TIME & AGAIN ST. ANTHONY WILL ASSIST
The Franciscan Friars of the Atonement have always turned to St. Anthony of Padua in times of need. Our founder, Servant of God Father Paul of Graymoor often called upon fellow Franciscan, St. Anthony and lovingly referred to him as our “big brother”.
Whether in times of great need or simply misplacing his quill pen, Fr. Paul would call upon St. Anthony for his intercession – and time and again St. Anthony would assist.
Known as the “Wonder-worker”, patron saint of the poor, of sailors and fishermen, of priests and travelers as well as a protector and guardian of the mails, the story of St. Anthony of Padua is very special.
St. Anthony Intercession Prayer
St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints, your love for God and charity for his creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your word, which you were ready to offer on behalf of those in need. Encouraged by this, I ask you to hear my prayers
JOIN THE FRIARS’ IN SEEKING ST. ANTHONY’S INTERCESSION
St. Anthony Union – the Friars’ Monthly Novena
Novenas to St. Anthony often begin on Tuesdays as Tuesday was the day Anthony was buried and the miracles at his tomb began. The Friars celebrate a special monthly novena to St. Anthony and invite people to participate in this special St. Anthony Union of shared prayers.
Special Novenas to St. Anthony
In addition to the monthly novenas, several times each year, the Friars’ celebrate special Novenas. At his feast day in June, in both the winter and summer with “13 Tuesdays of Masses” and two Novenas in December.
St. Anthony Thirteen Tuesdays Novena of Masses beginning on March 10th.
St. Anthony Novena of Masses beginning on June 13th, the Feast of St. Anthony.
Thirteen Tuesdays of Special Masses to St. Anthony beginning August 18th.
St. Anthony Novena of Masses beginning on December 1st and December 25th.
The Friars’ Perpetual Novena to St. Anthony
It all started in 1912, just as the Friars’ completed installing a large statue of St. Anthony of Padua near the altar in the new St. Francis Chapel. As Fr. Paul stood to admire the beautiful statue, he was handed a letter from a mother begging the Friars to pray for the health of her gravely ill baby named Anthony.
“I immediately knelt before this image of St. Anthony with the Divine Infant in his arms and besought the Wonder-Worker of seven centuries to intercede for baby Anthony’s life,” Fr. Paul later wrote in his journal.
His journal tells of him and the Friars praying to St. Anthony every evening asking for intercession. About two weeks later the mother wrote again, this time saying her child had miraculously recovered. She included a small donation in gratitude.
From then on Fr. Paul and other Friars would pray every evening at the statue of St. Anthony. Word spread of the Friars perpetual prayers and “St. Anthony’s corner” in St. Francis Chapel at Graymoor—and more petitions arrived. For over 100 years, those in need have sent hundreds of thousands of prayer requests to Graymoor asking the Friars to pray and seek the intercession of St. Anthony on their behalf.
The Story of St. Anthony of Padua
Anthony was a simple and humble friar who preached the good news lovingly and with fearless courage. He was a man of great penance and apostolic zeal and became one of the great preachers and theologians of his day. But he was primarily a saint of the people. His effectiveness in calling people back to the faith through his preaching was just as important as his peacemaking and calls for justice.
To this day, St. Anthony of Padua is one of the Catholic Church’s most revered and popular saints. One of the reasons for this is likely that his life was what every Christian’s life is meant to be — a steady courage to face the ups and downs of life, the call to love and forgive, to be concerned for the needs of others, to deal with crisis, both great and small, and to have our feet solidly on the ground of total trusting love and dependence upon God.
His Feast Day is June 13
St. Anthony and the Christ Child
Many images of St. Anthony picture him with lilies and the Christ child. In many places lilies are blessed and distributed on the feast of St. Anthony. The lily is meant to remind us of St. Anthony’s purity and our own need to pray for the grace of purity in times of temptation. There are many versions of the legend of St. Anthony cradling the Christ child. In most, St. Anthony had traveled to a local hermitage to spend time in prayer. One night, while deep in prayer, Jesus appeared to him as a child. The room filled with light and laughter as St. Anthony held the Christ child in his arms. As the story is told, the owner of the hermitage, upon seeing the light, came to investigate only to behold St. Anthony and the Christ child. When the vision ended, St. Anthony realized the owner was kneeling at the door and begged him not to share the story until after Anthony’s death.
St. Anthony Shrine at Graymoor
Fr. Paul always dreamed of a St. Anthony National Shrine at Graymoor. In 1960, the largest outdoor shrine to St. Anthony was dedicated. Over two stories high, the Shrine includes a large marble statue of St. Anthony holding the child Jesus. Each year thousands of pilgrims travel to Graymoor to pay tribute at the St. Anthony Shrine. They come to pray, to light a candle, to seek St. Anthony’s intercession and to say thank you for favors granted.
In 2015, in recognition of the 55th Anniversary of the dedication of the Shrine, a Prayer Walkway of tribute bricks was initiated at the Shrine.