Saint Antony of Padua, by C. Kegan Paul

Saint Antony of PaduaSaint Antony of Padua, is the Franciscan Friar whose name is, perhaps, better known throughout the world than any other member of that Order, save only Saint Francis himself. We dare not say that he is greatest among them, bearing in mind the words of Thomas a Kempis:

“Inquire thou not,
Nor dispute concerning the merits of the Saints;
Which of them is more holy than the other,
Or which the greater in the kingdom of heaven.
These things often times breed strifes and unprofitable contentions;
And nourish pride and vainglory, whence arise envy and dissensions:
Whilst one man seeks to exalt this saint;
And another man another.”

But we cannot ignore facts, and it is plain as the sun in heaven that Almighty God singled out Saint Antony to manifest His power to the World, and called him be the especial wonder-worker of the Order which was his final choice, and in which he died.

The ways of God are not as our ways, nor His thoughts as our thoughts, and it might be that when they are strange and unusual our duty were simply to admire and adore. But since order would appear to be a necessary part of Himself, we find a law running through those of His most unusual, and, in the strict sense of the word, most eccentric manifestations.

Miracle forms part of the life of a Saint, and the Church has, at least for many centuries, required proof of miracles as one of the conditions of canonizations, so that miraculous power and sanctity invariably accompany each other. But in the vast majority of the Saints we dwell on the sanctity and forget the miracle; we remember Saint Augustine for his Confessions, Saint Ignatius for his Spiritual Exercises, Saint Francis de Sales for his Counsels to those living in the world. In some cases, as in that of the Seven Founders of the Servite Order, in that of the Japanese Martyrs, and in that of the English who suffered under Henry VIII and Elizabeth, those who were so lovely in their lives in death were not divided, it is not always possible to ascribe this or that miracle to a definite name; the deeds and the invocations are alike collective. There are again others not necessarily less, nor necessarily more, holy than they, in whose case miracle is forced upon us, who have passed through life attended by a storm of miracles, being in very fact like the fable of the poet:

“Where’er you walk cool gales shall fan the glade, Trees where you sit shall crowd into a shade.” Wonder clings to them, as, in the natural order, some men have gifts of healing, others of statesmanship, others of command, of eloquence, or of literature; and we not unreasonably ask whether there be any law for such a gift.

We find that God has given a special and pre-eminent wonder-worker once at least to each of the great Orders of Religious whom He has called to serve Him, and that in each case He has attached the gift not so much to the Founder, as to one who came near him and had caught much of his spirit. Thus among the Benedictines, Saint Maurus was distinguished alike for his miracles and his holiness, through sixty years of his life of seventy-four years. Thus Saint Nicholas of Tolentino showed forth in an especial manner the power of God in the austere order of the Hermits of Saint Augustine. Thus Saint Vincent Ferrer sealed by his wondrous works the power of God on the sons of Saint Dominic. So too Saint Peregrine Laziosi among the Servites, Saint Francis Xavier among the Jesuits, and in the eighteenth century B. Gerard Majella among the more recent Redemptorists, as Saint Antony among the Franciscans, were evidence of God’s approbation on the Orders to which they severally belonged. It might be tedious, and alien to our special intention, to follow out this in detail, but it would not be difficult to do so in the case of every eminent Order and Congregation. That certain Orders have arisen near each other in time, thus causing the appearance of wonder-working Saints in groups, is just what we might expect when we study the phenomena of miracles.

Those recorded in the Bible lay down,as it were, the rule, and we therein find whole tracts of years without supernatural intervention; then on a sudden are large clusters of strange events wrought by the power of God, through the hands of men. When God’s people were to be delivered from Egypt, and led into the Promised Land; when He would give His sanction to the Prophetic Order; when His Church was founded; then to Moses and Aaron; to Elias and Eliseus; to Peter and Paul were given the kind of powers that Saint Antony and Saint Peregrine Laziosi, Saint Vincent Ferrer and Saint Francis Xavier possessed in later ages.

In the spiritual world, as in this, there are peculiarities of gifts, characters, temperaments; sanctity does not reduce or elevate the blessed to one level. “Some Saints can help us in one trouble, others in another,” wrote Saint Teresa; we may go further and say that, as here below the dominant note of one character is authority, of another sympathy, of another a bright and affectionate playfulness; so the wonders wrought after death by Saint Winifred, by Saint Edmund Rich, by Saint Philomena, show differences of character as clearly as if they were still alive. There are many-sided men in this life, and in the life beyond the veil: such an one was he of whom we now consider the saintliness and the marvels.

