Friday, June 13, 2008

St Anthony freebies


There was a great devotion at one time in this parish to Franciscan saints, the Third Order had been quite strong, now all that is left are statues of St Francis and St Anthony, so today I re-introduced the blessing of St Anthony' lilies, well actually they were gladioli, Australian lilies, (6 stems for £1) rather than lilies (3 stems for £3.50) and I am afraid rather than being pure white the had a hint of pink. I thought Anthony would approve of the economy.
I found the following blessing on Fisheaters.

On the Feast of this most wonderful of Saints, your priest might bless lilies for you to keep (this isn't a universal practice). The blessing of lilies, which remind us of St. Anthony's purity and have always been a symbol for him, stems from a miracle which took place in Revolutionary France: many priests and religious were murdered, so many churches and convents destroyed, but the faithful still showed up at a surviving church on the Feast of St. Anthony. I am sure this blessing is much more ancient thanthis Months later, it was discovered that lilies that had adorned the church at that feast were still fresh. Let the lilies beautify your house, or carry them with you, or press them in a book, etc. If your priest doesn't bless lilies, you can still use them non-sacramentally to remind you of one of the greatest Saints ever. The English of the Blessing of the Lilies is as follows:
The Blessing of Lilies on the Feast of St. Anthony
The priest vests in surplice and white stole, and says:
P:
Our help is in the name of the Lord.
All:
Who made heaven and earth.
P:
The Lord be with you.
All:
And with thy spirit.
P:
Let us pray. God, the Creator and Preserver of the human race, the Lover of holy purity, the Giver of supernatural grace, and the Dispenser of everlasting salvation; bless + these lilies which we, Thy humble servants, present to Thee today as an act of thanksgiving and in honor of St. Anthony, Thy confessor, and with a request for Thy blessing. Pour out on them, by the saving sign + of the holy cross, Thy dew from on high. Thou in Thy great kindness hast given them to man, and endowed them with a sweet fragrance to lighten the burden of the sick. Therefore, let them be filled with such power that, whether they are used by the sick, or kept in homes or other places, or devoutly carried on one's person, they may serve to drive out evil spirits, safeguard holy chastity, and turn away illness--all this through the prayers of St. Anthony--and finally impart to Thy servants grace and peace; through Christ our Lord.
All:
Amen.
Then he sprinkles the lilies with holy water, saying:
P:
Sprinkle me with hyssop, Lord, and I shall be clean of sin. Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Pray for us, St. Anthony.
All:
That we may be worthy of Christ's promise.
P:
Let us pray. We beg Thee, O Lord, that Thy people may be helped by the constant and devout intercession of Blessed Anthony, Thy illustrious confessor. May he assist us to be worthy of Thy grace in this life, and to attain everlasting joys in the life to come; through Christ our Lord.
All:
Amen.
After this the lilies are distributed to the people.

Next year I shall put out some vases and ask people to donate white lilies the week before.

People do like freebies whether it is Lillie's or medals or scapulars. I was impressed that so many men went of home carrying a gladdie with a hint of pink in their hands, for some a Friday humiliation I am sure.

2 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

Fr. Blake, you are the bomb! People *love* stuff like this. Tony and I are especially tight. I can't find zip without him, and he always helps.

pelerin said...

Thank you for this evenings blessing of the lilies ceremony, Father. It prompted me to look up St Anthony of Padua as I knew nothing about him except that my mother in law used to tell me to invoke him whenever I lost anything and donate to the poor box when said item was found! needless to say I was sceptical at first but over the years his success has been astonishing.

I was surprised to learn from one website that his name was not originally Anthony but Fernando. Also he only ended his life in Padua having been born in Lisbon and travelled extensively to Italy and various towns in France and all before TGV rail travel - astonishing!

It appears that St Anthony died at the early age of 36 although I had to smile at one website where the writer has given his dates as 1195 - 1321 and actually written 'aged 126.' He goes on to add that he was canonised in 1232 ie before he died. Fr Z's advice to think before posting comes to mind here!