News from San Antonio Church – June 9, 2024

We would like to thank everyone who has continued to contribute to the ongoing expenses of San Antonio Church by mailing in their weekly envelopes or by contributing electronically utilizing WeShare . The buttons at the bottom of this post allow you to make online donations directly to the listed account for San Antonio Church.

Weekly Bulletin June 9, 2024

by Terrie Evans

On this Sunday we celebrate the devotion to our patron St. Anthony of Padua, feast day Thursday, June 13th with our tradition of offering St. Anthony’s Bread to our parishioners.  This act of charity dates back to the 13th century when a mother prayed for the intercession of St. Anthony for a miracle for her child.  When her child recovered, she wanted to return the favor to St. Anthony by giving alms to those families in need.  The Franciscan Order has always encouraged the act of charity as a thanksgiving to St. Anthony to help with their charitable endeavors and all funds received today to be presented to their Order as we celebrate the feast of St. Anthony on this 2nd week of June.  Our Patron Saint was born Fernando Martins de Bulhoes on August 15, 1195, who became known as Anthony of Padua or Anthony of Lisbon.  Born to a noble family, Fernando entered the Augustinian Community of Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross at the Abbey of St. Vincent.  In 1212 at the age of 17 he transferred to the Monastery of the Holy Cross in Coimbra, the capital of Portugal to study Theology and Latin.  After his ordination Fernando obtained permission from church authorities to leave the Canons Regular to join the new Franciscan Order, taking the name Anthony from the chapel located nearby, dedicated to Anthony the Great. Fernando, now Anthony was attracted to the simple lifestyle of the order that had been founded only 11 years earlier as he desired to join them for their mission work in Morocco.  When he arrived in Morocco, Anthony became seriously ill and was set on returning to Portugal when the ship he was on went off course and landed in Sicily.  He made his way to Tuscany and was assigned to the rural hermitage of San Paolo, a short distance from Forli, Romagna.  It was in the town of Forli in 1222 where Anthony became known for his preaching abilities, deep knowledge of scripture and his eloquence in delivering his message that soon made an impression on his audience.  The local minister provincial to the Franciscan province, Brother Gratian called on Anthony to be based in Bologna where he caught the attention of the founder of the Order, Francis of Assisi.  In 1224, Anthony was entrusted with the care of all the friars to guide them in the pursuit of their studies. 

It was in Bologna that the practice of Praying to St. Anthony for help in finding lost or stolen things occurred when a hand copied book, an item of high value and hard to replace, containing Anthony’s notes for use in tutoring his students went missing.  Anthony prayed it would be returned to him and after being located is now preserved in the Franciscan Friary in Bologna.  Anthony went on to teaching positions in the south of France where his preaching was considered to be his supreme gift calling his preaching “The grandeur of Christianity.”  When Anthony returned to Italy, he was appointed Provincial Superior of Northern Italy and chose the city of Padua as his base.  In 1228 Anthony served as envoy to Pope Gregory IX and while preaching at the papal court was hailed as a “Jewel case of the Bible”. In 1231 Anthony went to a woodland retreat while suffering ergotism, the sickness attributed to eating grain products, mostly rye that is contaminated with fungus.  In the Middle Ages the gangrenous poisoning was known as “St. Anthony’s Fire” named for the monks from the Order of St. Anthony who were successful in treating the aliment.   After much suffering, Anthony died on the way back to Padua from a retreat at Camposampiero in the company of two other friars.  He died at the Poor Clares Monastery at Arcella on June 13, 1231, at the age of 35 and at his request, Anthony was buried at the small church of Santa Maria Mater Domini near a convent that he founded.  A year after his death because of his popularity, a large basilica was constructed with the smaller church incorporated into the structure as the Cappella della Madonna Mora, the Chapel of the Dark Madonna.  The basilica is known as Il Santo-The Saint with Anthony’s tomb lying behind the altar of his chapel in the north transept of the Basilica that displays 9 reliefs that line the walls.  St.  Anthony is shown holding the baby Jesus or a book and is often depicted saving victims from various accidents.   

