Feast of St. Anthony of Padua
2 Corinthians 5:14-21
Saint Anthony of Padua is probably the second best-known and loved of all the Franciscan saints. He was born near the end of the 12th century in Lisbon, and lived only until the year 1231– a lifespan similar to that of St. Francis. He lived a full and fruitful life, however.
Ordained for the Augustinian community, he transferred shortly afterwards to the Friars Minor. He wanted to be a missionary among the African peoples, but God had other things in mind. He taught theology in Bologna, Italy. His greatest glory was his preaching, which brought many people back to Christ. Known as a "father of the poor", he lived out Francis’ love of "Lady Poverty" by making sure as many poor as he and his brothers could help had daily bread.
Anthony’s most popular attribute, however, is helping people to find lost or misplaced articles…those keys, eyeglasses or purses or wallets we sometimes misplace. On a deeper level, he represents for us someone who has taken to heart Paul’s words to us in our selection today from Second Corinthians: "And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and has given us the ministry of reconciliation." Anthony lived out the ministry of reconciliation by preaching God’s love, by helping to feed the poor and living his community life. May we do so also, thanking God for sharing in this ministry.
Fr. Bob Bovenzi, C.P. is stationed in Chicago, Illinois.