What People Are Commenting
On the Militancy of St. Anthony of Padua
St. Anthony is one of my favorite saints, and so I really appreciated your recent Saint of the Day showing his militancy. Really, I never thought about him in this way and it gave a new dimension.
Thanks for your work in defending the Church and exposing the errors of the Novus Ordo establishment.
Militant St. Anthony Prayers
I have read the article about St. Anthony [click here] with great interest - regarding his Catholic militancy!
Are there any traditional St. Anthony intercession prayers that recognize this - the current St. Anthony prayers are normally along the lines of 'St. Anthony gentlest of Saints' so on! Are there early St. Anthony prayers?
Dear Mr. J.M.,
There are some facts that support the comments made by Prof. Plinio on the militancy of St. Anthony, and oppose the distorted figure so often presented of him. They are the following:
1. There is a good tradition in the Church to present St. Anthony with a book in one hand and a flame in the other. This tradition is expressed, for example, in the picture at right, by Benozzo Gozzoli, 15th century.
2. Also Pope Pius XII in the Apostolic Letter of January 16, 1946 in which he declared St. Anthony a Doctor of the Church, clearly recommended this representation be used in statues and pictures of the Saint. These were Pius XII's words approving such tradition:
"Soon after Anthony's canonization [in the 13th century] the custom was imposed of presenting the great Franciscan apostle to the veneration of the Christian people, either in pictures or in sculptures, having in one hand or close to it, an open book, symbol of his wisdom and doctrine, and in the other hand a flame, symbol of his zeal for the Faith" (Santo Antonio de Lisboa - Obras Completas, Lisbon: Editorial Restauração, 1970, vol. 1, p. LXXV).
3. Instead of following this custom and the implicit recommendation of Pius XII, sentimental piety presents him with a lily in one hand and the Child Jesus in the other. The flame representing his combativity was put aside.
4. According to another good tradition reported in the Saint of the Day, St. Anthony often appeared in battles to favor Catholic forces, throwing fire over the enemies. This is the reason why he became the Patron Saint of military forces in several countries.
5. Because of the miracle he worked in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian Army gave St. Anthony a honorific military rank with its respective salary. To this date the miraculous statue collects the monthly salary equivalent to that rank.
6. Dom Prosper Gueranger composed a prayer to St. Anthony from which we selected the following part that seems to answer your request for a prayer that praises the militancy of St. Anthony:
In return for your loving submission to God the Father in Heaven, the populace obeyed you and the fiercest tyrants trembled at your voice. Heresy alone dared once to defy you, dared to refuse to hearken to your word; thereupon, the very fishes of the sea took up your defense; for they came swimming in shoals before the eyes of the whole city to listen to your preaching which the heretics had scorned. Alas! error, having long ago recovered from the vigorous blows dealt by you, is yet more emboldened in these days, even claiming the sole right to speak.
The offspring of Manes, whom under the name of Albigenses you so successfully combatted, would now, under the new appellation of Freemasonry, have all France at its beck. Your native Portugal beholds the same monster stalking in broad daylight almost to the very altar itself, and the whole world is being intoxicated by its poison.
O St. Anthony of Padua, you who fly daily to the aid of your devotees in their private necessities, you whose power is the same in Heaven as heretofore upon earth, succour the Church, we implore you: Come to the aid of God's people, have pity upon society, now more universally and deeply menaced than ever. O you, Ark of the Covenant, return our generation, so terribly devoid of love and faith, to the serious study of the sacred letters, in which lies so energizing a power. O you, Hammer of Heretics, strike once more such blows as will make Hell tremble and the heavenly powers thrill with joy.
We hope these data will assist your request.
TIA correspondence desk
Posted June 21, 2006
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