On 12th September 1985, Pope John Paul II visited the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua. On that occasion, he said: ‘Saint Anthony is a man of the Gospel. His whole life sets him apart as a man of limitless Christian holiness’.
In all Franciscan Churches throughout the world, St. Anthony was honoured on Sunday last, 13th June, on his feast day. Seven hundred and ninety years ago last Sunday, Anthony died at the age of thirty-six years. For almost eight hundred years people have been seeking his intercession, asking Anthony to pray to God on their behalf. Anthony is known as the saint who finds things for us. All of us have prayed to Anthony to find things that we have lost. Of course, there are many losses in life. It is far easier to find a lost article than heal a lost or wounded person.
We pray to Saint Anthony for people who have lost hard-earned money because of the financial recklessness of a few. We think of people who have lost their jobs with little hope of future employment. We pray for people who have lost their homes. We remember parents who have lost a child in death, through sickness, accidents, or suicide. Many people are lost because they have taken the wrong road in life. We pray for people who have left the Church and are looking for a way back.
Saint Anthony’s life and mission were to bring the message of Jesus to those who were lost, especially those seeking Jesus. Popular devotion has nominated him as the finder of lost objects. Anthony trusted totally in the providence of God. That is why we still pray to him and he seldom fails us.
From the Ennis Parish Newsletter –Adapted