“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good tidings to the afflicted, and good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion– to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified”- Isaiah 61:1-3d
Mangaluru : St. Anthony of Padua- a contemporary of Francis of Assisi, he, like ourselves, wanted to live for something beyond himself that would give meaning to his own life. He was about 20 years old when he joined the Augustinians at a monastery near his native city. Anthony often helped followers of Francis when they came begging for alms. In 1220 he became a Franciscan and sailed for Morocco – but upon reaching his destination fell seriously ill and was bedridden for several months. In 1221, Anthony embarked on his career as a Franciscan preacher, proclaiming the Gospel.
Anthony called people to a deeper faith because he himself was a man of faith. He never lost sight of the transcendent dimension of his own life which enabled others to see in him the transcendent dimension of their lives. He was truly a living Gospel to others – denouncing injustice and proclaiming the message of love for God and all his creatures. That is what made Anthony a Wonder-Worker, a friend to all of us. It is in this spirit, and with this vision, that St. Anthony Charity institutes, founded in 1947, tries to operate. The Diocesan priests and staff here, in the spirit of St. Anthony, continue the’ tradition of helping the needy, physically as well as spiritually, and strive to be instruments of peace to all people. Many donors and well-wishers have rendered their whole-hearted support to this charitable institutes..
The Feast of St Anthony was celebrated at the Institutes Chapel on Saturday, 13 June 2015 at 11.30 am, with a con-celebrated mass by Rev Fr Denis Moras Prabhu-the Vicar General of Mangaluru Catholic Diocese, along with other clergy namely-Fr Onil-Director of St Anthony Charity Institutes, Monsignor Marcel Pinto and Fr Paul D’souza- both of Priests Residence in Bajjodi, Fr Clifford D’Souza/Fr Norbert D’Souza/Fr Valerian D’souza/Fr albert Menezes-all from Senior Priest House at St Anthony’s Charity Institutes; and Fr Harold Mascarenhas- Parish priest of St Rita’s Church-Cascia.
In his homily, Monsignor Denis Moras Prabhu said, ” St Anthony of Padua is one of the Catholic Church’s most popular saints. This patron saint of lost and stolen articles, was a powerful Franciscan preacher and teacher. He’s typically portrayed holding the child Jesus—or a lily—or a book—or all three—in his arms. Many people give alms to St. Anthony Bread in thanksgiving to God for blessings received through the prayers of St. Anthony. St. Anthony’s life is what every Christian’s life is meant to be; a steady courage to face the ups and downs of life, the call to love and forgive, to be concerned for the needs of others, to deal with crisis great and small, and to have our feet solidly on the ground of total trusting love and dependence on God”.
He further said, “St Anthony is beloved throughout the world and is responsive to all people and all needs. His intercessory powers before our God are awesome.
St. Anthony has been pictured by artists and sculptors in all kinds of ways. He is depicted with a book in his hands, with a lily or torch. He has been painted preaching to fish, holding a monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament in front of a mule or preaching in the public square or from a nut tree. St Anthony was a teacher, Public Preacher, Doctor of the Scriptures. His effectiveness as a preacher calling people back to the faith resulted in the title “Hammer of Heretics.” Just as important were his peacemaking and calls for justice. In the liturgy of his feast, St. Anthony is celebrated as a teacher and preacher extraordinaire. He was the first teacher in the Franciscan Order, given the special approval and blessing of St. Francis to instruct his brother Franciscans. We all need to follow in the footsteps of St Anthony, and help those in need, the less fortunate and the downtrodden”.
Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality. Gratitude turns what we have into enough. God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, “thank you,” that would suffice. There is no such thing as gratitude unexpressed. If it is unexpressed, it is plain, old-fashioned ingratitude. Expressing his gratitude, before the conclusion of the Solemn feast mass, Fr Onil thanked the donors, well-wishers, volunteers, staff, priests, nuns and many others for the success and growth of St Anthony Charity Institutes. He even thanked yours-truly for the elaborate article made on the Institute, and mangalorean.com for giving wide publicity- this meant a lot to me. especially when you are thanked in a august gathering. To Fr Onil, I say a big thank you for his kind words of wisdom on Team Mangalorean.
Speaking to mangalorean.com after the mass, Fr Onil said, “The Devotion to Saint Anthony in Mangaluru gained a new direction when Msgr M.P. Colaco started Novena to the Saint on 12 June 1898 at Milagres Church followed by a solemn feast in his honour on the next day. Since then hundreds of thousands of people have come to the feet of Saint Anthony seeking his intercession in their various difficulties . All those who came to him have never returned empty handed. Saint Anthony is known as Saint of Miracles. The phrase of thirteen miracles goes along with his name. Such is the power of his intercession towards his devotees”
He further said, “If Saint Anthony performed number of miracles during his short earthly life of thirty six years he has performed innumerable miracles after his death. He continues to do so even today amidst us. Saint Anthony Charity Institutes is one such miracle. Four hundred destitute are sheltered at this Institutes and all their needs are taken care of free of cost. If this is not a miracle what else is? Saint Anthony does this miracle through his devotees. Saint Anthony is dear to his devotees. And Saint Anthony loves his devotees. If you have any intention to be prayed for please do not hesitate to forward the same to us. On Tuesdays we pray for you at our Shrine at Milagres and our 400 inmates pray for your intentions thrice a day at St Anthony’s Chapel, Jeppu. May Saint Anthony the wonder worker intercede for you and bless you abundantly”.
The Mass was followed by a Feast meal, where Bishop of Mangaluru Rev Dr Aloysius Paul D’souza who was invited as guest said the grace before the meals, and expressed his gratitude to everyone who have supported St Anthony Charity Institutes through various means. The other guests joined in the festive celebration were MCC Mayor Jacintha Alfred, Area corporator Appi, MLC Ivan D’Souza, Board members of Mangaluru Catholic Diocese, many donors and well-wishers.
I end this column with a prayer :
“Almighty God, you have given St. Anthony to your people as an outstanding preacher and a ready helper in time of need.
With his assistance may we follow the Gospel of Christ and know the help of your grace in every difficulty.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever”.
Also Read the following related Article :