Saint Anthony of Padua Feast Day Mass, June 11, at 9:30 am
Please join us for a celebratory feast of St. Anthony of Padua, Sunday, June 11, 2017, at 9:30 am. As is our traditional custom we have the blessing of the bread and oil of lily which are given out following the service. Coffee and pastries to follow in the church hall. Please join us. All are welcome.
Lilies & St. Anthony
A little explanation of the Blessing of Lilies in St. Anthony’s Honor: On the feast of this most wonderful of Saints, your priest might bless lilies or oil of lily for you to keep. The blessing of lilies, which remind us of St. Anthony’s purity and have always been a symbol for him, stems from a miracle which took place in Revolutionary France: many priests and religious were murdered, so many churches and convents destroyed, but the faithful still showed up at a surviving church on the Feast of St. Anthony of Padua. Months later, it was discovered that lilies that had adorned the church at that feast were still fresh. Let the blest lily remind you of St. Anthony’s protection, especially for the sick and homebound.
The Blessing of Lilies and Bread on the Feast of St. Anthony
Priest: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All: Who made heaven and earth.
Priest: The Lord be with you.
All: And with thy spirit.
Priest: Let us pray. God, the Creator and Preserver of the human race, the Lover of holy purity, the Giver of supernatural grace, and the Dispenser of everlasting salvation; bless these lilies which we, Thy humble servants, present to Thee today as an act of thanksgiving and in honor of St. Anthony, Thy confessor, and with a request for Thy blessing. Pour out on them, by the saving sign of the holy cross, Thy dew from on high. Thou in Thy great kindness hast given them to man, and endowed them with a sweet fragrance to lighten the burden of the sick. Therefore, let them be filled with such power that, whether they are used by the sick, or kept in homes or other places, or devoutly carried on one’s person, they may serve to drive out evil spirits, safeguard holy chastity, and turn away illness–all this through the prayers of St. Anthony–and finally impart to Thy servants grace and peace; through Christ our Lord.
Priest then sprinkles the lilies with holy water, saying:
Priest: Sprinkle me with hyssop, Lord, and I shall be clean of sin. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Pray for us, St. Anthony.
All: That we may be worthy of Christ’s promise.
Priest: Let us pray. We beg Thee, O Lord, that Thy people may be helped by the constant and devout intercession of Blessed Anthony, Thy illustrious confessor. May he assist us to be worthy of Thy grace in this life, and to attain everlasting joys in the life to come; through Christ our Lord.
The Origin of “St. Anthony’s Bread”
One legend dates back to the year 1263, when a child drowned near the Paduan Basilica of St. Anthony during its construction. The child’s mother prayed to the saint to bring her boy back to life. In return, she promised to give to the poor an amount of corn equal to the child’s weight. When the child was miraculously revived, the mother made good on her promise.
Centuries later, in 1888, a woman named Louise Bouffier managed a small bakery store in the seaside village of Toulon, France. One morning, she couldn’t open the shop’s door with her key. Neither could a locksmith, who advised her that he’d have to break the door open. While he went to get his tools, Louise prayed to St. Anthony that she would give some of her bakery’s bread to the poor if the door could be opened without force. When the locksmith returned, he tried the lock again and was easily able to let Louise in. True to her word, the baker made sure that the poor of Toulon received their due.
It wasn’t long before Louise’s friends began to follow her example of promising a gift of bread or alms to the poor in return for prayers answered by St. Anthony. In the 1890s, they formalized this practice by founding a charity called “St. Anthony’s Bread.”
In the spirit of this charity, some parishes bless and distribute small loaves of bread on June 13, his feast day.