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St. Anthony of Padua

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

In the church of St. Peter in Chicago's Loop, there are several shrines along the "side aisles." The sanctuary of the church is flanked by two shrines, one dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi and the other dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua. The church is staffed by friars of the Franciscan Order. Each Tuesday, the presiders lead the assembly in the traditional prayers invoking St. Anthony as intercessor and evangelical man.

According to his biographers, St. Anthony was buried on a Tuesday. While his impressive funeral cortege worked its way through the city of Padua, the crowd witnessed many miracles of healing as the saint's body was carried to its final resting place. Tuesday became a special day of the week for the townspeople who began to congregate at St. Anthony's tomb every Tuesday.

Hundreds of years later, when the custom of visiting his grave on Tuesday had been forgotten, a childless woman who had been married for twenty-two years prayed at the tomb and asked St. Anthony to intercede on her behalf. The saint is said to have appeared to her and asked her to come to his tomb for nine consecutive Tuesdays. When she completed the novena, she found herself with child. Ever since that time, the custom of praying the novena has been observed in most Franciscan sanctuaries.

Part of the Tuesday devotion includes the famous responsory or sequence in honor of St. Anthony:

 

If you seek for miracles,

Death, error, all calamities,

The demons fly, and leprosy,

And health succeeds infirmities.

 

The sea obeys and fetters break,

And lifeless limbs thou dost restore;

Whilst treasures lost are found again,

When young and old thine aid implore.

 

All dangers vanish at thy prayer,

The direst need doth quickly flee.

Let those who know thy power proclaim,

Let Paduans say these are of thee.

 

The sea obeys and fetters break,

And lifeless limbs thou dost restore;

Whilst treasures lost are found again,

When young and old thine aid implore.

 

To Father, Son may glory be

And Holy Ghost eternally.

 

The sea obeys and fetters break,

And lifeless limbs thou dost restore;

Whilst treasures lost are found again,

When young and old thine aid implore.

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