Ferdinand de Buglione, as was his name in the world by birth and baptism, was born at Lisbon in the year 1195. His parents were noble and wealthy, and the boy received an education such as became his rank, at the Cathedral School. It is sometimes said that the dedication of the Cathedral to Our Lady was the cause of his singular devotion towards her; but, without this special reason, it would indeed have been strange if he, who was to prove so holy, had not always been a faithful client of the Queen of Saints. There was, however, a Sodality or Confraternity of Our Lady connected with the Cathedral, and of this he was a member. In after years his fellow-sodalists vested his image year by year in red cassock and cotta, such as he had been wont to wear at her altar when a boy.

At the age of fifteen he became a novice with the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine, that Congregation of which Thomas a Kempis was so great an ornament. Their house was just outside the gates of Lisbon, too near home to allow him to be wholly free from distraction; he therefore asked for and obtained his transfer to Coimbra, and here at the age of seventeen he was able to give himself entirely to a life of study, solitude and prayer. Not, however, with these Religious had he found his true vocation. In the “Imitation of Christ” is a well-known passage wherein Thomas recognizes that, blessed as was the life of the Canons Regular, there were Religious who led stricter lives than they. He does not mention the Franciscans indeed, only the Carthusians and Cistercians; but the Franciscans were no doubt in his mind among “the monks and nuns of divers Orders.”

The Franciscan Order was founded in the beginning of the thirteenth century, which may be called the heart of the Middle Ages, soon after that of Saint Dominic, not long before that of the Servants of Mary; The times stood sorely in need of these three austere bodies; for the great light of faith which streamed on the world in the Ages of Faith was attended with corresponding dark shadows. The Cathari, the Waldenses, the Albigenses, and other sectaries less well-known by name, assailed both faith and morals, while Italy, and indeed the whole empire, was torn asunder by the bloody feuds of Guelf and Ghibelline. The Moors were still, and even up to the battle of Lepanto in 1571, an abiding danger to Europe; in the days of Saint Francis much of Spain was actually under their sway. Among his daring plans was that of a Crusade by wholly spiritual arms, and he designed two expeditions, one starting from Ancona for Egypt, the other destined for Seville and Granada.

This band of brethren passed into Morocco, where, though the Sultan Miramolino was converted, five of them laid down their lives for the faith. Their bodies, ransomed at great price, were brought to Coimbra, where miracles signalized the place of their rest. In order to win like them a martyr’s death, Ferdinand assumed the Franciscan habit in the Chapel of Saint Antony, patriarch of monks, whose patronage and name he adopted. An early writer of Saint Antony’s life has this odd simile, that “so soon as the deaths of the martyrs reached his ears, he, like an elephant who has seen blood, became wholly full of the desire of battle, and carried away by the fervor of faith.” He was then twenty-six years of age.

Keeping ever before him the end with which he had become a Franciscan, he asked and obtained permission to go on the Mission to Morocco, and actually set sail in a merchant vessel, with a manuscript Bible and a crucifix as his only possessions. The ship in which he sailed was obliged, through stress of weather, to put into Messina, where he learnt that Saint Francis was holding a Chapter of the Order at Assisi. Thither, therefore, he proceeded and received the blessing of his Father in God. The failure of this voyage was succeeded by so serious an attack of illness that he recognized the missionary life to be impossible, and, in his zeal for mortification, entreated that he might not again return to Portugal, but rather enter as a lay brother into some Italian monastery. Even this was difficult, for reasons of health, but he finally found a home in a small convent near Bologna. There he passed his days in the humblest duties of a lay brother, spending all his free time in a lonely grotto, where he gave himself to penance and to prayer. None knew, and apparently the Guardian alone suspected, that a Saint was among them. Each might have cried with Cardinal Newman:

“I saw thee once, and nought discerned
For stranger to admire;
A serious aspect, but it burned
With no unearthly fire.
* * * * * *
I saw once more, and awe-struck gazed
On face and form and air;
God’s living glory round thee blazed –
A Saint – a Saint was there.”

