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Getting to Know St. Anthony of Padua

A favorite in much of the Catholic world, St. Anthony of Padua has more cities and places named after him than any other saint—68.

This includes forty-four in Latin America, fifteen in the United States, four in Canada, four in the Philippines, and one in Spain. Four capes, three bays, two reefs, and two peaks also take his name. Even more numerous have been, until recently, the statues of St. Anthony in churches, where he is depicted holding the Christ child, the book of Scriptures, and a lily or a flaming torch.

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The Words of Saint Anthony Live On

Near the end of his life, Anthony of Padua composed a collection of sermons or “sermon notes.” Having been an outstanding theology teacher and preacher for much of his life, Anthony wanted to help his Franciscan confreres in their preaching ministry. He wrote these so-called “sermon notes” for the benefit of his brothers.

In this blog, I want to share with you some passages from Saint Anthony’s sermons.

Sunlight Reveals Dirt

Let me begin with this short passage from one of Anthony’s sermons:

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Anima Christi: A Mystical Prayer

This prayer touches us on a profound level. The words are most sacred and, with the Spirit’s help, they can lead us into an immediate union with Christ. The Anima Christi (Soul of Christ) has been attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491–1556), but historians say that it predates Ignatius by as much as a century-and-a-half. Also, a long tradition tells us that it was a favorite of his.

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