It is June here at Graymoor and we are preparing for the Feast of St. Anthony, a saint that is venerated by so many people. Over the years that I have been at Graymoor, I have witnessed thousands of people who have come to give thanks or ask for favors through the intercession of St. Anthony.
Some people come carrying photographs of sick relatives, some bring flowers and others just pray for their family’s needs. I see many of the same people year after year because of the faith they have in St. Anthony’s intercession.
St. Anthony has long been recognized as the finder of lost articles. He is called the “Miracle Worker” and that is because he seems to hear so many requests. He is also the patron saint of Haiti and thousands of Haitians flock to Graymoor to celebrate his feast each year.
You may have called upon St. Anthony yourself when you were at your wits end. And I am more than sure he probably came through.
St. Anthony is not only the patron saint of finding lost articles. He is also a Doctor of the Church and recognized as a great preacher. He reached out and worked with the poor and those who did not yet believe in the Lord Jesus. As such, he serves as a model to the Friars of the type of men we strive to be.
St. Anthony has a special place in the hearts of the Friars. We have always referred to him as our “Big Brother.” This inspirational Franciscan Friar who lived eight centuries ago continues to be the spiritual comfort to millions and the guiding light to all who seek his prayerful intercession.
In the words of St. Bonaventure— “Saint Anthony possessed the science of the angels, the faith of the patriarchs, the foreknowledge of the prophets, the zeal of the apostles, and the heroism of martyrs.”