giugno 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聽in the Christian people聽our聽Catholic Truth. Ofthe life of this witness of God's omnipotence we know a lot,聽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,聽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聽happenings聽and therefore innocent. His wife had a defensedeposition聽prepared by a lawyer with the request for pardon attached. As was to be expected, the document was rejected.聽 The聽woman, grieved, did the only thing still possible for her: an act of faith.聽She went to the church of San Lorenzo Maggiore and left the paper document in front of the altar of Sant鈥橝ntonio da Padova.

The next day the聽deposition聽was signed and her husband was released. The news leaked, leaving all those who learned about it baffled. The vice king,聽questioned about it,聽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,"聽but when he arrived at the altar,聽placed聽up聽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,聽animated by trust聽in聽prayer.

St. Anthony of Padua and the mule of the heretic

The saint, known as the 鈥hammer聽of heretics,鈥 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鈥檚 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聽renounce聽my ideas and submit to the faith you profess.鈥

鈥淚 accept the challenge,鈥 St. Anthony immediately replied, full of confidence in the omnipotence and mercy of the Divine Master.

鈥淗ere鈥檚 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聽alike, were

trembling about that unusual appointment. Nearby, in a chapel, Brother Anthony celebrated Holy Mass with angelic fervor.

The Albigensian arrived, pushing his mule, while a person brought the animal鈥檚 favorite grains. A crowd of heretics escorted聽them, savoring the victory聽they聽took for granted.

At that moment St. Anthony left the chapel, holding the ciborium with the Blessed Sacrament in his hand. A sacred silence聽cutthrough the air. Turning to the mule, he said aloud:

鈥淚n the name and by the power of your Creator, whom despite my unworthiness I really have present in my hands, I order you, poor animal: come without delay to bow with humility before Him. Heretics must recognize that every creature submits to Jesus Christ, God the Creator, whom the Catholic priest has the honor of bringing down to the altar!鈥

At the same time, the Albigense put the oats under the mouth of the hungry mule, inciting her聽to eat.
Oh, prodigy! Without paying any attention to the fodder that was offered to her, listening to nothing but the voice of Brother Anthony, the animal bent down feeling the name of Jesus Christ, and then knelt before the Sacrament of Life, as if to adore him.
Seeing this, Catholics exploded in displays of enthusiasm, while the Albigensians were amazed and confused.
The master of the mule, keeping the word given to St. Anthony, abjured heresy and became a faithful son of the Catholic Church.

Of course this supernatural event is not聽exactly鈥減olitically correct鈥 with regard to a certain ecumenism, but who would ever dare to contradict God and His beloved Anthony? And above all, let us look to us who often receive Jesus the Eucharist without the right disposition of mind,聽and with lack of respect--聽if not even faith.
Recalling the life of the great Saint Anthony of Padua we should remember that prayer puts an end to what we label as 鈥渋mpossible鈥. This omnipotence accessible to us is certainly not magic; it costs the bold courage of faith, the heroic virtue of perseverance, the tears of penance... but gains the unimaginable.
This is what the saints teach us,聽and we absolutely must learn and practice聽it聽in this life.

Taken from a book on the prayer I am completing, I聽share聽my invocation to the Franciscan saint composed by me, wishing you all the good that God wants you.

Beloved St. Anthony, "Evangelical Doctor,"who for 35 years spread graces and miracles,at your passing聽enriching the聽World聽of Truth that only Jesus Christ is, enrich our souls with the聽air聽of Peace that in Heaven you breathe in the beatific vision.
You who experienced the ineffable caresses of the Child Jesus whom Mary Most Holy was pleased to keep聽near her heart,聽grant that the Graces we implore are given to us, through your powerful intercession, in order to聽also聽experience those caresses聽of the divine Child聽and to love Him more and praise Him聽again and again.
Grant to聽us, dear Anthony, your heavenly help,聽so that we may聽not聽be miserable and unworthy;聽from ourselves we cannot attain these holy goods.

Amen.


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