Traditional St. Anthony of Padua, Hammer of Heretics

joseph-heintz-the-younger-st-anthony-of-padua-the-miracle-of-the-mulePurgatory 4This morning when I was in the chapel at my house to pray, I decided to shake out the rugs because some kid had spilled bread crumbs on the carpet.  So I did the first one.  Then I decided to clean the second one so that God’s room would be clean.  I found a scorpion under the rug and stepped on it and killed it.  St. Anthony helped me find it and kill it before the people kneeling in the Holy Latin Mass were someone could be stung by it. IMG_0051

St. Anthony of Padua was born in Lisbon Portugal of a noble family.  As so many saints, he gave up his position and wealth to follow the poor carpenter’s son, Jesus Christ.  He wanted to give his life as a martyr for Jesus at the hands of the muslims in Morocco. But God had other plans and he ended up in Italy preaching to catholics and heretics.  One great story is this one:

St. Anthony Pad_Rome_S. Maria in Aracoeli_1450s“The militant St. Anthony is the authentic one, depicting the way he lived on earth in his times and the way he is now in Heaven. But today his true moral physiognomy, which the Church presents as a model, has almost completely disappeared. The figure that replaced him is a sentimental one only concerned about giving graces and favors. There is a fundamental difference in the physical figure, but most of all, there is a fundamental difference in the moral figure of St. Anthony.

In addition to being honored with the aforementioned titles – Ark of the Covenant and Hammer of the Heretics – St. Anthony is also the Patron of the Army. The reason for that is linked to two incidents where, from Heaven, he intervened in a militant way.

The first was when a Spanish fleet was besieging the Muslim city of Oram and facing a long and fruitless siege. In such circumstance, the Spanish Admiral went to a statue of St. Anthony to ask his intercession. He told St. Anthony that he, the Admiral, could do nothing more without some extraordinary help. Then he turned over his insignias of command to the statue and placed his Admiral’s hat on its head. Then he asked St. Anthony to take command of the siege against Oram and conquer the city.

Soon after this, the Moors suddenly left the city. Some who were captured and interrogated related that they had seen a Friar coming from Heaven with an Admiral’s hat on his head. He threatened the Moors that he would send fire from Heaven upon them unless they left the city. In face of this peril, the Muslims found it more prudent to leave.” Prof. Plinio Correa de Oliveira

Baroque Monstrance croppedAnother great true story is that he was challenged to make a donkey kneel down before the Holy Eucharist to prove to an unbeliever that Jesus truly is in the Holy Communion.  The owner starved the donkey for three days and offered food to it at the same time St. Anthony showed the Blessed Sacrament.  The donkey ignored the food and got down on all four knees and adored Jesus.

Anthony_of_Padua_with_Christ_Child_2nd half 17th_Budapest, Museum of Fine ArtsAgain when heretics would not listen to his preaching at Rimini, he went to the sea and preached to fish who put their heads up to listen to St. Anthony telling them about the greatness of God.

When challenged to drink a liquid containing poison by heretics, he blessed the drink and drank it without any effect.

Another time in Rio de Janeiro the heretics where attacking the city.  A franciscan put the statue of St. Anthony on a pedestal in the city square.  This motivated many young men to begin to be involve in the battle and Brazil was saved from being taken over by the heretics.

When I was young I went to Brazil to work with the poor.  The nun Irma Dulce, was so devoted to St. Anthony.  All her places were named after St. Anthony.  There was St. Anthony Hospital and St. Anthony Orphanage.  I hear that they are in the process of canonizing Irma Dulce.  Working with her and the poor in Salvador Bahia had a lasting effect on my life.

Today I went to another pueblo to bless a chapel.  IMG_0061

We are so fortunate to be of the same catholic faith as St. Anthony and be at the Holy Latin Mass that St. Anthony offered everyday of his priesthood.  Also don’t forget to thank St. Anthony for all the times he has found things for you when you prayed with faith.IMG_0060A frog that we caught.IMG_0055IMG_0057