The manifestation of the glory of God came, as we should lightly say, by accident, though there are no accidents in the province of God. The Bishop of Forli held an ordination, where certain Dominicans were the guests of the Franciscans, with Antony and others of the Order from distant convents, who were to receive the Sacrament of Order. The sons of Saint Dominic were naturally asked to take on them, here also, the office of preacher, but none was prepared, and the Guardian, moved by some divine instinct, commanded Antony on his obedience to speak to the assembled congregation; though, as he pointed out, he considered himself far more fitted to wash the kitchen utensils. His sermon was simple, but was yet a revelation of the power and the sanctity of his word.

Saint Francis, on hearing what had happened, determined that he should study theology, and become a Professor of that science, as well as take upon himself the office of public preacher; the first essay having been made among his brethren only. He wrote in few but pregnant words to Antony:

“To his dear Brother Antony, Brother Francis, in Jesus Christ, greeting: I find it good that you should interpret to the Brethren the books of sacred theology, yet in such sort as I enjoin you, above all things, that the work of study deaden not in you, nor in them, the spirit of holy prayer, as is laid down in the Rule which we profess. The Lord be with you.”

In accordance with this direction, he taught in Montpelier, Bologna, Padua, and Toulouse, while his preaching tours embraced the whole of Southern France, Sicily and Romagna, especially Rome and Padua. The effects of his eloquence both in the reform of manners and of doctrine seem to have been extraordinary; it was, men said, as though another Elias or Saint John Baptist had arisen. As a preacher he had great natural gifts. His health became re-established: it may have been through the physical impossibility of those mortifications and penances which had been so dear to him when his life as a lay brother could be hidden from men; his frame grew robust, and not easily subdued by fatigue, his voice was sonorous and of musical quality. His memory was wonderful, and it was said of him that he knew so well the text of Holy Scripture that, another Esdras, he could have re produced it, had the existing copies been lost. Therefore Pope Gregory IX called him the Ark of the Covenant, because as the Ark contained the two tables of the law, so he held in his memory the whole of the Old and New Testaments.

The supernatural gifts, with which Antony was in so large a measure endowed, came first into notice in connection with the exercise of preaching. First among these was the gift of tongues, and this was manifested in two ways. He was under stood by persons in other languages than that in which he actually spoke, and again he was able to preach in Italian and in French, as though he had studied those languages profoundly, instead of having a very elementary knowledge of them. But more than this: the power of his voice was raised to a supernatural degree. A woman to whom her husband refused his consent that she should attend Antony’s preaching, heard his words plainly at the distance of a league; the husband also heard them, and was converted. Once in the midst of his discourse a violent storm came on, the rain fell all round the crowd of hearers, but no drop amongst those who remained at his bidding. To his brethren, when he was preaching in a Chapter at Arles, a vision of Saint Francis, then alive in. Italy, appeared, giving his blessing to the assembly, while Antony extolled the sanctity of their profession, and urged the exact and inviolate observance of the Rule.

Women who attended on his ministry, with a too great carelessness to their home duties were saved, because of their piety and faith, from the consequence of their want of heed. One had left her infant alone to fall into a pan of boiling water, but found the baby playing unhurt in the terrible bath. Another, on her return from the sermon, found her child dead. She ran to the preacher to implore his aid, and was sent away with the words of our Lord in the Gospel: “Go thy way, thy son liveth,” to find on her return the child alive again and playing with his companions.

And yet another, who, in her eagerness to carry a cup a wine for Antony’s refreshment, forgot to turn the spigot, so that all the contents of the barrel were poured out, no sooner had closed the orifice than the vessel was full again to overflowing. It is not for us to say that the latter miracle is trivial and the former great, in face of the Lord’s words that not even a sparrow falls to the ground without our Father’s will: we must also remember that in this Antony reproduced the deed of that great Saint of the Old Testament, who healed the son of the widow in Sarephta, yet condescended to refill the pot of meal and replenish the cruse of oil, from day to day during the famine. There is no small nor great with God; His are the issues of life and death; but He is the sole and ultimate dispenser of daily bread, whether He gives mediately or immediately.

Stranger things were yet to be, if, when all is so wonderful, we may venture to compare. The Saint appeared simultaneously in very distant places. At Montpelier, at Limoges, while preaching, he was seen and heard to sing, now the gradual, now the ninth lesson of Matins in his own monastery; thus repeating the miracle of Saint Ambrose, who while saying Mass at Milan seemed to fall asleep at the altar, and was seen at the same hour assisting at the funeral of Saint Martin at Tours.

