St. Anthony 

Blessing of St. Anthony May the Lord bless you and take you into His keeping, may He show you His countenance, and take pity on you, may He turn His eyes towards you and give you His peace

Saint Anthony of Padua’s Story

The gospel call to leave everything and follow Christ was the rule of Saint Anthony of Padua’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 by their denial of Christ’s divinity and of the sacraments..

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 writing sermon notes to help other preachers. In the spring of 1231 Anthony withdrew to a friary at Camposampiero where he had a sort of treehouse built as a hermitage. There he prayed and prepared for death.

On June 13, he became very ill and asked to be taken back to Padua, where he died after receiving the last sacraments. Anthony was canonized less than a year later and named a Doctor of the Church in 1946.

Dear St. Anthony, you have always helped those who pray to you with confidence.  I now pray to you fervently for a sick person who is dear to me.  I beg you to obtain the gift of a cure, in order that he (she) may praise the wonders of God, or at least that his (her) sufferings may be lessened and that he (she) have the strength of Christian resignation and surrender to the will of God.  You who during your earthly life had been the friend of the suffering and had spent your life for them with charity and with the gift of miracles, remain near to us with your protection, console our heart and grant that our physical and mental sufferings be a source of merit for eternal life.  Amen.

Come Holy Spirit. Creator blest,lillies2a
And in our hearts take up Thy rest:
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid:
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.
St. Anthony, powerful in word and work:
Grant what we ask of thee.
St. Anthony, our patron and advocate,
Grant us what we ask of thee.
St. Anthony attentive of those who invoke thee,
Grant us what we ask of thee.
St. Anthony, whom the Infant Jesus so much loved:
Grant us what we ask of thee.
O holy St. Anthony, gentlest of saints, your love for God, and charity for your neighbour made you worthy when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your word, which you were ever ready to speak, for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this thought, I implore of you, to obtain for me, my request (mention it). The answer to my prayer, may require a miracle: even so you are the saint of miracles. O gentle, and loving St. Anthony, whose heart was ever full of human sympathy, intercede for me, and the gratitude of my heart, will ever be yours. Amen.

Be mindful dear St. Anthony that you have always helped and consoled whoever sought your help in necessity.  Encouraged by the great confidence and by the certainty of not praying in vain, I too come to you who are so rich in merits before the Lord.  Do not refuse my prayer, but grant that, through your intercession, it reaches the throne of God.  Come to my help in my present distress and necessity, and obtain for me my request.  Bless my work and my family, keep far from it sickness and dangers of soul and body.  Grant that in time of suffering and trial, I may remain strong in faith and in the love of God.  Amen.

Most dear and faithful servant of Christ, blessed Anthony to whom God has granted such favours that through your intercession lost temporal goods have been recovered, pray for me that I may acquire and keep peace of mind, with light and knowledge to discern good from evil, and truth from error.  So that being delivered from all evil scruples, darkness and uneasiness of mind and conscience, I may faithfully serve my God and Saviour, who is worthy of all honour and glory, with peace of mind, purity of conscience and justice of life.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Glorious St. Anthony, divinely filled with the science of the saints, we place all students under your powerful protection.  After your example may their knowledge be grounded in the hearts of Jesus and Mary.  With the aid of your prayers may they perform their studies as a matter of duty, in the spirit of penance and with pure intention.  Implore the Father of Light to grant them a quick understanding, a safe judgement and a faithful memory.  Obtain for them the grace to work with patience, method and constancy; to develop the gifts they received from God, and to employ them to His greater glory. Pray God to bless their efforts, granting them success in their task, and keeping them humble in the midst of success.  Amen.

St. Anthony, our father dear,
We meet around thy feet once more,
Your boundless graces to proclaim,
And make them sound from shore to shore.
St. Anthony, O hear our prayer,
Thy loving children, ask thy care.
Oh, ye who for great wonders seek,
Go visit once his sacred shrine,
Ah, there you’ll find that even death,
Has yielded to his power sublime,
St. Anthony, O hear our prayer,
Thy loving children ask thy care.

St. Anthony’s Church Athlone

The Franciscan Church Athlone was dedicated to St Anthony of Padua in 1932, which incorporates a beautiful shrine to St Francis and St Anthony on the left hand side as you approach the main altar.

A perpetual novena mass in honour of St Anthony is celebrated every Tuesday morning and evening in the Friary.