Every week, I receive prayer petitions that are sent along with St. Anthony Messenger magazine subscription renewals. The prayer petition slips are about the size of a number 10 envelope. The last batch that I received weighed 14 pounds when they were mailed to me. That is a lot of prayer petitions!
I deliver all of the petitions we receive to Brother Norbert at St. Anthony Shrine, where I reside. Brother Norbert is in charge of the sacristy, the chapel, and the outdoor shrine. He takes the petitions from me and places them in the National Shrine of St. Anthony Chapel, right behind the statue of St. Anthony.
In addition to the mailed petitions, a digital display in the shrine chapel scrolls over prayer petitions from all over the world. While I am waiting for the leader to start the opening hymn for the Mass, I usually spend a few minutes reading the prayers that were sent on the Shrine’s website, as they scroll past on the screen. The petitions are a significant part of my daily prayer. The prayers come from all over the world--from all 50 states of the United States, countries in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa.
There are certain themes that appear to be a part of human life throughout the world. Concerns about health, parents, children, employment, success at school, board exams, and so forth. Sometimes the petitions are prayers for peace, justice, and victims of war and natural disaster.
All these petitions are on my mind as I move to the altar singing the entrance hymn for Mass. The petitions inspire me to pray with all who send their petitions to the shrine from all over the world. The prayer petitions are a major testimony to faith.
Would you like to submit a petition to the St. Anthony Shrine? If so, just click here.