Prayer for the Intercession of St. Anthony

December 13, 1992
Brother John Raymond

	St. Anthony of Padua is known for his intercession in helping
 people find something that is lost. Last winter St. Anthony was
 given a big challenge here at the monastery. A Brother had lost an
 eyeglass lens while walking out in the snow. The odds of finding it
 were not very good. So I told St. Anthony that if I found it I would
 write about him. Well, sure enough, I found it. So here is his
	St. Anthony was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1195. His baptismal
 name was Ferdinand. He was of a noble family. Anthony's parents
 entrusted his early education to the clergy of the Cathedral. At the
 age of fifteen Anthony joined a religious community called the
 Canons of St. Augustine. Two years later he asked to be transferred
 to the priory in Coimbra to avoid the numerous visits of friends. It
 was here in Coimbra that Anthony, who was especially gifted with
 memory, began to memorize the entire Bible.
	Eight years later a member of the Order brought to Portugal
 relics of Franciscan Martyrs of Morocco. St. Anthony, having an
 ardent desire to give his life for Christ, decided the Franciscans
 were a better prospect for martyrdom than the Augustinians. So in
 1221 he transferred to the Franciscans. It was with them that he
 took the religious name "Anthony."
	His dream of martyrdom seemed to be in his grasp a short time
 later when he was allowed to go to Morocco. He sailed by ship but
 along the way he fell seriously ill. So before reaching his
 destination St. Anthony had to return home on another ship. His
 return trip was detoured by a storm which caused them to land in
 Sicily. Upon leaving the ship he made his way to Assisi where he met
 St. Francis during a General Chapter Meeting of the Order. After the
 meeting was over St. Anthony was appointed to make a retreat at the
 hermitage of San Paolo. It happened that an ordination of Dominicans
 and Franciscans was taking place close by and St. Anthony attended.
 He was chosen to speak at the ceremony. His sermon was so impressive
 that he was recalled from his retreat to preach in various parts of
 Lombardy, Italy. Also he was appointed lector (or teacher) of
 theology for the Order, being the first to have this position.
	It was his ability as a preacher that made St. Anthony famous.
 Crowds would come to hear him. Many would be converted by his
 sermons. After the death of St. Francis he was made Provincial. But
 he asked Pope Gregory IX in 1226 to release him from this office so
 that he could continue preaching. Permission was granted and from
 that time on St. Anthony lived at Padua.
	In 1231 St. Anthony's health began to fail. He went with two
 other friars to make a retreat at Camposanpiero. It soon became
 evident that he was seriously ill. He wanted to return to Padua but
 he never reached it. On June 13 in the chaplain's quarters of a Poor
 Clare Convent in Arcella he died. He was only thirty-six years old.
	Within one year of his death he was canonized by Pope Gregory IX.
 In 1946 Pope Pius XII declared him a Doctor of the Church.

Prayer to St. Anthony

	Great St. Anthony, who has received from God a special power to
 recover lost things, help me that I may find that which I am now
 seeking. Obtain for me also, an active faith and perfect docility to
 the inspirations of grace.
	St. Anthony, help me to remember and cherish Holy Scripture. I
 implore you especially, great patron of the lost, that you guide my
 steps through life that I may find the path to Heaven so that there
 with you and all the saints I may praise the Father, Son and Holy
 Spirit forever. Amen.