In this manner Antony was twice transported from Padua to Lisbon to aid his father, whom, save thus, he was never to see again. In his father’s garden a young man was found murdered, and the household were accused of the crime. But the Saint, warned of God of the danger, was borne by an angel to the court in which Martin de Buglione was arraigned. There he adjured the corpse, who sat up and declared the accused were guiltless, and having said this, again slept in death. At night the angel bore him back again to his monastery in Padua. Again, and in the same manner, he was carried to Lisbon, to help his father in a civil suit. It is recorded that though he was to be the recipient of so wonderful a favor, he asked and obtained permission from the Guardian, according to rule, before he ventured to leave the convent.

It will be noticed that this is the very class of miracle that Satan in these later days imitates with skill, just as when Moses and Aaron wrought wonders before Pharao, Jannes and Mambres did the same with their enchantments.

Even in this wonder, however, God did not de part from His law of miracle; that is, He laid down once for all in the Old Testament certain classes of miracle which He repeated in the‘New, and again in ecclesiastical miracles. Habacuc was carried by an angel from Judaea to Babylon that he might bear food to Daniel in the lion’s den. Saint Philip, the deacon, was miraculously conveyed from the desert near Jerusalem to Azotus, after the baptism of the Ethiopian; there are probably no miracles of the new dispensation which had not their prototypes in the old.

Saint Antony also had in a large measure the gift of prophecy. We are sometimes apt to forget that a gift once bestowed by God on His Church is never again withdrawn, though its manifestations may from time to time be in abeyance. No doubt, however, just as the abundance of miracles which attended the promulgation of Christianity has induced some Protestants to declare that they ceased with the Apostolic age, so the existence of whole schools of prophecy and the gathering together of whole books of predictions, under the Jewish dispensation, has blinded even Catholics to the existence of the power in the Christian Church.

Saint Antony had the gift in its fullness, and in both its forms, that of inspired preaching and prediction of the future. Before one steeped in pleasures of the flesh, for whom nothing seemed less likely than a holy life and a holy death, Antony was accustomed to uncover his head and genuflect. He taking this for mere mockery was enraged, but the Saint told him he did so because God had revealed to him the martyrdom of this present sinner. “Then,” said he, “you will remember me.” He was converted long afterwards and died a holy death for Christ, in torment among the Saracens.

For the number of miraculous events, both great and trivial, many volumes would hardly find space; the powers of nature seemed to wait upon, and to be altered at his will. For instance: the Saint quoted to one, who had kicked his mother, the words: “If thy foot scandalize thee cut it off.” The penitent, taking the words literally, thus mutilated himself with a hatchet. Antony uniting the severed limb, made over it the sign of the Cross, and the foot was re stored whole as the other. But in a slighter, and, as it were, playful manner, the mere invocation of his name removed all traces of dirt from the dress of a great lady, who on her way to hear his sermon had fallen into a mud heap.

These were miracles of beneficence. But there were those in which the Saint, so gentle, so tender-hearted, had yet to declare God’s awfulness when He is slighted. Preaching on the- text “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also,” he told the terrible tale that one dead in that city and buried, was suffering the just reward of his avarice. “Go,” he said to those who could in their consciences identify him of whom he spoke, “Go and open his money-box, and you will find the heart of him whose body lies in the grave.” They went, and found the usurer’s heart still warm amidst the chilly gold.

Like Saint Philip Neri in latter days, his power of reading the heart was wonderful, and with this he set great value upon the Sacrament of Penance. He not only urged it in his sermons and privately in person, but so great was his zeal for souls that he was even transported as it were out of himself, and sought sinners in vision. His early biographer says of him: “While the man of God was yet alive, penitents were wont to come to the Brethren, and declare that the Saint had appeared to them as they lay in bed, saying, ‘Rise, Martin,’ or ‘Rise, Agnes, and go to such a Brother confessing such and such a sin,’ committed in such and such a place, which God alone knew.”

