Monday, June 13, 2011


Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony

"Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints"

O Holy St. Anthony, gentlest of Saints,
your love for God and Charity for His creatures,
made you worthy, when on earth,
to possess miraculous powers.

Encouraged by this thought,
I implore you to obtain for me (request).

O gentle and loving St. Anthony,
whose heart was ever full of human sympathy,
whisper my petition into the ears of the sweet Infant Jesus,
who loved to be folded in your arms;
and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours.



June 13, 2011

Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua,
priest and doctor of the Church

Reading 1
2 Cor 6:1-10

Brothers and sisters:

As your fellow workers, we appeal to you
not to receive the grace of God in vain.
For he says:

In an acceptable time I heard you,
and on the day of salvation I helped you.

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.
We cause no one to stumble in anything,
in order that no fault may be found with our ministry;
on the contrary, in everything we commend ourselves
as ministers of God, through much endurance,
in afflictions, hardships, constraints,
beatings, imprisonments, riots,
labors, vigils, fasts;
by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness,
in the Holy Spirit, in unfeigned love, in truthful speech,
in the power of God;
with weapons of righteousness at the right and at the left;
through glory and dishonor, insult and praise.
We are treated as deceivers and yet are truthful;
as unrecognized and yet acknowledged;
as dying and behold we live;
as chastised and yet not put to death;
as sorrowful yet always rejoicing;
as poor yet enriching many;
as having nothing and yet possessing all things.

Responsorial Psalm
98:1, 2b, 3ab, 3cd-4

R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.

R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

In the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.

R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.

R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

Mt 5:38-42

Jesus said to his disciples:

“You have heard that it was said,
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic,
hand him your cloak as well.
Should anyone press you into service for one mile,
go with him for two miles.
Give to the one who asks of you,
and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.”


June 13

St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231)

The gospel call to leave everything and follow Christ was the rule of Anthony’s life. Over and over again God called him to something new in his plan. Every time Anthony responded with renewed zeal and self-sacrificing to serve his Lord Jesus more completely.

His journey as the servant of God began as a very young man when he decided to join the Augustinians in Lisbon, giving up a future of wealth and power to be a servant of God. Later, when the bodies of the first Franciscan martyrs went through the Portuguese city where he was stationed, he was again filled with an intense longing to be one of those closest to Jesus himself: those who die for the Good News.

So Anthony entered the Franciscan Order and set out to preach to the Moors. But an illness prevented him from achieving that goal. He went to Italy and was stationed in a small hermitage where he spent most of his time praying, reading the Scriptures and doing menial tasks.

The call of God came again at an ordination where no one was prepared to speak. The humble and obedient Anthony hesitantly accepted the task. The years of searching for Jesus in prayer, of reading sacred Scripture and of serving him in poverty, chastity and obedience had prepared Anthony to allow the Spirit to use his talents. Anthony’s sermon was astounding to those who expected an unprepared speech and knew not the Spirit’s power to give people words.

Recognized as a great man of prayer and a great Scripture and theology scholar, Anthony became the first friar to teach theology to the other friars. Soon he was called from that post to preach to the Albigensians in France, using his profound knowledge of Scripture and theology to convert and reassure those who had been misled.

After he led the friars in northern Italy for three years, he made his headquarters in the city of Padua. He resumed his preaching and began wrtiting sermon notes to help other preachers.


O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Invitatory Psalm
Psalm 94 (95)

Let us come before the Lord and proclaim our thanks.

– Let us come before the Lord and proclaim our thanks.

Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
let us acclaim God our salvation.
Let us come before him proclaiming our thanks,
let us acclaim him with songs.

– Let us come before the Lord and proclaim our thanks.

For the Lord is a great God,
a king above all gods.
For he holds the depths of the earth in his hands,
and the peaks of the mountains are his.
For the sea is his: he made it;
and his hands formed the dry land.

– Let us come before the Lord and proclaim our thanks.

Come, let us worship and bow down,
bend the knee before the Lord who made us;
for he himself is our God and we are his flock,
the sheep that follow his hand.

– Let us come before the Lord and proclaim our thanks.

If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
“Do not harden your hearts
as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
although they had seen my works.”

– Let us come before the Lord and proclaim our thanks.

