Saint Anthony's Treasury
A Manual of Devotions incorporated with The Little Gems of St Anthony
For the use of the members of the universal association of St. Anthony, and other clients of the wonder-worker of Padua.
The Anthonian Press, Temple Street, Dublin.
Nihil Obstat. Michael Dempsey, S.T.D. Censor Theol. Deput.
Imprimi Potest. †Joannes Carolus, Archiep. Dublinensis, Hiberniae Primas
Dublini, die 16 Aprilis, 1941.
Omnipotent and most merciful Father of all, we humbly offer Thee this little tribute – “St. Anthony’s Treasury” – beseeching the “Saint of the whole world” to present it to Thee as a token of Ireland’s unchanging love.
With earnest care we have gathered into it many a treasured thought and word which ascended to Thy throne, in years gone by, from the hearts of Thy Saints who are now in Thy presence for ever. While, with deep affection we have commemorated the memory of our own glorious ancestors, imploring them to draw down Thy blessing on this act of homage.
May Thou take it under Thy Special protection, O blessed Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
“The lives of the Saints are a world of their own. There is the peace which is power and the calmness which is activity.” In these words borrowed from that saintly son of St. Philip, the universally-loved Father Faber, a picture is drawn, with light and delicate touch, which vividly brings before us the glorious Franciscan Preacher of peace, powerful in word and work, with calmness almost angelic, and yet gifted with an active untiring spirit of benevolence, which was his most striking characteristic on earth, and which seems to distinguish him, still, among our truest friends in heaven.
Devotion to St. Anthony of Padua is pre-eminently a devotion of petition, followed by thanksgiving. It began during his lifetime, when the young Friar’s compassionate heart and willing hand made him the visible guardian angel of Padua. Never, perhaps, in the history of the Church, was there a Saint so remarkable for a constant, tender readiness to enter into all the trials and vexations of the world around him as St. Anthony was – and as the traditions of long years represent him to be even in his grand eternal home.
The “prayer of faith” is marvellous in its efficacy. Faith, confidence, strong trust in Almighty aid is the secret of obtaining all that is good for us – all that the Eye which pierces futurity sees will not hinder or delay us on our road to the one great end. Faith in the unseen Power is well nigh omnipotent when it pleads for what it desires, but with us ordinary souls, it often takes what we may term a human touch to awaken this living faith. That touch usually comes from the knowledge or remembrance of the human personality of one who when on earth loved God supremely, and for God’s dear sake, poured out the purest, most pitying love on God’s poor needy creatures.
Here is the mainspring of our peculiar devotion to St. Anthony. We are familiar with the story of that young Franciscan who, whenever sorrow or anxiety came in his way, could not rest until he had tried to relieve it. We know from the “Chronicles of Padua” how his innocence and entire trust in God were rewarded – how Angels were sent to help him when human means failed – how his eager prayer drew down the Divine Child from Heaven into his longing arms – and how, in that moment of reverential but unutterably affectionate intercourse, he is supposed to have represented how sorely our little everyday troubles press on weak souls and weak bodies, and that he was then constituted “our household friend”, our daily petitioner for our little daily needs – always at hand, as it were, to promote peace, and order, and patience in our homes.
His was a splendid career, even in the eyes of the world, during his brief thirty-six years. He was a profound theologian, a brilliant preacher, a formidable foe to heresy, and a terror to heretics, through the supernatural forces which seemed always at his command. When St. Anthony spoke – when St. Anthony proclaimed peace, the turbulent were silenced, and peace obeyed his call. His calm, beautiful face shone like an Angel’s over the sea of human passions, and subdued them with a tranquil sway, more powerful than the might of kings.
We know all this – and yet we appear to forget the shining glories of his short life, for, when we bring his picture before us, it is with the white lily of purity in his gentle hand; or with his childlike, unquestioning gaze uplifted in adoring love to the divine and loving Child; or with the hungry children clinging round him for their daily bread.
These are the pictures we keep before our eyes, and in our hearts while in every little perplexity or trifling loss or petty annoyance, as well as in our heavier crosses, we turn to the sweet Saint, whose name is truly and powerfully “a household word” and “beloved of God and man” – St Anthony of Padua.
Note: Many of the prayers in this book are Indulgenced. All of the indulgences have been verified by comparison with Preces et Pia Opera Indulgentiis Ditata Vatican Press, 1938. Special Indulgences such as those attached to the Dolours Beads, Blue Scapular etc., are covered by special Decrees.
Entire Prayer Book
Introduction and Contents
Pages 334 onwards are omitted, being Gospel readings and Epistles.