12 Jun 2011

12th June 2011 - Pentecost Sunday - (including a reflection on St Anthony of Padua)

This weeks show is now available as a podcast!

On this weeks show we had our regular prayer space, a reflection by Michael Keating on St Anthony of Padua, our regular gospel reflection as well as some notices and Saints of the week.

St Anthony of Padua

Michael takes us through the life of St Anthony of Padua whose feast day falls on June 13th every year. St Anthony is more famous for being known as the saint whose intercession is sought for lost things!

From Catholicireland.net the summary of the saints life:

"Born into a noble family beside the cathedral in Lisbon and baptised Fernando, he was educated at the cathedral school and joined the Augustinian Abbey of St Vincent at the age of fifteen. Here he became well-versed in the classical writers, the Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church. As friends were constantly coming to visit him, he asked to move to the Santa Cruz monastery at Coimbra, then the capital of Portugal. After ordination 1219 he was put in charge of hospitality and in this role came in contact with five Franciscans who were on their way to Morocco to preach to Muslims there. Next year these five Franciscans were martyred in Morocco and their relics brought back to Portugal. Fernando was so taken with the heroism of these five Franciscans that he asked to join the Franciscan order. He was received and given the name Anthony after the great hermit of Egypt (251-256). Soon after this he sailed with another brother to Morocco to preach to the Muslims. However, he soon became sick and had to return home. But a storm blew his ship off course and, instead of going back to Portugal, he landed in Sicily. Here he joined with some Franciscans who were heading to Assisi for a general meeting of the order. He met Francis and was appointed to a hermitage at Montepaolo where he served as a priest to the hermits there. No one knew of his considerable learning and Anthony was happy to carry out the most menial tasks for the hermits and devote himself to prayer. Around this time (1222) he accompanied the provincial to an ordination of some Franciscans and Dominicans at Forli. When the Dominican preacher did not turn up, Anthony was asked to say a few words. Beginning tentatively, it soon became clear that here was a man of extraordinary knowledge, eloquence and enthusiasm. But it was his holiness that really moved those present. As a result he was asked to preach more widely. Francis wrote to him appointing him as the order's first lector in theology. The tone of the letter shows Francis was quite cautious about learning and theology. It said: "It pleases me that you read theology to the friars, provided that this pursuit will not quench the spirit of holy prayer and devotion according to our rule. Farewell". Anthony taught and preached first in northern Italy and then in the south of France, where he went to assist in the crusade against the Albigensian heresy, preaching and teaching in the churches and market-places of Le-Puy, Toulouse, Montpellier and Arles. The power of this preaching earned him the nickname malleus haereticorum, "the hammer of heretics". Anthony spoke in a loud, clear voice. He had a winning manner and a wonderful memory. Although he spoke out against luxury, greed and tyranny, he did so positively by presenting the beauty of the Christian way. He returned to Italy in 1226 and became provincial of the Franciscans in northern Italy. Around Easter in 1228, he went to Rome, where he preached before Pope Gregory IX and discussed with him the Rule and Testament of Francis. He spent his last years at Padua where he had extraordinary influence both in the religious and civic life of town, reducing crime, denouncing usury, freeing debtors from prison and reconciling enemies. He died in Padua aged only 36 and was canonised by Pope Gregory IX less than a year after his death. A large Renaissance basilica built over his tomb has become an international shrine visited by over 5 million pilgrims annually. Since the 17th century people have being praying to St Anthony to recover lost articles. This stems from the story that a novice borrowed Anthony's psalter without permission and had to return it because of a fearful apparition of Anthony looking for his psalter!

Gospel Reflection - John 20: 19- 23

Colin and John discuss and reflect on  this weeks gospel and the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

"My Peace I give you" - no matter what the challanges and trails that beset us in our lives. The Holy Spirit within us is the power and love of God who is alive in us and sustained in us through the grace of the sacraments. God and God's Spirit is within us, called into us at Baptism and Confirmation. Where ever Jesus gives us his peace he also gives us His Joy. Our lives are not supposed to be dark and dreary, our faith is supposed to be life giving.

We should strieve to invoke the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit each day in our lives to strengthen us so that we can live in holiness on a daily basis.

Some reflections for the Feast from

Pope Benedict XVI during his homily today noted that Pentecost shows the Holy Spirit created the Catholic Church for all people. “From the first moment, in fact, the Holy Spirit created (the Church) as the Church of all people. It embraces the entire world, transcending the boundaries of race, class, nation - it breaks down all barriers and unites people in the profession of the Triune God. From the beginning, the Church is one, catholic and apostolic".

Article from CNA and text of homily here.

Saints of the Week

June 13th - St Anthony of Padua
June 14th - St Davnet and St Dympna
June 15th - St Vitus
June 16th - St Germaine
June 17th - Martyrs of Rome
June 18th - St Juliana Falconieri

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