Perhaps the three most well-known Franciscan saints are Francis, of course, Clare of Assisi, and Anthony of Padua. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the similarities between Francis and his early follower, Anthony.
For many people the most famous thing about Saint Anthony of Padua is his reputation as a wonder-worker. He’s brought happiness to many believers, for example, by helping them find their lost wedding rings or car keys.
Prayer Triune God, we thank you for drawing us to yourself through the gift of your grace and the example of the saints, especially Anthony of Padua. Lead us to follow him in never fearing that you might ask for a conversion beyond what we can offer you, our ever-gracious God. Amen.
Prayer 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.
Prayer Lord Jesus, when you wanted to give your disciples an unforgettable example of servant leadership, you washed their feet. Help us always to remember that your power is never given to anyone for its own sake but always for the service of our sisters and brothers. Show us how to speak your truth in love, whatever the circumstances. Amen.
Prayer Loving God, in many ways you prepared Anthony to be an outstanding preacher of your grace and mercy. His actions never undercut what he had just preached. Help us constantly to witness by word and deed to your unfailing love, constantly inviting others to embrace your overflowing love and forgiveness. Amen.
Prayer Lord Jesus, you were a master teacher through your words and deeds. Give us the humility to draw closer to you, especially through the study of your self-revelation in the Bible. Help us quiet our self-assurance long enough to allow your liberating word to take deeper root in our hearts. We ask this also in the name of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Prayer O God, lover of the human family, help us to overcome our fear of drawing closer to you, a fear that a deeper conversion will be required of us. Lead us to the delights of living generously in your grace, no matter where it may lead us and no matter what changes it may inspire us to make. All glory and praise to you forever. Amen.
Prayer God of infinite love and compassion, you inspired Saint Anthony to be a missionary, willing to lay down his life in spreading your Good News. In Baptism, you have made us missionaries. Show us how to live your Good News with zeal and humility, neither one cancelling out the other. May each of these virtues lead us to accept any change of plans that you may have in store for us. Amen.
Prayer Loving God, You wanted to reveal yourself to the human family by means of your inspired word, the Scriptures. Give us hearts able to resist the temptation, as Anthony did, to reinforce what we like there and minimize what we find extremely challenging, whatever will require a deeper conversion on our part. Amen.