Pallavakkam Seashore St. Anthony’s Shrine - The Diocese of Chingleput

Miracles of St. Antony

St. Antony and the Stolen Goods

Nearly everywhere St. Anthony is asked to intercede with God for the return of things lost or stolen. Those who feel very familiar with him may pray, “Tony, Tony, turn around. Something’s lost and must be found.“

The reason for invoking St. Anthony’s help in finding lost or stolen things is traced back to an incident in his own life. As the story goes, Anthony had a book of psalms that was very important to him. Besides the value of any book before the invention of printing, the psalter had the notes and comments he had made to use in teaching students in his Franciscan Order.

A novice who had already grown tired of living religious life decided to depart the community. Besides going AWOL he also took Anthony’s psalter! Upon realizing his psalter was missing, Anthony prayed it would be found or returned to him. And after his prayer the thieving novice was moved to return the psalter to Anthony and to return to the Order, which accepted him back. Legend has embroidered this story a bit. It has the novice stopped in his flight by a horrible devil, brandishing an ax and threatening to trample him underfoot if he did not immediately return the book. Obviously a devil would hardly command anyone to do something good. But the core of the story would seem to be true. And the stolen book is said to be preserved in the Franciscan friary in Bologna.

In any event, shortly after his death people began praying through Anthony to find or recover lost and stolen articles. And the Responsory of St. Anthony composed by his contemporary, Julian of Spires, O.F.M., proclaims, “The sea obeys and fetters break/And lifeless limbs thou dost restore/While treasures lost are found again/When young or old thine aid implore.“

St. Antony with Child Jesus

St. Antony with Child JesusBut since the 17th century we most often find the saint shown with the child Jesus in his arm or even with the child standing on a book the saint holds. A story about St. Anthony related in the complete edition of Butler’s Lives of the Saints (edited, revised and supplemented by Herbert Anthony Thurston, S.J., and Donald Attwater) projects back into the past a visit of Anthony to the Lord of Chatenauneuf. Anthony was praying far into the night when suddenly the room was filled with light more brilliant than the sun. Jesus then appeared to St. Anthony under the form of a little child. Chatenauneuf, attracted by the brilliant light that filled his house, was drawn to witness the vision but promised to tell no one of it until after St. Anthony’s death.

Patron of Sailors, Travelers and Fishermen

Patron of Sailors, Travelers and FishermenIn Portugal, Italy, France and Spain, St. Anthony is the patron saint of sailors and fishermen. According to some biographers his statue is sometimes placed in a shrine on the ship’s mast. And the sailors sometimes scold him if he doesn't respond quickly enough to their prayers.

Not only those who travel the seas but also other travelers and vacationers pray that they may be kept safe because of Anthony ’s intercession. Several stories and legends may account for associating the saint with travelers and sailors.

First, there is the very real fact of Anthony ’s own travels in preaching the gospel, particularly his journey and mission to preach the gospel in Morocco, a mission cut short by severe illness. But after his recovery and return to Europe, he was a man always on the go, heralding the Good News.

There is also a story of two Franciscan sisters who wished to make a pilgrimage to a shrine of our Lady but did not know the way. A young man is supposed to have volunteered to guide them. Upon their return from the pilgrimage one of the sisters announced that it was her patron saint, Anthony, who had guided them.

Still another story says that in 1647 Father Erastius Villani of Padua was returning by ship to Italy from Amsterdam. The ship with its crew and passengers was caught in a violent storm. All seemed doomed. Father Erastius encouraged everyone to pray to St. Anthony. Then he threw some pieces of cloth that had touched a relic of St. Anthony into the heaving seas. At once, the storm ended, the winds stopped and the sea became calm.

St. Anthony of Padua and the donkey miracle

St. Anthony of Padua and the donkey miracleA donkey, which, kept fasting for three days, refused the oats placed before him, till he had knelt down and adored the Blessed Sacrament, which St. Anthony held in his hands. Legendary narratives of the fourteenth century say this miracle took place at Toulouse, at Wadding, at Bruges; the real place, however, was Rimini.

Healing a Youth

Healing a YouthAt Padua also took place the famous miracle of the amputated foot, which Franciscan writers attribute to St. Anthony. A young man, Leonardo by name, in a fit of anger kicked his own mother. Repentant, he confessed his fault to St. Anthony who said to him: “The foot of him who kicks his mother deserves to be cut off.“ Leonardo ran home and cut off his foot. Learning of this, St. Anthony took the amputated member of the unfortunate youth and miraculously rejoined it.

Other Miracles

  • Once he was offered poisoned food by some Italian heretics, which he rendered innoxious by the sign of the cross.
  • The third miracle worthy of mention is that of the famous sermon to the fishes on the bank of the river Brenta in the neighbourhood of Padua; not at Padua, as is generally supposed.
  • Preaching one night on Holy Thursday in the Church of St. Pierre du Queriox at Limoges, he remembered he had to sing a Lesson of the Divine Office. Interrupting suddenly his discourse, he appeared at the same moment among the friars in choir to sing his Lesson, after which he continued his sermon.
  • Another day preaching in the square des creux des Arenes at Limoges, he miraculously preserved his audience from the rain.
  • At St. Junien during the sermon, he predicted that by an artifice of the devil the pulpit would break down, but that all should remain safe and sound. And so it occurred; for while he was preaching, the pulpit was overthrown, but no one hurt; not even the saint himself.
  • In a monastery of Benedictines, where he had fallen ill, he delivered by means of his tunic one of the monks from great temptations.
  • Likewise, by breathing on the face of a novice (whom he had himself received into the order), he confirmed him in his vocation.
  • At Brive, where he had founded a convent, he preserved from the rain the maid-servant of a benefactress who was bringing some vegetables to the brethren for their meagre repast.

Parish Priest Column

Pallavakkam Seashore St. Anthony’s Shrine - The Diocese of ChingleputRev Fr. John Suresh Seashore St. Anthony Shrine Dear devotees of Seashore St. Anthony, I am very pleased to inform you about the launch of a new website for our shrine www.seashorestanthony.org. It is indeed another milestone in the history of the rapid growth of the shrine..,

Read More

Events & Calender

Easter 2012

Read More

Contact Shrine

Rector. Rev. Fr. John Suresh
Parish Priest
Seashore St. Anthony’s Shrine
No. 38, M.G.R. Road, Palavakkam,
Chennai - 600 041,
INDIA.

Tel : +91 (44) 2449 3684 / 2449 3442

Mobile : +91 99419 31234

Email : frjohnsuresh@gmail.com

Read More