Franciscan Spirit Blog

Saint Anthony Novena Day Eight: In Retirement

Graphic of Novena to Saint Anthony

Anthony’s retirement as provincial minister lasted less than a year. He spent most of that time writing sermon notes for the feasts of major saints. He had already written sermon notes for Sundays, holy days of obligation, and feasts of Mary. In those years the same Scripture readings were used every year, for example, on the First Sunday of Advent.

Anthony’s last sermon notes were for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. Anthony had retired to the village of Camposampiero; a friend had constructed a hermitage for him in a walnut tree.

When he knew that his health was seriously declining, he asked to be taken back to Padua. In fact, he died along the way at the Poor Clare monastery in Arcella. The local people understandably wanted him buried there. The friars, however, managed to bring his body back to Padua where construction of the present basilica began immediately.

Father Luke Belludi, Anthony’s companion on his last preaching journeys, lived for another 30 years and served as a living link to the man who was formally canonized within 12 months of his death—a record that still stands.

Am I willing to be mentored? To mentor someone?

Do you love Saint Anthony of Padua?

In Anthony’s Own Words

“No one is closer to us than he who healed our wounds. For the Head is one with his members. Let us therefore love him as our Lord and God.”

Did You Know?

Anthony knew he needed a break and more time dedicated to God alone. Perhaps he also sensed that his short life was nearing its end. He was about 36 years old at the time. He withdrew from the city of Padua to the town of Camposampiero, some 30 miles north of Padua. There a nobleman, Count Tiso, had earlier built a hermitage for friars seeking more time for contemplative prayer. With Tiso’s help, Anthony had a solitary hut—something like a small tree house—built in the branches of a large walnut tree in a thick forest, not far from the Franciscan hermitage.

The saint spent much of the last weeks and months of his life in that small tree house, praying and working on sermon notes to assist other preachers of the Word.

—Jack Wintz, OFM, Saint Anthony of Padua: His Life, Legends, and Devotions


Lord Jesus, Scripture tells us
that you were like us in
every way—except sin.
We know, however, that you
did not live long enough to
enjoy a time of retirement.
Lead us to appreciate every
season of life, always able to
see your loving providence
at work—even if it may seem at
times to be hiding.

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10 thoughts on “Saint Anthony Novena Day Eight: In Retirement”

  1. Bernadette Mumba

    Thank you God for having greatly blessed St Anthony. He has continued to share key lessons, especially for me servant leadership, humility, generosity and ease in sharing The Word.

    1. Terence EMERSON

      I pray that Saint Anthony will intercede for your mother. He was my wife’s favourite Saint and she passed away this morning and is now in our Lords care. Best wishes. Terry

  2. This has been such a beautiful and informative novena! St Anthony was such a truly inspirational man.Thank you

  3. Wake up everybody as Saint Anthony said ” one closer to us then He – Blessed be His Holy name -who heals our wounds.
    G-d Bless.

  4. Thank you for this blessed novena to Saint Anthony. I’ve learned quite a lot, and feel much closer to worship through him.

  5. My mother had a great devotion to st anthony. She was married in st anthony’s church.
    May st anthony intercede for her great grandson who is blind as a result of an accident
    Shortly after his birth. Give her grandson courage and perseverance. In his life now.
    Thank you.

  6. Lord Jesus Christ, you guide us by the light of your saving truth. Fill our hearts and minds with your light and truth and free us from the blindness of sin and deception that we may see your ways clearly and understand your will for our lives. May we radiate your light and truth to others in word and deed. Amen.

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