Many miracles have been attributed to him with his Beatification and Canonization took place on May 30, 1232, a year after his death in Spoleto, Italy by Pope Gregory IX.  Anthony became one of the most important saints in Albania due to the arrival of the Franciscans in 1240 who spread the word of the saint.  The St. Anthony Church in Albania was built in his honor with many making a pilgrimage to his church every year by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Muslim Albanians.  St. Anthony is known as the marriage saint in Portugal, Spain and Brazil and legends exist for his intercession to reconcile couples.   Pope Pius XIII named St. Anthony Doctor of the Church on January 16, 1946.   The National Shrine of St. Anthony of Padua is located in the Philippines where the Franciscan Order established the first church in the country dedicated to him.  The Shrine Church of St. Anthony, located in Greenwich Village, celebrates his feast day every year with the traditional prayer asking for his intercession, said for 13 Tuesdays.  There will also be a procession held on his feast day with a relic of the saint displayed for veneration.  Since 1919, Italian immigrants in Boston, celebrate the “Feast of all Feasts” to honor St. Anthony, the practice brought from towns near Naples that date back to 1688.  A Prayer to St. Anthony of Padua: “Almighty, ever-living God, you gave Your people the extraordinary preacher St. Anthony and made him an intercessor in difficulties.  By his aid grant that we may live a truly Christian life and experience Your help in all adversities.”   

During this week we also celebrate the feast of St. Barnabas on Tuesday, June 11th.  The Acts of the Apostles describe Barnabas as a good man full of the Holy Spirit and the first to welcome St. Paul who was a former persecutor of the early Church before becoming a believer in Jesus.  Barnabas, John, Mark, and Paul were together on the first missionary journey of the Christian Church in Cyprus.  Barnabas was a man of determination and courage and has been honored as the founder of the Cypriot Church because of his missionary work there.  When a Christian Community began at Antioch, the third most important city of the Roman Empire, Barnabas was sent as the official representative of the Mother Church in Jerusalem.  Barnabas and Paul were chosen to give instruction in Antioch for the next year to unite its members into the fold of Christ.  They had much success there and were sent on to preach to the gentiles and later Barnabas took Mark to Cyprus and Paul took Silas to Syria as they preached the word, strengthened the churches, as many became followers of the Lord.  Barnabas was martyred in Cyprus during the reign of Nero with his remains placed in a tomb of the church he founded.  He was canonized pre-congregation with his major shrine, the Monastery of St. Barnabas located in Famagusta, Cyprus.  He is venerated in the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican Communion and Lutheran Churches.   He is the Patron Saint of Milan, Italy and on the island of Tenerife, Spain where he is invoked as the protector of the fields around the island against drought.  In the Church of England, St. Barnabas the Apostle, is honored with a festival on June 11th, his feast day.    In 1538, the Catholic Religious Order known as “Clerics Regular of St. Paul” was established at the Monastery of St. Barnabas, by the city wall in Milan, Italy.   A Prayer in honor of St. Barnabas: “O God, You commanded that St. Barnabas, who was full of faith and the Holy Spirit, should be set apart to labor for the conversion of the Gentiles.  May Christ’s Gospel which he preached with great ardor continue to be preached faithfully by word and deed.” 

On Friday, June 14th we celebrate our 247th Flag Day in the United States, as we recall the history and meaning of Old Glory during Flag Week from June 9-15, 2024.  During this week, we urge everyone to observe and fly the American Flag to honor the anniversary of the adoption of the flag of the United States on June 14, 1777.  The Flag Resolution by the Second Continental Congress stated, “That the flag of the 13 United States be 13 Stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be 13 Stars, white in a blue field, representing   a new constellation.”  June 14th is also the 249th birthday of the United States Army (1775) when Congress established the American Continental Army that originally consisted of volunteer soldiers with roots to the Army that was formed to fight in the Revolutionary War.     In 1888, William Kerr from Pennsylvania established the American Flag Day Association of Western Pennsylvania and proudly served the association for 50 years.  President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation in 1916 that officially established Flag Day on June 14th.   Pennsylvania became the 1st state to celebrate Flag Day in 1937 as a state holiday and in Philadelphia the Betsy Ross House holds a Flag Day observance every year.  In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt launched the International United Nations Day on June 14th to celebrate the solidarity among the World War II Allies, 6 months after the Declaration by the United Nations and on June 14th for two years, 1942-1944, Flag Day was observed in New York City at the New York War Parade.   On August 3, 1949, President Harry S. Truman signed   an Act of Congress establishing National Flag Day making the official statute to be acknowledged at the discretion of the current president.  Also, celebrations will take place in Baltimore, Maryland, the birthplace of the 1813 Flag that inspired the famous poem by Francis Scott Key (1779-1843).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

I agree to these terms.