My schedule today saw me attending the 12:15 Mass at the local Franciscan Church, St. Peter's. I had a 1:30 appointment, and thought I'd be in plenty of time. I hadn't figured on the saint of the day: St. Anthony.
St. Anthony is a popular saint. St. Anthony is also a Franciscan saint.
St. Anthony was honored today with choir, incense and even the Credo.
I had plenty of time to pray for the people in my life who have a particular thing for St. Anthony: my sister Jane, my fellow-sister-in-community Sr. Susan (more about her later), our Sr. Mary Antoinette in Boston (the ticketmaster of the community) and our Superior General, Sr. Antonieta.
I almost didn't make it to my appointment on time, but St. Anthony (it must have been him!) took care of that, too, though for a while there I was trying to figure out how I would make my way past the elderly woman at the end of my pew (and how would that look to the pious crowd: the nun leaving Mass early?).
One of my chief memories regarding St. Anthony (aside from the visit to his grandiose shrine in actual Padua--which city, by the way, is virtually closed on Mondays), comes from my own novitiate days. Someone mentioned St. Anthony with some admiration, and I spontaneously responded, "St. Anthony?! He's a saint for little old Italian women!" (In my parish Church back home, it seemed to me that that was the demographic I saw frequenting the statue of the popular Portuguese.) Sr. Susan (the very same!) looked stricken. "He's a Doctor of the Church!" she said in protest. (Besides, she had a very particular devotion to him herself--and she was neither old nor Italian!)
Happy Feast Day, Sr. Susan!
For the book lovers among you, the book pictured is pleasant reading in an unusual fiction style. From Pauline (of course).