St Anthony's Feastday (customs and stories)


Dear Friends,
Happy St Anthony’s feast day. Below are some items that I would like to share with you.
Greetings and prayers for all your intentions,
Mary Ann

St Anthony’s Bread
True son of St Francis that he was St Anthony had a great love for the poor and even now he still continues to help them by encouraging the devotion known as St Anthony’s bread. This is a very old devotion too and it had its origin in Padua as the result of another miracle.

A little child whose parents lived near the Basilica, which was then being built fell into a vessel of water and drowned. The poor mother was heart broken but great as was her grief she had a greater confidence in the power of St Anthony. She begged him to help and give her back her babe promising that if her prayers were heard she would give the child’s weight in grain to the poor. Towards midnight while the bereaved mother was still praying the child rose up as if from sleep. After this miracle the practice developed of promising alms to the poor in return for favours received through the intercession of the saint. Today this practice is widespread and in most of our churches boxes are provided to receive alms for the poor from those who have been assisted by this great friend of the poor.

Great impetus was given to this devotion by a simple incident that occurred towards the end of the last century. A pious French girl Louise Bouffier who owned a small linen store in Toulon, found difficulty, one morning, in opening the door of her shop. After repeated efforts she sent for a locksmith, whose assortment of keys proved useless. Deciding that the lock must be forced, the man departed to get tools for the purpose. While he was away, Louise prayed earnestly to St. Anthony, promising him bread for his poor if the door was opened without injury to the lock. When the locksmith returned she asked him to try his keys once more, telling him of her promise to the Saint. The man did as she asked, and with the first key he tried, opened the door without any difficulty.

This incident greatly strengthened Louise Bouffier’s confidence in St. Anthony. She increased her devotion to him, always promising bread to the poor. Her friends followed her example with the result that, in a short time the rear of her store became a centre for St. Anthony’s Bread in Toulon. People of all ranks and conditions came there to pray before the statue of St. Anthony which had been erected.

Alms of bread arrived in great quantities, until the task of distributing it became too difficult. Then it was decided to accept money offerings for the poor, who were thereby enabled to purchase not only food, but clothing and other necessities. The thank-offerings also took the form of alms for the education of poor boys for the Priesthood

More customs in honour of St Anthony

The big bike ride (Saint Anthony the Wonder Worker)
Some years ago a big bike ride was organised. The ride was from North Sydney to Parramatta, a distance of many miles. My husband and my daughter were among the participants. I caught the train to Parramatta with my youngest daughter in order to meet up with them at the end of the bike ride. It was a very hot day. Many thousands of bike riders entered the park at the end of the ride. My little daughter became anxious because of the long wait for them to arrive. There was no sign of them. We waited for a considerable amount of time. Finally I said the prayer that is known as the Miraculous Responsory of Saint Anthony. We walked down the hill to the bottom of the park. I watched an endless stream of bike riders entering the park. However I still did not see my daughter and husband. Finally I decided to ask one of the bike riders if there were still more bike riders to come. He addressed me by my Christian name and told me that there was nothing to worry about; because he had seen my daughter and husband enter the park about half an hour ago. He said that they were now at the other end of the park. I was astounded and wondered how this man knew who I was. He was not recognisable to me because of his helmet and beard. It turned out that he was my cousin, who I had not seen for about ten years.

The wedding ring at the beach (Saint Anthony the Wonder Worker)
When Stephen was at the beach his wedding ring fell off his finger and was washed away by a wave. He called upon Saint Anthony and another wave came in and deposited the ring at his feet.

The two stories above are from my book: Help from heaven (Answers to prayers), the book can be read free on-line at this link


I love St. Anthony of Padua so I am pretty excited that today is his feast day! :smiley:


I love St. Anthony, too. I was Baptized at St. Anthony of Padua parish… in El Segundo, California. And about 3 years ago… I found this little statue of St. Anthony in a drawer, and I have no idea where it came from! I like to think of it as a little gift from St. Anthony. He is a part of my special “Prayer Committee” of saints.

St. Anthony, “Hammer of Heretics”… pray for us.


Oh! makes me wish I was back in the North End of Boston. THey carried a statue with money pinned to it- a marching band. Food, fun- the whole nine yards.

They also had this blessed oil called “St. Anthony’s Oil”, and “St. Anthony’s Bread.”

I loved living there! There were many feasts. One of the processions- The Fisherman’s festival “Our Lady of sco???” (sp?) went right under my apartment window.

Plus St. Leonard’s- my parish up there had St. Anthony devotions once a month- with a relic that the congregation kissed.


Thank you, Karenanna, for a starting this thread! :slight_smile:

Yesterday I attended a Mass which was the Vigil for Corpus Christi and also the celebration of the feastday of St Anthony. During the homily, Monsignor shared this event from St Anthony’s life, which nicely linked Corpus Christi & St Anthony:

There was a certain heretic at Rimini who refused to believe in the Real Presence. He made this proposition to St. Anthony. The unbelieving heretic would starve his mule for three days. If the hungry animal would prostrate before the monstrance, then the heretic would confess the reality of the Blessed Sacrament.

On the appointed day the heretic appeared in the town square with his beast. St. Anthony approached from the opposite side with the Sacred Host. A curious group of believers and unbelievers alike watched to see just what would happen. A large pan of oats and a bundle of fragrant hay were placed before the hungry animal.

But all this was ignored. Instead, the mule approaced our Saint and fell on her knees before the Blessed Sacrament. True to his promise, the heretic made a profession of faith in the Real

I have to say that this Mass was the most beautiful and moving that I’ve ever attended. I was almost in tears when I left (tears of joy).

Thank you, God, for the gift of Your Beloved Son. Thank you, God, for the gift of St Anthony!



Hi “M” :wave: The miracle with the mule, which you have told about… is my favorite St. Anthony miracle! Because it is a Eucharistic Miracle! Two others… are the miracles of the Christ Child… in which the Infant Jesus appeared to St. Anthony (this is not a pious legend. It was witnessed by a reliable source… and is usually depicted, in St. Anthony statues)… and also, when St. Anthony preached to the fish… and they all leaped out of the water!.

Awesome saint… Anthony of Padua! :thumbsup:


My two favorite stories are:

ST. Anthony was trying to debate or lecture some protestants on the Real Presence and they kept laughing at him, so he turned around toward a stream or lake and said, since you will not listen to me, I will teach the fishes instead. Then a bunch of fish poked out of the water to listen to him speak.

The second story came about because he became so popular that his superior ordered him not to perfrom any more miracles unless he got his specific permission. BUT one day a workman was high on a roof and was about to fall, and seeing the saint below cried out. Saint Anthony stopped the man in mid air, and ran to ask his superior for permission. When granted, he lowered the man safely to the ground.


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