My husband and I were in Florida for the graduations of our two older grandchildren — one from high school, the other from nurses training. Florida was experiencing heavy rain on a daily basis. The rain gauge at my daughter’s house overflowed at 8 ½ inches. Despite the weather, both graduations, one held outdoors, were dry.
Taking advantage of a break in the weather, we wandered to St. Augustine. We stopped in the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Augustine — America’s first parish founded September 8, 1565. Outside it was a sunny, hot, humid 92 degrees. Inside, it was cool. As is my nature, I visited and took pictures of the various statues.
I recognized St. Joseph, Our Lady, The Infant Of Prague, and St. Patrick. One statue puzzled me. He wore a monks robe and was handing a loaf of bread to a man. I knew he wasn’t St. Francis of Assisi, no birds or other animals were present. When I inquired of a man wearing an ID from the cathedral, I was told it was St. Joseph. I explained why I knew it wasn’t St. Joseph. He wouldn’t have worn a monk’s robe. I thought it was St. Anthony of Padua. I seemed to remember that loafs of bread were handed out to celebrate his feast day.
I wasn’t familiar with St. Anthony until after my father’s death in 1995. I was downtown at St. Peter’s for Mass on a Tuesday when they said a novena to St. Anthony. Tuesday’s were free at the Art Institute and various exhibits called my name. I found myself downtown on numerous Tuesday’s after that, each time I stopped for Mass, and the novena. When the number of Tuesday’s increased, I realized that St. Anthony had to be involved. I was writing and trying to publish To Pap, With Love. I learned prayers were said to St. Anthony for missing items, but I didn’t think anything was missing. I was puzzled but curious. I decided to finish the novena — nine Tuesday’s which ended on his feast day.
Leaving church on that day, we were handed a small loaf of fresh Italian bread. I learned St. Anthony was known for his preaching ability. When his body was exhumed 30 years after his death, his tongue appeared to be alive. I laughed, I knew I needed help with the writing.
Before I started this blog, I was downtown on a Tuesday, to get city stickers for our cars and stopped at St. Peter’s for Mass and St. Anthony’s Novena. Nothing has changed, I still NEED help with the writing!
Do you know who this man is?