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Finding St. Anthony: His Art and Miracles View Comments
By Marion Amberg

Santeros Roberto Gonzales and Ernesto Salazar fashioned this bulto (statue) of St. Anthony preaching to the fish.

ST. ANTHONY, please help me find my keys.” “St. Anthony, I lost my job and need to find a new one.” In some regions of the country where St. Anthony is revered as a celestial matchmaker, single women pray, “Oh, lovely St. Anthony, find me a lovely husband.” And if you’re a writer, you might beg the Franciscan saint to help you find the right words!

What reader hasn’t asked St. Anthony of Padua—patron of lost items and many other causes—for help in finding something? But how many of us ever go looking for St. Anthony? If we did, we’d find the friar’s likeness chiseled in stone, painted on murals, carved in wood and etched in stained glass.

He’s seen embracing the Christ Child, preaching to fish or holding a white lily, a symbol of purity. “Tony” even guards the poor box at the Jesuit-run Immaculate Conception Church in New Orleans, Louisiana. The poor box often benefits from the good fortune of bettors at a nearby racetrack.

What do all these artistic renditions have in common? They depict the amazing faith story and intercessory powers of this irresistible and universally loved saint. Come, St. Anthony is waiting to be found—in some very inspiring and miraculous artwork!

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Writing from New Mexico, Marion Amberg researched and composed this story with a statue of St. Anthony—carved from a table leg—at her side.

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Fidelis of Sigmaringen: If a poor man needed some clothing, Fidelis would often give the man the clothes right off his back. Complete generosity to others characterized this saint's life. 
<p>Born in 1577, Mark Rey (Fidelis was his religious name) became a lawyer who constantly upheld the causes of the poor and oppressed people. Nicknamed "the poor man's lawyer," Fidelis soon grew disgusted with the corruption and injustice he saw among his colleagues. He left his law career to become a priest, joining his brother George as a member of the Capuchin Order. His wealth was divided between needy seminarians and the poor. </p><p>As a follower of Francis, Fidelis continued his devotion to the weak and needy. During a severe epidemic in a city where he was guardian of a friary, Fidelis cared for and cured many sick soldiers. </p><p>He was appointed head of a group of Capuchins sent to preach against the Calvinists and Zwinglians in Switzerland. Almost certain violence threatened. Those who observed the mission felt that success was more attributable to the prayer of Fidelis during the night than to his sermons and instructions. </p><p>He was accused of opposing the peasants' national aspirations for independence from Austria. While he was preaching at Seewis, to which he had gone against the advice of his friends, a gun was fired at him, but he escaped unharmed. A Protestant offered to shelter Fidelis, but he declined, saying his life was in God's hands. On the road back, he was set upon by a group of armed men and killed. </p><p>He was canonized in 1746. Fifteen years later, the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith, which was established in 1622, recognized him as its first martyr.</p> American Catholic Blog There are many things we must do to grow in holiness and faith. But our actions are one-millionth of what we need to be saved and to have a relationship with God. God’s free gift of grace covers the rest of it.


 
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