“For forty years they wearied me,
that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
they will never enter my place of rest.”

– Let us come before the Lord and proclaim our thanks.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

– Let us come before the Lord and proclaim our thanks.


When God of old came down from heaven,
In power and wrath he came.
Before his feet the clouds were riven,
Half darkness and half flame;
But when he came the second time,
He came in power and love.
Softer than gale at morning prime
Hovered his holy Dove.
The fires that rushed on Sinai down
In sudden torrents dread,
Now gently light, a glorious crown,
On every sainted head.
And when the Spirit of our God
Came down his flock to find,
A voice from heaven was heard abroad,
A rushing, mighty wind.
It fills the Church of God, it fills
The sinful world around;
Only in stubborn hearts and wills
No place for it is found.
Come Lord, come Wisdom, Love and Power,
Open our ears to hear.
Let us not miss the accepted hour!
Save, Lord, by love or fear.

True reverence for the Lord
Psalm 49 (50)

Our God comes openly, he keeps silence no longer.

The Lord, the God of gods has spoken:
he has summoned the whole earth, from east to west.
God has shone forth from Zion in her great beauty.
Our God will come, and he will not be silent.
Before him, a devouring fire;
around him, a tempest rages.
He will call upon the heavens above, and on the earth, to judge his people.
“Bring together before me my chosen ones, who have sealed my covenant with sacrifice.”
The heavens will proclaim his justice; for God is the true judge.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Our God comes openly, he keeps silence no longer.
Psalm 49 (50)

Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God.

Listen, my people, and I will speak;
Israel, I will testify against you.
I am God, your God.
I will not reproach you with your sacrifices,
for your burnt offerings are always before me.
But I will not accept calves from your houses,
nor goats from your flocks.
For all the beasts of the forests are mine,
and in the hills, a thousand animals.
All the birds of the air – I know them.
Whatever moves in the fields – it is mine.
If I am hungry, I will not tell you;
for the whole world is mine, and all that is in it.
Am I to eat the flesh of bulls,
or drink the blood of goats?
Offer a sacrifice to God – a sacrifice of praise;
to the Most High, fulfil your vows.
Then you may call upon me in the time of trouble:
I will rescue you, and you will honour me.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

Pay your sacrifice of thanksgiving to God.
Psalm 49 (50)

I want love, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not holocausts.

To the sinner, God has said this:
Why do you recite my statutes?
Why do you dare to speak my covenant?
For you hate what I teach you,
and reject what I tell you.
The moment you saw a thief, you joined him;
you threw in your lot with adulterers.
You spoke evil with your mouth,
and your tongue made plans to deceive.
Solemnly seated, you denounced your own brother;
you poured forth hatred against your own mother’s son.
All this you did, and I was silent;
so you thought that I was just like you.
But I will reprove you –
I will confront you with all you have done.
Understand this, you who forget God;
lest I tear you apart, with no-one there to save you.
Whoever offers up a sacrifice of praise gives me true honour;
whoever follows a sinless path in life will be shown the salvation of God.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.

I want love, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not holocausts.
Listen, my people, and I shall speak.
– I am God, your God.

Judges 4:1-24

When Ehud died, once again the Israelites began to do what displeases the Lord, and the Lord handed them over to Jabin the king of Canaan who reigned at Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-ha-goiim.

Then the Israelites cried to the Lord; for Jabin had nine hundred chariots plated with iron and had cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years.

At this time Deborah was judge in Israel, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth. She used to sit under Deborah’s Palm between Ramah and Bethel in the highlands of Ephraim, and the Israelites would come to her to have their disputes decided. She sent for Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali. She said to him, ‘This is the order of the Lord, the God of Israel: “March to Mount Tabor and take with you ten thousand men from the sons of Naphtali and the sons of Zebulun. I will entice Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, to encounter you at the wadi Kishon with his chariots and troops; and I will put him into your power.”’ Barak answered her, ‘If you come with me, I will go; if you will not come, I will not go, for I do not know how to choose the day when the angel of the Lord will grant me success.’ ‘I will go with you then,’ she said ‘but, the way you are going about it, the glory will not be yours; for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.’ Then Deborah stood up and went with Barak to Kedesh, and there Barak summoned Zebulun and Naphtali. Ten thousand men marched behind him, and Deborah marched with him.

