Lord Jesus, Scripture tells us that you were like us in every way—except sin. We know, however, that you did not live long enough to enjoy a time of retirement. Lead us to appreciate every season of life, always able to see your loving providence at work—even if it may seem at times to be hiding. Amen.
Anthony’s retirement as provincial minister lasted less than a year. He spent most of that time writing sermon notes for the feasts of major saints. He had already written sermon notes for Sundays, holy days of obligation, and feasts of Mary. In those years the same Scripture readings were used every year, for example, on the First Sunday of Advent.
Anthony’s last sermon notes were for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul(June 29). Anthony had retired to the village of Camposampiero; a friend had constructed a hermitage for him in a walnut tree.
When he knew that his health was seriously declining, he asked to be taken back to Padua. In fact, he died along the way at the Poor Clare monastery in Arcella. The local people understandably wanted him buried there. The friars, however, managed to bring his body back to Padua where construction of the present basilica began immediately.
Father Luke Belludi, Anthony’s companion on his last preaching journeys, lived for another 30 years and served as a living link to the man who was formally canonized within 12 months of his death—a record that still stands.
Am I willing to be mentored? To mentor someone?
In Anthony’s Own Words
“No one is closer to us than he who healed our wounds. For the Head is one with his members. Let us therefore love him as our Lord and God.”