Often associated, as the saint that “finds lost things”, St. Anthony of Padua is much more than just that. He is a Franciscan theological powerhouse, a Doctor of the Church, and is known as the Evangelical Doctor. Out of all the Franciscans throughout the centuries, he is one of the greatest minds the Order has ever seen. He was often mocked and verbally abused by the heretics of his time who claimed the Gospel message was false. He answered these individuals with such strength that he is also known as the “Hammer of the Heretics.” To learn more about St. Anthony of Padua, click on the link at the top of this paragraph.
Like many of the saints before him, St. Anthony of Padua had a great love, devotion, and prayer life that was associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary. He knew how important her role was in the life of Jesus Christ and the life of the Catholic Church, which continues to this day. Below are four quotes from his writings focusing on different aspects of Marian theology, specifically the doctrines defined by the Church,
On Mary’s Perpetual Virginity:
[Comparing St. Ann] “to an olive tree, from which came the brilliant blossom… the blessed Mary, symbolically it could be said that Mar was ‘green like an olive’ in the conception and birth of the Savior, for She remained a virgin before and after His birth. Christ’s birth from the Virgin knows no equal among women, but is mirrored in nature. Someone may ask how the Virgin gave birth to the Savior. She begot Him as a blossom emanates perfume. The blossom of the vine remains incorrupt after it has given off its perfume, and so likewise, faith leads us to believe that the modesty of the Virgin—the modesty with which She gave birth the Savior—was not violated. What else is the flower of virginity if not a sweet perfume? Just as a lily does not lose any of its beauty in emitting its sweet fragrance, so too did our Lady preserve Her virginity in giving birth to the Savior.”
On Mary’s Maternal Mediation, specifically at the foot of the cross:
“It could be said that She was ‘red as an olive’ in the Passion of Her Son, when ‘Her Heart was pierced with a sword’ (Lk. 2:35). The sorrowful Mother participated in His redemptive suffering, especially when His side was pierced by the lance, and is often called our Co-Redemptrix with the Redeemer. The Blessed Virgin Mary therefore, our Mediatrix, established peace between God and the sinner.”
On Mary’s Immaculate Conception:
Quoting St. Augustine who said, “Where there is a question of sin, exclude as far as I am concerned, the Blessed Virgin Mary.” None of the saints can say, “We have no sin” (1 Jn 1:8). St. Anthony adds, “From the universal confession of sin Mary among all creatures is to be excepted for She was ‘full of grace.’ This ‘superior,’ ‘singular’ grace was bestowed upon Her ‘that She might worthily bear in Her womb Him, who from the beginning held in His hands the control of the universe.’ The pure Virgin was ‘full of grace’ and ‘free from sin’ in view of the divine maternity. The Father clothed His Son Jesus in a white robe, that is, flesh without any stain of sin conceived by the Virgin Immaculate.”
On Mary’s Assumption:
She was assumed bodily into heaven…because from Her He assumed flesh. She was ‘the place of the Lord’s feet’ and the ‘ark of His sanctification’ and was therefore glorified. But Her exaltation was also due to Her littleness, for ‘in the word of humility, ‘Behold, the handmaid of the Lord’ (Lk 1:38), She became the Queen of Heaven.’ As a result of Her ‘humility of body and heart… She is brilliant in Her heavenly splendor.’ She is ‘exalted above the choirs of angels’ and ‘sits upon a starry throne,’ crowned by Her divine Son, precisely because She humbled Herself below any other creature.
Most Holy and Blessed Virgin Mary…Pray for Us.
St. Anthony of Padua…Pray for Us.
“St. Anthony of Padua.” St. Anthony of Padua. Eternal Word Television Network, n.d. Web. 13 June 2016.