Feast Day of Saint Anthony of Padua
Catholic Feast days are days set aside
to remember important people who lived extrodinary lives.
Feast day were celebrated through the course of Our faith
from the time of Mary's birth all the way through today
honoring the saints. Most saints and holy people have specially
designated feast days. On those days we remember these holy
men and women in a special way. Saint
Anthony of Padua died on June 13th, 1231, which is his feast
Customs of St. Anthony's Festival
On the Feast of this most wonderful of Saints, your
priest might bless lilies for you to keep (this isn't a
universal practice). The blessing of lilies, which remind
us of St. Anthony's purity and have always been a symbol
for him, stems from a miracle which took place in Revolutionary
France: many priests and religious were murdered, so many
churches and convents destroyed, but the faithful still
showed up at a surviving church on the Feast of St. Anthony.
Months later, it was discovered that lilies that had adorned
the church at that feast were still fresh. Let the lilies
beautify your house, or carry them with you, or press them
in a book, etc. If your priest doesn't bless lilies, you
can still use them non-sacramentally to remind you of one
of the greatest Saints ever. The English of the Blessing
of the Lilies is as follows:
The Blessing of Lilies on the Feast of St. Anthony
The priest vests in surplice and white stole, and says:
P: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
P: The Lord be with you.
All: And with thy spirit.
P: Let us pray. God, the Creator and Preserver of the human
race, the Lover of holy purity, the Giver of supernatural
grace, and the Dispenser of everlasting salvation; bless
+ these lilies which we, Thy humble servants, present to
Thee today as an act of thanksgiving and in honor of St.
Anthony, Thy confessor, and with a request for Thy blessing.
Pour out on them, by the saving sign + of the holy cross,
Thy dew from on high. Thou in Thy great kindness hast given
them to man, and endowed them with a sweet fragrance to
lighten the burden of the sick. Therefore, let them be filled
with such power that, whether they are used by the sick,
or kept in homes or other places, or devoutly carried on
one's person, they may serve to drive out evil spirits,
safeguard holy chastity, and turn away illness--all this
through the prayers of St. Anthony--and finally impart to
Thy servants grace and peace; through Christ our Lord.
Then he sprinkles the lilies with holy water, saying:
P: Sprinkle me with hyssop, Lord, and I shall be clean of
sin. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Pray for
us, St. Anthony.
All: That we may be worthy of Christ's promise.
P: Let us pray. We beg Thee, O Lord, that Thy people may
be helped by the constant and devout intercession of Blessed
Anthony, Thy illustrious confessor. May he assist us to
be worthy of Thy grace in this life, and to attain everlasting
joys in the life to come; through Christ our Lord.
After this the lilies are distributed to the people.
Another custom on this day is known as "St. Anthony's
Bread" and goes back to A.D. 1263 when a child
drowned near the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua as it
was still being built. The mother besought St. Anthony and
promised that if her child were restored to life, she would
give to the poor an amount of wheat equal to the weight
of her child. Of course her son was saved, and her promise
was kept. "St. Anthony's Bread," then, is the
promise of giving alms in return for a favor asked of God
through St. Anthony's intercession (the custom also takes
place throughout the year when parents give alms after placing
their baby under the patronage of St. Anthony). In some
places, the custom has a literal parallel in that loaves
of bread might be blessed and given away at church or, generally,
to the poor.
Because of St. Anthony's history of being invoked by
single women in search of a husband, today is a good
day for single people who have a vocation to marriage to
make a visit to a church or shrine dedicated to St. Anthony!
In Lisbon, his birthplace, it is a traditional day for
getting married (women who get married on this day are called
"brides of St. Anthony"). So popular are weddings
on this day in Lisbon, that the city hall hosts them for
free if the couple are poor. St. Anthony altars are built
and decorated, parades are held, bonfires lit, grilled sardines
and sangria are enjoyed.
1 (750-ml) bottle red wine (Rioja, if possible)
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 cup orange flavored liqueur (triple sec or Grand Marnier)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 orange, thinly sliced
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1 unwaxed apple, cored, and cut into thin wedges
1 (750-ml) bottle sparkling water, chilled
Combine everything but the sparkling water in a large plastic
container or glass pitchers. Cover and chill completely,
1 to 2 hours. When ready to serve, add the sparkling water,
pour over ice cubes, and enjoy.
It is also customary to decorate with pots of sweet
basil (Ocimum basilicum) and to give some away to friends
with prayers invoking our Saint (tea made from basil is
good for headaches, fevers, stomach aches, and indigestion
-- but it should not be drunk by pregnant women).
Finally, because he is also especially cherished by the
Italian people, parishes with large Italian populations
might host great festivals on this day, rather like the
Italian festivals held in honor of St. Joseph on 19 March,
so keep an eye out for one in your area.
Note: Because St. Anthony was buried on a Tuesday
and many miracles accompanied his funeral, Tuesdays are
special days of honoring him throughout the year. It is
customary to pray a Novena to him on thirteen consecutive
Join us on
Quotes of St.
Anthony of Padua