News from San Antonio Church – June 13, 2021

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Weekly Bulletin June 13, 2021

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday we honor and celebrate the feast of our Patron Saint, St. Anthony (1195-1231) Catholic priest and Friar of the Franciscan Order.  Born Fernando de Bulhoes  into a noble family in Lisbon, Portugal, he  entered the Augustine Monastery in Coimbra, Portugal at the age of 15.  With a dedication to his studies, scripture and theological writings, Fernando  joined the Canons Regular of St. Augustine for the next ten years of his life.  He knew of the Franciscan Brothers who became Missionaries and wanted to follow them in their work.  He was given permission to join the Order of Friars Minor choosing the name Anthony with orders  to Morocco as a Missionary to convert Muslims to Christians.  On his journey, Anthony became ill on arriving in Morocco and as he set sail to return home, the ship was blown off course  landing in  Sicily where he stayed until he recovered.  At the request of the Franciscans, he was called to Assisi for their General Chapter Meeting in 1221 A.D.  At that time he studied continuously and increased his wisdom about the scriptures and all the doctrines he had studied earlier. 

Inspired by St. Francis of Assisi who founded the Franciscan Order, Anthony became a powerful  gifted preacher with his sermons reaching many followers, even St. Francis.  He wrote many scholarly works between 1224 and 1230, but will always be known for his sermons that were held outdoors to accommodate the massive crowds.  Anthony would pray late into the night while speaking to the Child Jesus and reaching out to him which is now depicted in all St. Anthony Statues as he holds the Child Jesus.  In Padua, Anthony worked to preach, save souls and reform laws throughout the city.  He died in Padua on June 13, 1231 at the age of 35 and was Canonized on May 30, 1232 in Spoleto, Italy by Pope Gregory IX.  He became known for the miracles he performed through his intercession and is considered the patron saint of oppressed people, lost articles, elderly people and shipwrecks.  In 1692, Spanish Missionaries along with Franciscan Chaplain Fr. Damien Massanet  founded a mission in a small community that eventually became San Antonio, Texas.  By the year 1787, 25 Mission Stations were established.

Today we celebrate his feast, our church and the blessing of St. Anthony Bread in his honor.  Please be generous with your donations as all monies from the bread and the blue ribbon around the St. Anthony Statue will be presented to the Franciscan Missions.

Monday, June 14th is Flag Day to honor the United States Flag and to commemorate the flag’s adoption in 1777 by the Continental Congress of the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of the United States of America.  The National Flag Day Foundation will hold an observance today with a program including a ceremonial of the national flag, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the National Anthem. It reminds us of the foundation of the nation’s freedom and our loyalty to the nation.  In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation to officially establish June 14th as Flag Day.  National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress in 1949.

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