His greatest power over nature was shown in confirmation of sacred doctrine. When we speak of the ages of faith, it must not be forgotten that the same were ages of heresy also, and a pessimist of these days, face to face with the denial of God, as well as with the thousand heresies which veil themselves under forms of religion, may take note that by the side of the sanctity of Antony, Francis, and Dominic, went the uncleanness and false doctrine of the Cathari, absolute atheism, and that modified but deadly denial of God which derided His real presence in the Blessed Eucharist. So strong was his protest against all false teaching that he was known as Malleus hoereticorum – the hammer of heretics.

In relation to the Blessed Sacrament, it is told that when preaching at Toulouse, a blasphemous Jew said that he too would believe, if his mule, after a three days’ fast, would turn aside from hay , his chamber, saw him in prayer, but a lovely child and corn, to adore the Sacred Host. The Saint, with daring faith, accepted the agreement, and the mule adored, to the confusion, and happily the conversion, of the Jew and his followers. Again we appeal to the Holy Scripture. Those only will smile or scoff who reject the miracle which was wrought on Balaam, when as Saint Peter puts it, “the dumb beast speaking with man’s voice for bade the folly of the prophet.”

At Rimini, when the heart of his hearers were hardened, and those who had come to hear stopped their ears, he went to the mouth of the Mareccia, and called on the fish of the river and sea to hear him. They did so, crowding together where land and water met, while he spoke, ending in the words of the song of Ananias, Azarias, and Misael: “O ye whales and all that move in the waters, bless ye the Lord.” Again, let those smile who deny that at a given hour the Saviour called a great multitude of fish where none were before, and brought them into that net which the disciples had constantly let down all the night, and had taken nothing. Once more we may say with emphasis: What God has done once, and His Spirit has recorded in the Sacred Scriptures by the pen of man, He does again at intervals through the ages; so that as the furniture of His material temple was made after the pattern He had shown to Moses in the Mount, the spiritual furniture, so to speak, of His Saints; their equipment to win the souls of men, is made after the pattern on which He had set His seal, in that dispensation wherein He had given His earliest revelation.

But though some heretics heard the Saint with awe, and, under stress of his miracles, amended the errors of their ways, there were others who were less easily converted and attempted to poison his food; but here also the sign of the Cross over the viands made him a sharer of that promise of our Lord: “If they shall drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt them.”

All these occurrences were so many signs from God of the holiness of His servant. But a greater remained. It is that which is so constantly represented in the portraits of the Saint. When on a visit in the south of France, his host, on entering stood by him, and caressed him; the Child Jesus thus manifested His love to one who loved Him with a child’s innocence and simplicity.

In the cases of those Saints to whom our Lord has vouchsafed to reveal Himself, there seems to be again a law that as is the recipient so is the vision: Saint Francis, who desired to suffer for all, saw his Saviour crucified and received from Him the stigmata of His Passion; Saint Margaret Mary, all burning with love, saw Jesus’ heart aflame, and ever bore about within herself thereafter that heart of fire; Saint Antony, whose child’s heart still beat within the man’s, had most affinity with, and therefore saw, Jesus as a child.

By his absolute simplicity and innocence, he moved among dangerous men, when others would scarce have dared do so; he opposed Eccelin, known to all time as the tyrant of Padua, excommunicated by Alexander IV. for his atrocities, branded forever in Dante’s Inferno. After a massacre at Verona the Saint adjured him thus: “How long, cruel tyrant, wilt thou shed blood? Knowest thou not that the vengeance of God is ready, that His sword is raised, and will surely smite, unless. thou dost penance.” So astonished was Eccelin, that he cast himself at the Saint’s feet in submission and confession. How far this availed for the salvation of his own soul at the end none can know: he died in battle against the Guelfs; but at the time the horrors he wrought were assuaged, and he himself bare witness that he was subdued by the rays of light which darted from Antony’s face, and by his immediate expectation of being thrust down into hell.

Few things are more difficult to reconcile than the life of the cloister and the life of the world. Perhaps in these later days the incongruity of two conflicting duties was most marked in the case of Father Burke, the great Dominican; here mentioned, because in a narrative of our own time which may be read of all, it is clear that the real life was that of the cell, the other, however evident, was but a purple patch on the garment of simple devotion. Antony was before all things a good monk, who ever returned gladly to obedience, solitude and silence. It came to him as a call from God to oppose Brother Elias, the successor of Saint Francis, who even so early in the history of the Order encouraged dangerous laxity. He treated Saint Antony at once as turbulent and seditious, and would have cast him into prison had not Saint Antony appealed to the Holy See, by whom he was supported and Elias deposed.

