with a holy respect.The public rumor and the reports of his superiors did not take long to inform St. Francis of the success of this first sermon, and almost immediately he confided to him the difficult task of working for conversion and the salvation of souls.
It had been a year since Antony traveled and evangelized the towns and villages of northern Italy, when St. Francis asked him to teach theology to the Friars Minor. By virtue of this order, while continuing his preaching, Antoine professed theology, first in France, in Montpellier, then in Bologna and Padua, and, lastly, in Toulouse, Limoges and some other towns of France. La France.
At that time, the Albigensian heresy began to wreak havoc in the south of France. Charged by St. Francis to go and found convents of the Order in Provence and Languedoc, he set himself resolutely at work; he struck the heresy to the point of reducing it almost to impotence.Wherever he went, he performed many miracles.In France, in Italy, he founded innumerable convents, or heightened the splendor of those who existed before him. In 1227 he was sent to Rome by the provincial of Sicily, to attend the grand council where Pope Gregory IX, amazed at his knowledge, would have liked to keep him with him.
At the beginning of the year 1231, Antony returned to Padua. Although very tired and of a shaky health, he resumed his theological course, and endeavored to combat the errors of the Cathar heretics. At the same time, he wrote his sermons on the saints, and was preparing to preach the Lent of 1231. Exhausted by incessant toil, he resolved to find refuge in a hermitage placed under the invocation of St. John the Baptist in the village of Campietro, located three miles from Padua. Antony's strength suddenly weakened, he summoned Brother Roger near him, and begged him to send him to Padua. Feeling faint, he asked for the holy sacrament of the Eucharist, then raising his eyes to heaven, he murmured: "I see my God, he calls me to him". He fell asleep on June 13, 1231, on a Friday, shortly before sunset. 
In Isola, district of Clout, this poor and modest oratory, dedicated to the souls of Purgatory, shelters in its niche a rare painting on canvas, wonderfully preserved, representing Saint Anthony of Padua and the Child Jesus surrounded by 12 medallions illustrating scenes of the life and miracles of St. Anthony with the respective legends written on banners, in Italian, French, Portuguese, and German.
You can read on the left from top to bottom:
"He makes a receipt" St. Anthony is standing between a traveler and the demon who signs a parchment.
"He raises a boiled dead child." In his eagerness to go and listen to a sermon of the Saint, a woman, instead of putting her child in her little cradle, laid him out in a basin of boiling water.
"He heals a child". The Saint blesses a woman who introduces her handicapped child
"It protects the navigators" St. Anthony standing on a cloud blesses a sailing ship on a raging sea.
"He has the Blessed Sacrament adored by a mare" Prodigy, which the Saint accomplishes at Toulouse, and which is usually called the miracle of the mule.
"He talks all night with the Baby Jesus." A brother sees the Saint in his cell, in conversation with the Child Jesus.
On the right :
"He gives graces to his devotees." A young woman on her knees in front of the Saint holding the Child Jesus in his arms.
"He finds the lost ring". It was at Brive-la-Gaillarde that he performed another miracle by finding a stolen manuscript.
"He preaches to fish". Miracle that the Saint accomplishes in Rimini and also decided the conversion of a large number of heretics.
"He delivers his father from death." In the foreground is a handcuffed man, blindfolded, surrounded by penitents and armed soldiers. On the hill a gallows.
"The demon pretends to be mail". Saint Anthony is standing in the pulpit. The demon pretending to be an envoy enters the church.
     "The saint dies in 1231". On the way to Padua, St. Anthony is lying on a stretcher, watched over by his companions, Brother Luc and Brother Roger
Clichés Mireille Grosso and Lucien Boldrin. 
Texts by Jean Dieudé, excerpt from Les Petits Bollandistes, Pages 612 to 636. 

October 7, 2011

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