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A Friar’s Notes
June 2024

Fr. David Convertino, OFM
Executive Director of Development

As we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Anthony of Padua, I remember making a trip to Padua. Of course, I went to the Basilica of St. Anthony- a magnificent church that houses many of St. Anthony’s relics, including the body of St. Anthony. Thousands of pilgrims come here to ask for the intercession of the Saint of Miracles.

But while in the area, I visited Camposampiero, a little town just north of Padua. Here, St. Anthony had the vision of the Infant Jesus. The story goes that a man across the street from the Friary saw into St. Anthony’s room. As St. Anthony was praying, the man saw St. Anthony embracing the Infant Jesus. That is why St. Anthony is often portrayed as holding the Child Jesus.

The church at Camposampiero, built next to the Friary, is small but very beautiful. St. Anthony lived here. You can visit his room which has been preserved. It still contains a board that Anthony used as a bed, and you can see the window through which the neighbor saw the vision taking place.


The most important things in the church are not the relics, statues, and candles, but rather the items next to the altar. There is a book of the Gospels, a basket of bread, and a vase of lilies. While the miracles and visions are aspects of this Saint’s life- they are not the most significant. Instead, the Eucharist, the Gospels, Bread, and Lilies, are placed at the center of the church and were at the center of St. Anthony’s heart.

When I went to Padua, St. Anthony was only the Saint of Miracles for me. But after going to the little Church of Camposampiero and seeing the altar, the Gospels, the breadbasket, and the lilies all together, St. Anthony became not only the Saint of Miracles – but instead the model of what it means to be a real Christian today!

For St. Anthony, living out the faith was represented in those four items in the church. It meant being nourished by the Eucharist (the altar). Preaching not only by our words, but more importantly, by the way we live (the Gospels). Living a life of purity, love, and virtue (the lilies). And finally, that we are called to love the poor (the bread)—that it is in giving to others that we receive. St. Anthony’s bread reminds us of those who have nothing, not even bread to eat, and for us to do something about it.

You follow closely in the footsteps of St. Anthony when you care for the poor and desperate, as he did. Millions of poor, homeless, and needy depend on us as we depend on you. It is only through your generosity that the friars feed, clothe, shelter, and support over two million men, women, and children each year. Your financial gifts help the friars serve every day of every month of every year.

So, as we celebrate the feast of this great Christian Franciscan, Anthony of Padua, join me in trying to be more like him in my life by being nourished by the Eucharist, preaching the Gospel through my words and actions, giving to the poor, and living a virtuous life. In other words- doing what is right.

Happy Feast Day, sisters and brothers, and many blessings as we move through life together.

Fr. David, OFM



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