‘Anthony, born in upper Italy (1502), pursued the studies of the humanities and medicine before realising that he was called to be a spiritual physician. Ordained to the priesthood in 1528, he dedicated himself with fatherly love to strangers, to the oppressed and poor. He was regarded as “father” and “angel” by contemporaries. He founded a community of Clerks Regular, which he named after his favourite apostle, St Paul. They are now known as Barnabites. He spread devotion to Christ suffering and dying upon the Cross, added exposition of the Blessed Sacrament to the Forty Hours’ devotion in 1534, and furthered more frequent reception of holy Communion. He died at the early age of thirty-six in 1539.
“To Christ through the spirit of the apostle Paul”. Is not this the sincerest aim of every true liturgist? About a hundred times during the Church year the apostle of the Gentiles speaks to us in the Readings of the Mass, as today; and many times more in the Divine Office. “The in the spirit of the holy apostle Paul we may learn the all-excelling science of Jesus Christ” is the plea we make today in union with St Anthony’.
from The Church’s Year of Grace, 1953, by Pius Parsch, 1884-1954
Grant us, O Lord God Almighty: that we, being filled with the spirit of thy blessed Apostle Paul, may learn that pre-eminent knowledge of Christ Jesus, whereby thou didst wondrously teach blessed Anthony Mary to establish in thy Church new households of priests and virgins; through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holty Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Divine Worship: The Missal.
Fr Lee Kenyon