June 13, 2022 5 min read
St. Anthony of Padua, or Lisbon, is a saint known and loved all over the world.
Countless are the graces that through his intercession God has granted to those who have prayed and invoked him with faith. Enormous and extraordinary are the historical facts of a miraculous nature that have faithfully been handed down to confirm in the Christian people our Catholic Truth. Ofthe life of this witness of God's omnipotence we know a lot, and considering that believers need corroborating examples to meditate on, I would like to recall two miraculous events that will only be good for our souls.
The day St. Anthony of Padua miraculously descended to Naples
In Naples, in 1623, minions and dealers of counterfeit coins were exposed and subsequently arrested. The city, at the time, was ruled by Deputy King Antonio Alvarez Toledo, 5th Duke of Alba. The forgers were tried with some superficiality and sentenced to the gallows. The vice king forbade anyone from entering the palace to ask for pardon, which would not be granted to any of the accused. Among them was a family man unrelated to the happenings and therefore innocent. His wife had a defensedeposition prepared by a lawyer with the request for pardon attached. As was to be expected, the document was rejected. The woman, grieved, did the only thing still possible for her: an act of faith. She went to the church of San Lorenzo Maggiore and left the paper document in front of the altar of Sant’Antonio da Padova.
The next day the deposition was signed and her husband was released. The news leaked, leaving all those who learned about it baffled. The vice king, questioned about it, declared that he had received the visit of a young friar, of good looks and surprising culture, who provided him with certain proof of the innocence of the young man. The same religious had with him the document that Toledo signed. The vice king later decided to go to San Lorenzo Maggiore to meet that good and charismatic Franciscan again. He asked the friar, "Let's look at the information," but when he arrived at the altar, placed up in the left transept he recognized with immense amazement the young priest who had visited him. A friar who died and was canonized about 400 years earlier, and who had entered the Palace ignoring the guards and closed doors.
This historical fact teaches us that Faith not only moves mountains, but brings the saints down from heaven to get us what we ask them, animated by trust in prayer.
St. Anthony of Padua and the mule of the heretic
The saint, known as the “hammer of heretics,” was challenged by one of them who did not believe in the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Eucharist:
“Enough with words, let’s go to deeds. If by any miracle you can prove before all the people that the body of Christ is truly present in the consecrated Host, I will renounce my ideas and submit to the faith you profess.”
“I accept the challenge,” St. Anthony immediately replied, full of confidence in the omnipotence and mercy of the Divine Master.
“Here’s what I propose: I have a mule at home. After leaving her closed for three days without food I will take her to this square. In the presence of everyone, I will offer you an abundant amount of oats to eat. And you will present to her what you say to be the body of Jesus Christ. If the hungry animal abandons food to run towards that God who according to your doctrine must be worshipped by all creatures, I will believe with all my heart in the teaching of the Catholic Church."
On the appointed day, people flocked from all over, filling the square where the great trial would take place. Everyone, Catholics and heretics alike, were
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