St. Anthony was born in Portugal, although most of his work was in Italy. He originally joined the Augustinian order, but he became a Franciscan when he was 26. This was because of the death of 5 Franciscan protomartyrs in Morocco, North Africa, whose headless and mutilated bodies had been brought back for burial. St. Anthony also wished to be a martyr, just like them. He is called the "Hammer of Heretics" because of his simple, and sometimes, miraculous manner of teaching the Catholic faith. The secret to his success was simply to repeat the "Holy Name of Mary" when speaking to heretics. St. Anthony often attracted huge crowds, and was sensationally successful.
One day when he found he was preaching to heretics who would not Listen, he went to preach to the fish, who Listened attentively, not for their necessity, but for the glory of God. To another heretic, St. Anthony had a mule (who had been starved for three days) bow before the Blessed Sacrament, although food was also placed near him. St. Anthony was miraculously visited by the Infant Jesus, and is commonly referred to today as the "finder of lost articles." His tongue is incorrupt, and is displayed at Basillica del Santo, in Padua. He was only 36 when he died.
Saint of: lost articles, shipwrecks, starvation, sterility, faith in the Sacraments, expectant mothers, fisherman, oppressed people, sailors, Brazil, Portugual, harvests, horses.
(This narrative is included with each plaque.)
Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony
Holy Saint Anthony, gentle and powerful in your help, your love for God and charity for His creatures, made you worthy, when on earth, to possess miraculous powers. Miracles waited on your word, which you were always ready to request for those in trouble or anxiety. Encouraged by this thought, I implore you to obtain for me [request]. The answer to my prayer may require a miracle. Even so, you are the Saint of miracles. Gentle and loving Saint Anthony, whose heart is ever full of human sympathy, take my petition to the Infant Savior for whom you have such a great love, and the gratitude of my heart will ever be yours. Amen.
(This prayer is printed on the back of Prayer Cards only.)
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