Jesus always came first with St. Anthony of Padua – and he preached his love for our Savior wherever he went
Reflections on the readings for the Memorial of St. Anthony of Padua (June 13, 2019): 2 COR 3:15 – 4:1,3-6; PS 85:9,10,11-12,13-14; MT 5:20-26
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
Born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1195, the holy man we know as St. Anthony of Padua, spent the 35 years of his life doing everything that God asked of him.
This was true even when it meant giving up his personal desires. After several years as an Augustinian, he joined the Franciscans with the hope of becoming a foreign missionary – and a martyr. He did neither. When sickness kept Anthony from travelling to Africa, he was assigned to menial tasks in a small hermitage where he studied the Scriptures and prayed. His extraordinary talent for preaching was revealed at a service when no one had prepared a sermon. “We do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your slaves for the sake of Jesus. For God who said, Let light shine out of darkness, has shone in our hearts to bring to light the knowledge of the glory of God on the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:5-6). Anthony spent the rest of his days speaking to large crowds where he converted sinners, spoke out against heretical beliefs and urged all who heard him to live as faithful followers of our Savior.
St. Francis of Assisi appointed Anthony to teach theology to his fellow friars. He was also commissioned to collect a number of his sermons into a book to assist other speakers. Known for his gentleness and humility, St. Anthony of Padua was canonized less than a year after his death. Loved by virtually all he met, Anthony is still widely known and honored around the world.