Heber the Kenite had cut himself off from the tribe of Kain and the clan of the sons of Hobab, the father-in-law of Moses; he had pitched his tent near the Oak of Zaanannim, not far from Kedesh.

When Sisera heard that Barak son of Abinoam was encamped on Mount Tabor, he called for all his chariots – nine hundred chariots plated with iron – and all the troops he had. He summoned them from Harosheth-ha-goiim to the wadi Kishon. Deborah said to Barak, ‘Up! For today is the day the Lord has put Sisera into your power. Yes, the Lord marches at your head.’ And Barak charged down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men behind him. At Barak’s advance, the Lord struck terror into Sisera, all his chariots and all his troops. Sisera leapt down from his chariot and fled on foot. Barak pursued the chariots and the army as far as Harosheth-ha-goiim. Sisera’s whole army fell by the edge of the sword; not one man escaped.

Sisera meanwhile fled on foot towards the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite. For there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the family of Heber the Kenite. Jael came out to meet Sisera and said to him, ‘My lord, stay here with me; do not be afraid!’ He stayed there in her tent, and she covered him with a rug. He said to her, ‘Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.’ She opened the skin that had milk in it, gave him some to drink and covered him up again. Then he said to her, ‘Stand at the tent door, and if anyone comes and questions you – if he asks, “Is there a man here?,” say, “No” .’ But Jael the wife of Heber took a tent-peg, and picked up a mallet; she crept up softly to him and drove the peg into his temple right through to the ground. He was lying fast asleep, worn out; and so he died. And now Barak came up in pursuit of Sisera. Jael went out to meet him and said, ‘Come in, and I will show you the man you are looking for.’ He went into her tent; Sisera lay dead, with the tent-peg through his temple.

Thus God that day humbled Jabin the king of Canaan before the Israelites. And the Israelites bore down more and more heavily on Jabin the king of Canaan, until he was utterly destroyed.


God chose what the world considers weak, in order to bring down powerful men. This means that pride has no place in God’s presence: his power is strongest when we are weak.

God chose what the world counts as nothing; he uses it to overthrow the existing order. His power is strongest when we are weak.

A sermon by St Antony of Padua

Actions speak louder than words

The man who is filled with the Holy Spirit speaks in different languages. These different languages are different ways of witnessing to Christ, such as humility, poverty, patience and obedience; we speak in those languages when we reveal in ourselves these virtues to others. Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak. We are full of words but empty of actions, and therefore are cursed by the Lord, since he himself cursed the fig tree when he found no fruit but only leaves. Gregory says: “A law is laid upon the preacher to practise what he preaches.” It is useless for a man to flaunt his knowledge of the law if he undermines its teaching by his actions.

But the apostles spoke as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech. Happy the man whose words issue from the Holy Spirit and not from himself! For some men speak as their own character dictates, but steal the words of others and present them as their own and claim the credit for them. The Lord refers to such men and others like them in Jeremiah: So, then, I have a quarrel with the prophets that steal my words from each other. I have a quarrel with the prophets, says the Lord, who have only to move their tongues to utter oracles. I have a quarrel with the prophets who make prophecies out of lying dreams, who recount them and lead my people astray with their lies and their pretensions. I certainly never sent them or commissioned them, and they serve no good purpose for this people, says the Lord.

We should speak, then, as the Holy Spirit gives us the gift of speech. Our humble and sincere request to the Spirit for ourselves should be that we may bring the day of Pentecost to fulfilment, insofar as he infuses us with his grace, by using our bodily senses in a perfect manner and by keeping the commandments. Likewise we shall request that we may be filled with a keen sense of sorrow and with fiery tongues for confessing the faith, so that our deserved reward may be to stand in the blazing splendour of the saints and to look upon the triune God.


The saint will blossom like the lily; he will flourish for ever in the presence of our God.
He will be praised by all God’s people; he will flourish for ever in the presence of our God.

Let us pray.

Almighty- ever-living God, you gave Saint Antony of Padua to your people as a preacher of great power and a patron in their needs.

Grant that, with his help, we may follow a Christian way of life, and feel your aid in all our trials.

We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.