St Anthony

Our church is dedicated to St Anthony of Padua.

St Anthony is one of the most popular Catholic saints and is the Patron Saint of "Lost Things".

Legend has it that one day St Anthony found a lone child, took him in his arms and tried to find his home. When they approached a church, the child said I live here and promptly disappeared. It was an apparition of the baby Jesus.

St. Anthony was born Fernando Martins to a wealthy family in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1195. He entered the Augustinian monastery at the age of 15. After two years he was transferred to the motherhouse of the congregation, the Abbey of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, and was eventually ordained a priest. While he was a priest at the Augustinian monastery, the remains of a group of Franciscan martyrs were brought to the Abbey via a large cortege. Inspired by their example, Fernando said to the Franciscans, “Brother, I would gladly put on the habit of your Order if you would promise to send me as soon as possible to the land of the Saracens, that I may gain the crown of the holy martyrs.” Upon obtaining permission to join the newly established Franciscan Order, Fernando changed his name to Anthony.

St. Anthony traveled to Morocco but soon fell ill. While attempting to return to Portugal, his ship was detoured to Sicily due to a violent storm and high winds. While recovering, Anthony spent his time praying and studying at a hermitage. During a visit from Dominican friars, Anthony was called up to give a homily. Though he tried to decline, he ended up giving the homily, surprising everyone with his eloquence, passion, and holiness. Thereafter, Anthony’s preaching became widely respected.

Venerated the world over as the Patron Saint of Lost Articles, Anthony had a book of psalms that he used when teaching and giving sermons while traveling throughout northern Italy and southern France. He quite valued this book and was distraught when he realized it had been stolen. Anthony prayed, asking God for his book to be returned. After his prayer, the novice who had stolen the book from him returned it. Because of this, a book is often depicted with St. Anthony. His book can be found at the Franciscan friary in Bologna, Italy.

St. Anthony of Padua died on June 13, 1231, at the age of 36 at the Poor Clare monastery at Arcella, Italy (now part of Padua). He is buried in the Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy. St. Anthony of Padua was canonized within the year by Pope Gregory IX (his friend), and people began praying for St. Anthony’s intercession when items were lost or stolen.

In addition to being the Patron of stolen and lost items, St. Anthony of Padua is considered the Patron Saint of sailors and fishermen (especially in Spain, France, and Italy), elderly people, harvests, and the mail. Just like St. Jude, St. Anthony preached the Gospel of Jesus with great fervor and can be called upon for intercession in desperate times.

Novena: 7:00 pm every Tuesday

The Novena will continue on Tuesdays with prayers to this powerful intercessor and great wonder worker.

The novena consists of Mass followed by prayers to St. Anthony, the Blessing of the Children and Blessing of the St Anthony's bread (please bring your own bread).

Petitions to St. Anthony may be left in the box at the foot of his portrait.

All welcome.

A Note on the Devotion of the Nine Tuesdays

On the Tuesday following the death of St. Anthony the people of Padua carried his body to its last resting-place in the church of our Blessed Lady, which was attached to the Franciscan friars at Padua. The occasion was marked by great splendor and enthusiasm, and the cortege moved through the city to the music of bells and joyous hymns. The day was marked, too, by an extraordinary number of miracles. The biographers of the saint tell us that “the blind regained their sight, the deaf their hearing, and the lame the use of their limbs. Every grace and favor asked for in faith and confidence was granted.” The people were so impressed by the wonderful things they had witnessed that they began to observe Tuesdays as days of special devotion in honor of their saint. However, as time went on the practice fell into disuse until, in 1616, St. Anthony himself revived it in the form of a novena of nine consecutive Tuesdays. In response to the prayers of a childless couple, he appeared to the wife and bade her visit his altar and pray before it on nine consecutive Tuesdays. This she did, and in the course of time became a mother.

As above, the Novena is held at St Anthony's every Tuesday.
Mass starts at 7:00 pm followed by the Novena and blessing of the bread and children. 

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St Anthony's Capuchin Friary Church | 182 Power Street, Hawthorn VIC 3122, Australia 

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