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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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Athanasius: Athanasius led a tumultuous but dedicated life of service to the Church. He was the great champion of the faith against the widespread heresy of Arianism, the teaching by Arius that Jesus was not truly divine. The vigor of his writings earned him the title of doctor of the Church. 
<p>Born of a Christian family in Alexandria, Egypt, and given a classical education, Athanasius became secretary to Alexander, the bishop of Alexandria, entered the priesthood and was eventually named bishop himself. His predecessor, Alexander, had been an outspoken critic of a new movement growing in the East—Arianism. </p><p>When Athanasius assumed his role as bishop of Alexandria, he continued the fight against Arianism. At first it seemed that the battle would be easily won and that Arianism would be condemned. Such, however, did not prove to be the case. The Council of Tyre was called and for several reasons that are still unclear, the Emperor Constantine exiled Athanasius to northern Gaul. This was to be the first in a series of travels and exiles reminiscent of the life of St. Paul. </p><p>After Constantine died, his son restored Athanasius as bishop. This lasted only a year, however, for he was deposed once again by a coalition of Arian bishops. Athanasius took his case to Rome, and Pope Julius I called a synod to review the case and other related matters. </p><p>Five times Athanasius was exiled for his defense of the doctrine of Christ’s divinity. During one period of his life, he enjoyed 10 years of relative peace—reading, writing and promoting the Christian life along the lines of the monastic ideal to which he was greatly devoted. His dogmatic and historical writings are almost all polemic, directed against every aspect of Arianism. </p><p>Among his ascetical writings, his<i> Life of St. Anthony</i> (January 17) achieved astonishing popularity and contributed greatly to the establishment of monastic life throughout the Western Christian world.</p> American Catholic Blog Suffering is redemptive in part because it definitively reveals to man that he is not in fact God, and it thereby opens the human person to receive the divine.

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