Then he gladly laid down his offices – he had been Provincial of Romagna – and retired to the strictest solitude he could find, to live the monastic life in its entirety, and prepare his soul for God. And this all the more, because he felt how much of stain his soul might have contracted from that world with which the Love of God and his neighbors had caused him to come in contact.

His sojourn in the desert was of no long duration, for he rapidly grew weak, and knew by revelation that the hour drew near in which he should die at Padua. Accompanied by Brother Roger, he set out for that town, but as the carriage approached, a monk, who had gone out to meet it, seeing his feeble state, had him carried into the Chaplain’s house, attached to the Convent of the Poor Clares. There, feeling his end at hand, after confession and absolution he said the hymn O Gloriosa Domina, then, looking intently upwards, he said, “I see my Lord.”

The Brethren brought the holy oil of unction, and said: “I have an unction within me; nevertheless, though outward anointing be not necessary, it is well, and good for me.” Then he said the Penitential Psalms, making the responses even to the end, and died as one who gently falls asleep. His death took place on 15 June 1231, five years after his father Saint Francis. He was but thirty-six years old, and he had been ten years a Franciscan.

Again a miracle. The Brethren, fearing the concourse of people, desired to keep his death a secret for a while; but scarcely was he deceased, when the children of Padua, as by a divine impulse, and at no man’s bidding or information, began at once to cry “Our Father is dead; Saint Anthony is dead;” and a vast concourse went out to the Chaplain’s house, where a strife arose about the place of his sepulture. The Poor Clares naturally desired that his body should lie where it fell, and their lay neighbors were ready to take up arms against its removal; on the other hand, the brethren within the walls wished him to lie in his own house. The Bishop decided in favor of the latter course, and thither the body was borne into Padua with all possible honor. His soul had already passed to Paradise, the Saint having appeared to the Abbott of Vercelli at the moment of death, and communicated to him this happy tidings.

So great was the number of miracles which adorned his tomb, that Gregory IX to whom he had been personally known, set his canonization on foot at once, and the process was completed in the following year. The canonization took place at Spoleto in Italy, and at the moment the decree was pronounced we are told that all the bells in Lisbon rang of their own accord, while men and women burst into shouts of joy, though as yet unconscious of the cause of their gladness.

Thirty-two years after his death, Antony’s sacred relics were translated to a magnificent church still standing, which the inhabitants of Padua had built in his honor. His body had fallen into that customary decay which awaits our frail human flesh, the tongue alone remained incorrupt, red as in life. Saint Bonaventure, then General of the Franciscans, assisted at the translation. Taking the holy relic in his hands, he said: “O blessed tongue who didst always praise God, who didst work so well that others might praise Him, now your merits are plain to all the world, and you receive the recompense of Him Who created you for so glorious a work.” The tongue is still incorrupt, still to be seen, a most treasured relic.

When a Saint is invoked, it is only by degrees that we can discover what has been given him as his special work in the economy of the spiritual kingdom; if may be that we shall never know the reason why Almighty God has given this or that power of protection or patronage to one or another. But time tries these things, and in case of each Saint it is found by degrees that such and such invocations are specially answered. Saint Antony is the special helper of those who have lost any objects they value, and there is never lacking a number of persons who have in this respect found his aid.

Perhaps the most standing wonder of his life in heaven is this, his patronage in regard to lost things. His privilege, in this respect, seems unique and abnormal. It has been said of him, that it would almost seem as if Almighty God, having to leave our prayers so often seemingly unanswered, had taken this means to enable us to appreciate the reality of His Providence, giving to Saint Antony in things apparently trivial a sort of free hand. To women in labor, to travellers, and especially to those in danger of shipwreck, he is found a great and powerful protector.

But space would fail to tell here of the stupendous miracles which attend Saint Antony’s invocation, as well as, if we may so call them, his more playful miracles; the great show kindness in what seems trifling, smaller miracles are indications of smiles not on the Saint’s brow alone, but on the face of Our Father Who is in heaven. The clients of Saint Anthony alone know the intensity of his love now, as in his lifetime, for them; how watchful he is, how ready to give and how prompt to pray: Therefore, we, too, say:

Saint Antony of Padua, pray for us.