“The last Lent he preached was that of 1231; the crowd of people which came from all parts to hear him, frequently numbered 30,000 and more. His last sermons were principally directed against hatred and enmity, and his efforts were crowned with wonderful success. Permanent reconciliations were effected, peace and concord re-established, liberty given to debtors and other prisoners, restitutions made, and enormous scandals repaired; in fact, the priests of Padua were no longer sufficient for the number of penitents….”
Before St. Anthony, first the Gospel. It is as it should be for St. Anthony himself was a preacher who lived the Gospel so faithfully that he was made a saint within a year of having died.
Jesus addresses anger in his famous teaching which includes name-calling, reconciliation, forgiveness, sacrifice and punishment. For example, he says, “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.”
Now to St. Anthony. Yeah, he’s the one famous for helping people find lost objects- especially when you offer your prayer for lost souls and the souls in purgatory. That comes to us from Friar Julian of Spires who said, “Si quaeris miracula . . . resque perditas.” (If you want a miracle…[pray for] the welfare of lost souls.) But not only is he famous for helping us find our keys and wallets, but he’s even more famous for his preaching abilities. St. Bonaventure, upon opening his tomb, found his entire body has turned to ashes except for his tongue, which was perfectly incorrupt. (All of this information comes from newadvent.com)
More importantly for today’s Gospel, however, and the life of St. Anthony, is what he preached during his last Lent before death. Here I will relay New Advent once again:
Let’s pray that St. Anthony helps us to lose our anger toward others and find reconciliation with everyone.